Kawachi-Genji (河内源氏)

Kawachi-Genji is a school of Seiwa-Genji based in Kawachi province

The samurai 'Genji' generally means this school
When compared with Ise-Heishi called 'Heike', the name of 'Gen-ke' (the Gen family) was also used in the past.


Founder of Kawachi-Genji

MINAMOTO no Yorinobu, the third son of MINAMOTO no Mitsunaka, is regarded as the founder who formed the samurai group of Seiwa-Genji in Tada, Kawabe-gun, Settsu Province (Tada, Kawanishi City, Hyogo Prefecture).

MINAMOTO no Yorinobu was based in Tsuboi, Furuichi-gun, Kawachi Province (Currently, Tsuboi, Habikino City, Osaka Prefecture), where he built Koroho castle. They are referred to as 'Kawachi-Genji' because they are based in Kawachi Province.


There are roughly six periods with Kawachi-Genji.

Creation period: Appointment of Kawachi no kami (the governor of Kawachi Province) in the period of MINAMOTO no Yorinobu ~ Subjugation of Zen Kunen no Eki (Former Nine-Years' Campaign) in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi. Declining period: After the Go Sannen no Eki (Later Three Years' Campaign) in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoshiie ~ Rebellion by MINAMOTO no Yoshichika, an elder brother of MINAMOTO no Yoshitada in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoshitada. Fall period: Assassination of Yoshitada in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoshitada ~ Loss of the Heiji War in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo.
Resuscitation period: Establishment of Kamakura bakufu (feudal government headed by a shogun) in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo ~ Death of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo
Collapse period: Yoriie's assumption of the shogun in the period of MINAMOTO no Yoriie ~ Assassination of MINAMOTO no Sanetomo in the period of MINAMOTO no Sanetomo.

However, some strict historians think that Kawachi-based Kawachi-Genji began with MINAMOTO no Yorinobu and ended with MINAMOTO no Yoshitada or MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi. The reason is that MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi was entirely in Kyoto and left no evidence of his presence in the manor of Kawachi Province. Further, since MINOMOTO no Yoshitomo moved to Togoku (the eastern region of Japan) and was active in such provinces as Kamakura, Kazusa, and Shimousa as his stronghold for a long time, and later, he kept staying in Kyoto and had little connection with the manor of Kawachi Province. Therefore, the period of MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi and that of MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo are sometimes called 'Zaikyo-Genji' (Genji staying in Kyoto) and 'Bando-Genji (Genji staying in the old Kanto region) respectively. Questions are raised on calling them 'Kawachi-Genji' despite the fact that they were no longer based on the manor of Kawachi Province, and it is, indeed, unreasonable that those who were apparently never based in Kawachi according to historical materials, such as MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, are included in Kawachi-Genji.

On the other hand, the alternative view is that Ishikawa-Genji, the descendants of MINAMOTO no Yoshitoki, sixth (or fifth) son of MINAMOTO no Yoshiie, that inherited the main domain of Genji in Kawachi Province is the Kawachi-Genji thereafter. Some even think that Ishikawa-Genji is the mainstream of Kawachi-Genji that can be traced back to HACHIMANTARO Yoshiie (MINAMOTO no Yoshiie) ('Residential' viewpoint that Kawachi-Genji is those who were Kawachi-based). However, taking consideration of the 'lineage of the family leader', Ishikawa-Genji is just a descendant of MINAMOTO no Yoshitoki even though Ishikawawa-Genji inherited Ishikawa manor, the main domain of Kawachi-Genji, and they remained to be a local samurai group, it can be said that the Ishikawa-Genji and its descendant, Ishikawa clan, who protected the inherited main domain on a reduced scale, is one of local Genji descended from Kawachi-Genji, but it is arguable whether it deserves the name of Kawachi-Genji.

