Hokurokunomiya (北陸宮)

Hokurokunomiya (1165 - August 17, 1230) was an Imperial family member between the late Heian period to the early Kamamura period. He was respected as the person in charge of raising army by MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka. He was also called as Kisonomiya, Genzokunomiya, Kaganomiya, Noyorinomiya, Saga no Imayadono.

He was born as the first Prince of Prince Mochihito (the third Prince of Emperor Goshirakawa) who issued Prince Mochihito's order to search out and destroy the Taira family. His mother was Hachijoin's lady-in-waiting. It was said he was born in 1165, or there was another theory that he was born in 1167. After his father, Prince Mochihito died in battle against the Taira clan in May 1180, his child, left by the deceased Hokurokunomiya, entered into the priesthood and escaped to Echizen accompanied by his wet nurse's husband, Sanuki-zenji Shigehide. There was a possibility of Hokurokunomiya being the Prince of Prince Mochihito, being pursued by the opposition, however MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka raised his army on Prince Mochihito's order in Shinano Province in September. Instead of being protected by MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka, he was chosen as a person in charge of "Nishiki no Mihata" (a flag which represent Imperial Court) of the Kiso army. Yoshinaka ordered a Palace built in Miyazaki of the Etchu Province and allowed Hokurokunomiya to leave the priesthood and have a coming-of-age ceremony at the same time. By the way, MINAMOTO no Yoritomo of Kamakura-Genji (the Minamoto clan) opposed this and he spread the rumor that Prince Mochihito was still alive and held captive by Yoritomo's force.

In July 1183, Yoshinaka entered Kyoto. At this time Hokurokunomiya did not go together with Yoshinaka, he stayed in Kaga Province. Yoshinaka suggested Emperor Goshirakawa, through his close friend, a high-ranking Buddhist priest Shungyo, for Hokurokunomiya to succeed the throne, but this suggestion was totally ignored by the Cloistered Emperor. After all the Cloistered Emperor appointed Emperor Antoku's younger brother, Shinomiya (Emperor Gotoba) to succeed the throne on August 20. After that, Kisonomiya moved to Kyoto on September 18, but he run away from Kyoto just one day before Yoshinaka's coup, on November 18. He then returned to Kyoto under MINAMOTO no Yoritomo's protection in November 1185. He asked Emperor Goshirakawa to allow him to have the Minamoto family name and to be demoted from nobility to subject, however he was not allowed to do so, he then lived in Sagano and married FUJIWARA no Muneie's daughter. It is said that he adopted Emperor Tsuchimikado's Princess and gave part of his private land to her. He died on August 24, 1230. According to "Honcho koin jounroku" (the Emperor's family tree, made in Muromachi period), it was said the monk Hoen was Hokurokunomiya, but there was no proof of it.

[Original Japanese]