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Minamoto clan

Minamoto clan

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was one of the surnames bestowed by the Emperors of Japan upon members of the imperial family who were demoted into the ranks of the nobility. The practice was most prevalent during the Heian Period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

 (794–1185 AD), although its last occurrence was during the Sengoku Era. The Taira
Taira clan
The was a major Japanese clan of samurai in historical Japan.In reference to Japanese history, along with Minamoto, Taira was a hereditary clan name bestowed by the emperors of the Heian Period to certain ex-members of the imperial family when they became subjects...

 were another such offshoot of the imperial dynasty. The Minamoto clan is also called the , using the Sino–Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

s for Minamoto (gen) and family (ji).

The Minamoto were one of four great clans that dominated Japanese politics during the Heian period — the other three were the Fujiwara, the Taira
Taira clan
The was a major Japanese clan of samurai in historical Japan.In reference to Japanese history, along with Minamoto, Taira was a hereditary clan name bestowed by the emperors of the Heian Period to certain ex-members of the imperial family when they became subjects...

, and the Tachibana
Tachibana clan (kuge)
The Tachibana clan was one of the four most powerful kuge families in Japan's Nara and early Heian periods. Members of the Tachibana family often held high court posts within the Daijō-kan , most frequently Sadaijin...

.

History


The first emperor to grant the surname Minamoto was Emperor Saga
Emperor Saga
was the 52nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Saga's reign spanned the years from 809 through 823.-Traditional narrative:...

, who reportedly had 49 children, resulting in a significant financial burden on the imperial household. In order to alleviate some of the pressure of supporting his unusually large family, he made many of his sons and daughters nobles instead of royals. He chose the word minamoto (meaning "origin") for their new surname in order to signify that the new clan shared the same origins as the royal family. Afterwards, Emperor Seiwa
Emperor Seiwa
was the 56th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Seiwa's reign spanned the years from 858 through 876.-Traditional narrative:...

, Emperor Murakami
Emperor Murakami
was the 62nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Murakami's reign spanned the years from 946 to his death in 967.-Traditional narrative:...

, Emperor Uda
Emperor Uda
was the 59th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Uda's reign spanned the years from 887 through 897.-Name and legacy:Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was or Chōjiin-tei....

, and Emperor Daigo
Emperor Daigo
was the 60th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Daigo's reign spanned the years from 897 through 930. He is named after his place of burial.-Traditional narrative:...

, among others, also gave their sons or daughters the name Minamoto. These specific hereditary lines coming from different emperors developed into specific clans referred to by the emperor's name followed by Genji, e.g. Seiwa Genji. According to some sources, the first to be given the name Minamoto was Minamoto no Makoto
Minamoto no Makoto
was the seventh son of the Japanese Emperor Saga, and was the first courtier to be given the name Minamoto. Initially an honorary name given to a number of unrelated courtiers by a number of different Emperors, the Minamoto clan would grow to be an integrated clan family, one of the most powerful...

, seventh son of Emperor Saga.

In 814, Emperor Saga (reigned 809–823) awarded the kabane
Kabane
were hereditary titles used in ancient Japan to denote rank and political standing. There were more than thirty. Some of the more common kabane were omi, muraji, , , , , , and ....

 Minamoto no Ason to his non-heir sons; thereafter, they and their descendants ceased to be members of the Imperial Family. Several subsequent emperors gave the Minamoto surname to their non-heir sons.

The most prominent of the several Minamoto families, the Seiwa Genji
Seiwa Genji
The ' were the most successful and powerful of the many branch families of the Japanese Minamoto clan. Many of the most famous Minamoto warriors, including Minamoto Yoshiie, also known as "Hachimantaro", or God of War, and Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate, were descended...

, descended from Minamoto no Tsunemoto
Minamoto no Tsunemoto
was a samurai and Imperial Prince during Japan's Heian period, the progenitor of the Seiwa Genji branch of the Minamoto clan. He was the son of Sadazumi-shinnō and grandson of Emperor Seiwa....

