Hirata Mototada (平田職忠)

Mototada HIRATA (1580-July 23, 1660) was a government official from a Jige-ke (courtiers who are not allowed into the Emperor's living quarters) family from the Azuchi-Momoyama period through the early Edo period. He worked in the Kurodo-dokoro (Board of Archivists) as a shutsuno (a low-ranking official in responsible for receiving and sending goods). His father was Motohisa HIRATA, and his mother was a daughter of OTA no Tadamune. He was adopted by Motokiyo HIRATA. His lawful wife was a daughter of Munenari KAWAKOSHI. His pen name was Suian.


Originally from an illegitimate branch of the Hirata family, he was adopted into the head family. On November 7, 1586, he was appointed Sakone no shogen (Lieutenant of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards) with the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade). Later, he was transferred to the position of Kokushi (Governor) of Bungo Province, and assumed the additional post of Saemon no Daijo (Senior Lieutenant of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards). He learned yusoku kojitsu (ancient court and military ceremony and etiquette) from Hidekata FUNAHASHI, and was known as the government post. He taught yusoku kojitsu to Retired Emperor Goyozei, and revised and, in 1608, published "Shokugensho" (History of Government Services). On May 4, 1615, as a member of the Hokumen no Bushi (the retired emperor's household guards), he was given clearance to be admitted to the retired emperor's palace. Since Mototada's son, Kokai, together with his teacher, Tenkai, served Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, Mototada was held in high esteem by the. As a result, after the Keicho era (1596-1615), he was given responsibility for organizing the Kurodogata Jigekanjin (low-ranking government officials).

On January 1, 1621, he was appointed Okura no Taifu (Senior Assistant Minister of the Treasury) and was promoted to Jushiijo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) the following New Year. He was promoted to Shoshiinoge (Senior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) in 1624 and to Shoshiinojo (Senior Fourth Rank Upper Grade) on March 13, 1628. In 1634, he was sued by Takasuke MIBU, who claimed that the shutsuno was impinging the authority of the higher-ranked kanmu. Mototada successfully defended the charge by claiming that control by the shutsuno was approved by the Edo bakufu, and from then on management of Kurodogata government officials was carried out by the shutsuno. He retired in 1636.

His produced many literary works, including "Gyorogusho" (different from Kinkata TOIN's work of the same name), "Kanshikibinran", "Dokunryakusho", and also created records ("Shogunsenge-ki") about the appointment to Shogun of three of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA's successors.

He died at the age of 81; his tomb is in Jofuku-ji Temple in Kyoto.

[Original Japanese]