Sono Family (園家)

The Sono family was a shizoku clan. Family status was kuge (court noble) and peerage. Family status as a kuge was urinke (the fourth highest family status for court nobles). Family status as a peerage was count.
They were a branch of the Jimyoin family of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan
Family businesses were gagaku (ancient Japanese court dance and music), ancient Shinto music and dancing (biwa - Japanese lute) and flower arrangement. They were the head of Seizan school of flower arrangement (also, Seizan goryu, Sonoke oieryu, and Seizan oiegoryu). Its kamon (family crest) is kyoyo (trapping).

The second son of FUJIWARA no Michinaga of the Northern House of Fujiwara clan was a descendant of FUJIWARA no Yorimune, Udaijin (Minister of the Right). The Sono family was founded in the Kamakura period by Motouji SONO, sangi (councilor), the third son of Motoie JIMYOIN. Motouji served Emperor Gohorikawa and after the death of the Emperor, starting from offering flowers to Buddha, he learned and became good at flower arrangement and established the foundation of the Seizan school of flower arrangement.
When Motohide SONO was the family head during the Muromachi period, Emperor Gohanazono granted him the name 'Seizan.'

Karoku (hereditary stipend) during the Edo period was 186 koku (approx. 65.1 cubic meters). Family heads during the beginning of the Edo period, Mototo SONO and his son Motonari SONO sent their daughters (Mibuin and Shinkogimonin) to the Emperor Gomizunoo's kokyu (empress's residence) and the daughters gave birth to Emperor Gokomyo and Emperor Reigen respectively. Holding the position of maternal grandfather of the emperor, the Sono family acquired latent power in the imperial court.

Sadaijin (Minister of the Left) was conferred posthumously to both Mototo and Motonari. In addition, Jun-daijin (Vice Minister) was conferred to Motoyoshi SONO (an uncle of Emperor Reigen) that was quite exceptional for urinke. All family heads other than those that passed away young were appointed to Dainagon (Before that, kyokkan for the Sono family was Chunagon).

Motohira SONO (Motomochi SONO)the family head during the latter part of the Edo period devoted himself to kado (flower arrangement) and he is known for his book "Ikebana Tebiki" (literally, guide on flower arrangement). Motosachi SONO, near the end of the Edo period and the Meiji Restoration, devoted himself to the interest of the nation as one of the Ansei kinno eighty-eight teishin (Eighty-eight court nobles who protested the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce during the Ansei era). After the Meiji Restoration, on July 8, 1885, the peerage of count was conferred upon him.

Sachiko SONO who served Emperor Meiji as a tenji (a court lady of the first rank) was the second daughter of Motosachi and she gave birth to Imperial Prince Michihito, Imperial Prince Teruhito, Imperial Princess Shizuko, Imperial Princess Masako who married Prince Takedanomiya Tsunehisa, Imperial Princess Fusako who married Prince Kitashirakawanomiya Naruhisa, Imperial Princess Nobuko who married Prince Asakanomiya Yasuhiko, Imperial Princess Toshiko who married Prince Higashikuninomiya Naruhiko, and Imperial Princess Takiko.

Motonobu SONO was an expert on flower arrangement. He was the twenty-eighth head of the Seizan school. He wrote "Seizan Goryu/Ikebana Tebikigushu" (Guide on flower arrangement of Seizan Goryu School), "Seizan Ikebana."


[Original Japanese]