Also, from the viewpoint that the name of Kawachi-Genji refers not to the base but to the family lineage, it is acceptable to call those who are descendants of Kawachi-Genji even though they were not Kawachi-based ('Genealogical' viewpoint). However, if that is the case, it is contradictory to see the death of Sanetomo as the collapse of Kawachi-Genji as written in this section, because Ashikaga clan continued after the death of Sanetomo and established the Muromachi bakufu (feudal government headed by a shogun) according to the genealogical viewpoint.

Rise and fall

MINAMOTO no Yorinobu, the founder of Kawachi-Genji, subjugated the TAIRA no Tadatsune War and established the influence in Bando (old Kanto region). His son, MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi and yoriyoshi's son MINAMOTO no Yoshiie gained control of Bando samurai in Zen Kunen no Eki and Go Sannen no Eki, and HACHIMANTARO Yoshiie became the head of the samurai families. Yorinobu, Yoriyoshi and Yoshiie are also called three generations of Kawachi-Genji.

Unlike the Kyoto-based Settsu-Genji, Kawachi-Genji moved to Bando. The reason is said that Yorinobu avoided territorial competition with his elder brother, Yorimitsu (Settsu-Genji).

However, in Yoshiie's later years, MINAMOTO no Yoshichika, his second son, defied Chotei (the Imperial Court), which put Yoshiie in a difficult position, and then, Kawachi-Genji started to weaken. The military renown of Kawachi-Genji was deteriorated by the assassination of MINAMOTO no Yoshitada, the fourth son of Yoshiie, who took over as the head of the family and enjoyed his fame after the death of Yoshiie, under/in the plot by his uncle MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu. At first, MINAMOTO no Yoshitsuna, the second younger brother of Yoshiie, was considered to be the main culprit, and was annihilated in the punitive expedition by MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi, the adopted son of Yoshitada (the fifth son of MINAMOTO no Yoshichika), and after the incident, MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu, another younger brother (the third younger brother) was found to be the real culprit, which made internal troubles and decline of Genji more apparent and its power was lost for a while.

Hogen/Heji War

After the death of Yoshiie followed by the assassination of Yoshitada, Hogen War broke out in the period of Tameyoshi who succeeded Kawachi-Genji, and the clan was divided against itself. Tameyoshi, who fought on the side of the retired Emperor, was executed after the War and his son, MINAMOTO no Tametomo was banished. MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo, who fought on the side of the Emperor, was the only survivor and the family power waned.

Yoshitomo, based in Bando not in Kawachi Province that was the stronghold of Kawachi-Genji, started the Heiji War in a bid to regain power. Samurai warriors including Yoshitomo's heir, MINAMOTO no Yoshihira fought bravely and distinguished themselves in the War, but there was not time to mobilize followers in Bando, and therefore they remained to be a small number of warriors and was finally defeated by Ise-Heishi (Taira clan) led by TAIRA no Kiyomori. Yoshitomo was killed at Chita while he was fleeing to Togoku. Yoshihira in disguise sneaked into Kyoto which was ruled by the family of TAIRA no Kiyomori (Taira clan) and tried to assassinate Kiyomori with the help of the former followers of his father Yoshitomo hidden in Kyoto, but he failed, and was captured and killed. Yoritomo, a younger brother of Yoshihira, was banished to Izu, and Kawachi-Genji was scattered in all directions.

MINAMOTO no Yorimasa of Settsu-Genji and MINAMOTO no Yoritomo of Kawachi-Genji

In the Heiji War, MINAMOTO no Yorimasa of Settsu-Genji acted independently from MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo and fought against Yoshihira, a son of Yoshitomo and as a result, contributed the victory of Heike

MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, who became the head of samurai families as the first Seii Taishogun (commander-in-chief of the expeditionary force against the barbarians, great, unifying leader) of the Kamakura bakufu later, was Kawachi-Genji, therefore, the head of samurai families was chosen from Kawachi-Genji both in name and reality afterwards. Yorimasa and top family members died in battle when Prince Mochihito raised an army.
Survivors of the family such as MINAMOTO no Aritsuna (in Izu Province at the time of the battle) and MINAMOTO no Hirotsuna continued the family line of Settsu-Genji from MINAMOTO no Yorimitsu, but they were, compared with Yoritomo who established the Kamakura bakufu, only gokenin (immediate vassals of the shogunate)

Descendants of Kawachi-Genji

In later times, 'Genji' of samurai family and its descendants refers to Kawachi-Genji in most cases
Later, MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, a son of MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo, raised an army and beat Heike (the family of TAIRA no Kiyomori of Ise-Heishi), and established the Kamakura bakufu ruled by the Gen family.

