Norimasa Uesugi (1/2)Kanto Kanrei

Norimasa Uesugi

Norimasa Uesugi

Article category
Norimasa Uesugi (1523-1579)
place of birth
Gunma Prefecture
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During the Sengoku period, there was a feudal lord who was at the mercy of Takeda Shingen of Kai and Ujiyasu Hojo of Izu, Norimasa Uesugi, Kanto Kanrei. Norimasa Uesugi was appointed Kanto Kanrei, an assistant to the Kamakura Kubo that ruled the Kanto region, but was forced to flee from the Kanto region due to pressure from surrounding daimyo. He then asked Kagetora Nagao (Kenshin Uesugi) of Echigo for help, and eventually handed over the name of Uesugi to Kagetora Nagao. This time, we will look at Kanto Kanrei Norimasa Uesugi, who was at the mercy of the feudal lords of Kanto and Koshinetsu.

What is the Uesugi family?

The Uesugi family produced Norimasa Uesugi.
The rise of the Uesugi family began with Shigefusa, the second son of Fujiwara Kiyofusa, who was born into the Fujiwara Kita family at the end of the Heian period. Shigefusa was given the Uesugisō, Iruka District, Tanba Province (near present-day Uesugi-cho, Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture), so he changed from the Fujiwara surname to the Uesugi surname and began calling himself Uesugi Shigefusa, marking the beginning of the Uesugi family.

Shigefusa's eldest son, Yorishige Uesugi's daughter Kiyoko, married Sadao Ashikaga. The son of Tadauji Ashikaga and Kiyoko was Takauji Ashikaga, who founded the Muromachi Shogunate. In other words, Takauji Ashikaga, who founded the Muromachi Shogunate, and the Uesugi family were related.

Now, Takauji Ashikaga started the Shogunate. Takauji established Kamakurafu in Kamakura to rule the Kanto region. Takauji's fourth son, Motouji Ashikaga, was the head of Kamakura Prefecture (Kamakura Kubo or Kamakura-dono) and ruled over 10 countries in the Kanto region (Sagami, Musashi, Awa, Kazusa, Shimousa, Hitachi, Ueno, Shimotsuke, Izu, and Kai). became.

Noriaki Uesugi (Yorishige Uesugi's grandson and Takauji Ashikaga's maternal cousin) was chosen to assist the Kamakura Kubo. The Kanto Kanrei was placed in a position to assist the Kamakura Kubo, similar to the Kanrei who supported the shogun and managed political affairs in Kyoto. Noriaki Uesugi assumed the post of Kanto Kanrei, and the Uesugi family continued to serve from here on. The Uesugi family has been appointed Kanto Kanrei. Since the Uesugi family set up a mansion in the mountains of Kamakura, it came to be called Yamauchi Uesugi. On the other hand, in the middle of the Muromachi period, Ogidani Uesugi separated from Yamauchi Uesugi and expanded its power with the support of Ota Dokan. This head family, Yamauchi Uesugi and Ogidani Uesugi, have been in conflict for many years.

Furthermore, the Yamauchi Uesugi family had a feud with the Kamakura Kubo. Kanto is divided into three parties: Yamauchi Uesugi, Ogidani Uesugi, and Kamakura Kubo. Norimasa Uesugi was born into the Yamauchi Uesugi family, the head family.

Birth and the Kanto Kyoroku civil war

In 1523, Norimasa Uesugi was born as the son of Norifusa Uesugi, Kanto Kanrei. However, when Kensei was 3 years old, his father, Kensei, passed away. Kensei is a young man, not even old enough to succeed him. Therefore, Norihiro Uesugi, the son of Kamakura kubo Takamoto Ashikaga, who had been adopted by Kensei before his birth, became the head of Yamauchi Uesugi's family. However, about five years later.

In 1531, a conflict broke out among the Kamakura Kubo (now called Koga Kubo). During this process, Norimasa Uesugi was supported by his vassals and rebelled against the head of the family, Norihiro Uesugi. As a result, Norimasa Uesugi became the head of the Yamauchi-Uesugi family and Kanto Kanrei. (Kanto Kyoroku civil war)

The feud between Norimasa Uesugi and surrounding daimyo

Now, Norimasa Uesugi, who has become Kanto Kanrei, will now have to face a formidable enemy. The first is the Takeda family, the guardian daimyo of Kai, located in the west of Kanto. In Tenbun 10 (1541), Takeda Nobutora (father of Takeda Shingen), the head of the Takeda family, invaded the Shinano prefecture adjacent to Ueno Province (present-day Gunma Prefecture). Munetsuna Unno, the feudal lord of Oken-gun, asked Norimasa Uesugi for help, and Norimasa dispatched troops and succeeded in making peace.

