The Minase Family (水無瀬家)

The Minase family fell under the FUJIWARA no Takaie line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan, and was Toshoke. The family rank was Urinke.

During the mid Heian period, FUJIWARA no Takaie, together with his elder brother FUJIWARA no Korechika, vied with FUJIWARA no Michinaga for the regent-chancellor post 'Sekkan,' but was defeated and demoted to the governor of Izumo Province.
Later, Takaie returned to Kyoto, whereas his second son FUJIWARA no Tsunesuke became Shonii (Senior Second Rank), Dainagon (Major Counselor) and was called 'Minase Dainagon.'
Tunesuke's descendants were divided into five Toshoke families. One of the families was the Minase family and they continued until the Meiji Restoration. When the Minase family line ended during the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States, 1493-1573), the family adopted a son from the Sanjonishi family, who were famous for their waka poetry; therefore, the Minase family also inherited waka poetry skills. During the Meiji period, the Minase family became the only Kazoku (nobility) from Osaka Prefecture.

At the end of the sixteenth century, people praised the Minase family for its calligraphy and 'shogi pieces inscribed with Master Minase's calligraphy are considered a treasure,' and the four generations of the Minase family which were famous for calligraphy wrote the letters for shogi pieces. Among others, Kanenari MINASE and his grandson Kanetoshi MINASE were well-known. Their works are stored in the Minase-jingu Shrine in Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka Prefecture. Some of the most famous are ivory pieces ordered by Dokyu (Buddhist name of Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA), identified as made by Kanenari based on Kanenari's Records on making shogi pieces, "Shogi Uma Nikki" (Shogi pieces diary).

Main descendants

Kanenari MINASE
Ujinobu MINASE
Emonnosuke no Tsubone
The daughter of Ujinobu, waiting woman in women's quarters for the Tokugawa shoguns in the Edo-jo Castle.

[Original Japanese]