老教流転 ---Community-Based English Learning---

2018-02-26 Pirates in Eastern Provinces

The Kuki Sea Forces

The Kuki Clan’s origin is not so clear. Its families used to live in and be based in Kuki Bay in Kii Province. It means that they used to be one of Kumano Sea Forces.

Kuki Takayoshi (?-?) was the second son of Takamasa (?-?), and became an adopted son-in-law in the Kawamo Family in Namikiri Village, Shima Province, supposedly in the late 14th century.

Kuki Yasutaka (?-?) was Takayoshi’s great grandson, and Yasutaka’s eldest son was Sadataka (?-1551). Kuki Yoshitaka was born as Sadataka’s third son while Yasutaka was still the head of the family.

Sadataka died in 1551, and his eldest son, Kiyotaka (?-1560), succeeded the family headship. At the time, 13 local samurai families were fighting one another, and 7 of them allied to fight against the Kuki Family, supported by Kitabatake Tomonori (1528-1576), the ruler of Ise Province.

As Kiyotaka was based in Tashiro Castle, Yoshitaka defended the castle with him. The fight dragged on for years, and Kiyotaka died of an illness in 1560. His son, Sumitaka (?-1584), succeeded the family headship, but was still just 8 years old. Yoshitaka assisted Sumitaka, but lost to the 7 families, and escaped into Mt. Asakuma, a sacred mountain in the province. Later, Yoshitaka is said to have crossed Ise Bay to Mikawa Province and contacted Takigawa Kazumasu (1525-1586), one of the vassals of Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), who was gaining momentum after his victory over the Imagawa Clan in the Battle of Okehazama in 1560.

In 1568, Nobunaga started invading Ise Province, fighting against its ruler, Kitabatake Tomonori. During the invasion, Yoshitaka headed sea forces, attacked Oyodo Fortress in Taki County along Ise Bay, and occupied it.

In 1569, the peace talk between Oda and Kitabatake were concluded, and Tomonari adopted Nobunaga’s second son, Nobukatsu (1558-1630), marrying Tomonari’s daughter, Yukihime (?-?), to Nobukatsu.

After Kitabatake’s practical surrender to Oda, Yoshitaka kept fighting against the local samurai families in Shima Province, defeating them one by one, while he also fought for Nobunaga in the Third Siege of Nagashima in 1574, in the First Battle of Kidu River Estuary in 1576, and the Second Battle of Kidu River Estuary in 1578.

In 1582, Nobunaga had to kill himself in the Honno-ji Incident. In the confusion after Nobunaga’s death, Yoshitaka was said to be admitted as the ruler of Shima Province sometime between 1582 and 1584. But by whom? It is not clear. Sumitaka, his nephew and the head of the family at the time, is said to have died of an illness sometime between 1582 and 1584, too.

Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) heavily lost to the sea forces of the Mori and Kono Clans in the First Battle of Kidu River Estuary in July, 1576. In June and November, 1578, however, he fought against the sea forces of the Mori Clan and the Soga people again, which ended as his overwhelming victory. Let’s see how the Kuki Sea Forces contributed to Nobunaga’s final victory, comparing two entries about the two naval battles from the Biography of Lord Nobunaga.

“They stopped our ships, and shot many earthenware explosives to burn the ships down. We were heavily outnumbered, and lost veteran samurais such as Manabe Sadatomo, Numa Iga, Numa Den’nai. Western forces won a victory in the battle, shipped military provisions into Osaka Hongan-ji Temple, and sailed their forces back to the western provinces.”

The first quotation describes how the naval battle in July, 1576, was fought. In the battle, the sea forces of the Mori and Kono Clans, whose de facto main force was the Murakami Clan, surrounded Oda sea forces, threw in many earthenware explosives, and burnt down Oda’s ships and boats. The tactics to cut off each enemy ship from others by surrounding them with small fast boats and to attack with earthenware explosives used to be common in the Seto Inland Sea battles. An earthenware explosive was a round fire bomb which had black powder and iron pieces or lead balls in it which was covered with earthenware. The earthenware explosives were popularly used from the Warring States Period till Shoku-Ho Era. Later, even small rockets with 3 plumes which were fired with guns, cannons, or wooden cylinders came to be employed. The explosive powder in their tips exploded when they stroke ships.

Oda sea forces were severely beaten by the sea forces of the Mori and Kono Clans, and could not stop the enemy’s shipping military provisions into Osaka Hongan-ji Temple.

After the first battle, Nobunaga ordered the Kuki Clan to build armored ships. The armored ships were to be armored with iron plates to shield the enemy attacks with earthenware explosives and guns.

Another quotation about the Second Battle of Kidu River Estuary in June and November, 1578, tells us that, in June, the armored ships which had sailed to Osaka Bay via the Sea of Kumano-nada encountered the besieging enemy sea forces from Soka and Tan’nowa which were shooting arrows and guns, but defeated them with big guns.

“On June 26, in the 6th year of Tensho, our ships sailed out to the Sea of Kumano-ura, sailed to Osaka. They rowed numerous boats out of Soga, Tan’nowa and as such against our big ships off Tan’nowa. They shot arrows and guns, and pressed attacks on us from all sides. Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600), who had decorated the 7 ships like mountains, fought restrictively first, waited for the enemy boats to come closer, then fired big guns all at once, and destroyed many of the enemy boats. Afterward, the enemy boats could hardly find ways to approach our ships, and we could easily sail to Sakai on July 17.

