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Amako Tsunehisa




Amako Tsunehisa, Nihon no Eiyu Hyaku-Nin, P. 46

Amako Tsunehisa

Established in 1392, the Amako were relatively minor until the advent of the Ônin War, which allowed Tsunehisa to assume control of Izumo from his headquarters at Gassan-Toda Castle.

Tsunehisa was born in March 1458, the eldest son of Amako Kiyosada. Under Tsunehisa's leadership the Amako clan became powerful in Izumo and came into conflict with the Ouchi clan. Tsunehisa marched against them in 1518 and again in 1522. In the latter endeavor, Tsunehisa entered Aki and made Môri Motonari a vassal. Tsunehisa attempted to bring down Kanayama Castle, but, failing in his efforts, he withdrew in 1524. In 1527 the Amako and Ouchi clashed over the control of Bingo province.

When Tsunehisa's great rival, Ouchi Yoshioki, died in 1528, Tsuenhisa took the opportunity to expand Amako influence eastward and into Iwami, always an area of contention for it's valuable silver mines. His ambitions were tempered with the rebellion of his son Okihisa (? - 1534) in 1532 over inheritance issues. While Okihisa failed in his revolt and committed suicide in 1534, the Amako clan itself was left somewhat weakened. Soon after, Tsunehisa retired in favor of his grandson Akihisa (Haruhisa) but continued to make most important decisions.

A noted strategist and competent ruler overshadowed by later warlords, Tsunehisa left as his legacy the Kitsugi Grand Shrine in Izumo, which he had built in the 1530's.