Daineiji no hen (the revolt of Daineiji) (大寧寺の変)

Daineiji no hen (the revolt of Daineiji) is a coup happened between September 28 to September 30, 1551. This incident resulted in virtual fall of the Ouchi clan, which was called as the greatest Sengoku daimyo (Japanese territorial lord in the Sengoku period) in Saigoku (western part of Japan) and great change in ruling structure of Saigoku. It could be called as an incident comparable to the Honnoji Incident happened later.

Background to rebellion

Since the Amago clan which attacked the Mori clan under the jurisdiction of the Ouchi clan and defeated (Battle of Yoshida Koriyama-jo Castle), the Sengoku daimyo (Japanese territorial lord in the Sengoku period) in Suo Province, Yoshitaka OUCHI made an expedition to the Amago clan's province Izumo Province to have advantage by giving additional damage to the Amago clan in 1542.

However, since Haruhisa AMAGO shut himself up in his castle, Gassan Toda-jo Castle, for do-or-die resistence, the Ouchi army had difficulties in attacking him and so the battle continued to next year. In February, local lords including Tamekiyo MISAWA, Okitsune KIKKAWA, Hisasuke MITOYA and Tsunemitsu HONJO who had switched the side from Amago to Ouchi had secret communication and switched the side again to Amago side, which caused the debacle of the Ouchi Army. Ouchi side was disastrously defeated with the supreme commander, Yoshitaka routed to Suo, and his adopted child, Harumochi OUCHI drowned at Iyagaura during the rout.

Since then, Yoshitaka kept vassals in the military exploit group including Harukata SUE who took the leadership in the expedition to Izumo Province from the inner circle of the government. The huge defeat in Izumo cultivated extreme anti-war trend amond people. Moreover, although there was no choice for Yoshitune besides letting senior vassals to take over the responsibilities when going off to a battle, he left government affairs to the hand of his favorite retainer from civilian government group, Taketo SAGARA, and stayed away from the politics. He started to devote his time to acadmical matters and tea ceremonies and spent time like a court noble. He stopped to care for the politics within a country.

Thus, to pursue the initiative for the Ouchi family, the military exploit group including Takafusa SUE and Okimori NAITO became hostile to the civilian government group led by Taketo SAGARA. In 1545, their foul relationship was getting more serious, and Taketo SAGARA left the Ouchi clan by fear of Takafusa SUE. He entered into priesthood to secure his own safety. However, in 1548, he served the Ouchi family again at Yoshitaka's request.

In the spring in 1550, there was a rumor spreading that Takafusa would rise in rebellion, so Yoshitaka's close associate, Takatoyo REIZEI even proposed Yoshitaka to kill Takafusa. So Taketo SAGARA who scared of Takafusa, tried to make peace by marry off his daughter who had a reputation of beauty to Takafusa's legitimate son, Nagafusa SUE but failed, and ran away to escape to Higo Province on September 16. However, he was detained by the Shugodai (deputy military governor) in Chikuzen Province, Okitsura SUGI and brought back again to Suo. At that time, Yoshitaka also barricaded himself in his residence with kacchu (armor) on by himself because of the fear of rebellion by Takafusa, and moreover sent questioners to Takafusa, that made the relationship of Yoshitaka and Takafusa worst.

In 1551, Taketo was afraid of being blamed for this series of troubles by Yoshitaka, and made a totally unfounded false charge in Taketo SAGARA's declaration that "Shigenori SUGI made a false charge about the rebellion of Takafusa SUE but it was not accepted. So he told that the false charge was made by me and changed the side to Takafusa who was originally opposed to". Briefly, Takafusa planned to rise in rebellion, and Taketo shifted blame of that confrontation to Shigenori SUGI alone. Thus, the situation was finally ruined.

Uprising of Takafusa SUE

On August 10, 1551, Taketo SAGARA ran away again from the Ouchi family to escape to Chikuzen by fear for Takafusa. On August 28, finally Takafusa SUE/Okimori NAITO group raised an army to invade Yamaguchi. At that time, even Shigenori SUGI who ordinary had a bad relationship with Takafusa and rather supportive to Yoshitaka, cooperated with Takafusa's rebellion because he was falsely charged by Taketo SAGARA's declaration.

Agaist this, Yoshitaka did not gain many allies but Yoshitaka's close associate, Takatoyo REIZEI, with millitary power of only 2000 soldiers. Opposing Takafusa side had military power of 10,000 soldiers. This was because Yoshitaka who lost interest in government affairs left military affairs to Shugodai (deputy military governors), which enhanced collusion between them and local lords at their duty stations and military forces of Shugodai. Thus, Yoshitaka who could scarcely made not systematic resistance, gave up Yamaguchi and escaped to Nagato Province on August 29. Yoshitaka tried to get out by sea route relaying on his relative, Masayori YOSHIMI in Iwami Province, but failed due to rainstorm, and killed himself at Dainei-ji Temple in Nagatofukawa on September 1.

On September 2, Yoshitaka's legitimate son, Yoshitaka OUCHI was also murdered by SUE side. Then, Yoshitaka group such as Taketo SAGARA and Okitsura SUGI were attacked and killed in Chikuzen by Fusatada NOGAMI's forces dispatched by Takafusa, and the court nobles including Kinyori SANJO (father of the lawful wife of Shingen TAKEDA, Sanjou-no-kata) who left Kyoto relying on Yoshitaka were also murdered. This is how the Ouchi clan virtually ruined.


After Yoshitaka's death, Takafusa concluded a secret treaty with Yoshishige OTOMO of Bungo Province just before rise in rebellion to adopt Yoshishige's younger paternal brother, Haruhide OTOMO (his real mother was Yoshioki OUCHI's daughter and Yoshitaka's sister) in return for transfer of interests in the territory of Ouchi Family in northern Kyushu. He adopted this Haruhide as the new family head of the Ouchi family to succeed the family headship and assigned Haruhide the new name Yoshinaga OUCHI. In addition, he also changed his name from Takafusa to Harukata as the proof to declare his loyalty to new lord, Haruhide (Yoshinaga). Thus, Harukata seized real control of the Ouchi family with Yoshinaga as the puppet family head.

However, since the new government of Yoshinaga-Harukata alliance which tried to enhance the military forces while denying the civilian Yoshitaka government increased slave labor to local lords and territorial lords under the rule of the Ouchi family, and it was rather resisted and experienced unsteadiness in ruling territory. In addition, Shigenori SUGI who was cooperative at the uprising and Harukata who were originally in bad relation opposed again, and even the inner circle of government was volatile.

In 1554, the husband of Yoshitaka's elder sister, Masayori YOSHIMI openly led a rebellion and raised the army against Harukata. Moreover, along with this Masayori, there were many local lords and territorial lords who defected from the Ouchi family (new government of Yoshinaga-Harukata alliance) like Motonari MORI.

After Harukata was defeated by Motonathe in the Battle of Itsukushima in the next year 1555 and killed himself, the Ouchi family which lost the pillar declined at a stretch. Conflict within vassals of the Ouchi family emerged, but the family head Yoshinaga who was adopted from the Otomo clan was incapable of controlling this internal conflict. Eventually, he was invaded by the Mori clan and killed himself in 1557, and the Ouchi family was demolished in less than 6 years after Yoshitaka's death.

[Original Japanese]