Kira Yoshitoshi (吉良義俊)

Yoshitoshi KIRA (around 1671- April 1, 1742) was a koke hatamoto (one of the hatamoto [direct retainers of the Edo bakufu] families that were eligible for appointment to the post of koke) for the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). His family was one of the branches of the Kira clan. Although he originally bore the name of the Maita family of koke (literally, "high families"), he restored the surname Kira after the Kira family was brought to an end in the course of the well-known Genroku Ako Incident (also called the Chushingura incident). He was commonly known as Genrokuro, Shikibu, or Sahe.
His official rank was Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade), jiju (chamberlain), the governor of Kochi Province, Sahyoe no kami (Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards), and Sakyo no daibu (Master of the Eastern Capital Offices)

He was born as the eldest son of Yoshinari MAITA, a koke-hatamoto with a stipend of 1020 koku
It is unknown who his mother was. The Maita clan was started by Yoshitsugu KIRA, the second son of Yoshiuji ASHIKAGA (the third head of the Ashikaga family), founding father of the Kira clan. Although the line of the eldest son, Nagauji KIRA, was the head of the Kira clan, the lineage of the second son had been calling themselves Kira for thirteen generations. However, in the time of 吉良頼久, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA commanded, 'Only the head family shall succeed the surname Kira'. Thus, they changed their family name to Maita. After that, the Maita clan was succeeded by 義祗, Yoshinari, and Yoshitoshi.

On January 23, 1685, he had his first audience with Tsunayoshi TOKUGAWA, the shogun at the time. On August 14, 1691, he succeeded the headship of the family due to his father Yoshinari's death. On February 27, 1692, he was appointed to the post of Oku-koke (koke families which were in service) and ranked as Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), jiju and the governor of Kawachi Province. On October 28, 1693, he stepped down from the post of koke and was transferred to koshogumi (page corps). On April 4, 1694, 300 bales of rice was added to his salary. In addition, on September 11, 1697, his salary payment was changed from an allotment of rice to holding a fief and he had a fief in Hiki and Iruma Counties in Musashi Province with a stipend of 1420 koku in total. On March 31, 1709, he was reinstated in the post of Oku-koke. On October 28 of the same year, he was dispatched to the Imperial court in Kyoto as the bakufu's messenger to celebrate the successful completion of the construction of the Imperial Palace.

Because the Kira family, the head of the clan, had been brought to an end since the Genroku Ako Incident, Yoshitoshi had been requesting permission from the bakufu to change their surname Maita back to Kira. This was approved on March 14, 1710. In the same year, Nagahiro ASANO, the younger brother of Naganori ASANO, also restored his family to hatamoto status. That is to say, it turned out that the Asano and the Kira families were both restored in the same year. In addition, in 1732, Yoshizane KIRA, the head of a collateral branch of the Kira family which had been appointed as koke, also restored the surname Kira.

On February 16, 1720, he paid a visit to Kyoto as the bakufu's messenger to deliver congratulations on the birth of a prince, Imperial Prince Wakamiya-Teruhito (later Emperor Sakuramachi). On June 3 of that year, he was promoted to Jushiinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade). On May 18, 1737, he was sent to Kyoto as the bakufu's messenger to express its condolences on the death of Emperor Nakamikado. On January 21, 1741, he stepped down from the post of Oku-koke and joined the Omote-koke (koke families without appointments). He passed away on April 1, 1742. Died at the age of 73.

[Original Japanese]