Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage

Hiraizumi’s History

Before Oshu-Fujiwara Clan

The History Of Oshu That Gave Birth To The Cultural Heritage Of Hiraizumi Part I

Former Nine Year War

 Around 950 years ago in the middle of the Heian period, the Abe clan extended their influence from central Iwate to southern Iwate Prefecture. The head of the clan, Abe no Yoritoki, had powerful influence over the area and the Imperial Court, who feared the influence he had, sent the samurai Minamoto no Yoriyoshi to fight Abe no Yoritoki and his son Sadato and protect the governor of Mutsu Province.
 The war between the Abe clan and Minamoto no Yoriyoshi and his son Yoshiie lasted for around 12 years and many soldiers were hurt and fell in battle.
 Minamoto no Yoriyoshi and his son were struggling in this war. However, they made an alliance with Kiyohara no Takenori, whose clan held power in Akita, and finally defeated the Abe clan. This war was known as the Former Nine Year War
 Both Abe no Yoritoki and his son Sadato died in battles during this war. Yoritoki’s daughter’s husband, Fujiwara no Tsunekiyo, was also killed by Minamoto no Yoriyoshi. However after this, Yoritoki’s daughter took her son with her and remarried, marrying Kiyohara no Takesada. This son was to become Fujiwara no Kiyohira.

Former Nine Year War (1051-1062)

 The Kiyohara clan held the key to the war. Minamoto no Yoriyoshi at a time of desperation called on the support of the Kiyohara clan. Yoriyoshi’s army with the support of the Kiyohara clan destroyed Koromogawa Seki (castle), the base of the Abe clan. Abe’s army withdrew to Kuriyagawa no Saku (Morioka City) and the fight here lasted for half a month. However, in the end the Abe clan was destroyed.

Later Three Year War

 20 years after the Former Nine Year War in which the Abe clan perished, fighting occurred between the brothers Masahira, Kiyohira and Iehira concerning succession in the Kiyohara clan. After the death of the eldest son Masahira, fighting broke out between Kiyohira and Iehira. Minamoto no Yoshiie, who had been dispatched by the Imperial Court to protect the governor of Mutsu Province, joined with Kiyohira’s army and a large war developed. The Kiyohara clan perished in this war but Kiyohira survived. After this, Kiyohira moved his residence from Esashi to Hiraizumi.
 The Gold Culture that lasted around 100 years and the history of Hiraizumi starts here.

Later Three Year War (1083-1087)

 After the Former Nine Year War, Kiyohira rose to power in the battle that occurred amongst the Kiyohara clan.
 Kiyohira gained the support of Minamoto no Yoshiie (Yoriyoshi’s son) who was the enemy in the Former Nine Year War and won the battle within the Kiyohara clan. On account of this battle, Kiyohira extended his influence to include the Abe clan’s old territory and also the Kiyohara clan’s territory (Akita Prefecture).

Oshu-Fujiwara Clan