Imadegawa Koresue (今出川伊季)

Koresue IMADEGAWA (July 6, 1660 - April 5, 1709) was Kugyo (court noble) in the early and middle part of the Edo period. He served two Emperors, the Emperor Reigen (the 112th) and the Emperor Higashiyama (the 113th) and finally, he rose to Shonii Naidaijin (Senior Second Rank, the minister of the center). His father was Udaiji (the minister of the right), Kinnori IMADEGAWA. His mother was a daughter of Gyobu no shofu (the junior assistant minister of Justice), Takakazu KYOGOKU. His children included Konoefu chujo (Middle Captain of the Headquarter of the Inner Palace Guards), Kinyoshi IMADEGAWA (later, no rank) and Gon Dainagaon (a provisional chief councilor of state), Kinakira IMAGAWA.

In 1661, the peerage was conferred on him. Since then, he got promoted quickly as the family head of the Seiga family taking various positions such as Jiju (Imperial Household Agency staff), Konoefu shosho (Minor Captain of the Inner Palace Guards) and Konoefu chujo (Middle Captain of the Inner Palace Guards) and then, in 1675, he rose to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) to rank with Kugyo. In 1678, he assumed Gon Chunagon (a provisional vice-councilor of state) and jingu denso (an official in the Imperial Court whose duty was to convey wishes or petition from shrines to the Emperor). In 1684, he became Gon Dainagon. In 1687, he was appointed to be Togudaifu (the Imperial Household Agency staff) of the Crown Prince Asahitro, but during that year, he resigned because the Crown Prince ascended to the throne as the Emperor Higashiyama. In 1689, he resigned from Gon Dainagon, but in 1693, he was reappointed to be Gon Dainagon and jingu denso. In 1699, he became Ukone no daisho (Major Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) and Umaryo gogen (Inspector of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses). In 1708, he assumed Naidaijin (the minister of the center), but resigned from it. Later in life, he left Kyo and led a secluded life in Kanaya, Totomi Province, and then, died there.

In addition, his son, Kinyoshi rose to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank), Sakone no chujo (Middle Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards), but abruptly, he returned the official title and the government post and turned to be an ordinary person with no rank. Therefore, the family name of IMAGAWA was taken over by the family line of his second son, Kinakira.

Koresue was also known as a master of playing the biwa (Japanese lute). There is an anecdote as follows. One day, Koresue heard that someone possessed the biwa that the Emperor Daigo seemed to use habitually. He continued to visit and ask this man to rent it to him over and over again. However, the man turned down his request, because the biwa was also his treasure. Still, Koresue cannot give up the biwa and went to Kitano tanman-gu Shrine day after day to devoutly pray that he could rent it. Even when there was a violent storm, he never failed to visit the Shrine to pray. When the man heard this account, he marveled at Koresue's ardent passion, and finally gave his treasured biwa to him.

[Original Japanese]