 (917–961), a grandson of the 56th Emperor Seiwa. Tsunemoto went to the provinces and became the founder of a major warrior dynasty. Minamoto no Mitsunaka
Minamoto no Mitsunaka
, son of Minamoto no Tsunemoto, was a samurai and Court official of Japan's Heian period. Mitsunaka belonged to the Seiwa Genji branch of the Minamoto clan, which traced its ancestry to Emperor Seiwa. He loyally served several successive Fujiwara regents beginning with Fujiwara no Morotada...

 (912–997) formed an alliance with the Fujiwara. Thereafter the Fujiwara frequently called upon the Minamoto to restore order in the capital, Heian-Kyo
Heian-kyo
Heian-kyō , was one of several former names for the city now known as Kyoto. It was the capital of Japan for over one thousand years, from 794 to 1868 with an interruption in 1180....

 (or Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

.)

Mitsunaka's eldest son, Minamoto no Yorimitsu
Minamoto no Yorimitsu
, also known as Minamoto no Raikō, served the regents of the Fujiwara clan along with his brother Yorinobu, taking the violent measures the Fujiwara were themselves unable to take...

 (948–1021), became the protégé of Fujiwara no Michinaga
Fujiwara no Michinaga
represents the highpoint of the Fujiwara regents' control over the government of Japan.-Early life:He was the fourth or fifth son of Fujiwara no Kaneie by his wife Tokihime, daughter of Fujiwara no Nakamasa...

; another son, Minamoto no Yorinobu
Minamoto no Yorinobu
was a samurai commander and member of the powerful Minamoto clan. He was the son of Minamoto no Mitsunaka . Along with his brother Yorimitsu, Yorinobu served the regents of the Fujiwara clan, taking the violent measures the Fujiwara were themselves unable to take. He held the title, passed down...

 (968–1048) suppressed the rebellion of Taira no Tadatsune
Taira no Tadatsune
was a chieftain of the Taira clan in the early 11th century, and predecessor of the Chiba clan. He was also, for a time, Governor of Shimōsa and Vice-Governor of Kazusa Provinces, and manager of the Grand Shrine of Ise in fact if not in name....

 in 1032. Yorinobu's son, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi
Minamoto no Yoriyoshi
was a head of Japan's Minamoto clan who is perhaps most notable for having led, along with his son Minamoto no Yoshiie, the Imperial forces against rebellious forces in the north...

 (998–1075), and grandson, Minamoto no Yoshiie
Minamoto no Yoshiie
Minamoto no Yoshiie , also known as Hachimantarō, was a Minamoto clan samurai of the late Heian period, and Chinjufu shogun...

 (1039–1106), pacified most of northeastern Japan between 1051 and 1087.

The Seiwa Genji's fortunes declined in the Hōgen Rebellion
Hogen Rebellion
The was a short civil war fought in order to resolve a dispute about Japanese Imperial succession. The dispute was also about the degree of control exercised by the Fujiwara clan who had become hereditary Imperial regents during the Heian period....

 (1156), when the Taira executed much of the line. During the Heiji Disturbance (1160), the head of the Seiwa Genji clan, Minamoto no Yoshitomo
Minamoto no Yoshitomo
was the head of the Minamoto clan and a general of the late Heian period of Japanese history. His son Minamoto no Yoritomo became shogun and founded the Kamakura Shogunate, the first shogunate in the history of Japan.-Hōgen Rebellion:...

, died in battle. Taira no Kiyomori
Taira no Kiyomori
was a general of the late Heian period of Japan. He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.After the death of his father Taira no Tadamori in 1153, Kiyomori assumed control of the Taira clan and ambitiously entered the political realm in which he...

 seized power in Kyoto by forging an alliance with the retired emperors Shirakawa
Emperor Shirakawa
was the 72nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Shirakawa's reign lasted from 1073 to 1087.-Genealogy:Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Sadahito-shinnō ....

 and Toba
Emperor Toba
was the 74th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Toba's reign spanned the years from 1107 through 1123.- Genealogy :...

 and infiltrating the kuge
Kuge
The was a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto until the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century at which point it was eclipsed by the daimyo...

