Motonaga Miyoshi (1/2)The military commander who put an end to the Hosokawa clan's civil war.

Motonaga Miyoshi

Motonaga Miyoshi

Article category
Motonaga Miyoshi (1501-1532)
place of birth
Related castles
Shozui Castle

Shozui Castle

During the Muromachi period, the authority of the shogun declined after the Onin War. Meanwhile, when Masamoto Hosokawa became the head of the Hosokawa family who could become Kanrei, the power of the Hosokawa family increased. However, Masamoto Hosokawa was assassinated. When Masamoto disappeared, his adopted children began to fight with each other. It was Motonaga Miyoshi who ended this battle that lasted more than 20 years. Let's take a look at Motonaga Miyoshi, who brought an end to the conflict in the first half of the Sengoku period.

Awa Province Miyoshi family and Miyoshinocho

The Miyoshi clan, where Motonaga Miyoshi was born, originated from Miyoshi District, Awa Province (currently Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture). In the latter half of the Kamakura period, the name Miyoshi can be found here and there in Awa Province, and in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, he served the Hosokawa Sanshu family (the shugo daimyo of Awa Province), a branch of the Hosokawa family.

A man named Yukinaga Miyoshi became the head of the Miyoshi clan. When the Onin War broke out, he joined the eastern army led by Katsumoto Hosokawa, the head of the Hosokawa Kitcho family, because he had served the Hosokawa family in Awa. Miyoshi no Naga fought in various places and demonstrated great power. For this reason, although he belonged to the Hosokawa Sanshu family, he was also included as a direct vassal of the main family, the Hosokawa Kiccho family. Miyoshiyonaga came to serve Hosokawa Masamoto, the son of Hosokawa Katsumoto.

On the other hand, he strengthened his position in Awa Province by abetting behind the scenes uprisings that occurred throughout the Kinai region and rebellions that occurred in Awa Province. He served Masamoto Hosokawa in the capital of Kyoto, and belonged to the Sanshu Hosokawa family in Awa Province, and Miyoshiyonaga expanded his power while taking some risky actions. This Yukinaga Miyoshi was Motonaga Miyoshi's grandfather.

Miyoshi no Naga and the Ryohosokawa Rebellion

Now, Motonaga Miyoshi's grandfather Yukinaga Miyoshi. Masamoto Hosokawa, whom Yukinaga Miyoshi served, was the head of the Kichicho family, the head family of the Hosokawa family. After the Onin War, Masamoto boasted so much power that he was called a ``half-shogun,'' replacing the Ashikaga shogunate, whose authority had declined.
However, Masamoto Hosokawa had no children to succeed him. There, the following three children were adopted.

  • Sumiyuki Hosokawa was adopted from the Kujo family.
  • Sumimoto Hosokawa was adopted from the Awa Hosokawa family.
  • Takakuni Hosokawa came from the Yasu family, a branch of the Hosokawa family.

The first of these to be adopted was Sumiyuki Hosokawa of the Kujo family. However, Masamoto Hosokawa regretted adopting children from outside the Hosokawa family, and later adopted Sumimoto and Takakuni as well. This is not amusing for Sumiyuki Hosokawa, his first adopted son, and his retainers. Sumiyuki's vassals considered using their strength to usurp the position of head of the Hosokawa family. Sumiyuki Hosokawa's vassals assassinated Masamoto Hosokawa (eternal confusion).

His second adopted son, Sumiyuki Hosokawa, fled Kyoto while being protected by Yukinaga Miyoshi and others. Two months later, Sumiyuki Hosokawa and Yukinaga Miyoshi, with the help of feudal lords from around the country, forced Sumiyuki Hosokawa and others who had assassinated Masamoto Hosokawa to commit suicide. Takakuni Hosokawa, the third adopted son, also supports Sumiyuki Hosokawa's appointment as head of the Kichicho family of the Hosokawa family. Sumiyuki Hosokawa supported the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga and assumed the position of Kanrei.

However, by gaining control of the shogunate government, samurai in Awa Province such as Yukinaga Miyoshi, who served Sumiyuki Hosokawa, gained more influence, which led to opposition from other members of the Hosokawa family and samurai in the Kinai region.

Then, when Masamoto Hosokawa was assassinated, there were some daimyo who saw this as an opportunity. This is Yoshioki Ouchi, the Shugo daimyo of Suo Province. Yoshioki Ouchi invaded Kyoto following the wandering tenth shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga. Takakuni Hosokawa and others who were dissatisfied with this invasion by the Ouchi family responded.

Sumiyuki Hosokawa, chased by Yoshioki Ouchi and Takakuni Hosokawa, was protected by Yukinaga Miyoshi and fled to Awa Province. From this point on, the Hosokawa family continued to fight for more than 20 years with the lineage of Sumiyuki Hosokawa, the second adopted son, and Takakuni Hosokawa, the third adopted son. In this battle, Yukinaga Miyoshi and his son Nagahide (Motonaga Miyoshi's father) died. When Yukinaga Miyoshi passed away, his grandson Motonaga Miyoshi succeeded the Miyoshi family.

