The Kamo Clan (賀茂氏)

The Kamo clan (or the Kamoji clan) is a Japanese family which has a past stretching back to ancient times. There are several way to write his name in kanji (Chinese characters).

KAMO no agatanushi, the territorial rulers of Kamo, who were based in Kadono in Yamashiro Province and dedicated themselves to Kamo-jinja Shrine for generations are reputed to be descended from KAMO taketsunumi no mikoto (a Japanese mythological god) who transformed into Yatagarasu (a mythological giant crow) and guided the Emperor Jinmu. The KAMO no agatanushi had a close relationship with the Hata clan, which was also based in Yamashiro. KAMO no Chomei and KAMO no Mabuchi were of the KAMO no agatanushi lineage.

KAMO no kimi, later known as KAMO no asomi and based in Katsuragi in Yamato Province (present-day Gose City, Nara Prefecture), were reputedly descended from Okamotsumi, the grandson of Taneko OTA who was himself a child of omono nushi (an ancient Japanese god). Takakamo-jinja Shrine in Katsuragi had a connection with KAMO no Asomi, who is thought to have worshipped the ancient Japanese gods of Kotoshiro nushi and Ajisukitakahikone (KAMO no omikami). EN no Gyoja is also reputed to be a Kamo family in Katsuragi.

There is a theory that KAMO no agatanushi in Kadono in Yamashiro Province were there as the result of an expansion of the Kamo clan from Katsuragi into Yamashiro. A surviving fragment of "Yamashirokoku-fudoki" (description of regional climate, culture, etc.) states that KAMO taketsunumi no mikoto, the ancestor of KAMO no agatanushi, passed through Katsuragi in Yamato on his way to Yamashiro Province after guiding the Emperor Jinmu. However, "Kamoshi shisoden" (a book about the roots of the Kamo clan) states that there were several Kamo clans, and the Kamo clans in Katsuragi and Kadono were different. In another theory, Shimane is put forward as home city of the Kamo family based on the fact that there is a description of Kamo-no-kamube, Toneri-no-sato, O County in "Izumo-fudoki," and that there is a Kamo-jinja Shrine in Yasugi City in Tobu Izumo (Eastern Izumo and present-day Shimane Prefecture), where Kotoshiro nushi, the ancestral god Hitokoto nushi under a different name, is worshipped.

The Kamo clan who were the head family of onmyoji (diviners) originated with KAMO no Tadayuki in the mid-Heian period. There is a theory that KAMO no Kibimaro who lived five generations before KAMO no Tadayuki was KIBI no Makibi, but this seems unlikely. The children of KAMO no Tadayuki included KAMO no Yasunori who took over the family business and YOSHISHIGE no Taneyasu who became a Confucianist. ABE no Seimei (his name is also read Haruakira and Haruaki) was his disciple. The Kamo clan identified itself as the Kadenokoji (it is also read Kageyukoji) family in the Muromachi period, but this name was abandoned in the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States). The illegitimate family lineage includes the Kotokui family.

[Original Japanese]