This is the study of one of the progenitors of the well-known Minamoto Clan of Japan.
Kitabe-daijin (810 AD-)
His father was Emperor Saga who was from the Yamato Clan, which is the Imperial House of Japan. However his mother may have originated from either the Hiroi, Hirohata, or Fujii Clan.
Minamoto no Makoto (-869 AD)
Since Emperor Saga had 49 children from multiple consorts, he did not want the financial burden of maintaining a large family. So, he gave some of his children the surname Minamoto, which is Japanese for “origin.” Kitabe-daijin was the first recorded Minamoto member.
In 814 AD, he was given the surname Minamoto, and he would eventually produce the legendary Minamoto Dynasty.
He started his career, along with his Minamoto brothers, in the imperial court. Makoto served as a Sangi, and then rose to become Minister of the Left. However, he was falsely accused of burning the main gate of the imperial palace. This caused him to shut himself in his own palace, due to the distress. When he came out to see the change of air, he fell off his horse and passed away. He was found innocent of the charges.
The Minamoto Clan would become a family dedicated to the profession of the samurai along with the other cadet branches of the Imperial Family. Of course, there were conflicts between the branches Minamoto and Taira. Nonetheless, the Minamoto would help to establish Japanese history.
- Emperor Saga. Wikipedia.
- Frederic, Louis (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
- Minamoto clan. Wikipedia.
- Minamoto no Makoto (noble). Japanese-English Bilingual Corpus of Wikipedia’s Kyoto Articles.
- Minamoto no Makoto. Wikipedia.