The Mizuno of Mikawa Province were descended from Minamoto Mitsumasa, a younger brother of Minamoto Mitsunaka. Mitsumasa's descendant Shigefusa settled in Owari Province, where the family would remain for many years. Shigefusa's son Shigekiyo assisted Minamoto Yoritomo in the Gempei War (1180-85) and would afterwards be moved to Mizuno in Owari. Shigekiyo's son Kiyofusa assumed the name Mizuno. During the sengoku period the Mizuno became involved in the often convoluted power struggle on the Tokai Coast, at various points supporting the Imagawa, Matsudaira, and Oda. They became a Tokugawa retainer family after 1560, only to later serve the Toyotomi. After the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) they were made daimyô by the Tokugawa.
Tadamasa was the son of Mizuno Kiyotada (also known as Mizuno Nobumasa) and held Kariaya Castle. His daughter became Matsudaira Hirotada's wife, which made Tadamasa a grandfather to Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Sons: Nobutomo, Tadashige, Tadamori
Shimotsuke no kami
Nobutomo was a son of Mizuno Tadamasa and was at first a Matsudaira retainer and held Kariya Castle. He sided with Oda Nobuhide in 1544 but eventually rejoined the Matsudaira. In 1576 Oda Nobunaga charged that Nobutomo had sold rice to Akiyama Nobutomo (a rival Takeda general) during the previous year's siege of Iwamura Castle in Mino Province and Tokugawa Ieyasu thus sent Hiraide Chikayoshi to kill him. His house was succeeded by his brother Tadashige.
Tokugawa, Oda, Toyotomi retainer
Izumi no kami
Tadashige was the son of Mizuno Tadamasa and succeeded his brother Nobutomo when the latter was killed on charges of treason in 1576. He served in many of Tokugawa Ieyasu's battles (including Anegawa, Mikatagahara, and Takatenjin) but became a retainer of Oda Nobuo after 1582 and served on his side in the Komaki Campaign (1584). He afterwards joined Toyotomi Hideyoshi and accompanied him in the Kyushu Campaign. He was murdered in 1600 just prior to the start of the Sekigahara Campaign by Kagai Hidemasa.
Sons: Katsushige, Tadakiyo
(Mizuno Tôjûrô, Mizuno Sôkyû)
Hyûga no kami
Katsushige was a son of Mizuno Tadashige. Considered something of an eccentric with a quick temper, Katsushige left the Mizuo’s home of Kariya Castle and wandered about for the first part of his career, serving under Sasa Narimasa in the Kyushu Campaign, then participating in the invasion of Korea. Even there he moved from place to place within the army, serving under both Konishi Yukinaga and Katô Kiyomasa. Following the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1598, Katsushige and the Mizuno began to drift back into the Tokugawa camp. In 1600 Katsushige declared for Tokugawa Ieyasu and later served him in the Osaka Summer Campaign (1615). He was afterwards made a daimyô at Koriyama in Yamato, later being transferred to Fukuyama in Bingo Province - worth 100,000-koku. He capped his unsual career with participation in the suppression of the Shimabara Rebellion and was succeeded by an adopted son, Katsutoshi.
The Mochizuki of Shinano Province claimed descent from the ancient Shigeno family and were once very powerful in Shinano. During the Muromachi Period their power ebbed and in the Sengoku Period, they came under the control of Takeda Shingen. Shingen's nephew Nobumasa was named as the head of the family and when the latter's own son was killed in 1582, the Mochizuki's 600-year history essentially came to an end.
Nobumasa was a younger son of Takeda Nobushige and a nephew of Takeda Shingen. He was present at the Battle of Nagashino and was killed in the fighting.
Son: Masayori (d.1582)
The Mogami of Dewa Province were descended from the Shiba family and were founded by Shiba Iekane's son Kaneyori; the Mogami increased their influence during the Sengoku Period and reached their peak after the Battle of Sekigahara; they were, however, to lose much of their wealth and influence due to the poor administration of Mogami Yoshitoshi in the early Edo Period.
