Konoe Tsunetada (近衛経忠)

Tsunetada KONOE (1302 – September 29, 1352) was a court noble who lived during the late Kamakura period to the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. His father was Iehira KONOE, who was Kanpaku Sadaijin (imperial regent and minister of the left). His child was Tsuneie KONOE.

He became Udaijin (minister of the right) at the young age of 23, and in 1330, he became Kanpaku and the head of the Fujiwara family under Emperor Godaigo. However, he is forced to resign just 7 months later.

Originally, Tsunetada's grandfather, Iemoto KONOE (Regent and the Grand Minister) had two wives. One wife was from one of the regent families, the Takatsukasa family and had their first son, Iehara (Tsunetada's father) and the other wife was a princess of Emperor Kameyama with whom he had a second son Tsunehira KONOE (sadaijin). After Iemoto's death, the two sons fought each other over who was the legitimate line of the Konoe family, and this conflict continued into their sons' generation, and Tsunetada was in a fierce competition with Tsunehira's child, Mototsugu KONOE. Since Mototsugu's wife was a princess of Emperor Godaigo, he was a strong contender.

However, Emperor Godaigo respected Tsunetada and after the Kenmu Restoration, he was reinstated as the head of the Fujiwara clan and also promoted him to Sadaijin. When Takauji ASHIKAGA entered Kyoto and Emperor Godaigo escaped to Yoshino and Emperor Komyo of the Jimyo-in line ascended the throne, Tsunetada was assigned as the new Emperor's Kanpaku. However, he submitted his resignation to honor his ties with Emperor Godaigo and decided to join the Yoshino Court, but naturally his resignation was not approved.

Hence in April 1337, he secretly left Kyoto for Yoshino. The angered Jimyo-in line side repealed Tsunetada's assignment as Kanpaku and assigned Mototsugu KONOE as his successor. Later, Tsunetada used his position in Yoshino Court as Nairan (a preliminary inspection of official documents submitted from the Great Council of State to the Emperor), Sadaijin, and the head of the Fujiwara clan to gather the regional Fujiwara clan related families that were scattered throughout the country and call for overthrowing Takauji, but this was a plan that contradicted Chikafusa KITABATAKE's west country strategy and the two continued to fight over control.

Later, Tsunetada became Kanpaku at the same time as the ascension of Emperor Gomurakami. Around 1341, he left Yoshino to visit Kyoto, but this visit was said to be a covert mission to persuade the court nobles on the Northern Court side. Later he died of disease in Ano.

[Original Japanese]