Kira Mochikiyo (吉良持清)

Mochikiyo KIRA (Date of birth not known - March 9, 1532) was a military commander who lived in the late Muromachi period and the Sengoku period (Period of Warring States). He was a son of Yoshifuji KIRA. He was the lord of Tojo-jo Castle. He was the sixth family head of the late Tojo-Kira clan (Shimokira). He called himself Nakatsukasa-taifu (First assistant to the Minister), Sahyoe no suke (Assistant Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards) and Sakyo no Daibu (Master of the Western Capital). Mochihiro KIRA and Yoshihiro ARAKAWA were his children.

It is said that his father, Yoshifuji died in Mochikiyo's childhood. Therefore, it is said that Yoshiharu MATSUDAIRA of the Aono Matsudaira family, which belonged to the Matsudaira clan, and acted as a guardian of Mochikiyo, but this story is unreliable. It seems that this story was just a tradition based on the fact that, later, Yoshiaki KIRA fought with and defeated by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA and Ietada MATSUDAIRA, who was Yoshiharu's grandson, entered the Tojo-jo Castle.

While the family head of the Kamikira family always lived in Kyoto, the family head of the Shimokira family usually lived in its domain and occasionally visited Kyoto. With respect to Mochikiyo, it was recorded that he visited Kyoto on December 3, 1509 and presented a sword to Yoshitane ASHIKAGA, who was the shogun, as a present for the New Year ("Taikanki"). He was called Sakyo no Daibu on this occasion.

While he was in Kyoto, it seems that he learned tanka poetry from Tamekazu REIZEI and he invited Tamekazu to the Tojo-jo Castle in 1522. Tamekazu inserted his tanka, which he made on October 4, 1522 while he was in the Tojo-jo Castle, into his book "Tamekazukyo-ki".

In the Kyoroku era (1528 - 1531), Tamekazu moved down to Suruga Province, where he had a fief, and protected by the Imagawa clan. In 1533, Tamekazu visited Kyoto passing Mikawa Province, he did not record anything about Kira. It is believed that it was because that Mochikiyo already died one year before.

His posthumous Buddhist name is Myokeiji dono or Myonenji dono.

[Original Japanese]