Nagayoshi Miyoshi (1/2)A man who preceded the three great heroes

Miyoshi Nagayoshi

Miyoshi Nagayoshi

Article category
Miyoshi Nagayoshi (1522-1564)
place of birth
Related castles

During the Muromachi period, the authority of the shogun declined after the Onin War. Meanwhile, the Kanrei Hosokawa family established the Ashikaga Shogun family and took control of politics. There was a man, Nagayoshi Miyoshi, who expelled the Hosokawa government and took control of Japan, centering on the Kinki region, ahead of Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Nagayoshi inherited the Miyoshi family at a young age and ousted the Hosokawa government, which lasted for over 30 years. This time, we will look at the life of Nagayoshi Miyoshi, who became a champion during the middle of the Sengoku period.

Miyoshi family and father Motonaga Miyoshi

The Miyoshi family, where Nagayoshi Miyoshi was born, originated from Miyoshi District, Awa Province (currently Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture). In the late Kamakura period, the name Miyoshi was found here and there in Awa Province, and in the Muromachi period, he served the Hosokawa Sanshu family (the shugo daimyo of Awa Province), which was a branch of the Hosokawa family, and then the Hosokawa Kitcho family, the main family. In this way, the Miyoshi family increased its presence in Awa and Sanuki, Shikoku (present-day Tokushima and Kagawa prefectures) while serving the Hosokawa family.

Nagayoshi's father, Motonaga Miyoshi, served Harumoto Hosokawa, the head of the Kitcho family. However, when Nagayoshi was about 10 years old, his father, Motonaga Miyoshi, was shunned by his lord, Harumoto Hosokawa, and was attacked by the Ikko Ikki, which was encouraged by Harumoto, and was forced to commit suicide. (Kyoroku Tenbun Rebellion)
Nagayoshi Miyoshi became the leader of the Miyoshi family at a young age.

Nagayoshi's birth and father's death

Nagayoshi Miyoshi was born in 1522 at Shiba Castle in present-day Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, as the eldest son of Motonaga Miyoshi, a senior vassal of Harumoto Hosokawa. His younger brothers were Miyoshi Mikyu, Ataka Fuyuyasu, Sogo Kazumasa, and Noguchi Fuyuunaga.
As mentioned earlier, in 1532, when Nagayoshi was 10 years old, his father Motonaga was forced to commit suicide. Nagayoshi, his mother, and younger brothers who were in Sakai were forced to flee by their father and fled to Awa Province, the main territory of the Miyoshi family.

By the way, the Ikko Ikki forced his father, Motonaga, to commit suicide, but after this, the Ikko Ikki no longer accepted orders from Harumoto Hosokawa and the Honganji Temple that he had been leading, and began to rampage on their own. As a result, Harumoto Hosokawa separated from Hongan-ji Temple and fell into a state of confusion that could not be brought under control. It was Nagayoshi Miyoshi who mediated the peace between Harumoto Hosokawa and Honganji Temple.
Because Nagayoshi (who was 11 years old at the time and whose childhood name was Senguma) was young, it is thought that his uncle Yasunaga Miyoshi (Motonaga Miyoshi's younger brother) acted as a mediator on his behalf; It will appear.

Immediately after this, he held his Genpuku ceremony and introduced himself as Magojiro Toshinaga. In the same year, he attacked the Ikko Ikki forces that had not agreed to peace and recaptured Koshimizu Castle in Settsu Province (a castle located in present-day Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture). The Miyoshi family's main residence was Awa Province in Shikoku, but Nagayoshi changed his residence to Koshimizu Castle and other castles in the Kinai region, but never returned to Shikoku during his lifetime. Miyoshi Nagayoshi returned to Hosokawa Harumoto here and became a military commander under his command.

Expansion of power

Miyoshi Nagayoshi served Harumoto Hosokawa. By the way, there is a member of the Miyoshi family who works as Harumoto's aide. This is Masanaga Miyoshi. Masanaga was given the magistrate position of Kawachi Province, which was originally given to Motonaga, Nagayoshi's father. In Tenbun 8 (1539), Nagayoshi pressed Harumoto to give himself the magistrate position that had been given to Masanaga, but this was not accepted. From here on, the relationship between Miyoshi Nagayoshi and Harumoto becomes strained. When Nagayoshi entered Kyoto with his soldiers, Harumoto evacuated to Kyoto and asked the feudal lords of various countries to help him personally. The Muromachi Shogunate was concerned about this situation and tried to mediate peace, but it was unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Nagayoshi was appointed by the Muromachi shogunate as the governor of Settsu, and expanded his power from Koshimizu Castle in Settsu Province (present-day northern Osaka Prefecture). In addition, Miyoshi's younger brother, Mikyu, strengthened his base in Awa Province, and his other younger brothers were also adopted by locals in Sanuki and Harima, and the Miyoshi family grew in strength.

Miyoshi Nagayoshi and Hosokawa Harumoto engage in skirmishes around Kyoto before making peace. If Harumoto Hosokawa, the kanrei, called out to him, the daimyo outside the Kinai region would join Harumoto, putting Nagayoshi at a disadvantage. As a result, although he made peace with Harumoto, the relationship between his lord, Harumoto Hosokawa, and Nagayoshi Miyoshi gradually deteriorated, such as by collecting taxes that ignored Harumoto.

