Kyoroku-Tenbun Rebellion (享禄・天文の乱)

The Kyoroku-Tenbun Rebellion is the general term for the internal conflict within the Hongan-ji Temple sect of Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) over the sectarian reform in the early Sengoku Period and the external war provoked by the conflict.

An internal conflict called the Kyoroku War or Daisho Ikki (the Big League-Little League War) in 1531
A war against the Hosokawa and Hatakeyama clans called the Tenbun War or the Tenbun Rebellion from 1532 to 1535
The Kyoroku-Tenbun Rebellion refers to these two events mentioned above.

It is disputable to treat these two wars as one historical event, but both wars happened as a result of the policy by which Shonyo, the 10th chief priest of Hongan-ji Temple, and his guardian Renjun (the 6th son of Rennyo, the 8th chief priest, and also both a maternal grandfather and a grand-uncle of Shonyo) tried to strengthen the authority of hoshu (a head of a Buddhist sect). Besides, the Tenbun Rebellion overlaps with 'the Hokke uprising' by the Nichiren sect.

Sectarian policy of Rennyo

The bracketed years in the sentences are based on the Julian calendar and the dates are all on one of the Japanese calendars, the long calendar of the Senmyo calendar except the ones on the western calendar.

Although Rennyo, the 8th chief priest of Hongan-ji Temple, won local lords and peasants in Hokuriku Region and Kinai Region (the provinces surrounding Kyoto and Nara) over to his sect as believers and established the position of Hongan-ji Temple as an independent religious community, it caused discord between him and the neighboring shugo daimyo (provincial military governors) and lords of manors and also between him and the existing sects and temples. As a result, on one hand he preached pacifism and the prohibition of uprisings, but on the other hand he had to make a hard decision to organize the Ikko-Ikki army to protect the religious community and furthermore to receive the cooperation from the secular powers such as provincial governors. Especially in Kaga Province, Rennyo himself participated in the internal conflict of the Togashi clan, a provincial military governor, along with the Ikki army, believing Togashi's protection for his religious community ('Taya-shu ketsugi bun' [Resolution of Taya Group] in 1473), but after that, the Togashi clan who feared the power of the religious community oppressed them which the followers fiercely resisted to the extent that they overthrew the Togashi clan and owned the province (Kaga Ikko-Ikki Revolt). This was an incident which could lead to the 'antiestablishment' movement against the Hongan-ji sect, which was what Rennyo feared most, and in fact Yoshihisa ASHIKAGA, Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdued the barbarians") of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) is said to have considered subduing Hongan-ji Temple. However, since Shogunal Deputy Masamoto HOSOKAWA objected to it and also Yoshihisa died from a disease, subjugation Hongan-ji Temple was canceled, and the excommunication of the Kaga-monto (Kaga-sect) was left up in the air.

Soon, Rennyo abdicated from the hoshu of Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple in favor of his fifth son Jitsunyo, who had been chosen as the successor after the death of the first son Junnyo, and Rennyo secluded himself into Ishiyama Gobo (Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple) in Settsu Province. For the successor Jitsunyo, abandoning his followers and discarding Kaga Province meant subordinating himself to Enryaku-ji Temple, returning to what Hongan-ji Temple was before Rennyo, where they were prohibited from preaching Shinran's creed, and almost giving up the doctrine of Jodo Shinshu itself, so he could not accept it. Therefore, Jitsunyo tried to seek a cooperative policy with Masamoto who was solely taking a supportive position for Hongan-ji Temple, while all the present powers were cautious of Hongan-ji Temple. A book handed down in Hongan-ji Temple, "Hongan-ji saho no shidai" (The Orders of Manners in Hongan-ji Temple), writes about the situation where the menu was changed from a vegetarian dish to a fish dish which was problematic in terms of the doctrine, under Rennyo's instruction only for Masamoto's visit to Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple. Meanwhile, Masamoto banished Shogun Yoshitane ASHIKAGA from Kyoto by the Coup of Meio and established an administration led by Kanrei (shogunal deputy) which caused provincial military governors to hold ill feelings against him. Masamoto thought that he could believe rather the newly emerging Ikko followers than the old-guard provincial military governors. It was natural that Hongan-ji Temple and Masamoto HOSOKAWA--the two given a hostile look from the present powers--cooperated.

