Kasama Tokitomo (笠間時朝)

Tokitomo KASAMA (June 4, 1204-February 26, 1265) was a busho (Japanese military commander) of Hitachi Province in the Kamakura period. He was Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) Nagato no kami, Saemon no jo. His father was Tomonari SHIONOYA.


He was born as the second son of Tomonari SHIONOYA. He was adopted as a child of Yoritsuna UTSUNOMIYA, moved to Kasama City in Hitachi Province, called himself the Kasama clan, built Kasama-jo Castle on Mt. Sashiro in 1235, which it took about 16 years to finish since he was about 16 years old.

In about 1233, he began serving the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), he distinguished himself, attended official events of the shogun as many as two dozen times ("Azuma Kagami" [The Mirror of the East]), was assigned as a kebiishi (official with judicial and police powers) in 1240, went up to Kyoto and served as an attendant in Daijoe (banquet on the occasion of the first ceremonial offering of rice by the newly-enthroned emperor) for the enthronement of Emperor Gosaga in 1242. In addition, on December 17, 1248, when his father Tomonari died, he was assigned as a post of Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade) Nagato no kami, whose rank was higher than the rank of his brother Chikatomo SHIONOYA of the head family (SHIOYA had Jugoinoge [Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade]).

Tokitomo formed a basis of 18 generations of KASAMA and died at the age of 62 on February 9, 1265. His Kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist name) is 晏翁海公大禅安門.

Tokitomo who accomplished in both the literary and military arts.

Tokitomo was 178 cm tall and taller than average in those days, skilled in martial arts due to his privileged body, famous as a cultured person so that his 51 poems whose number was next to Yoritsuna UTSUNOMIYA were contained in "Utsunomiya Shin Wakashu"(the second collection of Utsunomiya group's poetry), and a copy of Tokitomo's poems "Collection of Poetry Written by Tokitomo KASAMA" is stored in Imperial Household Archives.

Cultural achievements

Tokitomo donated statues of Senju Kannon (statue No. 120, statue No. 169) to Sanjusangendo Temple in October, 1253 and in August, 1264. Among Buddhist statues made in Kamakura period in the numerous statues known as one thousand Buddhas in Sanjusangendo Temple, only these donated by Tokitomo are the ones that the donator was clearly known.

A standing statue of Thousand Armed Avalokiteshwara was donated in 1252, a standing statue of Miroku Bodhisattva was donated in April, 1253, and a standing statue of Yakushi Nyorai was donated in July, 1253, to a temple in his locality Kasama, respectively, and they are now designated as national important cultural properties. In November, 1255, he donated complete Buddhist scriptures from China to Kashima-jingu Shrine and a standing statue of Thousand Armed Kannon to the former Sanbutsu-do Hall (Three Buddha Hall) of Rinno-ji Temple as one of its principal images.

In addition, he welcomed Shinran shonin, the founder of Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism), to Inada and took care of him for as long as 20 years. He did not chose to become a monk, but he made great cultural achievements especially in Buddhism.

[Original Japanese]