Tachibana no-Minetsugu was born in 803. He was a son of Ujikimi, Minister of Right.
He was dull by nature and did not like to study. It is said Emperor Nimmyo chided him on this and once remarked that it was a pity that such a person did not study. This is said to have stung him so much that he began studying hard and eventually was appointed Chiinagon (Court secretary).
Tachiban had an imposing figure, six feet tall.