Kira Yoshitsugu (吉良義継)

Yoshitsugu KIRA (dates of birth and death unknown) was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the Kamakura period. Son of Yoshiuji ASHIKAGA (the third head of ASHIKAGA family). The founder of the Tojokira clan of the early period, the Oshu (Musashi)-Kira clan and the Maita clan. He called himself as Hirariuma Shiro ASHIKAGA or Shiro NAGASE. His son was Tsuneuji KIRA. His brothers include Yasuuji ASHIKAGA and Osauji KIRA.

The third or fourth son of Yoshiuji ASHIKAGA. Considering nanori (the name one refers to himself as when reaching adulthood), it is likely that he had been the fourth son. Also, since he used the name 'Nagase,' it is thought that he first lived in Nagase village, Aominokoori (present Morikoshi-cho, Okazaki City) and later he moved to Kira Tojo (or Tsuneuji, who is said to have been his son and adopted son of Mitsuuji KIRA, moved to Kira Tojo).

According to "Sonpi Bunmyaku" (a text compiled in the fourteenth century that records the lineages of the aristocracy), he went to Tang, but how he came to go there is unknown. It is said that he became a priest after his return. According to "Takisan-ji engi" (engi [writing about the history] of the Takisan-ji Temple) handed down in the Takisan-ji Temple, Okazaki City, when a memorial service was held for the first anniversary of Yoshiuji ASHIKAGA's death at Takisan-ji Temple in 1255, Hokke-do Hall was newly built. It is described that Yoshitsugu, who became a priest and called himself Sonkan, welcomed its honzon (principal object of worship at a temple), Amida Buddha, from Mt. Koya.

Yoshitsugu's age at death is unknown. His homyo (posthumous Buddhist name) was Tokaku.

[Original Japanese]