Samurai-Archives

Minamoto no Kugyo

From SamuraiWiki
Revision as of 00:16, 1 July 2019 by LordAmeth (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
The massive ginkgo at Tsurugaoka Hachimangû behind which Minamoto Kugyô hid before springing out to assassinate Shogun Minamoto no Sanetomo in 1219. The tree fell over in a storm in 2010, but is being regrown from cuttings
  • Born: 1200
  • Died: 1219
  • Japanese: 公暁 (Minamoto no Kugyou)

Minamoto no Kugyô was a son of shogun Minamoto no Yoriie. He is most known for his assassination in 1219 of his uncle Minamoto no Sanetomo, who had succeeded Yoriie as shogun.

Kugyô was the eldest of three children who Minamoto no Yoriie had with a wife from the Kamo family; his younger brothers were known as Senjûmaru and Zengyô. He also had two half-siblings, Minamoto Ichiman and Take no gozen, born to Wakasa no Tsubone, Yoriie's wife from the Hiki clan.

Kugyô survived the Hôjô clan extermination of the Hiki clan, and was then adopted by his uncle Minamoto no Sanetomo at the suggestion (or urging) of Sanetomo's mother, Hôjô Masako. Kugyô was then entered into training at the Buddhist temple of Onjôji (aka Miidera, near Kyoto) and the Shinto shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangû in Kamakura.


Kugyô is said to have hidden behind a large ginkgo tree just to the side of the main stairs within the shrine, jumping out to strike Sanetomo. Some sources make no mention of the tree, however, indicating that he emerged from beneath or to the side of the stairs. While some accounts make no mention of Sanetomo's guards or retinue otherwise, even those which do indicate the presence of guards or an entourage make no mention of how the assassin was able to attack and kill the shogun so quickly and easily without having to go through those others.

Personal tools