Konoe Iezane (近衛家実)

Iezane KONOE (1179 - January 26, 1243) was a court noble who lived in the first half of the Kamakura period. His father was Motomichi KONOE and his mother was a daughter of MINAMOTO no Akinobu. He was known as Inokuma Kanpaku after his Inokuma-den residence located on Rokujo Inokumakoji Street. His homyo (a name given to a person who entered the Buddhist priesthood) was Enshin. His younger brothers were Michitsune KONOE and Motonori KONOE. His sons were Iemichi KONOE, Kanetsune KONOE and Kanehira TAKATSUKASA.

When Yoshitsune KUJO died in 1206, he became the head of his clan and was appointed Sessho (regent). He was appointed Kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor) in the same year. When the Jokyu War started in 1221, he opposed the raising of an army by Emperor Gotoba and others. He was dismissed as Kanpaku in May. After the war ended, however, Michiie KUJO, the Sessho, was removed due to the dethronement of Emperor Chukyo. In July, Iezane was re-appointed Sessho. On February 9, 1222, he was appointed Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister of State). Iezane cooperated with Gotakakurain and the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) in repudiating the Retired Emperor Gotoba's return to power. In 1228, he was dismissed as Kanpaku by Michiie KUJO, who had allied himself with Kintsune SAIONJI. After this, it became customary for the Konoe family and the Kujo family to alternately hold the posts of Sessho and Kanpaku.

In April of 1238, he was awarded the honorary rank of Jusango (reserved for the Great Empress Dowager, Empress Dowager, Empress and high ranking nobles). On January 7, 1242, he became a priest and took the name Enshin. He died on January 26 the following year.

He had no notable achievements. However, being good natured he was deeply trusted by the Kamakura bakufu and worked hard at the difficult job of restoring relationships between the Imperial Court and the bakufu around the time of the Jokyu War. He left a diary known as "Inokuma Kanpaku-ki"(or "Zoku Goreki"). Including descriptions of events in the era immediately after the Kamakura bakufu was inaugurated, "Inokuma Kanpaku-ki" is an important historical document.

List of Official Ranks and Positions

Dates are lunar calendar. January 26, 1191: Awarded Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), and permitted to use kinjiki (literally, "forbidden colors," seven colors traditionally reserved for the imperial family and nobility). January 29, 1191: Appointed to Ukone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Right Division of the Inner Palace Guards).

March 5, 1191: Appointed Suke (Assistant Governor) of Bizen Province as well. March 9, 1191: Transferred to Ukone no chujo (Middle Captain of the Right Division of the Inner Palace Guards). Retained his position as Suke of Bizen Province. July 4, 1191: Promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Forth Rank, Lower Grade), retained his positions as Ukone no chujo and Suke of Bizen Province. December 29, 1191: Promoted to Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), retained his positions as Ukone no chujo and Suke of Bizen Province. January 21, 1192: Promoted to Jusani (Junior Third Rank), retained his position as Ukone no chujo.

March 19, 1192: Appointed Gon no Kami (Provisional Governor) of Mimakasa Province.

May 25, 1195: Promoted to Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank), retained his positions as Ukone no chujo and Gon no Kami of Mimakasa Province.

February 25, 1197: Transferred from Gon no Kami of Mimakasa Province to Gon Chunagon (Provisional Vice-Councilor of State), retained his position as Ukone no chujo. December 7, 1197: Promoted to Junii (Junior Second Rank), retained his positions as Gon Chunagon and Ukone no chujo.

March 5, 1198: Appointed Sakone no daisho (Major Captain of the Left Division of the Inner Palace Guards) as well (an example of the Chunagon (Vice-Councilor of State) serving concurrently as Sakone no daisho). Left the position of Ukone no chujo. March 16, 1198: Transferred to Gon Dainagon (Provisional Chief Councilor of State) from Gon Chunagon, retained his position as Sakone no daisho.

July 23, 1199: Transferred to Udaijin (Minister of the Right) from Gon Chunagon. July 24, 1199: Retained his position as Sakone no daisho. December 23, 1199: Promoted to Shonii (Senior Second Rank), retained his position as Udaijin and Sakone no daisho.

January 12, 1205: Transferred from Udaijin to Sadaijin (Minister of the Left), retained his position as Sakone no daisho.

April 26, 1206: Appointed Sessho. Retained his positions as Sadaijin and Sakone no daisho. May 14, 1206: Resigned as Sakone no daisho. February 3, 1207: Resigned as Sessho and appointed Kanpaku. Retained his position as Sadaijin.

February 10, 1207: Promoted to Juichii (Junior First Rank), retained his positions as Kanpaku and Sadaijin. March 7, 1207: Resigned as Sadaijin.

May 20, 1221: Resigned as Kanpaku. August 4, 1221: Re-appointed Sessho. February 9, 1222: Appointed Daijo-daijin. Retained his positon as Sessho.

May 29, 1222: Resigned as Daijo-daijin.

January 13, 1224: Resigned as Sessho, appointed to Jun-Sessho (Vice Regent) and Kanpaku.

January 27, 1229: Resigned as Jun-Sessho and Kanpaku.

May 17, 1238: Awarded Jusangu. At that time, he was Jusangu at the rank of Juichii.

January 7, 1242: Entered priesthood, taking the name Enshin.

January 26, 1243: Died. When he died, he was 65 years old. He called himself Inokuma Kanpaku.

[Original Japanese]