Next is the Gohojo family in Izu Province and Sagami Province (present-day Kanagawa Prefecture) located in the south of Kanto. The Hojo family often advanced into Musashi Province (near present-day Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture) and defeated the Uesugi family's army. Norimasa Uesugi viewed Ujiyasu Hojo as extremely dangerous. The sense of crisis remains in its form.In 1542, Norimasa Uesugi placed a prayer letter vowing to annihilate the Hojo clan at Kashima Shrine in Hitachi Province, a prayer book of determination. A plan to eliminate the Hojo family is then put forward.

Defeat at Kawagoe Night Battle

The Hojo family was a headache for Norimasa Uesugi. By the way, Ujiyasu Hojo, the head of the Hojo family, also had enemies on all sides.

It was Tenbun 14 (1545). Hojo Ujiyasu had a territorial dispute with his neighbor to the west, the Imagawa clan. In July, the Imagawa family presented a peace proposal to the Hojo family, but Ujiyasu rejected it. Therefore, the Imagawa family plotted with Norimasa Uesugi to pincer the Hojo family from the east and west. In late July, the Imagawa family invaded the Hojo family. Surprised by this, Ujiyasu Hojo moved his army to confront the Imagawa clan in the west.

In September, Norimasa Uesugi invaded from Kanto, east of the Hojo clan. At this time, Kensei repaired relations with Tomosada Uesugi, the head of Ogidani Uesugi, who had been his old enemy, and also embraced Haruuji Ashikaga, Kamakura Kubo (Koga Kubo), who was close to Hojo. Due to the prestige of Kamakura Kubo and Kanto Kanrei, surrounding daimyo and nationals gathered under Norimasa Uesugi and others, and it is said that there were between 80,000 and 100,000 of them. Norimasa Uesugi besieged the Hojo family's Kawagoe Castle with this large army.

What surprised Ujiyasu Hojo was that if things continued like this, he would be invaded from the east and west, and there would be no one left. Ujiyasu asked the Takeda family of Kai Province to mediate, and they ceded territory to the Imagawa family and made peace. The Hojo family at least resolves the problem with the Imagawa family to the west. In 1545, he withdrew his troops from the Imagawa family and returned to Odawara.

As the new year dawns, Ujiyasu heads to Kawagoe Castle, which is surrounded by 8,000 soldiers, to help. However, Kawagoe Castle is surrounded by tens of thousands of soldiers. Also, Norimasa Uesugi and Haruji Ashikaga were relieved that they had a large army. The following year, in April 1546, Hojo Ujiyasu asked Norimasa Uesugi for peace. Talks were going smoothly, and the night just before the conclusion of the agreement, peace would be concluded. The Hojo family launches a night attack on the main camp in Uesugi. The Uesugi side was panicked by this sudden attack, and the soldiers who had surrounded Kawagoe Castle broke into pieces and fled. Norimasa Uesugi also risked his life to escape from the soldiers of the Hojo family and fled to Hirai Castle, Ueno Province. (Night Battle of Kawagoe) In this way, Norimasa Uesugi, the Kanto Kanrei, rapidly lost power.

Escape from Kanto

Norimasa Uesugi fought against Ujiyasu Hojo in the night battle of Kawagoe and was defeated. Hirai Castle has been blocked, but there will be further attacks. In 1547, he took part in a conflict in Saku District, Shinano Province (present-day northern Nagano Prefecture), and suffered a crushing defeat against Takeda Shingen. As a result, vassals of the Yamauchi-Uesugi family, feudal lords from the Kanto region, and nationals began to descend on the Hojo clan in Izu. Norimasa Uesugi, Kanto Kanrei, was forced into a corner.

In 1552, when Mitake Castle in Musashi Province (present-day Kanagawa Prefecture) fell, Hirai Castle, where Kensei was located, was also exposed to the threat of the Hojo army. In response to this, the vassals around the Kensei government panicked and descended on the Hojo family. Kensei was forced to vacate Hirai Castle. In March of the same year, Hirai Castle fell, and Kenmasa fled to Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) in Echigo Province.

Entry into Echigo and invasion of Kanto

Norimasa Uesugi, who was chased by the Hojo family and left Kanto, entered Echigo Province and received the protection of Kagetora Nagao (later Kenshin Uesugi). Therefore, Norimasa adopted Kagetora Nagao into the Uesugi family.

The article by Norimasa Uesugi 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.
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