Kokubun Shigetane (国分重胤)

Shigetane KOKUBUN (1262? - January 20, 1331) was a samurai who is said to have lived in the Miyagi County, Mutsu Province in the Kamakura period. It is said that he was the fifth head of the Kokubun family, but there is also a doubt that he might not have existed.

The Kokubun family reigned over the southern area of Miyagi County from the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) to the Sengoku period (Japan). According to a genealogical table made by later generations, the family is said to have governed the Kokubun-sho estate in the Kamakura period. His name only appears in the 'Taira sei KOKUBUN shi Keizu' (The genealogy of the Kokubun family of Taira clan) that was compiled by Yoshikazu SAKUMA in the Edo period. His father was Tanemitsu KOKUBUN and his mother was a daughter of Iehiro RUSU. He had two younger brothers, Nobumitsu and Tanetsugu, and two younger sisters, who became the wives of Kiyofusa KASAI and Tadamasa Goroku, respectively. His wife was a daughter of Sadatane SOMA and the couple had four sons, Moritane, Masatsugu, Shigetomo, and Shigeyuki, and four daughters who became the wives of Akichika NIKAIDO, Kagesuke NAGAE, Masahira HACHIYA, and Takahiro TAKEISHI, respectively.

Shigetane called himself Hikogoro and his official rank was Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and Mino no Kami (The governor of Mino Province). He was born in Kokubun in 1262 and died at the age of 69 on January 20, 1331. It is said that he was appointed Shusei (Third-ranked officials of Gunji) by the seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") Imperial Prince Hisaaki in May 1305.

However, the activities of the Kokubun clan (Mutsu Province) during this period were only seen in genealogies of the Kokubun family made by later generations. The name of Moritane does not appear either in the genealogical table possessed by the Furuuchi clan or other historical resources. In present-day historical study, there are divergent views on whether the Kokubun clan governed the Miyagi County in the Kamakura period and many take skeptical views on whether Shigetane really existed.

[Original Japanese]