Iwakura Tomokazu (岩倉具選)

Tomokazu IWAKURA (February 21, 1757-August 1, 1824) was a Japanese Kugyo (high court noble) in the mid to late Edo period. Founder of the seven generations of the Iwakura family. Enjoyed seal engraving. As a Kugyo, he mainly served the retired Emperor Gosakuramachi and assumed positions of In no betto (chief administrator of the retired Emperor's office) and others.

His childhood name was Ryokichi, then Ietomo and finally he changed his name into Tomokazu. His azana (adult male's nickname) was Shikun, and in his late years, he became a monk and called himself Kakyu. His father was Gon Dainagon (a provisional chief councilor of state) Mitsutsuna YANAGIHARA. His lawful wife was a daughter of Gon Dainagon Ariyoshi AYANOKOJI. His adoptive father was Jibu taifu (Senior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of the Civil Administration) Hirokazu IWAKURA. He had a child, Gon Dainagon Tomoai IWAKURA.

Brief biography
Born as the youngest son of Mitsutsuna YANAGIHARA and was adopted by Hiromasa IWAKURA. He was conferred peerage in 1763. Since then he was promoted successfully, going through danjo-shohitsu (junior assistant President of the Board of Censors) and jiju (a chamberlain). In 1773, he became innobankandai of the retired Emperor Gosakuramachi. Having experienced Ukone no shosho (Minor Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards) and omi no suke (assistant governor of Omi Province), he was promoted to In no betto in 1780 by gaining trust of the retired emperor. In 1788, he reached to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and became a member of Kugyo. However in 1796, he was confined to his house and tonsured next year.

He loved literature and enjoyed making waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables) and Chinese-style poems. Also he was good at painting and seal engraving. He learned seal engraving under Fuyo KO. The seals he made appeared in the "Fuyo Sanbo Shiinpu." In 1793, he published the two volumes of "Kairin." Died at the age of 68. He was buried in Seiko-ji Temple in Rokkencho, Demizu Street, Kyoto.

[Original Japanese]