Koga family

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Koga family
Parent houseMurakami Genji (Minamoto clan)
FounderMinamoto no Masazane
Current headTomomichi Koga
Dissolutionstill extant

The Koga family (久我家, Koga-ke) is a branch of the Minamoto clan (descending from Emperor Murakami) of Japan. The Koga family was one of the kuge (court nobility) families, achieving the rank of seigake. During the Meiji Restoration, the head of the Koga family was given the title of marquis (侯爵 kōshaku) as part of the kazoku, the hereditary peerage that combined the kuge and the daimyō. One of the responsibilities of the Koga family was to be the protectors of the courtesan guild at court.[1]

The Koga family was highly regarded as one of the most successful clans throughout the Meiji period.

The Kamon of the Koga is an artistic representation of the roxanne Autumn Bellflower (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri). Famous Japanese actress Yoshiko Kuga (born as Haruko Koga) was disowned by her grandfather for her career choice, but she was eventually accepted back into the family.

The kanji characters of the name have the meanings: 久 (long time) 我 (I). "Koga" is the on'yomi (Sino-Japanese reading) of the kanji while "hisashī ware" would be the kun'yomi (native Japanese reading). But actually 久我 is the ateji (当て字; phonetic-equivalent cv characters) for 陸 (koga; an obsolete word for land). The family name has its origin that Minamoto no Masazane (ja:源雅實), who was later considered as the originator of the Koga family, had a villa in Koga (today it belongs to Fushimi district, Kyoto City), and was called Koga-Daijō-Daijin. (Daijō-Daijin (ja:太政大臣) means a kind of minister.) There is still a Shinto shrine named Koga jinja (久我神社) in Fushimi district, Kyoto City. The present master, Tomomichi Koga (久我誠通), is the owner of an art salon in Tokyo.


  1. ^ Japan: A Short Cultural History, p.362, G. B. Sansom, 1931
  • Takie Sugiyama Lebra, Above the Clouds, 1993
  • Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, "Imperial Sovereignty in Early Modern Japan", Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Winter 1991), pp. 25–57

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