Minamoto no Yoshimitsu

Minamoto no Yoshimitsu

Minamoto no Yoshimitsu (源 義光, 1045-25 November 1127), son of Minamoto no Yoriyoshi, was a samurai of the Minamoto clan during the Heian era of Japan.

His brother is the famous Minamoto no Yoshiie. Minamoto no Yoshimitsu is considered to be the founder of Daitōryū aikijūjutsu, one of the Japanese martial arts.

Yoshimitsu is also known as Shinra Saburō (新羅 三郎), Saburo because he was the third son of the family, and Shinra because his genpuku had taken place in a temple named Shinra-ji.

According to the Daitō-ryū's own story, Yoshimitsu dissects the bodies of men killed in battle and studies them to learn what vital strike points (atemi) and joint lock techniques are.

Daito-ryū takes its name from the name of a mansion where Yoshimitsu lived as a child, called "Daitō," in Ōmi province (present-day Shiga prefecture).

As a reward for military services during the Gosannen War (1083-1087), Yoshimitsu was appointed lord of Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi Prefecture) where he settled.

Nobuyoshi, Yoshimitsu's great-grandson, took the nickname "Takeda" and the techniques Yoshimitsu discovered were secretly passed down from generation to generation within the Takeda clan until the late nineteenth century, when Takeda Sōkaku began to teach them outside his clan.

At the beginning of the Gosannen War, the chinjufu-shōgun Hanchiman Tarō Minamoto-no-Yoshiie was defeated by Kiyohara-no-Iehira. Yoshimitsu then asked the retired emperor for permission to go to his older brother's aid, but the eminence grise refused the request, so Yoshimitsu resigned and went anyway.

When Yoshiie heard about it, he cried tears of joy and brotherly love and made him his vice-shogun. Knowing that he was lost to the "eldest son of the god of war", Takahira said to Iehira: "Considering that you are only a human being, you have fought admirably against general Yoshiie.

By defeating him, you have illustrated your name and mine. But Yoshiie has a reputation superior to that of the Taira and Minamoto families of the past. So this has sealed your fate and mine. We will die together." This speech galvanized Iehira and his troops.

The story goes that when they heard that they were going to war against such numerous and fierce enemies, an 80-year-old samurai in Yoshiie's service named Daizo Mitsuto said, "Old age is a very sad thing.

I fear that I will not see the epic feats of arms that my lord will undoubtedly accomplish." The old warrior then began to cry, and the audience with him.

This episode, which took place at the beginning of the war, testifies to the considerable reputation that the two brothers already possessed, which the enemy himself already claimed to be superior to that of their ancestor, the legendary Minamoto no Yorimitsu, the Saint George of Japan.

It seems that Shinrasaburō (or perhaps his older brother, the famous Hachimantarō Yoshiie) is the founder of the prestigious Satake clan. The war concluded with the capture of Kanezawa Castle, in whose area the Satake clan returned to settle five centuries later, after their defeat at Sekigahara.

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