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The Kikuchi clan and Baekje
Topic Started: Jan 29 2018, 08:36 AM (678 Views)
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There are theories that the Kikuchi clan of Higo Province (Kyushu) are from Baekje. They have found a golden statue in the ruins of the castle that is from Baekje and there are records saying that the founder of the Kikuchi, Kikuchi Noritaka (菊池 則隆) is the son of Masanori (政則) and grandson of Chikanori (親則).

A Japanese genealogist, Suzuki Matoshi, states that he found a record that Chikanori is a 12th generation descendant of Gwisil Boksin (a relative of the royal family of Baekje). I made a page on him :)
and his son...
and this...

But the Kikuchi clan itself in the 1500's claimed descent from Fujiwara no Takaie (but Suzuki Matoshi says he found in the records that Masanori was actually just a retainer of the Fujiwara.) confusing.

I was the one who made the entire page on the Kikuchi clan on Wikipedia years ago.

Here is a tree from the genealogist given to me. What are your thoughts on this?
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Edited by Elwe, Jan 29 2018, 08:40 AM.
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Rice Farmer
I find this intriguing and quite possible, after all there is no question that if Baekje royalty settled in Japan after Baekgang (which we have no reasonable reason to doubt), they would leave descendants in the Japanese nobility, that would quickly be thoroughly Japanized. As for the specific connection to Kikuchi I have no idea, but it sounds like Suzuki has done his homework.

As for the connection to Fujiwara Takaie, remember that in the Sengoku period clans frequently reinterpreted their genealogy to find new connections to suit their purposes, like how Nobunaga suddenly claimed descent from the Taira despite that connection (which was real enough AFAIK) having been ignored for centuries. I'll assume claiming descent to the Fujiwara clan was more a point of legitimacy than anything else, since it sounds better saying "My ancestor was Fujiwara Takaie" than saying "my ancestor was some no-name retainer of Fujiwara Takaie who btw also descended from some Koreans 12 generations earlier."

I could be wrong, but that's just my two cents on it.

Btw I remember wondering why the Kikuchi clan article on Wikipedia was so detailed compared to other samurai clan articles when I first read it a few years ago, now it seems I know why, you did an amazing job there.
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Tsushima no kami
Just tonight the NHK weekly program "Names of Japanese" talked about "Kikuchi"--an extremely common name--asking the question, why are there two Kikuchi kanji, 菊池 and 菊地?
They showed Kikuchi Noritaka's grave. He changed his name from Fujiwara to Kikuchi 菊池 (lit. Chrysanthemum Pond) because of a pond on his land, which still exists, surrounded by chrysanthemums, which were then comparatively rare.
They said the clan was mostly scattered during the time of the Nanboku, many going to the northeast. Among them some wanted to change their name to avoid persecution, but were reluctant to to give up Kikuchi completely, so they changed 池 "pond" to 地 "earth."
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Isn't it possible that the golden statue was either a gift from Paekche or a result of war looting?
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I wonder if there is any connection with the kuna 狗奴 chiefdom and high official kukachi-hiko 狗古智卑狗 mentioned in the Gishi-Wajinden (admittedly, the vowels don't add up though).
Kuna is often connected with the Kuma district in southern Kumamoto prefecture. A connection with Baekje could make sense, since immigrants from the Korean peninsula were called Koma in Japanese.
Seems unlikely though, looking at the vowels in the words, but geographically it might make sense. What are your thoughts on that?
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