Warlord of Dewa
Yoshimori was a son of Mogami Yoshiharu, who was a cousin of the lord of the Mogami, Yoshisada. When Mogami Yoshisada died without an heir in 1523, the 2-year old Yoshimori was chosen to succeed him. He ruled from Yamagata Castle and clashed with the Uesugi, Date, and numerous local houses to expand the Mogami domain. He supported Date Tanemune in the Tenbun no ran and his daughter Yoshiko was married to Date Terumune, father of the famous Masamune. In 1571 Yoshimori indicated that he wished to name a young son as his heir, bypassing Mogami Yoshiakira. A faction of retainers loyal to Yoshiakira intervened to place Yoshimori in confinement and force the succession of Yoshiakira.
Sons: Yoshiakira, Yoshitoki, Yoshihia, Yoshiyasu
Dewa no kami, Ukyô-daibu
Yoshiaki was the eldest son of Mogami Yoshimori and ruled from Yamagata Castle. From a young age he showed great promise as a military man: at the age of 16, says one story, he and his father were attacked by bandits and Yoshiakira drove them away single-handedly. Nonetheless, Yoshimori’s relations with his eldest son were poor and in 1571 Yoshimori planned to name a younger son, Yoshitoki, as heir. A group of Mogami retainers who favored Yoshiakira responded by murdering Yoshitoki and forcing Yoshimori to retire in favor of Yoshiakira. In 1575 those Mogami retainers who opposed his rule were destroyed and this purge made his position a solid one. He clashed repeatedly with the Date and Uesugi clans in the Shonai and Semboku areas and in 1584 destroyed the neighboring Tendô clan (who had supported Yoshitoki). In 1590 he submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi and later, in the hopes of securing his clan's future, sent his favorite daughter (Komahime) as a concubine of Toyotomi Hidetsugu. Komahime had just arrived in Kyoto when she was executed as part of Hideyoshi's destruction of Hidetsugu's family. Yoshiakira himself fell out of favor as a result of the affair and was said to have been enraged and grieved by the event, nursing a grudge against the Toyotomi that saw him drift towards Tokugawa Ieyasu. He sent his second son, Iechika, as a hostage to the Tokugawa and supported Ieyasu during the Sekigahara Campaign, where he assisted Date Masamune in containing the activities of Uesugi Kagekatsu. Afterwards the Mogami income was increased from 330,000 to 570,000 koku. Yoshiaki was later compelled to order his eldest son to commit suicide by Ieyasu, who perhaps desired the second son as heir.
Sons: Yoshiyasu, Iechika (Suruga no kami, 1582-1617), Yoshitada
The Moji of Dewa Province were descended from Nakahara Chikayoshi, a bureaucratic official for Minamoto Yoritomo, and founded by his grandson Chikafusa. They first resided in Shimôsa province, but moved to the Moji Peninsula of Buzen Province by Chikafusa after the mid-13th Century. They shared a common ancestor with the Ôtomo of Bungo Province and assisted the latter in their expansion into Chikuzen in the mid-13th century and supported the Southern Court during the Nambokucho Period. The Môji eventually came to serve the Ôuchi, and were loyal followers of that house during the Ônin War (1467-77). The Moji became involved in a considerable amount of fighting in the early stages of the Sengoku Period due to their strategic location. One branch went on to serve the Sô family while the clan as a whole dispersed. The Moji were noted for their cultural accomplishments, especially in the field of tanka poetry.
Norinari served the Hatano of Tanba Province and held Momii Castle. He was killed when his castle fell to the invading armies of the Oda family in 1576. He was also known as Môshô.
The Môri of Aki Province were descended from Ôe Hiromoto (1148-1225), a noted Minamoto retainer, and lived in Koriyama Castle (Yoshida) in Aki province from 1336 until Mori Terumoto moved to Hiroshima in 1593. The family initially acted as jitô and experienced a power struggle in the 1470's that saw the main Môri line absorb both it's branch families in Aki. They supported the Ôuchi during the Ônin War, although afterwards they often found themselves caught that clan and their rivals, the Amako. The Môri reached their height under the rule of Motonari, who absorbed both the Ôuchi (1557) and Amako (1566) domains and extended Môri holdings to Kyushu and influence throughout the Chugoku and were the backbone of the Kôno of Iyo Province on Shikoku. Their expansion on Kyushu was checked by the growing power of the Ôtomo, with whom they clashed at various points between 1557-1565. They lent aid to the Ishiyama Honganji complex in Settsu Province, besieged by the Oda, but under Terumoto faced the inexorable westward expansion of Oda Nobunaga, whose retainer Toyotomi Hideyoshi was poised on the borders of the Môri’s inner domain when Nobunaga was killed in 1582. They then became loyal and valuable supporters of Hideyoshi and were the most powerful family in western Japan under his rule. In 1600 they sided, however relucatantly, with Ishida Mitsunari and afterwards saw their domain and influence considerably reduced. Nonetheless, they remained a political force throughout the Edo Period.
