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IMAGAWA UJITOYO

Kono Issatsu De [Sengoku Bushô] 101nin ga Wakaru!

101 Sengoku Warriors

By Tetsuo Owada
Published in Japan, 1997, P.52

 


IMAGAWA UJITOYO

A Man Absorbed in Japanese Renga Who Had Lost Too Many Castles

Imagawa Ujichika had six sons. his oldest son, Ujiteru would succeed him. his second son was Hikogoro, his third son became the chief priest of a buddhist temple. his fourth son became the chief priest of the toshodaiji temple, his fifth son Imagawa Yoshimoto joined the Zentoku-ji temple, but would eventually succeed Ujiteru. Ujitoyo was the 6th son.

The way in which ujitoyo sent his sons to temples is considered strange for a sengoku warlord. Ujichika sent his 3rd, 4th and 5th sons to temples. Questions still remain as to why ujichika sent those particular sons to become monks. It is also strange that his two oldest sons, whom he did not send to become monks, died young. Ujiteru died in 1536, at age 24, in the 3rd month, 17th day, as did Hikogoro - on the very same day. At this time, Ujitoyo was known as 'samanosuke', and was lord of nagoya castle in owari. it is said that Ujichika was the one who built nagoya castle at this location. owari was under the influence of the Oda. It is still somewhat of a mystery why the Imagawa, who had not yet even completely solidified its grasp on mikawa, would place a castle in owari province. However, in those times, by no means were the borders of the domains set in stone.

It is said the castle was built in 1525, the year before Ujichika died.

yoshimoto was born in 1519 - since Ujitoyo was the 'younger' brother, it is believed he was born in either 1520 or 1521, which would put him at 4 or 5 years old when he recieved Nagoya castle.

According to the records, ujitoyo took the daughter of shiba yoshimune, who was a Shugo living in Kiyosu, as his wife. It is said that Ujitoyo was matchless at Renga [linked] poetry. For one born into the 'culture' of the Imagawa, that was considered natural - however due to this love of japanese renga, he would lose a castle.

Around this time, ujitoyo's 'renga partner' was Oda nobuhide, of kaito district, shobata castle. Ujitoyo seems to have let his guard down, and nobuhide came to ujitoyo's castle many times. One day, while stopping over at Ujitoyo's castle for a game of renga, Nobuhide, who had brought a very small entourage, suddenly took the castle, in what can not be termed a 'battle' due to the small number of people involved. After that, Nobuhide's son Nobunaga became the lord of the castle untill age 22, when he moved to Kiyosu.