In 1499, when Rennyo fell into critical condition, his will was shown to his children. Rennyo wanted the solidarity among his families which were the direct descendants of Shinran and also wanted his children who became chief priests at various places, especially Jitsunyo who succeeded to hoshu, to protect the religious community as the guarding walls. Especially in Kaga Province, Shoko-ji Temple of the 3rd son Renko, Kokyo-ji Temple of the 4th son Rensei, and Honsen-ji Temple of the 7th son Rengo (the first chief priest was the second son Renjo)--'Gashu Sanka-ji Temples (Kaga Sanzan) [Three Temples in Kaga Province]'--were placed at the top as local representatives of hoshu and required to direct the temples and followers in the province (this system was especially called the 'ryogozan' (two temples) system because of the two virtually highest executive temples, Shoko-ji Temple and Honsen-ji Temple). This ruling system can be seen in the fact that the orders such as bugyonin hosho (magistrate orders) given from the Muromachi bakufu to provincial governors in the late Bunmei Era when the Togashi clan still existed, were not sent to Masachika TOGASHI but sent directly to Renko and Rengo.

Kawachi Province disturbance

After the death of Rennyo who married five wives among whom four died and begot thirteen sons and fourteen daughters in his lifetime, discord erupted between his family.

In 1505, dominant shugo guardian feudal lords such as the Hatakeyama and Asakura clans began a military action in concert to counter Masamoto HOSOKAWA. For Hongan-ji Temple, Echizen Province, the territory of the Asakura clan, was not only located to the direct south of Kaga, but there were many temples and followers including Yoshizaki Gobo which was once Rennyo's foothold, and Noto Province and Ecchu Province, the territory of the Hatakeyama clan was not only located to the direct north of Kaga, but Gashu Sanka-ji Temples virtually ruled Tonami County in Ecchu where the Hatakeyama clan was always trying to recapture. After receiving a cooperation request from Masamoto by his direct visit, Jitsunyo mobilized all his followers in Hokuriku and Kinai and ordered the ones in Hokuriku to attack the nearby three provinces and the ones in Kinai to attack Kawachi Province, the Hatakeyama clan's base ground.

However, since Renno, the last wife of Rennyo, who kept living in Ishiyama Gobo after Rennyo's death, was from the Hatakeyama clan and also since the followers in Settsu and Kawachi had long kept a friendly relationship with the Hatakeyama clan for that reason, they were dissatisfied with the decision and asked to change hoshu by backing up Jitsugen at 17, who was the 1st son of Renno, the 9th son of Rennyo and a chief priest of Ishiyama Gobo. In January 1506, Jitsunyo sent Raikei SHIMOTSUMA to deal with it and either arrested or banished Renno, Jitsugen, Jitsujun (11th son), and Jitsuju (13th son), and in Kaga, Jitsugo (10th son) who had been adopted by Rengo of Honsen-ji Temple was virtually disinherited. This is called 'Osaka ichiran' (A Disturbance in Osaka) or 'Kawachikoku sakuran' (Kawachi Province Disturbance) (this is because many supporters of Jitsugen were from Kawachi while Ishiyama Gobo [Osaka] was located in Settsu Province).

However, Jitsunyo lost against the Asakura clan in the Battle of Kuzuryugawa, and the Asakura clan destroyed Yoshizaki Gobo in return and prohibited believing in the Ikko sect, so some of the few branch temples that had existed before Rennyo such as Chosho-ji Temple, Hongaku-ji Temple (in Komatsu City) escaped to Kaga with their followers. In the battle against the Hatakeyama clan too, Rennyo only subjugated Yoshikage NAGAO (Shugodai [deputy military governor] of the Uesugi clan) of Echigo Province, who came as reinforcements to the Battle of Hannya-no (Sengoku Period).

