Hojo Shigetoki (北条重時)

Shigetoki HOJO was a member of the family of the Hojo clan in the early Kamakura period. He was the third son of Yoshitoki HOJO, the regent of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). His mother was Yoshitoki's lawful wife, Hime no Mae. He was a rensho (assistant to regents) of the Kamakura bakufu.


He was appointed to kozamurai dokoro betto (chief administrator of an office of officers to guard Shogun in attendance) at the age of 22 in 1219. He went to the capital from Kamakura to take over the position of his nephew Tokiuji HOJO, who became ill in April, 1230 and was appointed to Rokuhara Tandai Kitakata (Northern Chief of Rokuhara Tandai) in Kyoto. He kept the position of chief executive for Rokuhara for the next 17 years.

At the time of enthronement of Emperor Gosaga by the bakufu in 1242, he had deception together with Sadamichi TSUCHIMIKADO, who had Shigetoki's younger maternal half-sister as his wife. When his older brother Yasutoki HOJO, the third regent became severely ill in the same year, he immediately went down to Kamakura together with his cousin Tokimori HOJO, who was in Rokuhara Tandai Minamikata (Rokuhara Tandai South). After Yasutoki's death, Shigetoki returned to Rokuhara, but Tokimori stayed in Kamakura. Therefore, Shigetoki was the only one at Tandai and served alone during the last five years.

In 1246, former Shogun FUJIWARA no Yoritsune was deported to the capital Kyoto due to Miya-sodo (failed attempt at rebellion). In September of the same year, Shigetoki mediated between the bakufu and the Retired Emperor by calling Sadatsugu HAMURO, an Inshi (official of the Retired Emperor's Office) of the Retired Emperor Gosaga, to Rokuhara and telling him that the letter from Tokiyori HOJO, who became the fifth regent, requested the Retired Emperor Gosaga to replace Michiie KUJO and his son, who were involved in the incident.

In 1247, after Battle of Hoji that the regent Tokiyori and his maternal relative Adachi clan destroyed the Miura clan, Shigetoki returned to Kamakura at the age of 50 as Tokiyori requested. He was appointed to rensho that was vacant after his uncle Tokifusa HOJO's death and supported Tokiyori. His child Nagatoki HOJO was appointed to Rokuhara Tandai Kitakata. Shigetoki's daughter became Tokiyori's wife. He entered the priesthood in 1256 and stayed at Gokuraku-ji Temple after the retirement. His younger brother Masamura HOJO was appointed to rensho. Since the regent Tokiyori entered the priesthood in the same year due to the illness, his child Nagatoki was appointed to the sixth regent. He died at the age of 64 in 1261.

His political position was based on bumin (policies for the people's livelihood) under the influence of Jodoshu sect, so it was appraised that it brought the shogunate government clear governance at that time. He also worked on cultural activities such as waka (traditional Japanese poems), and his poems were collected in "Senzai Wakashu" (Collection of Japanese Poems of a Thousand Years), and he was said to have a friendship with FUJIWARA no Sadaie. His literary works were "Gokurakuji-dono Goshosoku"(Letter of Gokurakuji-dono Palace) and "Hojo Shigetoki kakun" (A family precept by Shigetoki HOJO) as family precepts.


Date according to old lunar calendar
He was appointed to bakufu kozamurai dokoro betto in July, 1219.

He was appointed to Shuri gon no suke (Provisional assistant master in the Office of Palace Repairs) on December 15, 1220.

He was conferred Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and transferred to Suruga no kami (Governor of Suruga Province) on April 10, 1223.

He was transferred to Rokuhara Tandai Kitakata from Kozamurai dokoro betto on March 11, 1230.

He was promoted to Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) and retained his position as Suruga no kami on November 22, 1236.

He was transferred to Sagami no kami (Governor of Sagami Province) on November 19, 1237.

He was promoted to Shogoinoge (Senior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and retained his position as Sagami no kami on July 20, 1239.

He was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) and retained his position as Sagami no kami on Leap July 24, 1244.

He was promoted to Jushiinojo (Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade) and retained his position as Sagami no kami on June 22, 1244.

He was transferred to bakufu rensho from Rokuhara Tandai Kitakata on July 27, 1247.

He was transferred to Mutsu no kami (Governor of Mutsu Province) on June 14, 1249.

He resigned rensho and entered the priesthood on March 11, 1256. Hogo (a Buddhist name): Gokurakuji Kangaku.

He died on November 23, 1261.

[Original Japanese]