Kikutei Harusue (菊亭晴季)

Harusue KIKUTEI (1539 - May 3, 1617) was a court noble from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the first part of the Edo period. The Kikutei family took the name of the Imadagawa family.


Harusue was born in 1539 as a child of Sadijin (Minister of the Left) Kinhiko KIKUTEI. His first name was was Sanefusa. In 1545, he changed his name to Harusue in his Coming of Age ceremony. In 1548, he attained Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and became a member of the Imperial Court. In 1579 he became naidaijin (Minister of the Interior), then in 1585 rose to Juichii (Junior First Rank) of Udaijin (Minister of the Right).

Following the death of Nobunaga ODA, Harusue, enjoying a close friendship with Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, in power at that time, attempted to attain the position of seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") through positioning himself as the adopted son of Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA, yet was rejected by Yoshiaki, and when at the point of abandoning the shogunate it was suggested he become the kanpaku (Chief Advisor to the Emperor) and subsequently he worked in the Imperial Court in mediation and arbitration. From this time Harusue began attaining power within the Imperial Court yet, as he had his daughter to merry kanpaku Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI, who was Hideyoshi's nephhew and his adopted son of Hideyoshi, in September 4, 1595, Hidetsugu was forced to commit suicide on Mt. Koya over suspicion of his fomenting rebellion, with his relatives, wife, and mistress being killed, and through this connection Harusue was forced to step down from his appointed office and was banished to Echigo Province.

In the following year, 1596, he was pardoned and returned to Kyoto. In December, 1598, after the death of Hideyoshi, he was reappointed to his resigned position as Udaijin. In February, 1603, resigned his position as Udaijin. He died on May 3, 1617. Died at the age of 79. His posthumous Buddhist name was Keikoin Gesso Joku (景光院月叟常空). His grave is at Jozen-ji Temple in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto.

Relationship with the Sanada Clan

His daughter (Yamanote dono) married Masayuki SANADA and gave birth to Nobuyuki SANADA and Nobushige (Yukimura) SANADA, although this is disputed at the present time (Currently, Yamanote dono is said to be the daughter of Yoritada UDA).

Nobushige's concubine, Ryuseiin, was a daughter of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI, who was Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's nephew, and Harusue's daughter (Ichinodai), and was therefore the granddaughter of Harusue.

[Original Japanese]