The Niwata family (庭田家)
The Niwata family, one of the clans of Dojo, was descended from the Uda-Genji (Minamoto) clan. The family was established by Tsunesuke NIWATA (Court Rank, Deputy Chief Councillor of State, 1241- date of death unknown) who was a descendant of MINAMOTO no Masanobu, Minister of the Left. Nobuari AYANOKOJI (Court Rank, Junior Deputy Chief Councillor of State, 1269 - 1324), the founder of the Ayanokoji family, was Tsunesuke's younger brother.
The family was ranked as "Urinke," a type of family status in the Court nobility. From the time of Shigesuke NIWATA (1306 - 1389) onwards, between late Kamakura period and the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), the top rank attained by the family was the Junior Chief Councillor of State. The females of the Niwata family served the Imperial Family and the house of Fushimi no miya for generations, and bore Imperial princes. In fact, the real mothers of the Emperor Gohanazono and the Emperor Gokashiwabara in the Muromachi period came from the Niwata family. During the Warring States period (Japan), the family intermediated between the Hongan-ji Temple (Ikko-Ikki, a group of Ikko sect followers) and other feudal lords because the real mother of Kennyo HONGANJI had come from the Niwata family. The family established a branch family, the Ohara family, in the Edo period.