The Kumagai house documents constitute one of the most remarkable and complete sets of warrior documents. The records preserved here date from the twelfth month of 1332 through the twelfth month of 1333, and recount in particular the actions of Kumagai Naotsune, although some were also addressed to Kumagai Naouji. The Kumagai did not fight simultaneously for both sides, as did the Mikita, but they too managed to weather the collapse of Kamakura. These two collections represent the most comprehensive records of those gokenin who fought for Kamakura during its final year. The Kamakura edict is almost identical in style to the Mikita record, revealing the great consistency of Kamakura scribes. Also Naotsune and Naouji had their wounded compatriots inspected by the same battle administrators who inspected the Mikita wounded.
An edict from Go-Daigo is unusual, because such documents were usually written on grey recycled paper (shukushi) but Go-Daigo’s chamberlains apparently ran out of such paper late in 1333, and this document appears on regular brown paper. They also received documents from Prince Moriyoshi, as well as a confirmation from Ashikaga Takauji, who would later rebel against Go-Daigo late in 1335.
Permission to view the images granted by the Kumagai family.
This order from Kamakura mobilizing its warriors against Prince Moriyoshi and Kusunoki Masashige was issued to Kumagai Hikoshirō Naouji in the twelfth month of 1332. It is almost identical to the record surviving in the Mikita house, save for the placement of one character, and the fact that the name of the recipient in this case remains. Kumagai Naouji was the head of the “New Estate” (Shinshō) of Miiri, and expected by Kamakura to lead the Kumagai from this region. Another Kumagai, Naotsune, was the chief of the “Main Estate” of Miiri, and issued separate documents. Naouji was supplanted by his brother Naokiyo (Hikosaburō) as Kamakura collapsed, but nevertheless survived forty years of warfare, dying of illness in 1372. He did however, at the end of his life, serve under Imagawa Ryōshun, and is mentioned in Ryōshun’s Michiyukiburi,
and personally received some documents from Ryōshun late in life.
This is a copy (anmon) of a report of arrival by Kumagai Naotsune. It was copied most likely at the time that Naotsune submitted the document to battle administrators, who kept the original document. This practice soon ceased, and later reports of arrival were returned with the monogram of the battle administrator affixed to it. This document that Naotsune led several relatives, including a younger brother Naotomo. The Naouji mentioned in this document is “Heiji Naouji” and should not be confused with Hikoshirō Naouji.
A military petition submitted by Naotsune, and inspected by Kamakura, which reveals in great detail the wounds that his retainers received while attacking Chihaya.
A petition submitted by Kumagai Naouji, recounting how he was shot in the right leg, with an arrow piercing the bone, although Kamakura’s officials describing the this as “shallow.” In addition, Naomi’s standard bearer was wounded as too were other followers.
Another document from Naotsune, inspected by Kamakura, which recounts the wounds of his standard bearer. As these men carried the flags of their unit, they made natural targets and suffered, as these documents show, disproportionate casualties.
This document, submitted by Naouji, recounts the wounds of one of his followers. It is the last such document that he issued in 1333. As he was so implicated by fighting for Kamakura, he was supplanted by his brother Naokiyo, who fought against Kamakura.
Prince Moriyoshi’s edict demanding the destruction of Kamakura, which is addressed to Naotsune, who at this time was recovering from wounds (see document 8). Moriyoshi emphasizes the low status of the Hōjō, calling them descendants of the local provincial official of Izu (Izu zaichō kanjin)
A document recounting wounds of Naotsune and his followers. Naotsune was shot twice in the leg, with one wound described as “deep,” which effectively ending his participation in battle for some time.
A mobilization order from Go-Daigo’s chamberlain, Chigusa Tadaaki, who concurrently served as a general for Go-Daigo. Tadaaki was not aware that Naotsune was incapacitated. Naotsune would switch sides and dispatch relatives (Kumagai Naohisa) and his son Naoharu to fight against Kamakura.
The wounded Naotsune disputed his relative, Naohisa, to fight under the command of Hikosaburo Saburō Naokiyo, who is described as being the general of four provinces. This reveals that the head of the “New Estate” of Miiri was more powerful than Naotsune, and furthermore that Naokiyo used the turmoil to supplant the wounded Naouji as the head of the New Estate Kumagai. Furthermore, Naotsune effectively accepts Naokiyo’s primacy by dispatching a representative like this, although he does retain some autonomy because he gets credit for Naohisa’s actions. Thus Naokiyo’s authority did not completely undermine Naotsune’s rights to the “Original Estate” of Miiri.
An edict from Go-Daigo to Kumagai Naotsune. This record is highly unusual in that it was written on regular paper, rather than recycled grey paper (shukushi
) which was de rigueur
for imperial edicts. The receipt of this document did not however, help Naotsune, who had his Miiri lands confiscated as a result of his links to Kamakura, with all of Miiri falling under the control of Kumagai Naokiyo.
The incapacitated Naotsune, who had thrown his lot in with Go-Daigo and abandoned Kamakura, dispatched his son Naoharu to serve as his representative, who took place in the final assault against Kamakura. The battle, which resulted in the annihilation of the Hōjō, was intense and Naoharu was killed in the conflict, meaning that the document was submitted by Naoharu’s orphaned son (and Naotsune’s grandson) Toraichimaru.
A document issued by Ashikaga Takauji, a high ranking warrior, confirming Kumagai Naotsune of some of his lands in Musashi province in the east late in 1333. Takauji did not do this in an official function but merely relied on his social prestige to issue this confirmation. Naotsune later would side with Takauji when he rebelled against Go-Daigo in 1335-1336, but his wounds apparently prevented him from fighting for Takauji. A 1336 petition merely describes Naotsune as residing in the capital during that critical time. Naotsune eventually had some of his Miiri lands restored in fighting for the Ashikaga.