Those big guns showed their power in November as well to defeat the sea forces of the Mori and Kono Clans, whose de facto main force was the Murakami Clan.

“On November 6, more than 600 ships and boats from western provinces advanced to Kidu areas. Kuki Yoshitaka intercepted the enemy ships and boats. They besieged our ships, sailing southward, and fought a sea battle from 8 in the morning till around noon. Kuki seemed to be having a hard battle at first, but, having many big guns in their 6 ships, waited for the enemy ships and boats to come closer, and fired the guns to the enemy flagship to strike it down. They became panicked and couldn’t approach ours any more. Kuki finally drove hundreds of the enemy ships and boats into Kidu Estuary, and all the audience praised Kuki Yoshitaka for his military exploits.”

Just 2 years witnessed a big change in navy battles; from throwing in earthenware explosives to shooting big guns. The armored ships were not only armored with iron plates to shield the enemy attacks of shooting arrows and guns. The Correspondences of the Society of Jesus in Japan also reported that the ships were also equipped with 3 cannons. We may well call them battleships with heavy guns.

Kano Mitsunobu (1565-1608), a painter of the Kano school, one of the most famous schools of Japanese painting, painted Nagoya Castle in Hizen on a byobu with 6 panels in detail years later. The castle was a base to sally forth to Korean Peninsula at the time. The byobu represents armored ships as well with two-storied or three-storied donjons on top of them.

Those donjons might have been spaces for a commander, and symbols of authority and power. The ships had sails, but was usually driven with oars. Small-sized armored ships were said to have 50 oars, while big-sizes to have more than 150 oars. They were equivalent to ships with 75-300 of net tonnage, and were equipped with heavy guns, and were crenelated.

The structure of the armored ships suggests that they could not sail so fast. They went to battles with small fast boats guarding them. In terms of modern navy battles, an armored ship fought as a battleship, a medium-sized boat as a cruiser, and a small boat as a destroyer. Navy battles were definitely changing, and surpassing in firepower was coming to play more decisive roles than maneuverability, which the Murakami Clan was good at. Big ships with a high-rise building on top of them and with a lot of guns to shoot from there at enemy ships and boats were opening a new era on the sea as well. I just wonder how much iron they should have imported to meet the need.


The Saji Sea Forces

In Ancient Japan, the term “Eastern Provinces” meant those east to the Suzuka Mountain Range. It means Owari, Ise, and Shima Provinces all belonged to Eastern Provinces. In contrast to pirates in Western Provinces, such as the Murakami Clan in the Seto Inland Sea, we can scarcely find famous pirates in the East. Even Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600) in Shima Province, who was famous as a pirate warlord at the time, was a descendant of Kumano Sea Forces in Kii Province, which used to belong to Nan-kai-do, literally South Sea Lane Region.

However, let me introduce some sea forces in Eastern Provinces so as that you would not believe there used to be no sea forces or pirates in Eastern Japan.

According to a half-legendary story, Taira Narikuni (?-?) was the son of Koretoki (?-?) and the younger brother of Naokata (?-?), and he came to live in Saji, Koga County, Omi Province in 1062. Since then, his family called themselves Saji. In 1470’s, Saji Tametsugu (?-?), the head of the family at the time, sent his third son, Tametsuna (?-?), to Chita County, Owari Province, to answer the request from Isshiki Yoshiharu (1466-1484), who belonged to a branch family of the Isshiki Clan, which was struggling to cling to the power at the time. Tametsugu served Yoshiharu in the county.

The 7th head of the Isshiki Clan, Mitsunori (1368-1409), was additionally appointed as the guardian samurai of Chita County in 1392. When Isshiki Yoshitsuna (1400-1440) was the head of the clan, the clan started its downfall. Yoshinao (?-?), who belonged to one of the branch families, abandoned Mikawa Province, which was just east to Owari Province. It is not clear what he did with Chita County. Yoshihide (?-1498), the head of the clan at the time, had to commit suicide, facing the rebellion of samurais in Tango Province, the clan’s base province. His younger brother, Yoshito (?-?), abandoned Chita County, and went back to Tango, to have his son, Yoshiari (1487-1512), succeed the head of the clan.

In the confusion and the downfall of the Isshiki Clan, Saji Munesada (?-1532), who had been their vassal, took over Ono Castle in Chita County, controlled Ono Sea People, and, accordingly, held the hegemony over the sea transportation of Ise Bay.

In 1560, Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) beat off the Imagawa Clan from Suruga Province. Seeing Oda’s victory in the Battle of Okehazama, Saji Nobukata (1550-1571), who was the chief of the Saji Sea Forces at the time, got married to Nobunaga’s younger sister, Oinu(?-1582).

Nobukata took part in the First Siege of Nagashima in 1571, which Nobunaga mounted to lose, supposedly supporting Nobunaga’s troops from the sea, and was killed in the battle. When Nobukata’s son, Kazunari (1569-1634), came of age, he got married to Nobunaga’s niece, Oeyo (1573-1626). The family looked to have a bright future before them.

