Kazumasa Ishikawa (1/2)From a loyal subject to a traitor

Kazumasa Ishikawa

Kazumasa Ishikawa

Article category
Kazumasa Ishikawa (1534-1609)
place of birth
Aichi prefecture
Related castles, temples and shrines
Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

National treasure tower
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The late Muromachi period was also called the Sengoku period, which was compared to the history of China. It was Tokugawa Ieyasu who put an end to this era. Supported by many retainers, Ieyasu established the Edo Shogunate and became a ruler of Japan. Kazumasa Ishikawa was a vassal who supported Ieyasu from a young age. Kazumasa Ishikawa gained Ieyasu's trust and became a senior vassal, but later left Ieyasu's service. This time, I would like to take a look at Matsumoto Castle, which was ruled by Kazumasa Ishikawa and Kazumasa.

Kazumasa Ishikawa's early life

Kazumasa Ishikawa was born in Mikawa Province in 1533 as the eldest son of Yasumasa Ishikawa. Most of Mikawa Province, where Kazumasa was born, was ruled by the Matsudaira clan, from which Tokugawa Ieyasu was born.
The Ishikawa clan has long served the Matsudaira clan, and has supported Tokugawa Ieyasu since the early days when they were called the Ansho Fudai or the Seven Ansho families (Sakai, Honda, Okubo, Abe, Ishikawa, Uemura, Aoyama). One of the houses. 
Other members of the Ishikawa family besides Kazumasa included Ienari Ishikawa (later the lord of Ogaki in Mino Province), who was Kazumasa's uncle and a cousin of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
At the time of Kazumasa Ishikawa's birth, Mikawa Province was effectively ruled by the Imagawa family, the great daimyo of the Tokai region. The head of the Matsudaira family, Hirotada Matsudaira, takes his son Takechiyo (later Tokugawa Ieyasu) hostage to the Imagawa family as proof of his obedience. Kazumasa also served as a close attendant to Tokugawa Ieyasu and came to live in Suruga Province.
Both Tokugawa Ieyasu and Kazumasa grew up and came of age in Suruga Province.

In this way, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishikawa Kazumasa grew up in Suruga Province, but in 1560 the Battle of Okehazama broke out. Tokugawa Ieyasu led the samurai of Mikawa Province into the war, but Yoshimoto Imagawa, the head of the Imagawa clan, was defeated and killed by Oda Nobunaga.
As a result, Tokugawa Ieyasu became independent from the Imagawa family. However, Ieyasu's wife and child were taken hostage by the Imagawa family. Kazumasa negotiates with the Imagawa family and takes back Ieyasu's eldest son, Nobuyasu, and Ieyasu's legal wife, Tsukiyama-dono. Immediately after this, he also played an active role in the conflict with the Oda family in neighboring Owari Province, making him stand out and gaining the trust of Ieyasu.

As a loyal retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu

In 1562, Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Kiyosu Alliance with Oda Nobunaga to seek political stability. However, the following year, in 1563, the Ikko Ikki broke out in Mikawa Province and rebelled against Ieyasu. Kazumasa's father, Yasumasa, was a member of the Jodo Shinshu sect, so he took part in the uprising.
However, Kazumasa converted to the Jodo sect and sided with Ieyasu. The Ishikawa family was organized by Ienari Ishikawa, who was Kazumasa's uncle and Ieyasu's cousin (child of Ieyasu's mother's sister).

While his father, Yasumasa, sided with the uprising, Kazumasa, who sided with Ieyasu, received more trust and was appointed as chief retainer, and promoted Ieyasu in a position next to Tadatsugu Sakai and Ienari Ishikawa. Ta.
In the 12th year of Eiroku (1569), his uncle Ienari, who was in charge of Nishi Mikawa in Mikawa Province, moved to Kakegawa Castle, the keystone of Enshu Province, and Kazumasa Ishikawa became the leader of Nishi Mikawa in his place, and the Tokugawa He took on the role of coordinating the west part of the family (Mikawa Province, etc.).

