Chiba Hidetane (千葉秀胤)

Hidetane CHIBA was a gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate in the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo periods) who lived during the early Kamakura period. His father was Tsunehide CHIBA. His common name was Hyoejiro SAKAI.
He is also known as 'Hidetane SAKAI' or 'Hidetane KAZUSA.'
He was the second family head of the Kazusa Chiba clan.


He was appointed as the Kokushi (an officer of local government) in Kazusa Province with the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) in 1240, and when Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") Yoritsune KUJO visited temples and shrines at Izu and Hakone in the same year, he accompanied Yoritsune.
He was awarded Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) in 1243, and he became a member of the Council of State in the following year (the only case among the Chiba clan members)

While he assisted Yoritane CHIBA, the infant head of the head family of the Chiba clan, he externally acted as a representative of the family. He also backed up Yoritsune KUJO with Mitsutoki NAGOE, FUJIWARA no Sadakazu, Mototsuna GOTO, Mitsumura MIURA, Tamesuke FUJIWARA, Yasumochi MIYOSHI, and came into conflict with the regent Tsunetoki HOJO. When the regent Tsunetoki died in 1246, Tsunetoki's younger brother Tokiyori HOJO took over the position of a regent, which triggered a coup (palace disturbance), and Mitsutoki NAGOE and FUJIWARA no Sadakazu were overthrown by the failure of the coup. On July 28, four members of Council of State, Hidetane CHIBA, Mototsuna GOTO, Tamesuke FUJIWARA, Yasumochi MIYOSHI was removed from the position, and on August 3, Hidetane was deprived of his territories in Hanyunishi, Inzai, Hiratsuka located in Shimousa Province (these subsequently became Sanetoki KANEZAWA's territories) and forced to move to Kazusa Province after being thrown out of Shimousa Province.

On July 16 in 1247, the next year of the coup, the order was issued to expel Hidetane as the adopted son-in-law of the Miura clan after the Battle of Hoji, which completely destroyed Yasumura and Mitsumura MIURA brothers; on the next day, July 17, Taneuji Osuga and Taneyuki TO (also known as Sosen, and a father-in-law of Hidetane's third son Yasuhide), who were also from the Chiba clan, attacked Hidetane's base Tairyukan in Tamazaki no sho in Kazusa Province (now Mutsuzawa town, Chiba Prefecture). Desperately cornered Hidetane committed suicide with 163 people in total including his family members with four sons and his retainers, by setting fire to wood and coal prepared in advance. It is said that many of the Chiba clan families died in battle or lost their territories besides Hidetane's families.

According to "Azuma Kagami" (The Mirror of the East), his younger brother Tokitsune CHIBA also rushed to the battle and died together with Hidetane, even though they had been alienated each other after Hidetane unreasonably deprived the territory of Tokitsune; it has been known as a 'moving tale of the brave.'

Because Taneyuki TO requested to spare the life of Taneyuki's grandchild (the son of Yasuhide and Taneyuki's daughter) in exchange for the military contribution, Hidetane's blood-related infants were also saved (the articles of June 11th and 17th, 1247 in "Azuma Kagami" [The Mirror of the East].)
However, as a result of this, the Kazusa Chiba clan came to extinction.

[Original Japanese]