Konoe Kanetsune (近衛兼経)

Kanetsune KONOE (1210 - May 27, 1259) was a kugyo (court noble) during the Kamakura Period. He successively held positions such as Sessho (Regent) Kanpaku (Imperial Regent), Daijo-daijin (Grand Minister of State) and Toshi choja (head of the Fujiwara clan). His father was Iezane KONOE, Kanpaku Daijo-daijin. It is said that his mother was the daughter of Gon Chunagon MINAMOTO no Masayori (Murakami Genji (Minamoto clan)), but in reality, she was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Suesada, Hyobu taiyu (senior assistant minister of the Hyobusho Ministry of Military). His lawful wife was Jinshi KUJO, a daughter of Michiie KUJO. Motohira KONOE, Kanpaku Sadaijin (Minister of the Left), was his son. His common name was Okaya no Kanpaku.

When he had his genpuku (coming of age) in 1222 he was appointed to Shogoinojo (Senior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) and jiju (chamberlain), and he was permitted access to the Imperial Court and to wear the forbidden colors. Because his older step brother, Iemichi KONOE, Minister of the Left, died suddenly 2 years later, he was chosen to be the successor, and he was appointed to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) Gon Chunagon. He became Naidaijin (Minister of the Interior) in 1227, Udaijin (Minister of the Right) in 1231 and Sadaijin in 1235. He married Jinshi, a daughter of the Kujo family, in 1237, and he tried to reconcile the long-standing differences between the Konoe family and the Kujo family, and in the same year, Michiie handed to him the position as Emperor Shijo's sessho. He resigned as Sadaijin in 1238, but he continued to serve as the Regent. He was promoted to Juichii (Junior First Rank) in the following year. He was appointed to Daijo daijin in 1240 because of Emperor Shijo's genpuku and kakan (putting a crown on a young man's head at a genpuku ceremony), and he served until the genpuku ceremony ended in the following year. After Emperor Shijo passed away in 1242 he became a Kanpaku for Emperor Gofukakusa, but because of the pressure from Kintsune SAIONJI, he handed his position as Kanpaku to Yoshizane NIJO. He later assumed the position of Kanto moshitsugi (court-appointed liaison with the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun)) with his father-in-law. Kanetsune became a victim to the downfall of Michiie and he was dismissed from his position as a Kanto moshitsugi, but he was reappointed as Emperor Gofukakusa's Regent in 1247 in the form of filling in for Sanetsune ICHIJO (Michiie's third son), who also met his downfall. In 1247, he passed on his position as the Regent to his younger step brother, Kanehira KONOE, and in 1247, he became a priest, changed his name to Shinri, and lived in Okaya-so Manor in Uji City.

[Original Japanese]