Warlord of Aki
Toyomoto was the son of the first Môri Hiromoto. From 1461-62, he defeated Hatakeyama Yoshinari's army in Kawachi and Kii. In 1465, he dispatched troops to help Kobayakawa Hirohira when Oûchi Masahiro invaded his holdings. During the fall of the same year, Oûchi made a move to intervene in the war between the Hosokawa and Kawano clans. Toyomoto took action at the request of the Hosokawa, and blocked the Oûchi. In 1471, taking advantage of the confusion generated by the Ônin War, Toyomoto shifted his allegiance to the Ôuchi and came to serve Ôuchi Masahiro.
Warlord of Aki
Hiromoto was the eldest son of Môri Toyomoto and succeeded his father in 1476. He received the character 'Hiro' from Ôuchi Masahiro. He found himself threatened by the emerging Amako family of Izumo Province and so allied with Oûchi Yoshioki. He died on 13 February 1506.
Sons: Okimoto, Motonari, (Sôgô) Mototsuna (d.1523), (Kira) Narikatsu (d.1557)
Okimoto was a son of Môri Hiromoto and was first known as Kôchiyomaru. He was a vassal of Oûchi Yoshioki and clashed with the Takeda clan of Aki. It is believed that his death in September 1516 was due to alcohol abuse- possibly liver failure or some other alcohol-related illness.
Son: Kômatsumaru (d.1523)
Lord of Aki
Mutsu no kami
Motonari was a son of Môri Hiromoto and was born in May 1497 at Sarukake Castle. His childhood name was Shojumaru. He was named as guardian to his nephew Kômatsumaru, the son of his elder brother Okimoto. He defeated the local Takeda clan in 1517, an event which increased the local power of his family in Aki Province. In 1521 Amako Tsunehisa invaded Aki and Motonari defected from the Oûchi camp to join him. Tsunehisa made him responsible for taking Kagamiyama, which he accomplished in 1522. That same year he married the daughter of Kikkawa Kunitsune. In August of 1523 Kômatsumaru died of illness, at which point Motonari was named the new daimyô of the Môri clan. His promotion did not go unchallenged, and he uncovered a plot the following by a number of retainers who supported a younger brother, Mototsuna. He moved against the faction and Mototsuna was made to commit suicide. Motonari captured Fujitake Castle from the Takanashi in 1529, and was now one of the strongest families in Aki. He abandoned the Amako and returned to the Ôuchi, to whom he sent his eldest son Takamoto as a hostage.
In 1540 Amako Haruhisa attacked Koriyama but Motonari held out long enough for the Oûchi to send Sue Harukata in relief. Motonari joined Oûchi Yoshikata's effort to capture Gassan-Toda in 1542 and barely survived the retreat when the siege failed. Between 1540-1550, Motonari made a series of alliances with powerful Aki families (Kumagai, Murakami, and others) and in 1550 destroyed his retainer Inoue Motokane for treasonous behavior. He sealed his most important alliances that same year, when adoptions of his sons brought the Kikkawa and Kobayakawa firmly into his camp. These arrangements secured his dominance over Aki. He took no immediate action following the fall of Ôuchi Yoshitaka at the hands of Sue Harukata in 1551 but by 1554 felt confident enough to openly challenge Harukata. Although the Sue enjoyed a relative superiority in troop strength, Motonari tricked Harukata into executing the Sue’s important retainer Era Fusahide for treason and in 1555 lured Harukata’s army to Miyajima. Motonari then destroyed Harukata and his army in a surprise attack, in one stroke leaving the Sue-Ôuchi domain ripe for conquest.
