Kajiwara Kagetoki

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Kagetoki was a clan leader from Izu descended from the Taira. He initially opposed Minamoto Yoritomo during the Gempei War and was present alongside Oba Kagechika at the Battle of Ishibashiyama. Legend has it that following Yoritomo's defeat at that battle, a secretly sympathetic Kajiwara discovered him hiding in a hollow tree, but said nothing. He afterwards joined Yoritomo and quickly became one of his most valued allies. He fought at the Battle of Ichi no Tani (1184) and was afterwards active with administrative affairs; he is said to have clashed with Minamoto Yoshitsune prior to the Battle of Yashima over tactical issues, and again immediately before the Battle of Dan no Ura. Following the Taira defeat he rose to become even closer to Yoritomo, and was rumored to have further slandered his rival Yoshitsune. He contributed forces to the Mutsu Campaign (1189) and received the rank of shugo. Following the death of Yoritomo, he became close to the heir, Yoriie but his slanderous (or presumed slanderous) behavior raised the ire of his colleagues and in November 1199, 66 Minamoto housemen signed a petition censuring him. Kagetoki fled Kamakura but was tracked down and killed the following year by Bakufu forces.

Kagetoki was highly regarded by Minamoto Yoritomo as a soldier and administrator, but was disliked by the other Minamoto retainers.

His sons included Kajiwara Kagesue (one of the first to fight at the Battle of Uji in 1184), Kajiwara Kagetaka, and Kajiwara Kageie. All three were present at the Battle of Dan no Ura.


  • Mass, Jeffery P. (ed.) Court and Bakufu in Japan. Stanford 1995
  • McCullough, Helen C. The Tale of the Heike. Stanford 1988
  • Morris, Ivan. The Nobility of Failure. Secker and Warburg 1975