However, after the death of Nobunaga and his first son, Nobutada (1557-1582), in 1582, Nobunaga’s second son, Nobuo (1558-1630), Nobunaga’s third son, Nobutaka (1558-1583), and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598), one of Nobunaga’s vassals, struggled for the leadership. As Nobuo was based in Owari Province, Saji Kazunari almost naturally joined Nobuo’s camp, which sealed the family’s fate though. Hideyoshi triumphed in the struggle, and unified the whole country. Kazunari was forced to get divorced from Oeyo, forfeited his domain, Chita County, and retreated to Ise Province, which was in the opposite side of Ise Bay. There, he later became a vassal of Oda Nobukane (1543-1614), Nobunaga’s younger brother. Nobukane was ordered to move to Tamba Province, an inland province, in 1598, and Kazunari followed him. It means the Saji Family was separated from the sea. Kazunari died in Kyoto with a disease. He died in peace, but the family could never make a major daimyo-lord comeback.


The Mukai Sea Forces

In Ancient Japan, the term “Eastern Provinces” meant those east to the Suzuka Mountain Range. The Mukai Family used to live at the east foot of the mountain range. It is not clear how and when the family moved to a sea shore and mastered sea battles.

In the 15th century, the family came to work and fight for the Kitabatake Clan, the ruler in Ise Province. It is privately recorded that, in 1505, Mukai Tadatsuna (1488-1553) fought against Hojo Soun (1432-1519) for the Kitabatake Clan. He died at an ocean village, Tashigara, Watarai County, Ise Province. His son, Masashige (1519-1579), moved to Suruga Province to be a vassal of the Imagawa Clan, the ruler of the province, in the late 1550’s while other family members stayed in the southern part of Ise Province.

In 1550’s, Imagawa Yoshimoto (1519-1560) was busy building his navy to support his expedition to Kyoto. In 1558, he also recruited Itami Yasunao (1522-1596) as a sea-force samurai, who was born in Itami, Settsu Province, as a son of the lord of Itami Castle, Motosuke (?-1529). Motosuke was killed in defending his castle, involved in the internal fightings within the Miyoshi Clan. Yasunao had traveled around the provinces, seeking employment as a samurai, under the protection of Mano Tokiaki (?-?), a vassal of his late father and the maternal grandfather of himself.

Imagawa Yoshimoto (1519-1560) was killed on his expedition to Kyoto, and his son, Ujizane (1538-1614) succeeded him. Ujizane, however, was defeated by Takeda Shingen (1521-1573) and was driven out of Suruga Province in 1568. In 1572, Mukai Masashige (1519-1579) was re-employed by the Takeda Clan.

Almost at the same time, in 1571, Ohama Kagetaka (1540-1597), who had been driven out of Shima Province by Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600), was employed by the Takeda Clan, too. It was under the command of Kagetaka that Masashige operated as one of Takeda Sea Forces.

Masashige’s brilliant naval operation was recorded in 1577. Kajiwara Kagemune (?-?), who was commanding Izu Sea Forces under the Hojo Clan, attacked Kambara Castle and other castles in the eastern part of Suruga Province. Kambara Castle had been seized by the Hojo Clan from the Imagawa Clan in 1568, but, in the same year, had been captured by the Takeda Clan, but had been re-captured by the Hojo Clan in the same year. In 1569, the castle had fallen to the Takeda Clan again. Kokokuji Castle was located about 30-kilometer east from Kambara Castle, much nearer to Hojo’s domain. Masashige defended the castle almost at the expense of his family.

Mukai Masashige (1519-1579) was killed by Hoshino Kakuemon (?-?) when the Takeda Clan was attacked by the Tokugawa Clan from the west at Mochibune Castle on September the 19th, 1579. His elder son, Masakatsu (1537?-1579), was also killed in the battle. His younger son, Masatsuna (1556-1624), escaped from the death as he was staying in Fukuro Castle, about 15 kilometers east. Masatsuna’s succession was admitted by Takeda Katasuyori (1546-1582) on October the 16th in the same year.

In 1580, Masatsuna fought against the Hojo Clan’s sea forces, which were led by Kajiwara Kagemune (?-?), Numazu. As the navy situation got worse for Takeda’s sea forces, they were ordered to give up their boats and come up ashore. However, Masatsuna urged, “You use the word ‘up.’ But naval fightings are different from those on land, and, once my boat is captured by the enemy, my poor reputation as a pirate will bring eternal disgrace to my family.” With the words, he kept fighting until the situation got better.

On March the 11th, 1582, Takeda Katasuyori (1546-1582) was, however, forced into a corner to commit suicide at the foot of Mt. Temmoku, attacked by the allied forces of the Oda and Tokugawa Clans and betrayed by Kiso Yoshimasa (1540-1595), Katsuyori's brother-in-law, Anayama Nobuyuki (1541-1582), a relative of Katsuyuki’s, Oyamada Nobushige (1539-1582), and others.

Now that Mukai Masatsuna (1556-1624) lost his lord, he became masterless samurai. It was Honda Shigetsuna (1529-1596) who persuaded Masatsuna to be re-employed (re-re-employed, as Mukai Family) by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616), whose army killed Masatsuna’s father and elder brother. Ieyasu was busy building his own sea forces to face up to those of the Hojo Clan.

In 1583, Mukai Masatsuna (1556-1624) successfully attacked Suzuki Danjuro (?-?), a vassal of the Hojo Clan’s, and won his head, although Masatusna himself was wounded by an arrow. This exploit brought him his first certificate of military merit from Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616).

In 1584, when the Battle of Komaki and Nagakune was fought between Ieyasu and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598), linking in with the battle, Masatsuna fought against Hideyoshi’s navy, Kuki Sea Forces. Amazingly, he won a fight in Ohama Bay, Shima Province, and this victory brought him a nationwide reputation as a pirate.