. He sent Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo
was the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199.-Early life and exile :Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, and his official wife, a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, who was a member of the...

 (1147–1199), the third son of Minamoto no Yoshimoto of the Seiwa Genji, into exile. In 1180 Yoritomo mounted a full-scale rebellion against the Taira rule (the Genpei
Genpei War
The was a conflict between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the late-Heian period of Japan. It resulted in the fall of the Taira clan and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate under Minamoto Yoritomo in 1192....

 or the Taira-Minamoto War), culminating in the destruction of the Taira and the subjugation of eastern Japan within five years. In 1192 he received the title shogun
Shogun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

 and set up the first bakufu at Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

.

Thus the Seiwa Genji
Seiwa Genji
The ' were the most successful and powerful of the many branch families of the Japanese Minamoto clan. Many of the most famous Minamoto warriors, including Minamoto Yoshiie, also known as "Hachimantaro", or God of War, and Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate, were descended...

 line proved to be the most strong and dominant Minamoto line during the late Heian period with Minamoto no Yoritomo eventually forming the Kamakura Shogunate
Kamakura shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate was a military dictatorship in Japan headed by the shoguns from 1185 to 1333. It was based in Kamakura. The Kamakura period draws its name from the capital of the shogunate...

 and becoming shogun
Shogun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

 in 1192. Also, it's from the Seiwa Genji line that the later Ashikaga
Ashikaga clan
The ' was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province .For about a century the clan was...

 (founders of the Ashikaga shogunate
Ashikaga shogunate
The , also known as the , was a Japanese feudal military regime, ruled by the shoguns of the Ashikaga clan.This period is also known as the Muromachi period and gets its name from Muromachi Street of Kyoto where the third shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu established his residence...

), Nitta
Nitta family
The ' was one of several major families descended from the Seiwa Genji, and numbered among the chief enemies of the Ashikaga shogunate, and later the Hōjō clan regents...

, and Takeda
Takeda family
The ' was a famous clan of daimyō in Japan's late Heian Period to Sengoku period.The Takeda were descendants of Emperor Seiwa and are a branch of the Minamoto clan , by Minamoto no Yoshimitsu , brother to the Chinjufu-shogun Minamoto no Yoshiie...

 clans come.

The protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

 of the classical Japanese novel The Tale of Genji
The Tale of Genji
is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel or the first novel still to be...

, Hikaru no Genji, was bestowed the name Minamoto for political reasons by his father the emperor and was delegated to civilian life and a career as an imperial officer.

The Genpei War
Genpei War
The was a conflict between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the late-Heian period of Japan. It resulted in the fall of the Taira clan and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate under Minamoto Yoritomo in 1192....

 is also the subject of the early Japanese epic The Tale of the Heike
The Tale of the Heike
is an epic account of the struggle between the Taira and Minamoto clans for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century in the Genpei War...

 (Heike Monogatari).

Members of the Minamoto clan


To be given the name "Minamoto" was to be excluded from royalty, but even then there was a distinction between princes with the title , who were royalty but could not ascend to the throne, and princes with the title , who could. While these princes were ancestors of Minamoto lineages, they were not themselves of the Minamoto clan.

Many later clans were formed by members of the Minamoto clan, and in many early cases, progenitors of these clans are known by either family name. There are also known monks
Bhikkhu
A Bhikkhu or Bhikṣu is an ordained male Buddhist monastic. A female monastic is called a Bhikkhuni Nepali: ). The life of Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis is governed by a set of rules called the patimokkha within the vinaya's framework of monastic discipline...

 of Minamoto descent; these are often noted in genealogies but did not carry the clan name (in favor of a dharma name
Dharma name
A Dharma name is a new name acquired during a Buddhist initiation ritual in Mahayana Buddhism and monk ordination in Theravada Buddhism. The name is traditionally given by a Buddhist monastic, but is also given to newly ordained monks, nuns and laity....

).

There were 21 branches of the clan, each named after the emperor from whom it descended. Some of these lineages were populous, but a few produced no descendants.

Saga Genji


The Saga Genji were descendants of Emperor Saga
Emperor Saga
was the 52nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Saga's reign spanned the years from 809 through 823.-Traditional narrative:...