Lineage of MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi

MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi
The second son: MINAMOTO no Yoshitsuna is the father of MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka, the fifth son, whose grandchild, MINAMOTO no Moritoshi is the founder of the Ishibashi clan and the Hattori clan. The seventh son: MINAMOTO no Yoshinao is the founder of the Ishibashi clan in Kawachi Province.

The third son: MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu became the founder of Kai-Genji and Hitachi-Genji, which are the ancestor of such clans as Takeda and Satake.

Lineage of MINAMOTO no Yoshiie

MINAMOTO no Yoshiie
The Second son: MINAMOTO no Yoshichika, whose fifth son is MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi.
The third son: MINAMOTO no Yoshikuni
The first son: Yoshishige NITTA is the ancestor of the Nitta clan. Nitta clan is the origin of such clans as Yamana, Serada, Satomi, Nukata, Wakiya, Odachi, Horiguchi and Yura. The Tokugawa clan proclaimed themselves as descendants of Nitta clan and was designated as Seii Taishogun.

The second son: MINAMOTO no Yoshiyasu is the ancestor of the Ashikaga clan (the family of Ashikaga shogunate.

The Ashikaga clan was the origin of such clans as Niki, Hosokawa, Hatakeyama, Shiba, Ishibashi, Shibukawa, Isshiki, Ishito, Kira and Imagawa.

The fourth son: MINAMOTO no Yoshitada
The first son: Tsunekuni KAWACHI adopted the name Genta KAWACHI, and his first son, MINAMOTO no Moritsune (Kawachi-Genji) who called himself Kogenta INAZAWA is the founder of the Inazawa clan. The Inazawa clan is the ancestor of the Nonagase clan.

The third son: MINAMOTO no Tadamune who called himself Genta OBU is the founder of the Obu clan.

The descendants of the second son, MINAMOTO no Yoshitaka (Sahyoe no gon no suke, Provisional Assistant Master of the Left Military Guard), the fourth son, MINAMOTO no Yoshikiyo (Sakyo no gon no daifu, Provisional Master of the Eastern Capital Offices) and the fifth son, MINAMOTO no Yoshikatsu still identify themselves as Genji.

The fifth son: MINAMOTO no Yoshitoki
The third son, MINAMOTO no Yoshimoto became Ishikawa-Genji in Kawachi Province, and Ishikawa-Genji became the origin of such clans as the Ishikawa of MINAMOTO no Yoshikane, the eldest son of Yoshimoto, the Kondo of MINAMOTO no Yoshihiro (the founder of the clan), the fourth son of Yoshitoki, the Nijo of MINAMOTO no Yoshisuke, the Manriki of MINAMOTO no Nobumori, and the Kumata of MINAMOTO no Ariyoshi.

The sixth son: MINAMOTO no Yoritaka, whose eldest son, MINAMOTO no Yoritaka is the ancestor of such clans as the Mori, the Mori clan of the Minamoto family, and the Wakatsuki.

Ishikawa clan

MINAMOTO no Yoshitada who was in the fourth generation of Kawachi-Genji succeeded MINAMOTO no Yoshiie and went into Kyoto, and the Ishikawa manor, base of Kawachi-Genji was inherited and kept by the sixth son of Yoshiie, MINAMOTO no Yoshitoki (Mutsu no Rokuro Yoshitoki). After the death of his elder brother Yoshitada, Yoshitoki hoped to be the leader of Kawachi-Genji but failed. He settled in Ishikawa and his descendants are called Ishikawa-Genji or Ishikawa clan.

[Original Japanese]