Origin of the Iwakuni Kikkawa clan

He is the lord of the Iwakuni Domain in Suo Province. However, its origin is old and has a history of 800 years.

The Kikkawa clan is a branch of the Southern Fujiwara clan. Tsuneyoshi, the eldest son of Kageyoshi Irie, the third grandson of Korekiyo, who lived in Iriesho, Suruga Province and called himself the Irie clan, moved to Irie around the time of Juei and Bunji (1183-86). It started when he set up a residence in Sho Kikkawa (Shimizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture) and called it Kikkawa.

In other words, the founder, Tsuneyoshi, was a Kamakura samurai who followed Yoritomo’s close aides. Participating as an acolyte.

In the second year of Shoji (1200), Tomokane 2 attacked the Kajiwara Kagetoki clan, who were running west against the Kamakura shogunate, to Kitsunegasaki in Suruga. Although it was annihilated, it also died in battle. As a result of his achievements, the 3rd head of the family, Asatsune, was appointed as the land steward of Fukui no Sho in Harima Province (southwestern part of Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture).

Tsunemitsu, the 4th head of the family, was given the position of land steward of Oasahonjo in Aki Province (Oasa-machi, Yamagata-gun, Hiroshima Prefecture) for his military service in the Jokyu Rebellion (1221). The 5th generation, Tsunetaka, was thinking about the times and moved his headquarters from Kikkawain Suruga to Oasa in Aki. It was in the second year of Showa (1313). Tsunetaka’s younger brothers put down roots in the divided and transferred territories and became the ancestors of the Kikkawa clans of Harima, Iwami, and Suruga.

During the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, the family was divided into north and south, but after Tsunemi (Tsunekane’s child) of Kikkawa IWAMI (Tsuneshige → Tsunekane) took over the Soryo clan, the power increased again. In addition, during the generation of the 8th generation Keimi, he moved his headquarters from Oasa Honjo to Oasa Shinjo and built Ogurayama Castle.

The 11th head, Tsunemoto, joined the Eastern Army (Katsumoto Hosokawa) during the Onin War (1467/8) and gained fame, but he was also active in cultural activities, such as copying waka, linked poems, and Zen books. .

The wife of the 13th head, Motonari, was the younger sister of Motonari Mouri. Motonari’s wife is Mototsune’s younger sister. From this, Kikkawa and Mouri are related by marriage. The 14th head, Okitsune, was hated by Motonari because he was too brave, and not only was he forced to retire, but he was also murdered.

Motonari’s second son, Motoharu, was adopted by Okitsune and took over the Yoshikawa family, together with Takakage Kobayakawa (Motoharu’s younger brother). He helped the head of the clan and was called Mouri no Ryokawa. Later, all three clans came under the command of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and during the conquest of Kyushu, Motoharu and Motonaga died of illness one after another, so Hiroie took over and became the 17th head of the clan.After serving in Kyushu, Hiroie was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) in 1588. In 1588, he acquired 140,000 koku of land in Hoki, Izumo, Oki, and Aki. Moved his residence to Izumo Tomita (Hirose Town, Yoshigi District, Shimane Prefecture). Before and after playing the role of Sekigahara, Hiroie tried to keep the Mouri clan going by secretly working with Ieyasu Tokugawa and making various secret maneuvers, but in the end it ended in failure. Even so, thanks to his efforts, he was able to maintain the defense province.

As a result, the Kikkawa clan was granted a land allocation of 30,000 goku (later nominally 60,000 goku) in Kuga-gun and part of Oshima-gun in Suo, and set up a castle in Iwakuni. This was the Iwakuni domain, but in fact it was treated as a chief retainer of the Mouri clan.

Since Hiroyoshi, who built the Kintaikyo Bridge, generations have wished for the restoration of the cァns status and made a request to the Mouri clan, but since they did not respond, the relationship between the two clans deteriorated. The relationship between the two clans was restored when Kikkawa Mouri and Tsunemoto Kikkawa. It was during the Ansei year (1856).

In the first year of Meiji (1868), the Kikkawa clan joined various ranks, and in the 17th year of the Meiji era, at the time of Tsunetake, he was conferred the title of baron, and in the 24th year of the same year, he was promoted to the rank of viscount. Tsunetake’s younger brother, Jukichi, was also given the title of baron in 1924.

Kikkawa Clan Tree

























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元光   元光──重国