Although Motonari had by then officially retired in favor of his son Takamoto, he was active in the clan's efforts to subdue the remaining Oûchi territories. Motonari attempted to expand into northern Kyushu, and clashed with the Ôtomo clan at Moji castle (Buzen province) on a number of occasions, starting in 1558. He sent gifts to the capital on the occasion of the Emperor Ogimachi's enthronement in 1559 and in return received various titles for Takamoto and himself (including the title Mutsu no kami), as well as official recognition as the lord of Aki, Nagato, and Suo. In 1563 the Môri turned against the Amako and began a campaign into Iwami and Izumo Provinces. That same year Takamoto died suddenly, forcing Motonari out of his semi-retirement. He directed the operation to capture Shiraga Castle in Izumo and by January of 1566 had forced the surrender of Gassan - Toda. Motonari passed on an expanive domain to his grandson Terumoto and died in 1571. In addition to having a reputation as a gifted and cunning strategist, Motonari was a poet and a patron of the arts. His grandson was destined to suffer the encroachment of Oda Nobunaga, whom Motonari had himself had distrusted. Motonari is considered one of the most skilled and formidable of the 16th Century daimyô.
Sons: Takamoto, (Kikkawa) Motoharu, (Kobayakawa) Takakage, (Hoida) Motokiyo, (Tomita) Motoaki, (Dewa) Mototomo (1555-1571), (Amano) Motomasa (1559-1609), (Kobayakawa) Hidekane
(Sôgô Shirô Motosuna)
Motosuna was a younger brother of Môri Motonari, though the two shared a different mother. Adopted into the Sôgô family, Mototsuna opposed Motonari's assumption of leadership of the Môri house in 1523. Though he gathered a number of notable Môri retainers to his cause, he was captured by Motonari and beheaded.
Lord of Aki
Bitchû no kami, Daizen-daibu
Takamoto was Môri Motonari's eldest son. He served as a hostage to the Oûchi clan in 1537 and married an adopted daughter of Ôuchi Yoshitaka. He returned to Aki in 1541 and became the official daimyô of the Môri in 1547, though his father continued to help direct the family from retirement. In 1560 Takamoto received the title Daizen-daibu with the blessing of the Court, a gesture in recognition of the Môri’s donations to the Court’s coffers. Takamoto was also named shugo of Aki Province and was made a member of the shôgun's private guard, the shôbanshû. On his way back from fighting the Ôtomo to lead the Môri campaign in Izumo Province he died suddenly while visiting Wachi Masaharu, forcing his father out of his semi-official retirement. Takamoto’s son Terumoto eventually succeeded him. No specific cause for Takamoto’s death other then illness was ever disclosed; however, his father was sufficiently suspicious of Wachi to have him murdered in 1568. Takamoto, a likable figure, was a man of culture and certain paintings by him survive.
Iyo no kami
Motokiyo was Môri Motonari's 4th son and was adopted into the Hoida Family. Although he was considered a competent commander he was overshadowed by his elder brothers. Given land in Bitchû Province, Motokiyo was active in the Môri's eastward expansion and was skilled in castle construction.
Motoaki was Môri Motonari's 5th son and was adopted into the Tomita family. He distinguished himself in the struggle with Yamanaka Shikanosuke in Izumo Province (1569-70).
Lord of Aki, Suo, Izumo, and Nagato
Terumoto was the son of Môri Takamoto and was known in childhood as Kotsumaru. His father died in 1563 and he became the daimyô of the Môri following the death of his grandfather Motonari in 1571. He struggled with the Ôtomo and expanded Môri influence in the Chugoku region, supporting the Ishiyama Honganji in its battle with Oda Nobunaga. Terumoto's navy was defeated in 1578 at the 2nd Battle of Kizawaguchi and the Môri lands were threatened on land by Nobunaga's army (lead by Hashiba/Toyotomi Hideyoshi). Terumoto’s conduct of the war with the Oda was indecisive and he never attempted to force a pitched open battle with the Oda forces driving into his sphere of influence. In 1582 Takamatsu Castle in Bitchû was surrounded by Hideyoshi's army and fell after being flooded. Terumoto readily signed a peace treaty offered by Hideyoshi, unaware that Oda Nobunaga had just been killed in Kyoto by Akechi Mitsuhide. After Hideyoshi assumed control of the former Oda lands, Terumoto honored the treaty and sent his uncles (Kobayakawa Takakage and Kikkawa Motoharu) to assist in the subjugation of Shikoku (1585). Môri troops also served in Hideyoshi's drive to conquer Kyushu (1587). Terumoto himself led 30,000 men in the 1st Korean Campaign (1592-93), though much of his time on the peninsula was spent fighting with Korean partisans. A number of letters he sent home from Korea survive as an insight into the daily conduct of the war there. Before Toyotomi Hideyoshi died in 1598, Terumoto was named one of the five regents tasked with keeping the peace until the young Toyotomi Hideyori could come of age. Of the five (which also included Tokugawa Ieyasu, Ukita Hideie, Meada Toshiie, and Uesugi Kagekatsu) Terumoto ranked second in strength behind Tokugawa with an annual income of nearly 1.2 million koku. When sides were drawn between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari, Terumoto at first wished to join Tokugawa but was convinced to do otherwise by Ankokuji Ekei. Terumoto was nominally appointed commander of the 'Western' forces and took up at Osaka Castle, but argued with Ishida Mitsunari and in the end Môri troops played little part in the actual battle of Sekigahara in October 1600. Terumoto surrendered Osaka Castle to Ieyasu and was allowed to return to Aki, though Ankokuji Ekei was executed. He saw his holdings reduced to 360,000 koku and was compelled to shave his head and become a monk. Terumoto was eventually succeeded by his son Hidenari. Although at one point one he was, relatively speaking, one of the most powerful men in Japan, Terumoto’s reputation has never approached that of his famous grandfather’s.