. As the Emperor had many children, many were bestowed the uji Minamoto, declassing them from imperial succession. Among his sons, Makoto, Tokiwa, and Tōru
Minamoto no Toru
was a Japanese poet and statesman. He was born the grandson of Emperor Saga and a member of the Saga Genji clan. He is sometimes mentioned as the model for Hikaru Genji in important Japanese literary classic the Tale of Genji....

 became sadaijin
Sadaijin
, most commonly translated as "Minister of the Left", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Sadaijin in the context of a central...

; they were among the most powerful in the Imperial Court in the early Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

. Some of Tōru's descendants in particular settled the provinces and formed buke. Clans such as the Watanabe, Matsura, and Kamachi descended from the Saga Genji.

Noted Saga Genji and descendants include:
  • Makoto
    Minamoto no Makoto
    was the seventh son of the Japanese Emperor Saga, and was the first courtier to be given the name Minamoto. Initially an honorary name given to a number of unrelated courtiers by a number of different Emperors, the Minamoto clan would grow to be an integrated clan family, one of the most powerful...

    , seventh son of the Emperor
  • Hiromu, eighth son of the Emperor
    • Hitoshi, grandson of Hiromu
  • Tokiwa, son of the Emperor
    • Okoru, first son of Tokiwa
  • Sadamu, son of the Emperor
    • Shitagō
      Minamoto no Shitago
      was a mid Heian waka poet, scholar and nobleman. He was the original compiler of the Wamyō Ruijushō, the first Japanese dictionary organized into semantic headings. He was designated as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals for his distinguished poetic accomplishments. In addition to the Wamyō...

      , great-grandson of Sadamu
  • Hiroshi, son of the Emperor
  • Tōru
    Minamoto no Toru
    was a Japanese poet and statesman. He was born the grandson of Emperor Saga and a member of the Saga Genji clan. He is sometimes mentioned as the model for Hikaru Genji in important Japanese literary classic the Tale of Genji....

    , son of the Emperor
    • Anbō (secular name Minamoto no Shitagō), great-grandson of Tōru
    • Watanabe no Tsuna
      Watanabe no Tsuna
      ' was a Japanese samurai, a retainer of Minamoto no Yorimitsu , one of the earliest samurai to be famed for his military exploits.-In Legend:...

       (formally a Minamoto), great-great-grandson of Tōru
      • Matsura Hisashi, grandson of Tsuna
    • Koreshige, grandson of Tōru
      • Mitsusue, great-great-grandson of Koreshige
  • Tsutomu, son of the Emperor
  • Hiraku, son of the Emperor


History records that at least three of Emperor Saga's daughters were also made Minamoto (Kiyohime, Sadahime, and Yoshihime), but few records concerning his daughters are known.

Ninmyō Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Ninmyō. His sons Masaru and Hikaru were udaijin
Udaijin
Udaijin , most commonly translated as the "Minister of the Right", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Udaijin in the context of a central...

. Among Hikaru's descendants was Minamoto no Atsushi, adoptive father of the Saga Genji's Tsuna
Watanabe no Tsuna
' was a Japanese samurai, a retainer of Minamoto no Yorimitsu , one of the earliest samurai to be famed for his military exploits.-In Legend:...

 and father of the Seiwa Genji's Mitsunaka
Minamoto no Mitsunaka
, son of Minamoto no Tsunemoto, was a samurai and Court official of Japan's Heian period. Mitsunaka belonged to the Seiwa Genji branch of the Minamoto clan, which traced its ancestry to Emperor Seiwa. He loyally served several successive Fujiwara regents beginning with Fujiwara no Morotada...

's wife.

Montoku Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Montoku
Emperor Montoku
was the 55th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.The years of Montoku's spanned the years from 850 through 858.-Traditional narrative:...

. Among them, Yoshiari was a sadaijin
Sadaijin
, most commonly translated as "Minister of the Left", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Sadaijin in the context of a central...

, and among his descendants were the Sakado clan who were Hokumen no Bushi.