A document dated February the 14th, 1590, wrote, “Tokugawa Ieyasu took a ship, Kuni-ichi-maru (literally, the Province First; a kind of Navy Force One), which Mukai Masatsuna was taking care of, from Shimizu Port to Kambara Port, and stayed in Nakakubo.” It means Masatsuna had been appointed as a magistrate of the lordly ship of the Tokugawa Clan by that time.

In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) was transferred from Mikawa, Totomi, Suruga, Kai and Shinano Provinces in Tokai and Tozan Regions to Musashi, Sagami, Awa, Kazusa, Shimousa, Hitachi, Kozuke and Shimotsuke Provinces in Kanto Region by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598). Whether it was a promotion or a demotion, Ieyasu had to accept the radical deal and took the risk of moving to unfamiliar region. So did his vassals.

Mukai Masatsuna (1556-1624) moved to Misaki, Miura County, Sagami Province, which lay at the eastern side of the mouth of Edo Bay.

In 1597, Masatsuna’s son, Tadakatsu (1582-1641) started serving Tokugawa Hidetada (1579-1632), Ieyasu’s son and the second shogun. Tadakatsu built his own residence at Horie, Katsushika County, Shimousa Province (near today’s Tokyo Disney Land).

In 1665, Mukai Masaoki (?-?), one of Tadakatsu’s sons, was temporarily working in Sunpu Castle in shifts. He visited the vestige of Mochibune Castle, recalled his great-grandfather, Masashige (1519-1579), and built a memorial stone monument on September the 19th, the anniversary of Tokugawa’s killing of Masashige.


The Ohama Sea Forces

The Ohama Family was a pirate family, based in Ohama, Toshi County, Shima Province. Kagetaka (1540-1597) owned an “atakebune,” a big warship at the time, and held naval hegemony in Ise Bay. However, his provincial lord, the Kitabatake Clan, lost to Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), and Kagetaka himself was chased out of the bay.

Kagetaka and his atakebune were employed by Takeda Shingen (1521-1573) in 1571. Among Takeda’s sea forces, only Kagetaka owned an atakebune. After the Takeda Clan collapsed in 1582, he was re-employed by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616). When Ieyasu moved to Kanto in 1590, Kagetaka followed him, and was stationed in Misaki, Miura County, Sagami Province. His residence was about today’s Honzui-ji Temple. He couldn’t live long enough to enter the Battle of Sekigahara, the most important decisive battle at the end of Warring States Period.


The Chiga Sea Forces

The Chiga Family used to be a branch family of the Ochi Clan in Iyo Province. According to one legend, the Ochi Clan’s ancestor, Ochi Miko (?-?), was a grandson of Emperor Korei (?-?), a legendary 7th-generation emperor. Miko’s mother, Waki Hime (?-?), had been picked up from a boat from Yue Province, China, by a fisherman named Goro Tayu (?-?). A Chinese character “yue” can be used as one of several ways to represent Japanese “ochi.”

Another more fantastic legend tells us that Ochi Masumi (?-?), who was a master of archery, fought against invaders from Baekje (18 BC-660 AD), Korea, by order of Emperor Suiko (554-628). The invaders came with an ironman as their general. Masumi only just killed him by shooting his only weak point, the bottom of his foot. Some invaders surrendered to Masumi, and became fishermen in the Western Seto Inland Sea. So, all the fishermen there obeyed the Ochi Clan.

A third legend gives us another international account of the clan’s character. Ochi Morioki (?-?) took part in Battle of Baekgang in 663, and had got a boy, Tamazumi (?-?), by a Chinese woman there. He also had an elder boy, Tamaoki (?-?), in Japan. Tamazumi later came to Japan, his father’s homeland, from Yue Province, China, and met Tamaoki in Namba, the nearest sea port from the Heian-kyo Capital.

Another scratch legend says that the Ochi Clan was descendants of Xu Fu (255 BC-?). In 210 BC, during Qin Dynasty, Xu Fu went on his second voyage to search for medicine of immortality in the east, only never to return. Some, both in China and in Japan, believe he landed in Japan. One of his supposed landing spot was Kumano. You can easily guess that the legendary story was brought to the Ochi Clan by Kumano Sea People.

The name Ochi first appeared in a written text in 767. Ochi Mochitada (?-?) fought against Fujiwara Sumitomo (?-941), the first pirate king in Japan, and was conferred as a local noble man in 948. All in all, The Ochi Clan was a sea people, and was in contact with Kumano Sea People. It was quite possible for a member of the clan to move further east to Shima Province and settle there.

One branch family of the Ochi Clan moved to Chiga Bay in Shima Province, and started calling themselves Chiga. They were under the hegemony of the Kitabatake Clan in Ise Province. They attacked the Kuki Family with 6 other samurai families in Shima Province, and drove the Kuki Family out of the province. However, during and after Oda Nobunaga’s invasion of Ise Province, they faced the counterattacks of Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600), and, this time, it was they who were driven out of the province.

The Chiga Family flew to Mikawa Province, which was on the opposite side of Ise Bay, by 1570. After Nobunaga’s death in 1582, Chiga Shigechika (?-?) was ordered by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) to guard Mikawa Bay, and was appointed as a commissioner for Tokugawa Sea Forces. It means he had become Ieyasu’s vassal by the time.

In 1590, Ieyasu was ordered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) to move to Edo. The Chiga Family followed Ieyasu, and moved to Misaki, Miura Peninsula, Sagami Province. The peninsula was located at the entrance to Edo Bay.

