Takakuni Hosokawa (1/2)Fixer in the first half of the Sengoku period

Takakuni Hosokawa

Takakuni Hosokawa

Article category
Takakuni Hosokawa (1484-1531)
place of birth
Okayama Prefecture
Related castles
Amagasaki Castle

Amagasaki Castle

After the Onin War during the Muromachi period, Japan entered the Warring States period. By the way, in the first half of the period known as the Sengoku period, Kyoto became a chaotic time as the shoguns and the Kanrei Hosokawa family dispersed and gathered together. In particular, Takakuni Hosokawa was at the center of this. Takakuni Hosokawa was born into the Hosokawa family, but was adopted by Masamoto Hosokawa, who was known as a ``half-shogun.'' This time, I would like to take a look at Takakuni Hosokawa, who was a key figure in the first half of the Sengoku period.

Takamoto Hosokawa's adoptive father Masamoto Hosokawa and the beginning of the Sengoku period

The 8th Shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga and the Onin War
In the first year of Onin (1467), the Onin War began, which was a battle that divided Japan into two, stemming from feuds among feudal lords in various regions. The Onin War lasted for about 11 years, but embers remained in various parts of Japan, and signs of war were beginning to appear.
9th Shogun Yoshinori Ashikaga and Masamoto Hosokawa
The 8th shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga was succeeded by the 9th shogun Yoshinori Ashikaga, who was born between Yoshimasa Ashikaga and his legal wife Tomiko Hino. The man who supported Yoshinori was Masamoto Hosokawa, the son of Katsumoto Hosokawa, who was a general of the Eastern Army during the Onin War.
During the era of the 9th Shogun Yoshinori, the shogunate and shogun still had authority, and the government was maintained, albeit unstable. However, Yoshinori died at a young age while stationed at the Battle of Omi.
The 10th Shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga and the Meio Coup
The 9th shogun Yoshinori Ashikaga passed away, and the next shogun was Yoshitane Ashikaga, the son of Yoshimi Ashikaga, the younger brother of the 8th shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga. However, Masamoto Hosokawa and Tomiko Hino opposed Yoshitane's tyranny. The two men staged a coup d'état and replaced the shogun, the ``Meio Coup'' that occurred in 1493. In recent years, it has been thought that the Shogun became a mere shell because the Seii Taishogun was not decided within the shogunate and was supported by his vassals (Masamoto Hosokawa), and that this is when the Sengoku period began.
The 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga and Masamoto Hosokawa
After a coup d'état, the 10th shogun, Yoshitane Ashikaga, fled Kyoto and became a wanderer. In his place, the 11th shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga, the son of Masatomo Ashikaga, who was the younger brother of the 8th shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga and was called Horikoshi Kubo, was appointed, and Masamoto Hosokawa supported him. Kyoto, which had been in turmoil following the Onin War and the Meio Coup, seemed to be stabilized by Hosokawa Masamoto.

Takakuni Hosokawa's birth and stepbrothers

Masamoto Hosokawa staged a coup during the Meio Coup and replaced the 10th shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga with the 11th shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga. Under Masamoto's administration, the chaos in Kyoto that had continued since the Onin War seemed to be coming to an end.
By the way, Masamoto Hosokawa was devoted to Shugendo and other practices, and is said to have kept women away from him throughout his life. For this reason, the Hosokawa Kitcho family was unable to find an heir for Masamoto Hosokawa. There, he adopted three children as heirs to the Hosokawa Kitcho family.

  • Sumiyuki was the youngest son of Kanpaku Masamoto Kujo.
  • Sumimoto is the son of Yoshiharu Hosokawa, the shugo of Awa Province, a descendant of the Hosokawa family.
  • Takakuni was the son of Masaharu Hosokawa of the Yasu family, a branch of the Hosokawa family.

Masamoto Hosokawa's first adopted child was Sumiyuki, who was adopted from the Kujo family of the Gosek family. However, Masamoto Hosokawa regretted adopting a child from the Kujo family rather than from within the Hosokawa clan, and adopted children from other Hosokawa families as well. These were Sumimoto, his second adopted son from the Hosokawa family, the shugo daimyo of Awa Province, and Takakuni Hosokawa, his third adopted son from the Yasu family.
Takakuni Hosokawa was born in 1484 as a son of Masaharu Hosokawa of the Yasu family, a branch of the Hosokawa family. Takakuni celebrated Genpuku under Masamoto Hosokawa.

Masamoto's death and the Ryohosokawa Rebellion

Now, Sumiyuki Hosokawa was adopted by Masamoto Hosokawa as his first adopted child. Sumiyuki was appointed as the guardian of Tamba Province by his adoptive father, Masamoto Hosokawa, but was excluded from being the heir to the Hosokawa Kitcho family. Sumiyuki and his retainers are not interesting. Sumiyuki's party planned to take tough measures.

In June 1507, Hosokawa Sumiyuki's vassals assassinated Hosokawa Masamoto at his mansion (Eternal Confusion). Sumiyuki, who was in Tanba Province, was welcomed by his vassals and held the funeral for Masamoto Hosokawa, who had inherited the headship of the Kichicho Hosokawa family.