On August 1, 1507, Masamoto HOSOKAWA was assassinated by the supporters of his adopted son Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA, who started a battle against another adopted son Sumimoto HOSOKAWA. Jitsunyo, who heard of this, escaped the very next day in fear for the consequences to Myoken and his child Myoshu at Honpuku-ji Temple in Katata, Omi Province. The disturbance continued in which Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA was killed first and then Sumimoto HOSOKAWA was slew, and the one who finally took the administration was Takakuni HOSOKAWA, the toughest hard-liner against Hongan-ji Temple.

In this way, Jitsunyo was forced to live in Omi Katata for two years until he went back to Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple on April 21, 1509.

Jitsunyo's reform of the religious community

The death of Masamoto HOSOKAWA and the following two years of exile caused big damage to Jitsunyo. At the same time, he felt the necessity to take a defensive action to protect the religious community. Then, Jitsunyo decided to entrust the management of the religious community to Ennyo, his 2nd son and successor and Renjun, his younger maternal half-brother, the 6th son of Rennyo, a father-in-law of Ennyo, and the chief priest of both Omi Kensho-ji Temple and Gansho-ji Temple in Ise Province. After that, Ennyo and Renjun started to reform the religious community under Jitsunyo's instruction.

First of all, they selected 80 letters from the documents written by Rennyo, called 'Ofumi,' edited them into five quires to determine the basic doctrine of the sect.

Then, in 1518, they established three new laws.

The first law was vulgarly called 'Sanhourei' (Three Laws) which are:

Prohibition of armament and battles
Prohibition of sect and faction
Prohibition of nonpayment of land tax
They made the followers in various places in Hokuriku write covenants and hand them over to Rensei, who had a chance to come to Kyoto for the treatment of his disease, to turn them in.

The second law prohibited building new temples and ordered reorganization of the existing temples, and at the same time it was decided that the hoshu of the head temple Hongan-ji Temple only had the right to decide temples' names. This brought all the rights to establish and abolish temples under Hongan-ji Temple's control.

Lastly, 'Ichimon-Ikke System (the system that divided the Hongan-ji families into Ichimonshu [clansman, for a legitimate son] and Ikkeshu [the same lineage people as the Hongan-ji Temple, for a second son and younger]) was established in 1519. This created family ranks among temples belonging to the Hongan-ji Temple family which were called 'ikkeshu' (the same lineage people as the Hongan-ji Temple).
The ranks consisted of the next three:

Renshi: The children and brothers of a hoshu.

Ichimon: A legitimate son of renshi (the second generation).

Ikke: The second and younger sons of renshi and the families branched before Rennyo. Also called 'Sue no ikkeshu' (youngest ikkeshu).

These laws concentrated the power to hoshu which was succeeded by the direct lineage called 'Shinran no michi no michi' (literally, the way of Shinran's blood) and established the superiority of renshi and ichimon which acted as guarding walls.

These series of reforms curbed activities of the Ikko-Ikki army and can be said to have drastically changed its policy with a view to coexisting with the bakufu, local daimyo (feudal lords) in various places, and other religious schools.

As a matter of course, there came resistance from part of branch temples and followers against the series of reforms. In 1518, Rene of Hongaku-ji Temple, who had been banished from Echizen by the Asakura clan and sheltered in Kaga appealed to Rengo of Honsen-ji Temple that he would have difficulty in coming back to Echizen due to the prohibition of wars stipulated in 'Sanhourei' and disputed with him, as a result of which Rengo reported it to hoshu and Rene was excommunicated. Then, Renjun of Kensho-ji Temple reported to hoshu that Meiso of Katata Honpuku-ji Temple, where Jitsunyo evacuated, was doing wrong and Meiso was excommunicated (Renjun did it for another purpose and Honpuku-ji Temple is said to have suffered a false charge; the details are mentioned later). Both temples were forgiven soon after, but the previous chief priest of Honpuku-ji Temple Myoken had offered shelter not only to Jitsunyo as mentioned before, but also to Rennyo when he was banished from Kyoto by Enryaku-ji Temple and the previous chief priest of Hongaku-ji Temple Renko had welcomed Rennyo by building up Yoshizaki Gobo. The present Hongan-ji Temple could not exist without the cooperation of these two priests. However, the hoshu and renshi excommunicated even their sons without mercy, and the followers were frightened with their power.