Conflict with Harumoto Hosokawa

In 1548, Nagayoshi Miyoshi decided to subjugate Masanaga Miyoshi, who belonged to the same family and was a close aide to Kanrei Harumoto Hosokawa. It is thought that the reason was due to the scandal between Masanaga and his son Masakatsu Miyoshi, or because he learned that Masakatsu Miyoshi was behind the scenes when Nagayoshi's father, Motonaga Miyoshi, was forced to commit suicide by Harumoto Hosokawa. Miyoshi Nagayoshi appealed to Harumoto Hosokawa to subjugate Masanaga, but it was not accepted. Therefore, at a military council held at Koshimizu Castle, it was decided to part ways with Harumoto Hosokawa.

Miyoshi Nagayoshi raised an army and besieged Enonami Castle (present-day Joto Ward, Osaka City), where Masanaga Miyoshi's son Masakatsu was imprisoned. The following year, in the 18th year of Tenbun (1549), Harumoto Hosokawa, who came to Masaaki's aid, fought against Masanaga Miyoshi (the Battle of Eguchi) and defeated Masanaga Miyoshi. Harumoto Hosokawa and Masakatsu Miyoshi returned to Kyoto and fled to Omi Sakamoto with Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga and his eldest son Yoshiteru and his son. The Kanrei Hosokawa government was overthrown and the Miyoshi government was established.

Conflict with the Ashikaga Shogunate

Shogun Yoshiharu Ashikaga and his eldest son Yoshiteru are taken out by Harumoto Hosokawa, who has fled Kyoto. Yoshiharu Ashikaga died in 1550, the year after he escaped. From here on, Yoshiteru Ashikaga, who took over the position of shogun, had to fight with Nagayoshi Miyoshi to return to Kyoto. During this time, in the absence of the Shogun (Yoshiteru Ashikaga) and his butler Kanrei (Harumoto Hosokawa) in Kyoto, Nagayoshi maintained public order and took charge of political affairs.

For about eight years until 1558, Miyoshi Nagayoshi and Ashikaga Yoshiteru repeatedly fought and made peace. While fighting with this shogun, Miyoshi Nagayoshi seized Akutagawayama Castle (currently a castle in Takatsuki City, Osaka Prefecture) and moved his base from Koshimizu Castle to Akutagawayama Castle. Furthermore, he ordered his younger brothers such as Hisashi Matsunaga and Mikyu Miyoshi, who were his vassals, to invade the Kinai region, steadily expanding the area under his control and widening the gap between him and the shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga. When his younger brothers, including Mikyu Miyoshi, came to Kyoto from Shikoku leading troops, Yoshiteru Ashikaga's disadvantage became decisive. Yoshiteru Ashikaga made peace with Nagayoshi Miyoshi and returned to Kyoto. From then on, Nagayoshi took control of the Muromachi shogunate while appointing Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga, and steadily solidified the foundations of the Miyoshi system.

Reconciliation and prosperity with Yoshiteru Ashikaga

By the beginning of the Eiroku era (1558), the influence of the Miyoshi family extended from the western half of Kinai to the eastern half of Shikoku. It can be said that he was the biggest daimyo in Japan at the time.
In 1559, they advanced into Kawachi Province (present-day eastern Osaka Prefecture) and captured Takaya Castle and Iimoriyama Castle. Furthermore, he ordered Hisahide Matsunaga to advance into Yamato Province, and Hisahide took control of the northern half of Yamato Province.

The following year, in 1560, Miyoshi Nagayoshi moved his residence from Akutagawayama Castle to Iimoriyama Castle. Iimoriyama Castle is located on the current Mt. Iimori in Daito City, Osaka Prefecture, on the prefectural border between Osaka and Nara prefectures, and immediately to the north on the prefectural border with Kyoto prefecture. It is believed that this relocation of the castle was due to its proximity to Kyoto, which allowed it to control the Osaka plains, allowing it to keep an eye on Yamato Province. Until then, Akutagawa Yamashiro was handed over to his only biological son, Yoshioki. Yoshioki Miyoshi served close to Shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga. The move of the castle is also considered to be a preparation for the succession of the family headship to the eldest son, Yoshioki, who had a friendly relationship with the shogun.

In 1561, Miyoshi Nagayoshi invited the Shogun to his mansion in Kyoto and held a drinking party (Shogun Onari). By building a friendly relationship with the shogun, with whom he had often been in conflict, and making donations to the imperial court, he came under the influence of the Muromachi shogunate and the imperial court. Furthermore, the area under his control covered half of Kinai and Shikoku, and it was the moment when Nagayoshi Miyoshi, the ruler of Japan (at this time the ruler centered around Kinai), was at his peak.

The sunset of the Miyoshi family and the death of Nagayoshi

For a time, the Miyoshi family controlled the country centered on the Kinai region. However, the Miyoshi family's glory did not last long. In April of the 4th year of Eiroku (1561), his younger brother Kazumasa Sogo suddenly died. With the death of Izumi, who was based at Kishiwada Castle in Izumi Province, the control of Izumi Province began to waver.

The article by Nagayoshi Miyoshi 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