Inokuma Noritoshi (猪熊教利)

Noritoshi IKOKUMA (year of birth unknown - November 13, 1609) was a court noble in the early Edo Period. His original surname was FUJIWARA. He was from the Yamashina family, a family descended from the Fujiwara-Hokke, Shijo line. It is supposed that he was a son of Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) Norito YAMASHINA of the Yamashina family. His wife was a daughter of Kazumasa IKOMA called Yamasato. Kawachi IKOMA, who later became a vassal of the Ikoma clan, was his son. The highest rank he was appointed was Sakone no shosho (minor captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards).

Brief Personal History
While Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI was in the position of Kanpaku Dajodaijin (imperial regent and grand minister) (1585), Tokitsune YAMASHINA, who was the family head of the Yamashita family at that moment, was punished by Imperial order and demoted to a remote province, so that Noritoshi, who was from a branch family, served the Imperial Court, taking over Tokitsune's position as the representative of the Yamashina family.

However, after the death of Hideyoshi, Tokitsune retuned to the Imperial Court in 1598 thanks to Ieyasu TOKUGAWA's mediation, and Noritoshi, who was obliged to split off from the Yamashina family, formed the Inokuma family. This family name derived from the name of a street, Inokumakoji in Heiankyo (ancient capital in current Kyoto).

Noritoshi was 'more handsome than any other man under the sun,' reminding everyone of Hikaru Genji in "Genji Monogatari" (The Tale of Genji), and so highly-reputed for his beauty that his hair style and his way of knotting obi (a sash for traditional Japanese garment) were called 'Inokuma style' and became a major trend in Kyoto, but he was also notorious for messing around with women and it is said that he was also called 'the most immoral man of court nobles.'
Found guilty of adultery with an Imperial court lady around February or March 1607, he was punished and temporarily expelled from Kyoto by the Imperial order of Emperor Goyozei, but after returning to Kyoto, his loose moral was not rectified and he continued having illicit liaisons with court ladies, taking many high court nobles out with him. It is said that he also had a relation with the Emperor's favorite court lady.

In August 1609, when adulteries of Kugeshu (court nobles) such as Sangi (Councilor) Mitsuhiro KARASUMARU were discovered (the Inokuma Incident), Noritoshi, who had been helping their promiscuities, was afraid of being prosecuted by Kyoto Shoshidai (The Kyoto deputy) and ran away to Kyushu region. According to one theory, he was planning to escape to Joseon Dynasty. However, on October 13, 1609, he was detained while he was hiding himself in Hyuga Province, and on November 13 he was punished by decapitation at Jozen-ji Temple in Kyoto.

[Original Japanese]