Sons: Hidenari, Naritaka (1602-1679))
Lord of Suo and Nagato
Nagato no kami
Hidenari was a son of Môri Terumoto, whom he succeeded. He resided at Hagi in Nagato Province and served at the Osaka Summer Campaign in 1615. He married a daughter of Tokugawa Hidetada.
Iyo no kami, Kai no kami
Hidemoto was the eldest son of Môri Motokiyo and was Môri Terumoto's cousin. He governed Suo and Nagato Provinces and was an important member of the Môri hierarchy. He served in the Odawara Campaign (1590) and participated in the invasion of Korea. He joined Terumoto in supporting Ishida Mitsunari in 1600 and led a force that brought down Annotsu Castle in the opening moves of the Sekigahara Campaign. At the Battle of Sekigahara he personally commanded a 15,000 man unit positioned on Mt. Nangû and was willing to offer battle. Kikkawa Hiroie, however, was positioned to his front, and had, unbeknownst to Hidemoto, decided not to challenge the Tokugawa. Kikkawa would not move, and as Hidemoto was blocked, the latter was unable to lend his weight to the Western army and retreated without fighting. His personal fief was later reduced by the Tokugawa to 50,000 koku.
The Môri of Owari Province served the Oda during the latter half of the sengoku period. There has been speculation that they were related to the Môri of western Japan, although no direct link has yet been established.
Yoshikatsu served Oda Nobunaga and won a name for himself by taking the head of Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama. He was assisted in this by Hattori Haruyasu, who was badly injured in the incident and died shortly afterwards. Yoshikatsu went on to serve Nobunaga as an attendant and orderly. In 1582, immediately following the death of Nobunaga at the hands of Akechi Mitshuhide, Yoshikatsu was killed fending off Akechi troops at Nijô.
Hideyori was the second son of Shiba Yoshiyori. He served Oda Nobunaga at the Battle of Okehazama (1560) and in the siege of the Ishiyama Honganji. After the fall of the Takeda in 1582 he was established at Takatô Castle in Shinano Province. When the former Takeda retainers rebelled after Nobunaga’s death, Hideyori fled to Owari Province. He entered the service of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and participated in the Komaki Campaign (1584), the invasion of Kyushu (1587), and the siege of Odawara (1590). He was afterwards awarded Iida in Shinano Province.
The Mori of Owari Province became retainers of the Oda around 1555 and afterwards enjoyed the favor of Oda Nobunaga.
Saitô, Oda retainer
Yoshinari was the eldest son of Mori Yoshiyuki. He is said to have first served the Saitô of Mino, though this period of his life is hazy. Around 1555 he became a retainer of Oda Nobunaga and may have been present for Nobunaga's capture of Kiyosu Castle that same year. A veteran of Iwakura (1558) and Okehazama (1560), he assisted Nobunaga in his campaign against Saito Tatsuoki and in the course of it was established at Kanayama Castle (1565). He led his men with Nobunaga to Kyoto in 1568, along the way participating in the attack on the Rokkaku’s Kannonji Castle. He was established at Usayama Castle in Ômi Province (near Ôtsu) along with Oda Nobuharu and some 4,000 men. In September of 1570, Usayama was attacked by an Asai and Asai army of 30,000 men. Yoshinari and his eldest son, along with Nobuharu, fell in the fighting.