Seiwa Genji



These were descendants of Emperor Seiwa
Emperor Seiwa
was the 56th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Seiwa's reign spanned the years from 858 through 876.-Traditional narrative:...

. The most numerous of them were those descended from Tsunemoto
Minamoto no Tsunemoto
was a samurai and Imperial Prince during Japan's Heian period, the progenitor of the Seiwa Genji branch of the Minamoto clan. He was the son of Sadazumi-shinnō and grandson of Emperor Seiwa....

, son of Prince Sadazumi. Hachimantarō Yoshiie
Minamoto no Yoshiie
Minamoto no Yoshiie , also known as Hachimantarō, was a Minamoto clan samurai of the late Heian period, and Chinjufu shogun...

 of the Kawachi Genji
Kawachi Genji
The Kawachi Genji were members of a family line within that of the Seiwa Genji, which in turn was one of several branches of the Minamoto clan, one the most famous noble clans in Japanese history...

 was a leader of a buke. His descendants set up the Kamakura shogunate
Kamakura shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate was a military dictatorship in Japan headed by the shoguns from 1185 to 1333. It was based in Kamakura. The Kamakura period draws its name from the capital of the shogunate...

, making his a prestigious pedigree claimed by many buke, particularly for the direct descendants in the Ashikaga clan
Ashikaga clan
The ' was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province .For about a century the clan was...

 (that set up the Ashikaga shogunate
Ashikaga shogunate
The , also known as the , was a Japanese feudal military regime, ruled by the shoguns of the Ashikaga clan.This period is also known as the Muromachi period and gets its name from Muromachi Street of Kyoto where the third shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu established his residence...

) and the rival Nitta clan. Centuries later, Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

 would claim descent from the Seiwa Genji by way of the Nitta clan.

Yōzei Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Yōzei
Emperor Yozei
was the 57th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Yōzei's reign spanned the years from 876 through 884.-Traditional narrative:...

. While Tsunemoto
Minamoto no Tsunemoto
was a samurai and Imperial Prince during Japan's Heian period, the progenitor of the Seiwa Genji branch of the Minamoto clan. He was the son of Sadazumi-shinnō and grandson of Emperor Seiwa....

 is termed the ancestor of the Seiwa Genji, there is evidence (rediscovered in the late 19th century by Hoshino Hisashi) suggesting that he was actually the grandson of Yōzei rather than of Seiwa. This theory is not widely accepted as fact, but as Yōzei was deposed for reprehensible behavior, there would have been a compelling motive to claim descent from more auspicious origins if it were the case.

Kōkō Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Kōkō
Emperor Koko
was the 58th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Kōkō reigned from 884 to 887.- Traditional narrative :Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was or Komatsu-tei. He would later be identified sometimes as "the Emperor of...

. The great-grandson of his firstborn Prince Koretada, Kōshō, was the ancestor of a line of busshi
Busshi
A Busshi is a Japanese sculptor specializing in Buddha statues.- List of Busshi :* Tori Busshi* Jōchō* Unkei* Kaikei* Enkū...

, from which various styles of Buddhist sculpture emerged. Kōshō's grandson Kakujo established the Shichijō Bussho workshop.

Uda Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Uda
Emperor Uda
was the 59th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Uda's reign spanned the years from 887 through 897.-Name and legacy:Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was or Chōjiin-tei....

. Two sons of Prince Atsumi, Masanobu
Minamoto no Masanobu
' , third son of Imperial Prince Atsumi , a kugyo of the Heian period. His mother was a daughter of Fujiwara no Tokihira. He became Sadaijin in 978. His daughter Rinshi was married to Fujiwara no Michinaga, when Michinaga was in far lower position...

 and Shigenobu became sadaijin
Sadaijin
, most commonly translated as "Minister of the Left", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Sadaijin in the context of a central...

. Masanobu's children in particular flourished, forming five dōjō houses as kuge
Kuge
The was a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto until the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century at which point it was eclipsed by the daimyo...

, and as buke the Sasaki clan
Sasaki clan
are a historical Japanese clan. - Brief history :They are descended directly from Emperor Uda by his grandson Minamoto no Masanobu , but were adopted by the Seiwa Genji...

 of the Ōmi Genji, and the Izumo Genji.