In 1521, Ennyo died and four years later in 1525, Jitsunyo also died. Worried about the future of Shonyo, a bereaved child of Ennyo (born in 1516, he was 10 when Jitsunyo died), Jitsunyo left the will to instruct five priests, Renjun, Rengo, Jitsuen (at Honso-ji Temple in Mikawa Province; the 4th son of Jitsunyo and the only male child alive), Renkei (Renko's legitimate child), and Kensei (Renyo's legitimate child) to practice loyalty to Shonyo, to protect the doctrine that had been kept since Sinran, and to coexist with the present political and religious powers. Especially to Renjun, who was the maternal grandfather of Shonyo and the only priest who lived in the Kinai region, Jitsunyo entrusted Shonyo and asked him to be his guardian.

Kyoroku War

Although Rennyo had five wives in his lifetime and left thirteen sons, the children of the last wife Renno were expelled by 'Osaka ichiran' mentioned above, and Rengei, the child of the 4th wife died before Rennyo after he built Kyogo-ji Temple in Tomita, Settsu Province, and the 3rd wife did not have a son. In such a situation, the seven sons, the bereaved children of the first wife Nyoryo and her real younger sister Rensuke, the second wife who bore Jitsunyo, naturally became objects of followers' respect. Even though Jyunnyo (who died before his father) and Jitsunyo were treated as successor and the four of the other five sons were dispatched to Hokuriku and virtually gained the positions of kokushu (landed daimyo) in Kaga and the surrounded provinces, the sixth son Renjun was appointed to the chief priest of Kensho-ji Temple which Jyunnyo left and forced to remain in Kinai, which made him discontent about not being given an important mission in the religious community. But given the position of protector and guardian of the new hoshu, Renjun now gained the power exceeding that of his brothers in Hokuriku and began to expand the authority of the hoshu Shonyo, grandson of Renjun. This actually aimed to expand the guardian Renjun's authority, but formally he was following the policy that had been kept since Jitsunyo, 'the establishment of the power structure with hoshu at the top,' and for this legitimate reason, no one could raise an objection against him.

Katata Honpuku-ji Temple excommunication incident

The first target was Katata Honpuku-ji Temple as mentioned before. This temple had many followers because it had the longest history among the branch temples and Katata prospered as a base of the water transport of Lake Biwa, which made it as rich as Hongan-ji Temple. Although the formal reason was to concentrate the power on Hongan-ji Temple by suppressing the power of large-scale branch temples, the real reason was seemingly to revenge the permanent disadvantage of Renjun's newly-built Kensho-ji Temple in Otsu city in a scramble for followers and donations between Hongan-ji Temple whose parish overlapped with that of Kensho-ji Temple.

When this temple was once excommunicated during Jitsunyo's lifetime, Renjun allegedly compelled the followers of Honpuku-ji Temple to sign to approve forged evidence as true. As soon as it was revealed, Jitsunyo nullified the excommunication.

Later, the gobo prepared by Honpuku-ji Temple as an evacuation of Rennyo and Jitsunyo was given to Jitsugen, who had been banished for being selected as the opposing hoshu during 'Osaka ichiran,' when he was allowed to return, and it became independent as one of the family temples and renamed Shotoku-ji Temple (later renamed Jikei-ji Temple). After Jitsugen's death, Renjun who served as the guardian of this temple excommunicated Honpuku-ji Temple again in 1527 under the pretext that Honpuku-ji Temple, an Ikke temple, attempted to block Shotoku-ji Temple from headhunting followers, which meant treachery to 'Ichimon-Ikke System' and eventually to Hongan-ji itself. As a result of this, Honpuku-ji Temple lost all the property and all the followers inherited for generations.