When Ieyasu fought Sekigahara War against the Toyotomi Clan in 1600, the Chiga Sea Forces fought against Kuki Sea Forces and drove them out of Chita Peninsula in Owari Province. After Ieyasu’s victory of the war, the family settled at Morozaki, the southernmost tip of the peninsula. When Tokugawa Yoshinao (1600-1650), Ieyasu’s 9th son, moved to Owari Province and started the Owari Tokugawa Family, one of the three most important branch family of the Tokugawa Clan, the Chiga Family became a vassal of Yoshinao, and was appointed as the commissioner for the sea forces.

When Ieyasu fought Sekigahara War against the Toyotomi Clan in 1600, the Chiga Sea Forces fought against Kuki Sea Forces and drove them out of Chita Peninsula in Owari Province. After Ieyasu’s victory of the war, the family settled at Morozaki, the southernmost tip of the peninsula. When Tokugawa Yoshinao (1600-1650), Ieyasu’s 9th son, moved to Owari Province and started the Owari Tokugawa Family, one of the three most important branch family of the Tokugawa Clan, the Chiga Family became a vassal of Yoshinao, and was appointed as the commissioner for the sea forces.


The Izu Sea Forces

The Izu Peninsula almost solely composed Izu Province, along with other tiny islands. It had many headlands and coves, and seemed like a smaller version of Kii Province, which lay along the southern coast of the Kii Peninsula. As Kii Province had sea people, so did Izu Province. During the Warring States Period, those sea people were organized as sea forces by the Hojo Clan. So, the Izu Sea Forces were sometimes called Hojo Sea Forces. After the collapse of the clan, those sea forces all returned to fishing or farming.

Here, let me introduce two of the several families which belonged to the Izu Sea Forces.

The Shimizu Family’s ancestry is not clear. Ise Shinkuro (1432-1519), who would be called Hojo Soun after his death, moved from Kyoto to Suruga Province in 1469, established himself as the lord of Kosokuji Castle in 1487, and formed a small but independent domain around the castle. In 1491, he unified Izu Province. The Shimizu Family was presumed to be composed of Shinkuro’s vassal and a local powerful family through marriage or something.

Shimizu Yasuhide (1532-1591) was one of 5 chief retainers under Hojo Ujiyasu (1515-1571), Ise Shinkuro’s grandson. The five chief retainers used different colors of banners; yellow, red, blue, white, and black. Ysuhide’s banners were in a white color. The Shimizu Family had been based in Kanoyazaki Castle, and Yasuhide was additionally stationed at Shimoda Castle in 1588 or 1589 to build up a defense against Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598). Shimoda Port was one of the most important ports along the Eastern Sea Region, and played an important role even at the end of the Edo Period. Yasuhide was the number 1 among the Izu Sea Forces.

In 1590, Shimoda Castle was attacked by Hideyoshi’s navy; which was composed of the troop of 2,500 of Chosokabe Motochika (1538-1599), the troop of 1,500 of Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600), the troop of 1,300 of Wakisaka Yasuharu (1554-1626), and more. Yasuhide surrendered the castle and gave in on April the 23rd, after holding it for over 50 days with the troop of 600.

The Suzuki Family, another relatively well-documented component of Izu Sea Forces, originated from the ancient Hozumi Clan. The founder of the clan was Nigihayahi (?-?), who arrived at Kawachi Province and entered Yamato Province, preceding the eastward military expedition of Emperor Jinmu (?-585 BC?), the legendary first Emperor of Japan.

Generations and generations later, Hozumi Kunioki (?-?) was a kind of a priest under a kind of bishop in Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine in Muro County, Kii Province. His second son, Motoyuki (865-926), moved to Kaifu County in the same province, made a priest of Fujishiro Shrine, and started calling themselves Suzuki.

Suzuki Shigezane (?-?) was the 16th priest of the Shrine. The position had been handed down by the Suzuki Family for generations. His first son, Shigetomo (?-?), was ordered by Hojo Takatoki (1303-1333), the 14th and last Regent of the Kamakura Shogunate, to fight against Prince Moriyoshi (1308-1335), the son of Emperor Go-Daigo (1288-1339), who attempted to seize power from the shogunate, and actually attacked the prince in Kumano, Kii Province. By ill chance, the shogunate collapsed in 1333, and Shigetomo got into a difficult situation.

In 1336, Shigetomo got away to Izu Province with about 30 of his vassals by sea, and barricaded themselves in Enashi Village there. In the same year, the Kenmu Restoration Regime under Emperor Go-Daigo collapsed, and Shigetomo returned to Kii Province.

On November the 30th, 1351, the battle between Ashikaga Takauji (1305-1358) and his younger brother, Tadayoshi (1306-1352) broke out around the Satta Pass in Suruga Province at the dawn of the Muromachi Shogunate under the Ashikaga Clan, Shigetomo took Tadayoshi’s side. By another ill chance, on January the 5th, 1352, Tadayoshi surrendered to Takauji, was confined to Jomyo-ji Temple in Kamakura, and died a sudden death on February the 26th.

No matter whether Tadayoshi died of a disease or was poisoned to death as “Taiheiki” (“Chronicle of Great Pease”, a Japanese historical military epic written in the late 14th century) writes, Shigetomo fled to Enashi Village again to live there until his death. Thus the Suzuki Family in Enashi started, and the head of the Suzuki Family in Fujishiro was succeeded to by Shigetomo’s younger brother, Shigetsune (?-?).

