Shitennō (Minamoto clan)

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Shitennō (四天王), a Japanese term normally referring to the Buddhist Four Heavenly Kings, is also applied to particularly famous or loyal retainers, in groups of four, to certain of Japan's most famous legendary and historical figures.

The following four are referred to in legend as the Shitennō of Minamoto no Yorimitsu (also known as Raikō) (948–1021):[1]

Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159–1189) was accompanied by the following four, his so-called Shitennō, who feature in the kabuki play Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura and other works:

  • Suruga Jirō Kiyoshige (駿河次郎清重)
  • Kamei Rokurō Shigekiyô (亀井六郎重清)
  • Kataoka Hachirō Tsuneharu (片岡八郎常春)
  • Ise Saburō Yoshimori (伊勢三郎義盛)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sato, Hiroaki (1995). Legends of the Samurai. Overlook Duckworth. pp. 61–64. ISBN 9781590207307.