Tachibana clan (kuge)
- Japanese: 橘氏 (Tachibana-shi)
The Tachibana clan was one of the four most powerful kuge (court nobility) families in the Nara and early Heian Period. Members of the Tachibana family often held high court posts within the Daijô-kan (Ministry of State), most frequently Sadaijin (Minister of the Left). Like the other major families at court, they also constantly sought to increase and secure their power by marrying into the Imperial family. However, as the Fujiwara clan gained power over the course of the 9th and 10th centuries, the Tachibana were eclipsed and eventually became scattered across the country. Though serving in high government posts outside the capital, they were thus denied the degree of power and influence within the court at Kyoto (Heian-kyô) which they once enjoyed.
The family claimed descent from Agata no Inukai no Michiyo, wife of Prince Minu, who was bestowed the name Tachibana in 708, in return for services rendered to the court. The lineage, however, may go back even further, to Tajima Mori, a Korean who, according to legend, introduced oranges, called tachibana (橘) in Japanese, to Japan in the first century CE. They likely bore no direct relation to the Tachibana clan of samurai which emerged in the 14th century.
Over the course of the Heian period, they engaged in countless struggles with the Fujiwara family for domination of court politics, and thus essentially for control of the nation; on a number of occasions this developed into outright violent conflict. One of these conflicts was the uprising of Fujiwara no Sumitomo in 939-941. Though the rebellion was ultimately suppressed, the Tachibana family was scattered in the process, and lost much of its power.
Tachibana no Kimiyori (877-941) was among those who pursued Sumitomo to Kyûshû; he settled there and established himself as an official representative of the court. He or his descendants likely gave their name to Tachibana castle, after which the later Tachibana clan of the 14th century onwards was named. Another branch family developed in Iyo province, becoming known as the Iyo Tachibana family. Tachibana Tôyasu, who executed Fujiwara no Sumitomo, was the progenitor of this branch; Kusunoki Masashige, a celebrated pro-Imperial commander of the 14th century, claimed descent from Tôyasu.
Significant members of the Tachibana clan
- Inukai no Michiyo
- Tachibana no Moroe (橘諸兄) - Son of Michiyo; also known as Katsuragi no Ô-kimi （葛城王）
- Tachibana no Sai (橘佐為) - Son of Michiyo; also known as Sai no Ô-kimi （佐為王)
- Muro no Ô-kimi (牟漏女王) － Daughter of Michiyo; wife of Fujiwara no Fusazaki
- Tachibana no Naramaro (橘奈良麻呂) － Eldest son of Moroe
- Tachibana no Shimadamaro (橘島田麿) － Son of Naramaro
- Tachibana no Kiyotomo (橘清友) － Son of Naramaro
- Tachibana no Kachiko (橘嘉智子) － Daughter of Kiyotomo, Empress to Emperor Saga
- Tachibana no Ujikimi (橘氏公) － Son of Kiyotomo
- 橘岑継 － Son of Ujikimi
- Tachibana no Hayanari (橘逸勢) － Poet
- Tachibana no Hiromi (橘広相) － Scholar, five generations from Moroe; Served Emperors Yôzei, Kôkô, and Uda
- Tachibana no Kimisai (?)(橘公材) － Second son of Hiromi
- Tachibana no Kimiyori (橘公頼) － Fifth son of Hiromi; Dazai Gonnosochi (a post akin to Governor of Kyûshû); fought Fujiwara no Sumitomo's younger brother Fujiwara no Suminori
- Tachibana no Toshimichi (橘敏通) － Third son of Kimiyori; played an important role in fighting Fujiwara no Sumitomo and Suminori; lord of Chikugo province and founder of the Chikugo (Kyûshû) branch of the Tachibana
- Senkan (千観) － Fourth son of Kimiyori; preacher of Jodo Shu (Pure Land Buddhism)
- Tachibana no Yoshiyuki (橘善行) － Also known by the Buddhist name Shôkû; founder of Enkyô-ji
- Zôga (蔵賀) － Lived on Tônomine
- Kôkei (皇慶) － Priest of Esoteric Buddhism
- Tachibana no Nagayasu (橘永愷) － Poet; also known by Buddhist name Nôin
- Tachibana no Michisada (橘道貞) － worked with Fujiwara no Michinaga
- Ko-shikibu no Naishi (小式部内侍) － Poet; daughter of Michisada
- Tachibana no Tamenaka (橘為仲) － Poet
- Tachibana no Tôyasu (橘遠保) － Formerly of the Ochi clan, founder of the Iyo Tachibana branch; played an important role in fighting Fujiwara no Sumitomo
- Tachibana no Tôshige (橘遠茂) － mokudai (governor) of Suruga; descendant of Tōyasu (Iyo branch)
- Tachibana no Kiminaga (橘公長) － executioner of Taira no Munemori
- Tachibana no Kiminari (橘公業) － Son of Kiminaga; founder of Kokajima clan
- Tachibana no Narisue (橘成季) － Served Kujô Michiie
- Minamoto no Hisanao (源久直) － Member of the Saga Genji line of the Minamoto clan; founder of Kamachi family from the Chikugo Tachibana branch
This article was written by User:LordAmeth and contributed to both S-A and Wikipedia; the author gives permission for his work to be used in this way.
- Frederic, Louis (2002). "Japan Encyclopedia." Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.