Daigo Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Daigo
Emperor Daigo
was the 60th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Daigo's reign spanned the years from 897 through 930. He is named after his place of burial.-Traditional narrative:...

. His son Takaakira became a sadaijin
Sadaijin
, most commonly translated as "Minister of the Left", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Sadaijin in the context of a central...

, but his downfall came during the Anna incident. Takaakira's descendants include the Okamoto and Kawajiri clans. Daigo's grandson Hiromasa
Minamoto no Hiromasa
was a nobleman and gagaku musician in the Heian period. He was the eldest son of Prince Katsuakira and the grandson of Emperor Daigo. His mother was the daughter of Fujiwara no Tokihira....

 was a reputed musician.

Murakami Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Murakami
Emperor Murakami
was the 62nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Murakami's reign spanned the years from 946 to his death in 967.-Traditional narrative:...

. His grandson Morofusa was an udaijin
Udaijin
Udaijin , most commonly translated as the "Minister of the Right", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Udaijin in the context of a central...

 and had many descendants, among them several houses of dōjō kuge
Kuge
The was a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto until the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century at which point it was eclipsed by the daimyo...

. Until the Ashikaga clan
Ashikaga clan
The ' was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province .For about a century the clan was...

 took it during the Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

, the title of Genji no Chōja always fell to one of Morofusa's progeny.

Reizei Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Reizei
Emperor Reizei
was the 63rd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Reizei's reign spanned the years from 967 through 969.-Traditional narrative:...

. Though they are included among the listing of 21 Genji lineages, no concrete record of the names of his descendants made Minamoto is known to survive.

Kazan Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Kazan
Emperor Kazan
was the 65th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Kazan's reign spanned the years from 984 through 986.-Traditional narrative:...

. They became the dōjō
Kuge
The was a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto until the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century at which point it was eclipsed by the daimyo...

 Shirakawa family, which headed the Jingi-kan
Jingi-kan
, also known as the Department of Shinto Affairs, was a Japanese Imperial bureaucracy established in the 8th century, as part of the ritsuryō reforms.-History:...

 for centuries, responsible for the centralized aspects of Shinto
Shinto
or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written...

.

Sanjō Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Sanjō
Emperor Sanjo
was the 67th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Sanjō's reign spanned the years from 1011 through 1016.-Traditional narrative:...

's son Prince Atsuakira. Starting with one of them, Michisue, the position of Ōkimi-no-kami (chief genealogist of the imperial family) in the Ministry of the Imperial Household
Ministry of the Imperial Household
The was a division of the eighth century Japanese government of the Imperial Court in Kyoto, instituted in the Asuka period and formalized during the Heian period. The Ministry was replaced in the Meiji period.-Overview:...

 was passed down hereditarily.

Go-Sanjō Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Go-Sanjō
Emperor Go-Sanjo
was the 71st emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Go-Sanjō's reign spanned the years from 1068 through 1073.This 11th century sovereign was named after Emperor Sanjō and go- , translates literally as "later;" and thus, he is sometimes called the "Later Emperor Sanjō"...

's son Prince Sukehito. Sukehito's son Arihito was a sadaijin
Sadaijin
, most commonly translated as "Minister of the Left", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Sadaijin in the context of a central...

'. Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo
was the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199.-Early life and exile :Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, and his official wife, a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, who was a member of the...

's vassal Tashiro Nobutsuna, who appears in the Tale of the Heike, was allegedly Arihito's grandson (according to the Genpei Jōsuiki
Genpei Josuiki
The , is a 48-book extended version of the Heike Monogatari. -External links:* , University of Virginia Library...

).

Go-Shirakawa Genji


This line consisted solely of Emperor Go-Shirakawa
Emperor Go-Shirakawa
Emperor Go-Shirakawa was the 77th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession...

 son Mochihito-ō
Prince Mochihito
' , also known as the Takakura Prince, and as Minamoto Mochimitsu, was a son of Emperor Go-Shirakawa. He is noted for his role in starting the Genpei War....

