Motochika Chosokabe (1/2)Tosa's talent

Motochika Chosokabe

Motochika Chosokabe

Article category
Chosokabe Motochika (1539-1599)
place of birth
Kochi Prefecture
Related castles
Oka Toyoshiro

Oka Toyoshiro

Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle

Existing castle tower
Fuyang City

Fuyang City

related incident

During the Warring States period, new powers rose to prominence in various regions. The Mori family claimed supremacy in the Chugoku region, the Oda family in the Kinki and Tokai regions, and the Hojo family in the Kanto region. In Shikoku, the Chosokabe family rose to prominence. In Tosa Province (present-day Kochi Prefecture), unrest continued. When Motochika Chosokabe took over the family, he unified Tosa Province and gradually brought Shikoku under his control. This time, I would like to take a look at Motochika Chosokabe, a ``Shikoku master''.

Nagasokabe family of Tosa Province

The Chosokabe clan is said to have been founded by samurai who moved from Shinano Province (present-day Nagano Prefecture) to Tosa Province between the late Heian period and the Kamakura period. In the Sengoku period, Tosa Province became an unstable country with repeated skirmishes between local kokujinshu (indigenous small lords), and the Chosokabe clan also had many conflicts.

Chosokabe Motochika was born in Tosa Province in 1539 as the eldest son of Chosokabe Kunichika. When she was a child, she was tall, fair-skinned, quiet, and absent-minded, so she was ridiculed by those around her as ``Himewako,'' and her father, Kunichika, was also worried about her successor.
In May 1560, Motochika, who had grown up as a samurai, took his first battle at the late age of 23 years old. He fought with the Motoyama family, who were natives of Tosa Province, and participated in the Battle of Nagahama. At this time, Motochika wielded his spear with great courage and displayed great courage, and was praised as the ``demon young child'' for destroying the Motoyama family.

From Motochika’s succession to the family headship to the unification of Tosa Province

However, in June, the year after his first campaign, his father, Kunichika, suddenly passed away, and Motochika took over the Chosokabe family.
Since the time when his father, Kunichika, was the head of the family, he had sent his children (Motochika's younger brothers) to the surrounding country people as adopted children, and Motochika also incorporated his own children into the area by sending them as adopted children. . He also gathered together the fearless indigenous samurai and led them as ``Ichiryo Gusoku.'' These Ichiryo Gusoku usually spend their time cultivating the rice fields, but when it comes to battle, they carry their Ichiryo's armor (Gusoku) and fight fearlessly.

With this system in place, Motochika unified Tosa Province in 1574. After unifying Tosa Province, Motochika was praised and called the ``man of Tosa.''
This is the story after unifying Tosa. I visited a temple in Awa and talked with the chief priest. Motochika passionately talks about unifying Shikoku as his dream.
However, the chief priest explained that it was an inappropriate dream, saying, ``It's like putting a lid on a water bottle with the lid of a medicine kettle.'' In response, Motochika is said to have replied, ``My lid was cast by a master craftsman named Motochika. Someday, it will become the lid that covers all of Shikoku.''
At the time when Shikoku was at war, Motochika lived through the turmoil of war with great spirit.

Motochika Chosokabe and his wife

After Motochika Chosokabe took over as head of the family, Motochika took a legal wife in 1563.
Motochika's legal wife was the daughter of Mitsumasa Ishitani, a shogun vassal who served the 13th Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga of the Muromachi shogunate. Mitsumasa Ishitani had daughters, but was not blessed with a son. Therefore, he adopted as his son-in-law the son of Toshitaka Saito, who was descended from the Saito clan (different from Dosan Saito's Saito family), the shugodai of Mino Province (currently Gifu Prefecture), and had a close relationship with him.He is Yoritatsu Ishitani. . Yoritatsu, who was adopted by this son-in-law, had a younger brother. His name was Toshizo Saito, who later became a vassal of Mitsuhide Akechi.

In other words, Motochika Chosokabe's wife had Yoritatsu (brother-in-law) who came to her parents' house as an adopted son-in-law, and Yoritatsu had a younger brother named Toshizo Saito, so Motochika Chosokabe's wife and Toshizo Saito were related.
Then, in 1565, Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga was killed by the Miyoshi family at the Bueijin mansion of Nijo Imperial Palace in Kyoto (Eiroku Incident). Mitsumasa Ishitani, who had been serving Yoshiteru, relied on the Chosokabe family, where his daughter married, and from then on served Motochika.

On the other hand, Yoritatsu Ishitani, who was adopted as a son-in-law, served Mitsuhide Akechi, so the Chosokabe family used Mitsumasa Ishitani as their contact, and the Oda family used Mitsuhide Akechi's vassals, Rizo Saito and Yoritatsu Ishitani as their contacts, and both sides worked together. We kept in touch. In this way, the Chosokabe family and the Oda family came to have contact.

Invasion of Awa, Sanuki, and Iyo

Motochika Chosokabe, who had unified Tosa Province, talked with Nobunaga Oda, who had risen to the center, and it was decided that Shikoku would be taken over by Motochika (the land he conquered could become the property of the Chosokabe family). Ta.
Shikoku consists of Tosa Province, which Motochika subdued, as well as Awa Province, Sanuki Province (present-day Tokushima Prefecture and Kagawa Prefecture), and Iyo Province (present-day Ehime Prefecture).

The Miyoshi family boasted power in Awa Province and Sanuki Province, but when Nagaharu Miyoshi began to take over real power as the head of the country, he encountered resistance from the people and nationals of the territory due to his authoritarian system, and allowed the Chosokabe family to advance. I did. Nagaharu Miyoshi died in the rebellion of the Kokujinshu, but Nagaharu's great-uncle, Yasunaga Miyoshi, resisted. However, Motochika had conquered almost two countries by 1580.

Iyo Province was ruled by the Saionji family and the Kono family, who resisted fiercely, and with the support of the Mori family in the Chugoku region, it was expected that it would take some time to subdue Iyo Province.

Conflict with Oda Nobunaga

Motochika Chosokabe was steadily advancing his conquest of Shikoku, but in 1580, he was suddenly forced to submit to Oda Nobunaga. As proof of their vassalage, they were forced to cede Tosa Province and Awa Province, leaving behind Tosa Province and Awa Province. Ex-parent refuses.

Motochika Chosokabe's article continues

related incident
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