The Kobayakawa of Aki province were descended from Doi Sanehira, a notable figure in the Gempei War (1180-85). Sanehira's grandson (the adopted son of Doi Tôhira), Kagehira, assumed the name Kobayakawa and lived in the Nuta area of Aki Province. By 1260 the Kobayakawa had split into three branches (Nuta, Shinjô, and Takehara) - by the mid-15th Century the Nuta and Shinjô branches had essentially reformed while being at increasing odds with the Takehara branch; by the mid-16th Century, the Nuta and Takehara had reconciled to the extent that they reformed under Kobayakawa Takakage, Môri Motonari's 3rd son. The Kobayakawa grew in influence due to Takakage's close relationship with Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
- Initial text from Sengoku Biographical Dictionary (Samurai-Archives.com) FWSeal & CEWest, 2005