The Gojo Family (五条家)

The Gojo family is a kuge (family of court nobles) and a toshoke (hereditary lineage of court nobles above a certain rank), whose patriarch was Takanaga GOJO (Junii - Junior Second Rank), Shikibusho (Ministry of Ceremonies) (1210 - 1285), who was a son of Shonii (Senior Second Rank), Sangi (councilor) and Ministry of Treasury, SUGAWARA no Tamenaga (Tamenaga TAKATSUJI).

The family rank (status) is hanke (family of lower ranking court nobles) (kuge). As for official court rank after Takanaga GOJO's son, Nagatsune GOJO (1242 - 1315), the highest court appointments given were Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) and Dainagon (chief councilor of state), after being appointed through Daigakuryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system), Monjo hakase (professor of literature) and Shikibusho (Ministry of Ceremonies). The Higashibojo family, the Kiyooka family, and the Kuwabara family later branched out from the Gojo family.

Serving as historians was the family's profession. The hereditary stipend during the Edo period was 171 koku (a unit). The family status after the Meiji period was viscount.

For generations, the family managed the operation of sumai no sechie (the Imperial ceremony of sumo wrestling) as Sumai no Tsukasa (person in charge of sumo matches held in the presence of the Emperor). The family is also a descendant of NOMI no Sukune. Thus, the family reigned not only as historians, but also as a family of Sumai no Tsukasa since the Kamakura period.

Feud Between the Gojo Family and the Yoshida Tsukasa Family about the Yokozuna License

However, the Gojo family's prestige as Sumai no Tsukasa family became tarnished when a vassal of the Lord of the Kumamoto Domain Hosokawa Clan, Oikaze YOSHIDA, the thirteenth head of the Yoshida Tsukasa family, actively organized professional sumo performances and issued yokozuna licenses in Edo zumo (Edo sumo wrestling).

Finally, in 1823, using the issuing of yokozuna licenses to Ozeki (a sumo wrestler of the second highest rank) Risuke KASHIWADO and Gakunosuke TAMAGAKI (the fourth) as a trigger, the family began to launch a counterattack against the Yoshida Tsukasa family by issuing yokozuna licenses before the Yoshida Tsukasa family did. After the Gojo family independently issued a yokozuna license to Yokozuna Kyugoro JINMAKU, the twelfth, the Yoshida Tsukasa family was held responsible for being involved in Takamori SAIGO's army in the Seinan War during the Meiji period. The Gojo family took this opportunity and independently issued yokozuna licenses to the sumo wrestlers of Osaka zumo (sumo wrestling tournament in Osaka) and Kyoto zumo (sumo wrestling tournament in Kyoto). However, excessive issuing of yokozuna licenses had the opposite effect that resulted in ruining yokozuna's authority.

(However, Namiemon SAKAIGAWA, the fourteenth, who had already received a yokozuna license from the Gojo family in 1877, had a yokozuna certificate issued to him from the Yoshida Tsukasa family.)

Furthermore, Yokozuna Gonshiro WAKASHIMA, the twenty-first, a talented sumo wrestler of Osaka zumo, received a yokozuna license from the Gojo family at the end of the Meiji period. In addition to that, the conflict over the yokozuna license acquisition by Yokozuna Moriemon OKIDO, the twenty-third, who was supposed to be the successor to Gonshiro WAKASHIMA, resulted in a rift between the Yoshida Tsukasa family and the Gojo family's last hope, the Osaka zumo.

Finally, in 1911, because the Osaka Sumo Association, the organizer of Osaka zumo, reconciled with the Yoshida Tsukasa family, an end was put to the disorder over yokozuna licensing that had continued since the Edo period. This meant a complete defeat of the Gojo family by the Yoshida Tsukasa family in the world of sumo wrestling. The Gojo family has distanced itself from the world of sumo wrestling since it last issued a yokozuna license to a sumo wrestler of Kyoto zumo, Montaro OIKARI. Since then, the Gojo family's involvement in the world of sumo wrestling has not been seen.

[Original Japanese]