Furthermore, in 1532, the temple was excommunicated for the third time. This was because Honpuku-ji Temple did not send a rescue when Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple and Kensho-ji Temple suffered a fire attack, but Honpuku-ji Temple did not have enough followers to form a rescue due to the complete destruction caused by the last two excommunications and, seen from the fact that Renjun was the first person who escaped, this accusation was totally wrong and quite a false charge. In July 19, 1540, after Meiso at Honpuku-ji Temple starved to death at 72 as a result of the oppression, Renjun released Honpuku-ji Temple from excommunication with the condition that it became a branch temple of Shotoku-ji Temple (Jikei-ji Temple). This drove Honpuku-ji Temple to practical extinction as a lesson to other temples.

Daisho ikki and Gashu Sanka-ji Temples purge

Renjun, who gained a victory against Honpuku-ji Temple, started to look toward the center of the politics again. In 1527 when Harumoto HOSOKAWA (Sumimoto's child) supported by Motonaga MIYOSHI raised an army against anti-Hongan-ji Temple Takakuni HOSOKAWA, Renjun sent his aides Raishu and Raisei of the SHIMOTSUMA brothers to support Harumoto. In return, Harumoto requested the occupation of a manor owned by the Takakuni sect, and Renjun assigned his adopted son-in-law Jikken at Chosho-ji Temple and Raishu SHIMOTSUMA to deal with it. Chosho-ji Temple had been oppressed in the same way as Hongaku-ji Temple by Gashu Sanka-ji Temples since the incident caused by Rene at Hongaku-ji Temple as mentioned before, but it was originally a historic branch temple that had existed before Rennyo and had followers all around Hokuriku, and its fame described as 'Chosho-ji Temple in the north, Hongaku-ji Temple in the south' was invariable even after the uprising of the Ikko sect followers in Kaga. Jitsugen replaced the local governors of the manor with his own followers without any consultations to Gashu Sanka-ji Temples on the strength of the command of Renjun, a father-in-law of Shonyo, issued under the name of hoshu Shonyo. In reaction to this, Gashu Sanka-ji Temple side--Rengo, Renko and his child Renkei, Kensei, and Jitsugo--protested to Hongan-ji Temple and denounced Jitsugen and Raishu SHIMOTSUMA.
On May 25, 1531, Gashu Sanka-ji Temples gave orders to subdue Chosho-ji Temple on the grounds that it violated 'Sanhorei' and 'Ichimon-Ikke System.'
However, Chosho-ji Temple was reinforced by Rene of Hongaku-ji Temple, who held grudge since the above matter, and made the followers of the two temple all over Hokuriku rise up in revolt, which made Gashu Sanka-ji Temples suffer beyond their expectations. Moreover, receiving the report from Raishu SHIMOTSUMA who rushed back to Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple, Rennyo asserted that Jitsugen of Chosho-ji Temple just followed the order from hoshu and that those who opposed the order were the traitors to hoshu, and gave orders under the name of Shonyo to Chosho-ji Temple and the followers throughout the country that Gashu Sanka-ji Temples be subjugated. In June, the followers from the Tokai region and Kinai massed in Yamashina, left for the front under the command of Jitsunyo's child Jitsuen and Raisei SHIMOTSUMA, and invaded Kaga from the Hida mountains with the support of the Uchigashima clan in Hida Province, who had been known as one of the followers. Looking at this, the followers of Gashu Sanka-ji Temples became greatly upset and one betrayal happened after another in fear of being 'Enemies of Buddhists' so that Shoko-ji Temple and Honsen-ji Temple were immediately taken by Hongan-ji Temple's army organized by the followers of Chosho-ji Temple and the reinforcements. Takakage ASAKURA (10th family head) in Echizen, who were seeking a chance to give a blow to Hongan-ji Temple, dispatched troops to support Gashu Sanka-ji Temples. Then, Ietoshi HATAKEYAMA, a family member of the Hatakeyama clan in Noto and Renno's real brother sent troops to Kaga on the ground of assisting his nephew Jitsugo after he got permission from the lord Yoshifusa HATAKEYAMA. On November 5, around the Tedori River in Kaga Province, the allied troops of Norikage (Soteki) ASAKURA and Gashu Sanka-ji Temples once defeated the troops of Hongan-ji Temple, but in the Battle of Tsubata in November the counterattack by Hongan-ji Temple's side killed Ietoshi HATAKEYAMA and annihilated his troops and Kokyo-ji Temple, the last temple of Gashu Sanka-ji Temples was captured. Consequently, Renko was confined and died soon, Renkei was executed, Rengo, Kensei, and Jitsugo fled from Kaga and became the subject of orders to hunt them down issued to branch temples and followers all through the country, and six years later they were officially excommunicated for the Hongaku-ji Temple assault plan executed by the old Gashu Sanka-ji Temples followers. This perfected the ruling system with Hongan-ji Temple's hoshu at the top, and at the same time the maternal grandfather Renjun, who had purged the major family members, started to build an absolute position under the name of hoshu Shonyo (Renjun seems to have later repented killing or banishing his brothers and his nephew because, nineteen years after the battle, just before he died, he asked Shonyo to permit reassociation of the survivors, Kensei, Jitsugo, and others).
This internal conflict developed into the battle between the Ikko sects in which the Chosho-ji Temple and Hongan-ji Temple side which confined to orders from Hongan-ji hoshu was called 'Dai-Ikki' (Big League) and the Gashu Sanka-ji Temples side which was purged as traitors despite they were authorized as governors of the Kaga Domain was called 'Sho-Ikki' (Little League), which is why this battle is also called 'Daisho Ikki.'