However, two months later, in August, Masamoto Hosokawa's other adopted children, Sumimoto and Takakuni, had escaped, but they gathered together samurai in the Kinki region. Sumimoto and Takakuni subjugate Sumiyuki Hosokawa, and Sumiyuki commits suicide. Takakuni Hosokawa established Sumimoto, who succeeded the Hosokawa Kiccho family.

By the way, these are Sumimoto Hosokawa and Takakuni Hosokawa. Sumimoto and Takakuni held hands at first, but after this, the two lineages fought for about 50 years during the first half of the Sengoku period, continuing a conflict called the ``Ryohosokawa Rebellion.''

Invasion of the Ouchi clan and reappointment of the 10th Shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga

Sumimoto Hosokawa was the second adopted son of Masamoto Hosokawa, who thus became the head of the Hosokawa Kitcho family. Takakuni Hosokawa supports Sumimoto.
By the way, there was a daimyo who took the political instability situation that resulted from the assassination of Hosokawa Masamoto as an opportunity, Yoshioki Ouchi, a shugo daimyo centered on Suo. In 1507, Yoshioki Ouchi supported Yoshitane Ashikaga, the tenth wandering shogun, and assembled a large army to invade Kyoto.

Sumimoto Hosokawa, who supported the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga, was surprised by the invasion of the Ouchi clan. Even if he fought head-on with Yoshioki Ouchi, who had a large army, it would not be a match. Sumimoto Hosokawa ordered Takakuni Hosokawa to negotiate peace with Yoshioki Ouchi.
However, when the dispatched Takakuni Hosokawa visited Yoshioki Ouchi, he promised to betray him. Takakuni Hosokawa recruited anti-Hosokawa Sumimoto among the Hosokawa family and feudal lords of the Kinai region, and as a result, he exiled Sumimoto Hosokawa, the kanrei, and Yoshizumi Ashikaga, the 11th shogun, to Omi Province.

Yoshitane Ashikaga, the 10th Shogun who entered Kyoto, was reappointed as Shogun by the Imperial Court, making him the only Seii Taishogun in history to be reappointed. In addition, Takakuni Hosokawa was appointed Kanrei and Yoshioki Ouchi was appointed Kanreidai (Kanrei deputy). From here on, the following two factions will compete.

  • The 10th Shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga, Kanrei Hosokawa Takakuni, and Kanrei Yoshioki Ouchi
  • 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga, Sumimoto Hosokawa

Takakuni Hosokawa is betrayed by the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga

Eisei 4 (1507). Under the military backing of Yoshioki Ouchi, Kanrei Hosokawa Takakuni supported the 10th Shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga. From here on, he repeatedly fought battles with Sumimoto Hosokawa, who was based in Omi Province and supported the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga.
During this time, the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga, who was in Omi Province and supported by Sumimoto Hosokawa, died of illness. With no shogun left to support him, Sumimoto Hosokawa returned to his native Awa Province.

However, in the 15th year of Eisei (1518). Yoshioki Ouchi, who had a military base, returned to Suo Province. The Ouchi family was a feudal lord centered in the Chugoku region. As a result, his vassals grew tired of being away from their hometown for so long and left Kyoto. Furthermore, the Ouchi family returned to Japan as their territory began to be oppressed by Tsunehisa Amago in the San'in region.

In this way, Takakuni Hosokawa single-handedly supported the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga. Sumimoto Hosokawa, who was in Awa Province, saw this as an opportunity. Sumimoto invaded the Kinki region and once drove Takakuni Hosokawa from Kyoto. Yoshitane Ashikaga, the 10th shogun supported by Takakuni Hosokawa, was alarmed by this. Yoshitane Ashikaga gave up on Takakuni Hosokawa and replaced him with Sumimoto Hosokawa, who had invaded from Awa Province.

In response, Takakuni Hosokawa fled from Kyoto and, with the support of the Rokkaku, Asakura, and Shiba families, drove out Sumimoto Hosokawa and the 10th Shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga from Kyoto.

Takakuni Hosokawa returns to Kyoto. However, the shogun he had supported was also expelled, resulting in an unstable government without a shogun. There, Kameomaru, the eldest son of the 11th shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga, who had died of illness, was supported and made shogun. Kameomaru was the 12th shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga (father of the 13th shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga and the 15th shogun Yoshiaki Ashikaga).
From here on, the following two factions will compete.

  • 12th Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga (eldest son of the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga), Kanrei Hosokawa Takakuni
  • The 10th Shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga, Sumimoto Hosaka

Conflict between the Sakai Kubo and the Hosokawa family

Hosokawa Takakuni, who supported the 12th shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga, was repeatedly invaded by the 10th shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga and Sumimoto Hosikaga, but he repulsed them. Then, in 1520, Sumiyuki Hosokawa died of illness, and in 1523, the 10th shogun, Yoshitane Ashikaga, died of illness.
In this way, Takakuni Hosokawa's political opponents disappeared, and a stable situation was created.

Takakuni Hosokawa's article continues

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