Hojo Tokisuke (北条時輔)

Tokisuke HOJO was the eldest son (illegitimate child) of Tokiyori HOJO, the fifth regent of Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and served in Rokuhara Tandai Minamikata (Rokuhara Tandai South) in the mid Kamakura period. His younger paternal brothers were Tokimune HOJO, the eighth regent, and so on. His eboshioya (a person who puts an eboshi on a young man's head in the case of genpuku ceremony) was Yoriuji ASHIKAGA. He served in Shogun's palace as a close adviser of Imperial Prince Munetaka of seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians").


Since he was a child of a concubine, his rank was put under his brothers Tokimune and Munemasa, who were the children of the lawful wife, as the third ranking by his father Tokiyori, and treated strictly and unkindly. He was appointed as Rokuhara Tandai and went to Kyoto in 1264. On this occasion, Rokuhara Tandai Minamikata was reestablished for the first time in 22 years since the time of Tokimori HOJO. It was said that he was kept away from Kamakura as he was the illegitimate child. However, the posts which he held do not pale so much in comparison to those of other members in the Hojo family. For this reason, probably, his rank might not be so low in the Hojo family.

Either way, it could be sensed that he was considered as a difficult person for Tokimune to handle.

When Tokimune was appointed to the regent in 1268, he indicated his frustration as a member of anti-Tokuso school fraction and opposed to the bakufu regarding the content of the answer to correspondence from Yuan (Dynasty). When a conspiracy to to overthrow Tokimune HOJO was detected and brothers of Tokiaki HOJO and Noritoki HOJO were killed in Nigatsu-sodo (February rebellion), Tokisuke became the target of hunting down; and it is said that he was killed by Yoshimune HOJO of Rokuhara Tandai based on the order of Tokimune in 1272. If this was the fact, he died at the age of 25. However, it is not certain whether Tokisuke, who was in Kyoto, was involved in the conspiracy or not.

On the other hand, there has been a theory since then that he managed to leave Kyoto for Yoshino to be alive (kanto migyosho (an official message from Kanto) was issued to order to capture Tokisuke and his sons in 1284 as if it confirmed his escape and survival); but the truth is still not clear. His children seemed to be wandering various districts after his father's death (or after he went missing). In December 1290, six years after Tokimune's death, a man identified as the second son was captured by Rokuhara Tandai; he was allegedly accused of plotting a rebellion with Yorimori MIURA and was tortured to death. His name was not told. There has been no description about his eldest son since he got missing.

In addition, in a Japan Broadcasting Corporation Historical drama "Tokimune HOJO (NHK Historical drama)" broadcasted in 2001, the story depicted that he went across to Goryeo after escaping to Yoshino and got involved in making a plan to attack Kyushu by the Mongolian Empire Army. However, this is fiction in which his escape and survival theory previously mentioned is deformed quite a lot.

History of his government posts and Ikai (Court rank)

He was assigned to Rokuhara Tandai Minamikata of the bakufu in October 1264. He served there until he died.

Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) was conferred on him and he was appointed to Shikibu shojo (Junior Secretary of the Ministry of Ceremonial) on May 5, 1265.
(With that, he was also called Shikibu no taifu (式部大夫) or Shikibu no taifujo (式部大夫丞).)
(Therefore, although some ancient documents have a description of 式部大輔 (Shikibu no taifu), the description in Kanji is clearly a mistake.)

[Original Japanese]