Shigetomo, however, outlived Ashikaga Takauji as well as Tadayoshi.

Ashikaga Motouji (1340-1397), Takauji’s 4th son, strived for the establishment of the control and governance over Kanto Region as a kind of Deputy Shogun based in Kamakura. Shigetomo served Motouji, and in 1367, was appointed as an admiral in Izu and Sagami Provinces by Ashikaga Ujimitsu (1359-1398), the son of Motouji and the second Deputy Shogun in Kamakura.

In 1491, Ise Shinkuro (1432-1519) unified Izu Province. When he attacked Kanto Deputy Shogun, Ashikaga Chachamaru (?-1491), Suzuki Shigemune(?-?), the head of the Suzuki Family in Enashi at that time, took Shinkuro’s side. According to a scratch of the family records which survived a huge tsunami in 1498, Shigemune might have had communication with Shintaro even before Shintaro’s raid into Izu Province.

When Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) attacked the Hojo Clan, which Shintaro started, in 1590, Shigemune’s grandson, Shigeaki (?-?) was killed in a defensive battle about Nirayama Castle, his great grandson, Shigeharu (?-?), was killed in another defensive battle about Odawara Castle. Shigeharu’s younger brother, Shigeuji (1576-1645), fled far North to Koyase Village, Nukanobu County, Mutsu Province, the northernmost province at that time, with 7 samurais, 24 followers, and his mother, who was one of the four daughters of Hojo Ujimasa (1538-1590), who surrendered his castle, Odawara Castle, to Hideyoshi and committed harakiri suicide himself.

     Kajiwara Kagemune (?-?) was effectively a Fleet Admiral of Hojo Sea Forces, although he was not one of native Izu Sea People.  He was from Arida County, Kii Province, and used to be a sea trader.  In one document, he was even mentioned as a pirate.

     Hojo Ujiyasu (1515-1571) permitted him trading between Kii and Sagami provinces and virtually hired him as a kind of guest samurai.  Kagemune was said to have brought an atake-bune warship to Kanto first.  Only Kii Province, which was abundant in woods, could supply atake-bune in the 16th century.

     The Hojo Clan left some documents and records.  Hojo Ujiyasu wrote to Kagemune asking him to stay in Izu Province for the maritime defense there.  When the Hojo Clan fought against the Satomi Clan in Kazusa Province, the success of Kii people was recorded.  Kagemune also signed many trading documents and contracts published by the Hojo Clan along with Ando Ryosei (?-?), an old vassal of the clan.

     Ando Ryosei served the three generations of the Hojo Clan, Ujiyasu (1515-1571), Ujimasa (1538-1590), and Ujinao (1562-1591), as a treasurer magistrate.  According to one record, he became a magistrate by 1563.  He jointly edited the list of estates and obligations under the clan.  Official square wooden measuring cups used in Hojo's domain were nicknamed "ando cups" after him.  They were widely believed to have been worked out by Ryosei.  His name was last recorded in September, 1589, when Tama River flooded, and, consequently, conflicts over boundaries broke out.  Ryosei was sent there as an inspector.  It is not known whether he lived another year to witness the last days of the clan or not.

     When the Hojo Clan was attacked by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) in 1590, Kajiwara Kagemune had an atake-bune warship with 50 samurais and 50 oarsmen aboard, equipped with a cannon.  Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600), an admiral of Hideyoshi's, on the other hand, had 6 atake-bune warships, each with 200 oarsmen and 3 50-meter-ranged cannons.

     After the war, Hojo Ujimasa, the son of Ujiyasu, committed a harakiri suicide, and Ujimasa's son, Ujinao was placed under house arrest in Mt. Koya in Kii Province.  Presumably, Kagemune returned to Kii.  His name can be last recognized in a thank-you letter from Ujinao to Kagemune for 50 mackerels in 1591.


The Miura Sea Forces

Taira Takamochi (?-?), a great grandson of Emperor Kanmu (737-806), left the Imperial Family, became a subject, and moved from Kyoto to Kazusa Province as the vice-governor in 889. His son, Yoshibumi (?-?), inhabited in Muraoka Village, somewhere in Kanto. Yoshibumi’s grandson, Tamemichi (1010?-1083?), was awarded Miura County in Sagami Province from Minamoto Yoshiyori (988-1075). Henceforth, they called themselves Miura.

Since then, the Miura Clan survived countless wars, battles, fights, and conflicts until they were finally destroyed by the Hojo Clan in 1516. It was this last three years that we can find evidence that the clan had strong enough sea forces to hold their castle on a tiny island just off the tip of Miura Peninsula.

In 1180, when Minamoto Yoritomo (1147-1199) raised an army to fight the Taira Clan, all the Miura Clan banded together to support Yoritomo. In the first battle at the foot of Mt. Ishibashi, one clan member, Sanada Yoshitada (1155-1180), was killed. The clan’s stronghold, Kinugasa Castle, was attacked by Hatakeyama Shigetada (1164-1205), and Miura Yoshiaki (1092-1180), Tameyoshi’s great great grandson, was killed in the battle. His son, Yoshizumi (1127-1200), fled across the sea to Awa Province, taking almost the same route that Yamato Takeru, an ancient Japanese legendary prince, took on his conquest of the eastern land. This coincidence implies that powerful enough sea people had been there since ancient times.

About half a century after the establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate, the Miura Clan lost conspiratorial power struggles against the Hojo Clan, and its 260 samurais and over 240 followers and family members committed a mass suicide in front of Yoritomo’s portrait painting enshrined in Hokke-do Temple in Kamakura.