After this battle, the followers in the Hokuriku region including Kaga fell under the direct dominance of the magistrates dispatched by the Hongan-ji Temple, and in 1546 Oyama Gobo was built in Kanazawa City as its symbol.

Subjugation of Hatakeyama and Miyoshi

Refer to the Battle of Imoriyama Castle for the details.

In June, in the middle of the Kyoroku War, Harumoto HOSOKAWA enhanced his fame by winning the Battle of Daimotsu and making Takakuni HOSOKAWA commit suicide, which also enhanced the reputation of Renjun who supported Harumoto. At that time, Renjun was asked by Nagamasa KIZAWA, who was trying to leave his master Yoshitake (Yoshinobu) HATAKEYAMA, the governor of Kawachi Province, to belong to Harumoto, to intervene for his betrayal, but it soon came to Yoshinobu's attention.

In August, 1531, Yoshinobu started to suppress KIZAWA, which was joined even by Motonaga MIYOSHI. Harumoto did not know how to deal with Nagamasa's request for support. Although he was annoyed about Motonaga who often criticized him, it was not advantageous to help almost losing Nagamasa, and therefore he attempted to put this battle to an end by calling on withdrawal to both sides.

However, in May, 1532, the allied troops of Hatakeyama and Miyoshi attacked Nagamasa KIZAWA again. So Harumoto requested Renjun, who caused the KIZAWA incident, to cooperate in putting down Yoshitaka and Motonaga. Renjun accepted the situation where "a religious community participated in a mere war between samurai families."

Renjun, who was responsible for the religious community in Kinai, had strong resentment against Motonaga, who was a pious follower of the Hokke sect (Nichiren sect). In the past, Motonaga MIYOSHI, who had heard the Hongan-ji Temple followers persecute the Hokke sect followers in Izumi and Yamashiro, oppressed the Hongan-ji Temples side. That is why Renjun recommended Shonyo, the hoshu himself who turned 17, to go for a battle, and positioned this battle as "the ultimate battle between Jodo Shinshu and the Hokke sect" in Kinai to encourage all the followers in Kinai to participate in this battle, in order to make this battle a big campaign.

