Konoe Nobutada

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Tenjin Crossing the Ocean to China
  • Birth: 1565
  • Death: 1614
  • Titles: Saidaijin, Kampaku (1605)
  • Other names: Konôe Nobusuke, Nobumoto
  • Son: Nobuhiro (adopted; 1593-1643)
  • Distinction: Imperial regent
  • Japanese: 近衛信尹 (Konoe Nobutada)

Konoe Nobutada was the 17th head of the Konoe family, one of the five "regent" houses (gosekke) among the court nobility. Like his father, Konoe Sakihisa, Nobutada held several top-ranking court positions, including Kanpaku. Nobutada is also known for his calligraphy, and numerous ink drawings of Tenjin, being considered one of the "three brushes of the Kan'ei era" (1624-1644).

Nobutada vied with Nijô Akizane for the position of Kanpaku in 1585, but, perhaps in part due to their squabbling, the post was in the end given to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who had had himself adopted by Konoe Sakihisa, and could thus claim Fujiwara clan lineage.

Nobutada later angered Hideyoshi by being too eager to join the Korean Invasions and was exiled to Satsuma province in 1594 for two and a half years. During this time, he led study sessions for Shimazu clan retainers in Bônotsu and Kagoshima, and introduced various elements of Kyoto courtly and high culture, including renga and tea ceremony.

He returned to Kyoto in 1596, where he was named Sadaijin in 1601, and then Kanpaku in 1605. Previously known as Nobusuke, he took on the name Konoe Nobutada after 1602. He studied Zen under Takuan Sôhô and others.


  • Initial text from Sengoku Biographical Dictionary (Samurai-Archives.com) FWSeal & CEWest, 2005
  • "Konoe Nobutada," Satsuma Shimazu-ke no rekishi, Shôkoshûseikan official website.