Koga Family (久我家)

The Koga family is a Japanese clan. The Koga family was the origin of the Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan). The Koga family achieved the rank of nobility, court nobility and hereditary peerage. The Koga family had the grade of Seiga as court nobility and the grade of baron as Kazoku. The Koga family was one of the Dojo Genji (the Minamoto clan allowed to enter the Imperial Palace).

The Koga family produced 35 Kugyo before the Meiji Restoration. Among them, 7 were promoted up to Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister of State), 0 up to Sadaijin (Minister of the Left), 4 up to Udaijin (Minister of the Right) and 6 up to Naidaijin (Minister of the Interior).


In 1020, MINAMOTO no Morofusa, a child of the Imperial Prince Tomohira of the Emperor Murakami, was given the surname of MINAMOTO no Ason and MINAMOTO no Masazane, the grandchild of this prince, founded the family. The family name Koga was succeeded from the period of MINAMOTO no Morofusa and has its origin in a villa named Kogasuikaku, located in Koga, Otagi District, Yamashiro Province (today Koga, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City).

MINAMOTO no Michichika, who was in power during an early part of the Kamakura period, became the Naidaijin and was called 'MINAMOTO no Hakuriku (Hakuroku)' (synonym of Kanpaku), because he wielded considerable influence.

The Koga family produced Genji Choja (head of the Minamoto clan) and Betto (Directors) of the Junnain and the Shogakuin until the generation of Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA in the Muromachi period. In the Sengoku period (period of Warring States), the Koga family again produced Genji Choja, but Michikata KOGA was the last person who became Genji Choja as Koga family, because it was then taken by the Tokugawa family. It is said that Tatemichi KOGA became Genji Choja during the chaotic days of the end of the Edo period and the Meiji Restoration, but nobody knows whether it is true or not.

Generally, the Koga family refers to the descendants on and after Michiteru KOGA, a child of Michichika. The Koga family was the headquarters of the Todoza, a guild of blind men. During the Edo period, the family had a revenue of 700 koku and the family rank of Seiga, next to the Sekkan, the regent house. After the Meiji Restoration, the head of the family was given the title of Marquee.

Its Kamon (family crest) is Itsutsu Rindoguruma crest (five gentians annulet). Its branch families included the Nakanoin, Kitabatake, Rokujo (Murakami-Genji), Koga, Higashikuze, Iwakura, Chigusa, Uematstu and Umetani.

The elder daughter of Michiaki KOGA, the thirty-third head of the Koga family and a baron, is Yoshiko KOGA, an actress.

Some people say that Dogen, the founder of the Soto sect, was descending from the Koga family. Its family temple is Seisen-ji Temple in the Daitoku-ji Temple, located at Murasakino, Kita Ward, Kyoto City.

[Original Japanese]