Minamoto no Kiyomitsu (源清光)

MINAMOTO no Kiyomitsu was a warrior in the late Heian period. He belonged to the Kai-Genji clan.

His father was MINAMOTO no Yoshikiyo (Takeda kaja)
He is also known as Kiyomitsu HENMI. He had 11 sons, including Mitsunaga HENMI, Nobuyoshi TAKEDA, Tomitsu KAGAMI, Yoshisada YASUDA and Yoshinari ASARI. Some sources claim that Tomitsu and Yoshisada were his brothers and had been adopted ("Azuma Kagami" [The Mirror of the East]).


His father Yoshikiyo, who was the second son of Yoshimitsu, was based in Takeda district in Naka County, Hitachi Province (Takeda, former Katsuta City, now Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture) and bore the title Takeda kaja. Kiyomitsu was also born in Takeda district. In 1130, Kiyomitsu clashed with the Satake clan (family related to his uncle MINAMOTO no Yoshinari) and was banished along with his father by the Imperial Count to Ichikawasho in Yatsushiro-gun, Kai Province (former Nishiyatsushiro district, Ichikawa Misato-cho, Yamanashi Prefecture), according to Choshuki (diary of MINAMOTO no Morotoki) and "Sonpi-bunmyaku," an ancient record of family lineages. Kiyomitsu and his father set up their home in Heienji (also reported to be Saijo, Showa-cho, Naka-koma district), where Yoshikiyo expanded his power as shokan official for the region. Kiyomitsu went into Henmiso in the northwestern part of Kai Province (present Hokuto City, former Kita-koma district).

Kiyomitsu did not participate in the strifes in central government, such as the Hogen War and Heiji War in which the Genji clan was involved, but built his strength in Kai Province. Located in the southern foothill of Yatsugatake, Henmiso had Henmi-no-maki, a livestock grazing land for ancient officials, spreading in the area, and Kiyomitsu settled in present Seikoji Temple area (Nagasaka-cho, Hokuto City) (alleged otherwise to be located at Wakamiko, Sudama-cho, Hokuto City) and built Yato Castle (Oizumi Village, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture) as tsume-no-shiro, a retreat and backup castle. Kiyomitsu died at the age of 59. His grave is located in Seikoji Temple in Nagasaka-cho, Hokuto City.

The descendants of Kiyomitsu scattered in various parts of the Kofu basin and founded various families of the Kai-Genji clan, bearing the local geographical names as their family names; Henmi clan, Takeda clan, Kagami clan, Yasuda clan and Asari clan. The Takeda family, which is later to become the central force in the Kai-Genji clan, reportedly had the name first claimed by his father Yoshikiyo in Hitachi Province (according to "The History of Katsuta City" by Junichi SHIDA, although there is room for further study) and was used by Kiyomitsu's son Nobuyoshi, the founder of Kai-Takeda clan, to mark his genpuku, the attainment of manhood ceremony, which was held at Takeda Hachimangu Shrine (Nirasaki City, Yamanashi Prefecture). However, it has been reported that there are no traces of Kiyomitsu, who used the Henmi name, to have used the Takeda name, and the Takeda name was reportedly handed down to Nobuyoshi, the grandson of Yoshikiyo. The Henmi clan that was inherited by Mitsunaga is believed to have declined with the rise of the Takeda clan under Nobuyoshi, and its direct descendants remain unknown, despite evidences of activities by branch families.

[Original Japanese]