At the end of the Kamakura Shogunate, Miura Tokitsugu (?-1335) followed Ashikaga Takauji (1305-1358), who would later be the first shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate in 1336. In 1333, the Kamakura Shogunate collapsed, and Tokitsugu was awarded with steward samurai positions in Musashi and Sagami Provinces. However, when Hojo Tokiyuki (?-1353), the son of Takatoki (1303-1333), the last Regent of the Kamakura Shogunate, took arms against Takauji, Tokitsugu took Tokiyuki’s side only to be defeated by Takauji and to be slashed to death. Tokitsugu was succeeded by his son, Takatsugu (?-1339), who had taken Takauji’s side.

In 1416, when one third of the Muromachi Era had passed, the Deputy Shogun in Kamakura, Ashikaga Mochiuji (1398-1439), and his butler, Uesugi Zenshu (?-1417), got at war, Miura Takaaki (?-?) took Mochiuji’s side. Mochiuji won, but, 10 years later, Takaaki was deprived of the position of the Sagami Province Guardian Samurai by Mochiuji.

For a couple of more times, the Miura Clan betrayed others to survive, and survived from being betrayed, and finally had to face a new enemy during the Warring States Period; Ise Shinkuro (1432-1519). He came from Kyoto to Suruga Province in 1469, which lay east to Sagami Province, to make a warring-state-period hero, and actually carried out his plan. In 1493, he first started unifying Izu Province, which lay between Suruga and Sagami Provinces, and then raided Sagami Province. In 1512, he reached Miura County, the easternmost part of the Sagami Province.

In 1512, Ise Shinkuro (1432-1519) started his full-scale attack against the Miura Clan. He first made a surprise attack on Okazaki Castle, which was located near the centra eastern part of Sagami Province. Miura Yoshiatsu (1451?-1516), who had been adopted by Tokitaka (1416-1494), who was the grandson of Takaaki (?-?), was forced to retreat to Sumiyoshi Castle, which was just at the root of Miura Peninsula. Fortress by fortress, Yoshiatsu ran up withdrawals, only to hold the castle at the tip of the Peninsula; at Arai castle.

Nevertheless, Yoshiatsu held the castle for over 3 years with the help of Miura Sea Forces. They turned away Shinkuro’s landing forces many times, supplied military provisions and arms, and kept the contact with the Satomi Clan in Awa Province.

In 1516, Shinkuro succeeded in cutting the castle up from the sea forces. Yoshiatsu hopelessly announced to his men, “Whoever want to escape, just escape. Whoever want to die, die in battle and let your names go down in history.” With the words, he and his men opened the castle gate, and charged into the enemy. After a short attack, some of them came back to the castle and committed harakiri suicides in their own time. Yoshiatsu composed a death poem, “The defeating and the defeated are all earthenware. Once broken, they are all back in dirt.”


The Satomi Sea Forces

Minamoto Yoriyoshi (988-1075) was born in Kawachi Province near Kyoto, fought around the Kanto Plain and even into Tohoku District, and died peacefully in Kawachi Province. Yoriyoshi’s son, Yoshiie (1039-1106), was born in Kawachi Province, fought around the Kanto Plain, and died in Kawachi Province. It is not known where Yoshiie’s son, Yoshikuni (1091?-1155), was born. He fought around the Kanto Plain and died in Ashikaga County, Shimotsuke Province in the plain. Yoshikuni’s son, Yoshishige (1114-1202), was presumably born somewhere in the plain, called his family Nitta, and died in Nitta County, Kozuke Province in the plain. Yoshishige’s illegitimate son, Yoshitoshi (?-1170), moved to Satomi Village, Usui County, Kozuke Province in the plain, and called his family Satomi.

12 generations later, Satomi Yoshimichi (1481?-1521?) unified Awa Province and raided Kazusa Province, which lay north to Awa Province, both in the Boso Peninsula. It means the Satomi Clan had moved from inland provinces to the coastal one by his time.

According to a scattering of historical documents, Satomi Yoshimichi (1481?-1521?) built Tsurugaya Hachiman-gu Shrine in Awa Province in 1508, which means that he had gained control over the province as samurai. In 1514, he re-casted the bell for the affiliated temple of the shrine. In 1515, he intruded Shimotsuke Province, which lay even north to Kazusa Province..

Satomi Sanetaka (1484?-1533), Yoshimichi’s brother, attacked Shinagawa and Imazu, port towns of Edo Castle, in 1524 from the sea. He also landed Mutsura at the root of Miura Peninsula, approached Tamanawa Castle, which lay at the north-west gateway to Kamakura, and had a battle across Tobe River near the castle. In 1526, he intruded Kamakura again, burnt down Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine, which had been built by Minamoto Yoritomo (1147-1199), and robbed the shrine of the treasure it had kept. Sanetaka’s son, Yoshitaka (1507?-1574), staged a military coup, forced Yoshitoyo (?-1534), who was Yoshimichi’s son and, that is, Yoshitaka’s cousin, forced Yoshitoyo into a suicide, and usurped the headship of the clan.