Motonaga Miyoshi and Harumoto Hosokawa

Masamoto Hosokawa's second adopted son Sumimoto Hosokawa and third adopted son Takakuni Hosokawa. During the conflict between these two, Miyoshi Yukinaga, who served Sumimoto Hosokawa, died.

Miyoshi Yukinaga passed away and was succeeded by his grandson Motonaga (son of Miyoshi Yukinaga's eldest son, Nagahide Miyoshi). Sumimoto Hosokawa also passed away, and Sumimoto's son, Harumoto Hosokawa, announced himself as the successor of the Hosokawa Kiccho family and succeeded Sumimoto. Motonaga Miyoshi served Harumoto Hosokawa.

However, Hosokawa Takakuni supported the 10th shogun Yoshitane Ashikaga, and later the 12th shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga (the eldest son of the 11th shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga), and established a strong base in Kyoto. Both Harumoto Hosokawa and Motonaga Miyoshi, who served Harumoto, had difficulty leaving Awa Province.
In 1526, a rebellion broke out in Tanba Province (present-day Kameoka City and Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture) against Takakuni Hosokawa in Kyoto. Takakuni Hosokawa tried to suppress the rebellion in Tamba Province, but failed. The government of Takakuni Hosokawa begins to crack.
Harumoto Hosokawa and Motonaga Miyoshi, who were in Awa Province, Shikoku, saw this failure to subdue Tamba Province as an opportunity.
He supported Yoshitsugu Ashikaga, younger brother of the 12th Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga (second son of the 11th Shogun Yoshizumi Ashikaga, and father of the 14th Shogun Yoshihide Ashikaga), and raised an army in Awa Province.

Harumoto Hosokawa and Sakai Kubo

Motonaga Miyoshi helps Harumoto Hosokawa, who supported Yoshitsugu Ashikaga.
In 1526, Motonaga Miyoshi, who raised an army in Awa Province, crossed the sea and landed in Kinai. There, he passed the year, and the following year, in 1527, he joined up with the samurai who had rebelled in Tamba Province. Motonaga Miyoshi's allied forces marched toward Kyoto, expelling Hosokawa Takakuni and the 12th Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga from the capital. On the other hand, Takakuni Hosokawa repeatedly rose and fell with the help of the Rokkaku family in Omi and the Asakura family in Echizen.

Takakuni Hosokawa and Yoshiharu Ashikaga, the 12th Shogun, flee from the capital and return. The Muromachi Shogunate was no longer able to maintain a stable political system. There, Harumoto Hosokawa established a government centered on Yoshitsune Ashikaga. Ashikaga Yoshitsugu was called ``Sakai Kubo'' by court nobles in Kyoto because he had some of the shogunate magistrates who served the shogunate as his vassals, and he also issued documents like the Muromachi shogunate. . Harumoto Hosokawa and Yoshitsugu Ashikaga did not enter Kyoto, but instead issued instructions from Sakai to Kyoto and attempted to rule it under a new government.

The Imperial Court also recognized the existence of Yoshitsune Ashikaga. It was a precedent for the shogun of the Muromachi shogunate to appoint the heir to the family headship or his successor the official rank of Samadashira. This official position of Samadō will be given to Yoshitsune Ashikaga. In other words, the 12th shogun was Yoshiharu Ashikaga, who was supported by Takakuni Hosokawa, but the next shogun was Yoshitsugu Ashikaga, who was supported by Harumoto Hosokawa. There were now two governments in Kinai.

The feud between Motonaga Miyoshi and the Hosokawa family

In 1528, Motonaga Miyoshi rose up in Awa Province and fought in various places. Harumoto Hosokawa appreciated Motonaga's achievements and appointed him as the governor of Yamashiro Province. However, Harumoto Hosokawa's vassals were not amused by Motonaga Miyoshi's promotion. Motonaga Miyoshi gradually came into conflict with other vassals within the Sakai Kubo. As a result, Motonaga Miyoshi was withdrawn to Awa Province.

While Motonaga Miyoshi was confined in Awa Province, Takakuni Hosokawa, who supported the 12th Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga, made a comeback. Takakuni Hosokawa traveled around the country and with the help of feudal lords from various countries, advanced on Kyoto. Takakuni Hosokawa and the 12th Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga succeeded in recapturing Kyoto.

Battle between Motonaga Miyoshi and Nakajima

Hosokawa Takakuni, who supported the 12th Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga, recaptured Kyoto. Having succeeded in taking back Kyoto, Takakuni Hosokawa advances to Settsu Province (present-day northern Osaka) in an attempt to defeat the eyesore of the Sakai Kubo.

Motonaga Miyoshi'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