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Oe no Hiromoto

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  • Born: 1148
  • Died: 1225
  • Buddhist Name: 覚阿 (Kakua)
  • Japanese: 大江広元 (Ooe no Hiromoto)

Ôe no Hiromoto was a high-ranking retainer under Minamoto no Yoritomo, and later an influential figure in effecting the Hôjô clan's takeover of power.

Hiromoto was the great-grandson of Ôe no Masafusa, who served under three emperors, and held the position of chûnagon and the Upper Second Rank at court. Invited to Kamakura, he traveled from Kyoto in 1184, and became director (bettô) of the government offices (kumonjo). He is said to have been strong in military affairs, but weaker when it came to legal matters; yet, he had the trust of Shogun Yoritomo. He would later take on the concurrent responsibility of serving as head of the mandokoro.

Following the death of Yoritomo, Hiromoto remained in the service of Hôjô Masako and Hôjô Yoshitoki, helping to eliminate the Hiki, Kajiwara, and Wada clans, and to establish the Hôjô domination of the shikken (regent) position, and thus of the government.

Hiromoto is buried near Minamoto no Yoritomo, in Kamakura. Stone lanterns near the gravesite are inscribed with Hiromoto's name and the family crest of the Môri samurai clan which claimed descent from him.

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