While the Satomi Clan was developing its own history, the Kanto region was plunging into another epoch under the Muromachi Shogunate. Kanto Deputy Shogun used to be based at Kamakura. The fourth deputy shogun, Ashikaga Mochiuji (1398-1439), turned against the central shogunate in Kyoto in 1423. He was defeated, and his son, Shigeuji (1434-1497), got based at Koga in Shimousa Province. The central shogunate sent Ashikaga Masatomo (1435-1491) to Kanto, appointing him as a new deputy shogun in Kanto, but he couldn’t enter Kamakura, obstructed by some powerful Kanto samurais, and got based at Horigoe in Izu Province. That is, the Kanto deputy shogunate was divided into 2.

In 1517, when Ashikaga Takamoto (?-1535) was Koga Kanto Deputy Shogun, his younger brother, Yoshiaki(1493?-1538), turned against Takamoto, and got based at Oyumi in Shimousa Province. That is, the Kanto deputy shogunate got devided into 3. Meanwhile, the Uesugi Clan, which was hereditary for the butler-ship of the Kanto Deputy Shogun, was keeping its own authority. In short, Kanto got into a mess. And, to make the matters worse, Ise Shinkuro (1432-1519) came from Kyoto to make a warring-states-period hero, and joined in the mess.

In 1523, Ise Ujitsuna (1487-1541), the son of Shinkuro (1432-1519), changed his surname to Hojo. In 1532, as Ujitsuna was joining forces with Ashikaga Takamoto, Kanto Deputy Shogun in Koga, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Kanto Deputy Shogun in Oyumi, was becoming the only choice for Satomi Yoshitoyo (?-1534) to face the Hojo Clan. In 1534, however, or as a result, Satomi Yoshitaka (1507?-1574), Yoshitoyo’s cousin, launched coup d’etat against Yoshitoyo with the help of Ujitsuna.

However, Yoshitaka was always under the pressure of Oyumi Kanto Deputy Shogun, and went over to Yoshiaki’s side. In 1538, Oyumi and Koga Kanto Deputy Shoguns clashed against each other in Konodai. Yoshiaki was killed in the battle, and Koga’s side won. The biggest winner in the battle was Ujitsuna. He made Takamoto his puppet, and grabbed the hegemony over all the southern part of Kanto but Awa Province. The minor second winner of the battle was, ironically enough, Yoshitaka, who belonged to the loser’s side. He could secure Awa Province at least, and could get rid of Oyumi Kanto Deputy Shogun, who had been a pain in the neck. In the aftermath of the battle, the Hojo Clan and the Satomi Clan were to fight against each other head-to-head.

By that time, the Hojo Clan had destroyed the Miura Clan, and organized their own sea forces. Some of the Miura Sea Forces fled to Awa Province, and got hired by the Satomi Clan’s vassals, such as Masaki Michitsuna (1492?-1533). Or Michitsuna himself might have been a surviving retainer of Miura’s. Anyway, from that time on, the Izu Sea Forces of the Hojo Clan and the Satomi Sea Forces were to face each other head-to-head across the Edo and Sagami Bays.

In 1539, Satomi Yoshitaka (1507?-1574) attacked Ariyoshi Castle in Kazusa Province, which was on the Hojo Clan’s side. In revenge, in 1540, the Hojo Clan started attacking the Satomi Clan’s stronghold domain, Awa Province, with the Izu Sea Forces. Between 1541 and 1542, Yoshitaka had to move his headquarters from Inamura Castle in Awa Province to Kururi Castle in the inland-most center of Boso Peninsula in Kazusa Province. Did he advance into another larger province? Or did he have to retreat his defense line from the seashore?

In 1574, Yanada Harusuke (1524-1594), a standard-bearer of anti-Hojo forces, surrendered Sekiyado Castle, which Hojo Ujiyasu (1515-1571) had valued, “To occupy the castle is as valuable as to win one province.” The castle was at the junction of 2 major river systems in the Kanto Plain, Tone-Watarase river system and Kinu river system, and was an important point of the water transportation in the region at that time.

After the conquest, the Hojo Clan started its full-scale invasion of Boso Peninsula. The Izu Sea Forces of the clan defeated the Satomi Sea Forces, and the Hojo Clan gained the naval superiority in Edo Bay. In 1577, the Satomi Clan had to accept a peace treaty, and substantially retreated from Kazusa Province.

The peace treaty with the Hojo Clan in 1577 didn’t mean that the Satomi Clan gave up their ambition for Kazusa Province.

Mangi Castle was along Isumi River in the south-eastern part of the province. The castle was owned by the Toki Family, who had gone over to the Hojo Clan after the Second Battle in Konodai in 1564. In 1588, the Satomi Clan crowded around the castle with 3,000 troops by land and 2,600 by sea. They were, however, driven off by Toki Yoriharu (?-?). In 1589, the clan attacked the castle again, only to be beaten back again. In 1590, the national situation swept the regional situation. The Hojo Clan was destroyed by the Toyotomi Clan, and the castle was seized by the Tokugawa Clan. The Satomi Clan was able to survive but was shut up just in Awa Province again. The Toyotomi and Tokugawa Clans, that were allying temporarily at that time, had a decisive battle to unify the whole country later in 1600.

Under the Edo Shogunate, the Satomi Clan got feudatory to the Tokugawa Clan. At the beginning of the shogunate, Satomi Tadayoshi (1594-1622) got drawn into power struggles around Okubo Tadachika (1553-1628), his grandfather-in-law and one of the consuls of the shogunate. After Tadachika’s downfall in 1614, Tadayoshi was transferred to Kurayoshi, Hoki Province, along the Sea of Japan. After his death in 1622, the clan line was severed.

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2018年02月26日のツイート

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