 (Takakura-no-Miya). As part of the succession dispute that led to the opening hostilities of the Genpei War
Genpei War
The was a conflict between the Taira and Minamoto clans during the late-Heian period of Japan. It resulted in the fall of the Taira clan and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate under Minamoto Yoritomo in 1192....

, he was declassed (renamed "Minamoto no Mochimitsu") and exiled.

Juntoku Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Juntoku
Emperor Juntoku
was the 84th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1210 through 1221.-Genealogy:...

's sons Tadanari-ō and Prince Yoshimune. The latter's grandson Yoshinari rose to sadaijin
Sadaijin
, most commonly translated as "Minister of the Left", was a government position in Japan in the late Nara and Heian periods. The position was consolidated in the Taihō Code of 702. The Asuka Kiyomihara Code of 689 marks the initial appearance of the Sadaijin in the context of a central...

 with the help of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu
was the 3rd shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate who ruled from 1368 to 1394 during the Muromachi period of Japan. Yoshimitsu was the son of the second shogun Ashikaga Yoshiakira....

.

Go-Saga Genji


This line consisted solely of Emperor Go-Saga
Emperor Go-Saga
Emperor Go-Saga was the 88th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession...

's grandson Prince Koreyasu
Prince Koreyasu
Prince Koreyasu was the seventh shogun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan. He was the nominal ruler controlled by the Hōjō clan regents....

. Koreyasu-ō was installed as a puppet shogun
Shogun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

 (the seventh of the Kamakura shogunate
Kamakura shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate was a military dictatorship in Japan headed by the shoguns from 1185 to 1333. It was based in Kamakura. The Kamakura period draws its name from the capital of the shogunate...

) at a young age, and was renamed "Minamoto no Koreyasu" a few years later. After he was deposed, he regained royal status, and became a monk soon after, thereby losing the Minamoto name.

Go-Fusakusa Genji


These were descendants of Emperor Go-Fusakusa's son Prince Hisaaki
Prince Hisaaki
Prince Hisaaki was the eighth shogun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan.He was the nominal ruler controlled by Hōjō clan regents...

 (the eighth shogun
Shogun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

 of the Kamakura shogunate
Kamakura shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate was a military dictatorship in Japan headed by the shoguns from 1185 to 1333. It was based in Kamakura. The Kamakura period draws its name from the capital of the shogunate...

). Hisaaki's sons Prince Morikuni
Prince Morikuni
Prince Morikuni was the ninth shogun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan.He was a son of the eighth Shogun Prince Hisaaki and was a grandson of the Emperor Go-Fukakusa...

 (the next shogun) and Prince Hisayoshi were made Minamoto. Hisayoshi's adopted "nephew" (actually Nijō Michihira
Nijo Michihira
, son of regent Nijō Kanemoto, was a Japanese kugyō of the late Kamakura period . He held a regent position kampaku from 1316 to 1318 and from 1327 to 1330. He married a daughter of Nijō Morotada and a daughter of Saionji 公顕...

's son) Muneaki became a gon-dainagon (acting dainagon
Dainagon
was a counselor of the first rank in the Imperial court of Japan. The role dates from the 7th century.This advisory position remained a part of the Imperial court from the 8th century until the Meiji period in the 19th century....

).

Ōgimachi Genji


These were non-royal descendants of Emperor Ōgimachi
Emperor Ogimachi
Emperor Ōgimachi was the 106th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He reigned from October 27, 1557 to December 17, 1586, corresponding to the transition between the Warring States Era and the Azuchi-Momoyama period...

. At first they were buke, but they later became dōjō-ke
Kuge
The was a Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto until the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century at which point it was eclipsed by the daimyo...

, the Hirohata family.

See also

  • History of Japan
    History of Japan
    The history of Japan encompasses the history of the islands of Japan and the Japanese people, spanning the ancient history of the region to the modern history of Japan as a nation state. Following the last ice age, around 12,000 BC, the rich ecosystem of the Japanese Archipelago fostered human...

  • Taira
  • Heian Period: Minamoto Clan history