Sons: Yoshitaka (1552-1570), Nagayoshi, Ranmaru, Nagataka (1566-1582), Nagauji (1567-1582), Tadamasa
Oda, Toyotomi retainer
Musashi no kami
Nagayoshi was the second son of Mori Yoshinari and the son-in-law of Ikeda Nobuteru. He was given Kaneyama Castle in Mino on the event of his father's death in battle. While in the service of Oda Nobunaga he was often under the command of Oda Nobutada, Nobunaga's eldest son. He fought at Nagashima in 1574 and was with Nobutada at the 1582 reduction of the Takeda's Takatô Castle in Shinano Province. Immediately afterwards he pressed onward without permission and took a number of castles in Shinano before entering Kazu Castle in Kai, which he set about fortifying. For his efforts he was awarded a fief in Shinano worth some 100,000 koku. He was however forced to withdraw from the province after the death of Nobunaga and took up in Mino with his relatives, the Ikeda. He was under the command of Ikeda Nobuteru in the 1584 Komaki Campaign and joined him on a flanking move designed to force Tokugawa Ieyasu’s retreat from Owari Province. Confronted by Tokugawa forces at Nagakute, he rode at the head of his men and was shot and killed.
Ranamru was the third son of Mori Yoshinari and was born at Kanayama Castle in Mino. In his youth he became a favored page of Oda Nobunaga, who was impressed by the boy's bearing and intelligence. While named the lord of Iwamura Castle in Mino in 1582, he was at the side of Oda Nobunaga when the latter was attacked by Akechi troops at the Honnoji Temple in June 1582. Ranmaru is thought to have assisted Nobunaga in committing suicide before perishing, though this is impossible to know for certain. Two of Ranmaru's younger brothers, Nagataka and Nagauji, were also Nobunaga's pages and died at the Honnoji as well.
(Hashiba Tadamasa, Toyotomi Tadamasa)
Tadamasa was the sixth son of Mori Yoshinari and succeeded his elder brother Nagayoshi after the latter's death in 1584. He was given special honors by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to increase his prestige in Mino Province, including use of the names Hashiba and Toyotomi. During the Sekigahara Campaign he joined the army under Tokugawa Hidetada and was present for the abortive siege of Ueda Castle in Shinano. In 1603 he was transferred from Mino to Mimasaka Province, where he received Tsuyama and an income of 185,000 koku.
MORI (MÔRI) (Ômi)
The Mori of Ômi Province were founded by the third son of Rokkaku Mitsutsuna - Takahisa, who was established in Namazue Castle in Ômi Province in the 14th Century. The Mori served the Rokkaku into the 16th Century, until the latter were defeated by Oda Nobunaga between 1568-1570. They afterwards attached themselves to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Though they sided with Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600), they survived as daimyô into the Edo Period. They became known as the Môri during the time of Mori Takamasa.
Ise no kami, Minbu-shôsuke
Takamasa served Toyotomi Hideyoshi and after returning from service in Korea received Saeki in Bungo Province (60,000 koku). He sided with Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign and afterwards had his income reduced to 20,000 koku.
Torasada was a son of Takeda Nobumasa and Takeda Shingen's great-uncle. He was held in high regard by both Takeda Nobutora and Shingen, but was killed in the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima while serving in Shingen’s headquarters.
Warlord of Tosa
Shigetoki was the son of Motoyama Yasuaki and after assuming control of the family established himself at Asakura Castle. An erstwhile ally of the Chosokabe, he was came to blows against that family in 1556. He held his own against Chosokabe Kunichika but was defeated by Chosokabe Motochika near Asakura Castle in 1562. Shigetoki, who was married to Kunichika's eldest daughter, afterwards submitted.
Kitabatake, Takeda retainer
Masatsuna was at first a retainer of the Kitabatake of Ise but came to serve the Takeda of Kai, who gave him a castle in Suruga Province. After the fall of the Takeda he entered the service of Tokugawa Ieyasu and commanded ships in the 1590 Odawara Campaign.
Tenka shoshidai (Governor of the Realm), Nagato no kami
Sadakatsu served Oda Nobunaga in a largely administrative capacity, being named the chief administrator of Kyoto in 1573. Prior to this he had occasionally acted as a mediator between Oda Nobunaga and Ashikaga Yoshiaki when the two were feuding. He also assisted with the construction of Azuchi Castle. In 1582, when Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled, Sadakatsu found himself at Nijô in Kyoto with Oda Nobutada. When Akechi surrounded the palace, Sadakatsu committed suicide. His daughter was the wife of Sasa Narimasa.
