Kiyohara clan (清原氏)

The Kiyohara clan was a family (lineage) of the Heian period. Families branched out from the Imperial Family, starting with Imperial Prince Toneri. The Kiyohara clan was a nobility of middle rank during the Heian period. KIYOHARA no Fukayabu and Sei Shonagon are famous. The Dewakiyohara clan is the family that is sometimes considered to be the descendant of this Kiyohara clan.

There were claims of a blood relationship to Imperial Prince Toneri, the prince of the Emperor Temmu. Natsuno KIYOHARA, the child of Ogura O (King), who was the fourth-generation king, together with KIYOHARA no Hase, the child of Ishiura O (King), who was a younger brother of Ogura O (King), descended to the status of subject and was given the surname of KIYOHARA no Mahito. Thereafter, it was influential as a middle-ranked nobility. KIYOHARA no Fukayabu also left his name as a poet. Sei Shonagon, the daughter of KIYOHARA no Motosuke, is also famous as the author of "Makurano Soshi (the Pillow Book)." In posterity, the families having the surname of Kiyohara were distributed over the provinces of Shimotsuke, Kii and Bungo.

Other than these families, among the Umi-uji (branched from a family of gods), there were some who were given the surname of Kiyohara (although many genealogies say they are descended from Imperial Prince Toneri, these genealogies are clearly distortions), and from the descendants many houses of illegitimate children, including the Funabashi Family, which is a court nobility, were produced. The Kiyohara Family was a family of scribes, the business of which was to write notes to Chinese, and the Seike Library, which is now housed at Kyoto University, was once owned by the Kiyohara Family.

Nobukata KIYOHARA, of the Muromachi period, was the third son of Kanetomo YOSHIDA who was a shintoist of Yoshida-jinja Shrine, and was adopted by the House of Kiyohara, which was Myogyo-hakase, professor of Confucian studies. Nobukata served the Imperial Court, gave lectures and systematized Myogyo-do (the study of Confucian classics) in addition to producing many monographs of the study of Japanese classical literature and Confucianism. In 1529 he retired from service to the Imperial Court, took the tonsure, called himself Munetake KANSUIKEN and concentrated on activities as a scholar. He was a scholar of Japanese classics and Confucian studies; he is considered as one of history's greatest scholars, and he wrote many books. Many of his books still exist, and they serve as a basis for the study of Japanese classics. Some of the historical data calls Nobukata KIYOHARA as 'Funabashi Dai-Geki Nobukata,' since the House of Kiyohara started calling itself the House of Funabashi from Hidekata, who was the fourth generation thereafter.

[Original Japanese]