Escape from the Tokugawa family

Kazumasa Ishikawa became a senior vassal of the Tokugawa family, and during this time he also served on numerous battlefields.
The Battle of Anegawa, fought between the Oda family, the Tokugawa family, the Asai family, and the Asakura family in 1570; the Battle of Mikatagahara, fought between the Tokugawa family and the Takeda family in 1572; and the Battle of Mikatagahara, fought in the 3rd year of Tensho. (1575) The Battle of Nagashino was fought between the Oda, Tokugawa and Takeda families.

As the power of the Oda family expanded in this way, Kazumasa Ishikawa became a senior vassal of the Tokugawa family, which was a powerful ally, but the Honnoji Incident occurred in 1582. Oda Nobunaga died during the Honnoji Incident.
Hideyoshi Hashiba (later known as Hideyoshi Toyotomi) rose to power after the death of Nobunaga Oda during the Honnoji Incident. Tokugawa Ieyasu appointed Kazumasa Ishikawa to be his negotiator with Hideyoshi Hashiba.

However, when Oda Nobunaga's second son, Oda Nobuo, started to compete with Hideyoshi, Ieyasu supported Oda Nobuo and started competing with Hashiba Hideyoshi. Thus, in 1584, the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute broke out between Hideyoshi Hashiba and Ieyasu Tokugawa. In this battle itself, Tokugawa Ieyasu took the initiative from beginning to end and proceeded with the battle with an advantage.

However, in 1585, when the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute was at a stalemate, Kazumasa Ishikawa left Tokugawa Ieyasu with his family and servants and moved to Hideyoshi Hashiba. He betrayed Tokugawa Ieyasu, whom he had served for many years, and defected to Hideyoshi Hashiba, who was his enemy. The reason is still unknown, but there are several possible reasons.

  • The theory is that as Kazumasa negotiated with Hideyoshi, he fell in love with Hideyoshi's personality and surrendered.
  • The theory is that it was part of a reward presented by Hideyoshi.
  • One theory is that Kazumasa's position within the Tokugawa family deteriorated significantly, as he was suspected within the Tokugawa family of confiding in him while negotiating with Hideyoshi.

There are various stories, but no definitive story remains.
Kazumasa Ishikawa, who thus moved to the Hashiba family, was given 80,000 koku by Hideyoshi in Kawachi Province (present-day eastern Osaka Prefecture) and began to serve as a vassal of Hideyoshi. After this, Tokugawa Ieyasu also became a vassal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

After the Ishikawa family

In 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi subjugated the Hojo clan in the Kanto region (Odawara Conquest). When the Hojo clan fell, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred to the Kanto region, and the Shinshu, Koshu, and Tokaido regions (present-day Shizuoka Prefecture, eastern Aichi Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture, and Yamanashi Prefecture), which had been ruled by Tokugawa Ieyasu until then, were transferred to his retainers with children. I will share it with you. Kazumasa Ishikawa's estate was increased to 100,000 koku in Matsumoto, Shinano Province.
Kazumasa Ishikawa, who was transferred to Matsumoto, built a magnificent castle suitable for battle and is working hard to build a castle town.

Kazumasa Ishikawa's article continues

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Tomoyo Hazuki
Writer(Writer)I have loved history and geography since my student days, and have enjoyed visiting historical sites, temples and shrines, and researching ancient documents. He is especially strong in medieval Japanese history and European history in world history, and has read a wide range of things, including primary sources and historical entertainment novels. There are so many favorite military commanders and castles that I can't name them, but I especially like Hisashi Matsunaga and Mitsuhide Akechi, and when it comes to castles, I like Hikone Castle and Fushimi Castle. Once you start talking about the lives of warlords and the history of castles, there's a side of you that can't stop talking about them.
Japanese Castle Photo Contest.03