The Murakami of Shinano Province were descended from Minamoto Yorinobu (948-1048), whose great-great grandson Tamekuni adopted the name Murakami. They supported the Minamoto cause in the Gempei War (1180-85) and, later, the Southern Court in the Nambochuko Period. During the first half of the sengoku period the Murakami were a powerful daimyô family in Shinano Province. They became involved in a long war with the Takeda and had by 1553 been driven from their lands. They took up in Echigo Province with the Uesugi and remained with that family into the Edo Period.
Suo no kami
Yoshikiyo was the son of Murakami Yorikuni and succeeded in 1518. He resided at Katsurao Castle and was one of the more powerful Shinano daimyô, with his influence extending over the northern half of the province. He banded with the Suwa, Ogasawara, and Kiso to slow the advance of the Takeda of Kai. Defeated at Sezawa, Murakami dealt Takeda Shingen a sharp blow at Uedahara in 1548, a battle in which Murakami employed a number of arquebuses of uncertain origin (since the arquebus had only been introduced to Japan a few years previously, and in Kyushu, some scholars have speculated that Yoshikiyo was using weapons of Chinese manufacture, although this does not seem any less improbable). Yoshikiyo, a capable soldier, defeated Shingen again at Toishi in 1550 but became isolated by successive defeats suffered by his allies. He lost Katsurao in 1553 and with Ogasawara Nagatoki and others appealed to Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) of Echigo Province for assistance. He was established in Echigo and was active in the battles around Kawanakajima, becoming one of Kenshin's most trusted generals. Kenshin, however, would not be in a position to restore Yoshikiyo's fief to him due to the strength of the Takeda. Yoshikiyo died at Nechi Castle in Echigo in 1573.
Sons:Kunikiyo, (Yamaura) Kagekuni
Niwa, Toyotomi, Tokugawa retainer
Yoshiakira was a grandson of Murakami Yoshikiyo. He came to serve Niwa Nagahide and later Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He was established at Honjô in Echigo in 1596 and was later named as a counsellor to Tokugawa (Matsudaira) Tadateru (who was given a huge fief in Echigo in 1610). When Tadateru was stripped of his domain for allegedly plotting against the shôgun, Yoshiakira lost his lands as well. He was sent to Tamba Province, where he died.
The Murakami of western Japan were well-known as pirates of the Inland Sea that generated income by collecting tolls and various fees on shipping. They were composed of three branches, each with their own base of operations, and by 1550 were allied to the Môri. They provided the bulk of the Môri's naval power and thus were key in establishing the Môri's domination of the Inland Sea, which lasted from around 1555-1576. One branch of the Murakami was well-established in coastal Iyo Province and was connected to the Kôno family.
Yamato no kami
Takeyoshi was a son of Murakami Yoshitada. A veteran of the Môri victory at Miyajima in 1555 he became the commander of the Môri's navy and defeated Oda naval forces at the First Battle of Kizawaguchi (1576). In the Second Battle of Kizawaguchi, however, Takeyoshi's fleet was overcome by heavy warships built specifically to cut the naval supply lines to the Ishiyama Honganji. He nonetheless went on to command ships in the 1st Korean Campaign. Takeyoshi was technically subordinate to Kobayakawa Takakage and retired after the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1598. He passed away on Oshima (near Suo Province) in 1604. Both Takeyoshi's first and second wives were daughters of Kurushima Michiyasu. His eldest son Motoyoshi was killed by Eastern forces during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600).
Son: Motoyoshi (d.1600)
Yoshitaka was a son-in-law of Kôno Michiyoshi. He lost his castle in 1572 to the Miyoshi and in 1580 defied the leadership of Kono Michinao. As a result he was attacked by a force of Kôno retainers and allies and committed suicide.
Naoyoshi was a trusted retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Toyotomi Hideyoshi is said to have been so impressed by him that he invited Naoyoshi to enter his service, to which the latter refused. At the outset of the Sekigahara Campaign he was sent to Kiyosu Castle to alert the pro-Tokugawa lords in the area to the start of Ieyasu's movements.
copyright 2005 F. W. Seal