Chiba Tokitane (千葉時胤)

Tokitane CHIBA (September 2, 1218 - October 23, 1241) was a warrior in early Kamakura period. He was the seventh family head of the CHIBA clan. According to the genealogical chart of the Chiba clan, "Chiba Taikeizu," Tokitane was supposed to be the third son of Naritane CHIBA; however, it is considered likely that he was instead the first son of Tanetsuna CHIBA (the first son of Naritane) in recent years (according to "Chibaken no Rekishi: Tshushi-hen Chusei" [The history of Chiba Prefecture: the general history of the medieval period]).


He was born in 1218, the same year Naritane CHIBA died. Due to Tanetsuna's death, he assumed the position of Chiba no suke (assistant governor of Chiba Province) in 1228. In 1235, "a man who worked for the Chiba no suke office" broke into the residence of TAIRA no Tsunetaka (the author of "Heikoki" [Diary of TAIRA no Tsunetaka]) in Kyoto (the cause is considered to be the discord between Tsunetaka's son TAIRA no Tsuneuji and a vassal of the CHIBA clan over a woman). When this incident occurred, it was Tokitane at the position of the Chiba no suke, who was only 13 years old. In the following year in 1236, he received an imperial decree to transfer (install the sacred symbol of a deity in a new shrine) the highest ranked shrine in Shimousa Province, Katori-jingu Shrine. But he died at age of 24 in 1241 before the transfer of the shrine completed, and his son Yoritane CHIBA took over the assignment.

Issues concerning Tokitane's genealogy

In the old series of genealogy including "Jindaihon Chiba Keizu" (the original genealogical charts of the Chiba clan), which is considered to be the early edition of the Chiba clan genealogy, describe that Tokitane was the eldest son of Tanetsuna, while "Hannyain Keizu" that falls in the same series edited by Gongen IZUSAN places Yasutane CHIBA as Tokitane's younger brother, who acted as the guardian of Yoritane. However, according to "Azuma Kagami" (The Mirror of the East"), Tanetsuna was only 21 years old when he died, which means he was only 11 years old in 1218. Thus, it was considered the preceding genealogies of the Chiba clan edited in earlier days had consisted of errors; when "CHIBA Taikeizu" (the Complete CHIBA clan genealogy) was compiled in Edo period, Tsunetane and Tokitane were described as brothers and the sons of Naritane. However, it was also pointed out that Tokitane could not have a brother who called himself as "Jiro Yasutane" (the second son of Yasutane) because Naritane died in the same year Tokitane was born; thus "corrections" were made once again to the genealogy stating Yasutane as the second son of Naritane--in other words, the genealogy to describe Yasutane as the "younger brother of Tanetsuna and the older brother of Tokitane." This major change was made largely because "Azuma Kagami" had been valued as a relatively credible source of historical information at the time.

It was regarded as noteworthy and subject of discussion yet again in recent years that Hondo-ji Temple, which had been closely associated with the Chiba clan since the time of its foundation in late Kamakura period, kept its history record and it contains an entry stating Tanetsuna's age of death as 31; thus it was concluded that the age of Tanetsuna's death was incorrectly cited as "21" (May 28 koshijo, 1228) when "Azuma Kagami" was compiled referring the original historical materials, and the editors of "Chiba Taikeizu" believed the information on Azuma Kagami and made a "correction" accordingly.

It is now generally considered as the actual and correct genealogy that "Tokitane was the eldest son of Tanetsuna and the elder brother of Yasutane," because those descriptions in "Genpei Tojoroku" (a record of Genpei battles) considered to be authored by the members of the Chiba clan in late Kamakura period and stating the title of the Chiba clan to be successively passed down to the eldest son of the Chiba family would be inconsistent, or the fact that Yasutane could not take over the Chiba clan after Tanetsuna's death even though he was the "elder brother" would be inexplicable. If Tanetsuna had passed away at age of 31, it would mean that Tokitane was born when he was 21 years old, and logically explained.

[Original Japanese]