Kamakura Kagemasa (鎌倉景政)

The Kagemasa KAMAKURA (TAIRA no Kagemasa) was a military commander of the late Heian period. It is said that his father is Kagenari KAMAKURA who was a descendant of the Taira clan; however, according to another theory, he was a son of Kagemichi KAMAKURA. His common name was Gongoro. The Chinese character of his name is either 景政 or 景正; both are pronounced in the same way as Kagemasa.

Brief Personal History

His father had a territory in Kamakura in the Sagami Province (the nearby spot of the present Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture) and he called himself as Kamakura clan. He went to the front in the Gosannen no Eki (the Later Three Years' War [1083 - 1087]) when he was 16 years old; 'Oshu-gosannen-ki' (A Chronicle of Later Three Years' War in Oshu) includes an anecdote in which he kept fighting in spite of his right eye being shot by an enemy soldier. The place where he had his right eye treated after the war remains as a place name of 'Mebuki' (present Noda City, Chiba Prefecture).

He developed Oba no mikuriya,Takakura-gun, Sagami Province (the nearby spot of present Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture) during the years from 1104 to 1106 and he donated this place to the Ise Jingu Shrine around 1116.

According to a record, Kagemasa's son Kagetsugu was a lower ranked officer at Oba no Mikuriya in 1134. Also, "Azuma Kagami" (The Mirror of the East) includes the name of Yoshikage NAGAE as the grandchild of Kagemasa in the entry of February 8, 1182.

In "Shibaraku," which is one of the Kabuki juhachiban (the eighteen best plays of the Ichikawa family of kabuki actors), Kagemasa appears as the main character and this play has been well known among the Japanese people from generation to generation and has been one of the most popular plays always.


According to the genealogy in "Sonpi Bunmyaku (a Japanese genealogical text)"Kagemasa was the descendant of TAIRA no Yoshishige who was the youngest son of TAIRA no Takamochi or TAIRA no Yoshikane, the second son in the fourth generation; also the text says that Kageyoshi Oba, Kagechika Oba and Kagetoki KAJIWARA were all descendants of Kagemasa in the third generation. On the other hand, according to "Genealogy of the various schools of Kanmu-Heishi/Taira clan (Miura Wada Monjo [written material])" which came into existence in the Kamakura Period, Kagemasa sprung from the lineage of TAIRA no Yoshifumi, and Kagechika Oba and Kagetoki KAJIWARA sprung from the lineage of the uncle (or cousin) of Kagemasa.

There are three kinds of genealogies in which Kagemasa appears; in two genealogies, clans such as Kagawa clan, Oba clan, Kajiwara clan are described as family lines which continued to Kagemasa's brothers or cousins; so we do not have accurate information on Kagemasa.


There are many Goryo-jinja Shrines that enshrine Kagemasain the region which corresponds to the former Kamakura county in Yokohama City (present Sakae ward, Totsuka ward, Izumi ward, and Seya ward) and there are also other shrines which enshrine Kagemasa in various places in Japan.

Goryo-jinja Shrine (Kamakura City) - Gongoro-jinja Shrine
Goryo-jinja Shrine (Osaka City)
Goro-jinja Shrine

[Original Japanese]