Koga Takemichi (久我建通)

Takemichi KOGA (March 11, 1815 - September 26, 1903) was an aristocrat of the Edo period. He was the child of Tadayoshi ICHIJO, and his mother was Tomiko HOSOKAWA (the daughter of Narishige HOSOKAWA, also pronounced as Tatsuhiro). He became the adopted child of Michiaki KOGA, and his foster mother was Shu HOSOKAWA (the daughter of Harutoshi HOSOKAWA). His legal wife was Reiko TAKATSUKASA (the daughter of Masamichi TAKATSUKASA). His children were Michitsune KOGA, Michiteru OTAGI, Michishiro KITABATAKE, Michiko (second wife of Yashiyasu MAEDA), Yukiko (second wife of Mochiaki MATSUDAIRA). He was also referred as Suikun and Sodo.

He was born in Kyoto City. He received the peerage in 1822, Jusanmi Rank (Junior Third Rank) in 1826, Shonii (Senior Second Rank) in 1834, and was promoted to Dainagon (chief councilor of state) in 1852. He held strong governmental power after being assigned to be giso (a messenger conveying the decisions of congress to the emperor) in 1854, and was referred as "Gon Kanpaku" (provisional chief adviser to the Emperor). He served to negotiate between the shogunate and the imperial court, and took part in solving issues of imperial sanction and the marriage of Imperial Princess Kazunomiya Chikako to a commoner.

Takemichi claimed that he was the central figure in Demonstration of Eighty-eight Imperial Court Retainers at the start of the Meiji era (the empress of Emperor Komei) but the 'Diary of Kimizane IWAKURA' pointed to Tomomi IWAKURA instead and uncertainties remain. He also filled important roles such as Konoe no daisho (Major Captain of the Palace Guards) for the Empress of Emperor Komei in 1858, naidaijin (Minister of Center) and Kokuji goyogakari (a general official of the Imperial Household in charge of the State affair) in 1862. However, he was envied by the side that demanded expulsion of foreigners, demoted after impeachment that occurred soon after, and underwent house arrest and entered the priesthood.

He was pardoned in 1868 and served as Jako no ma shiko (entitlement to the meritorious deeds for the Imperial restoration or noble) of the Imperial Household Ministry, official of Kamo-jinja Shrine, and Daikyosei (minister over religions at the beginning of the Meiji era). He was rewarded with the jo rank of Juichii (Junior First Rank) and the First Order of Merit in 1889.

[Original Japanese]