On July 17, 1532, the battle situation drastically changed by the participation of 100,000 (200,000 in a theory) Hongan-ji Temple followers. Yoshitaka HATAKEYAMA failed to run away and killed himself as well as Motonaga MIYOSHI who was forced to take his own life at besieged Kenpon-ji Temple in Sakai City on July 22. Besides, Yoshitsuna ASHIKAGA, who had dwelled in Sakai City, was banished to Shikoku, and consequently Sakaikubo (the municipal government based in Sakai City) perished.

However, the uprising of the Ikki army did not calm down even after the battle against Motonaga MIYOSHI, the enemy of Buddhists and a symbol of the Hokke sect, and the voice of followers to drive away other Buddhist schools than the Hokke sect overwhelmed the withholding orders by Shonyo and Renjun.

In Yamato Province, the Ikki army charged into Nara to destroy the provincial governorate Kofuku-ji Temple and Junko TSUTSUI and Toshimoto OCHI, who were growing like daimyo (Japanese territorial lords) in the Sengoku Period in the province. The Ikki army burned down all the sub-temples of Kofuku-ji Temple including Daijo-in Temple (the practice spot of Rennyo in his childhood) which had some connection with Hongan-ji Temple, and it is said that all the carp in Sarusawa-ike Pond and all the deer in Kasuga-sha Shrine were eaten up by them. In the end, the Ikko-Ikki army was expelled from Nara by the reinforcements of the Tsutsui and Ochi clans, but Hongan-ji Temple lost its prestige and could not avoid accepting the permanent prohibition of entering Nara.

Fire attack on Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple

For the details, refer to the Battle of Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple.

Surprised at this, Harumoto HOSOKAWA decided to separate from Hongan-ji Temple and suppress the Ikko-Ikki army from the position of Muromachi bakufu kanrei (a shogunal deputy for the Muromachi bakufu). Knowing it, Renjun virtually affirmed the action of the Ikko-Ikki army and ordered to attack Harumoto HOSOKAWA. However, Nagamasa KIZAWA first responded to Harumoto's order, followed by Omi shugo (the governor of Omi Province) Sadayori ROKKAKU who abhorred Hongan-ji Temple, and the Hokke-Ikki army mobilized by the Hokke sect followers in Kyoto and Yamashiro Province to confront the Ikko-Ikki army.

On September 6, 1532, after the era changed to Tenbun, the Hokke-Ikki army assembled in Kyoto and attacked temples after temples belonging to the Hongan-ji Temple community, and on September 11 they associated with the Rokkaku clan and captured Kensho-ji Temple in Otsu where Renjun stayed, and on September 23 they besieged Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple where Shonyo stayed, with a large force of 30,000 men, and on August 22 (the old calendar) Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple went up in flames. Before Kensho-ji Temple fell down, however, the most important figure Renjun ran away to another foothold Ise-Nagashima Gansho-ji Temple, and hid himself in his son Jitsue's place (Jodo Shishu) (by the way, the third excommunication of Honpuku-ji Temple, mentioned above, was done in the course of this event). Isolated Shonyo was found by Renyo's youngest son Jitsuju, who had retreated into Yamashina Hongan-ji Temple, and was narrowly carried away to Ishiyama Gobo.

Transfer to Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple and the reconciliation

Shonyo renamed Ishiyama Gobo 'Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple' and made it his new foothold, and ordered Raishu and Raisei SHIMOTSUMA who were taking command in place of Renjun, to defend the temple, but Tomita Kyogyo-ji Temple was captured and Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple was surrounded by the allied army of Hosokawa, Rokkaku, and the Hokke-Ikki army. However, after turning into 1533, they temporarily broke the besiegement by attacking Harumoto in association with the forces having hard feelings against Harumoto such as Takakuni HOSOKAWA's brother Harukuni HOSOKAWA and Tanemichi HATANO belonging to the sect of Motonaga MIYOSHI. This adversely ended up in giving a legitimate reason to Shogun Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA's order to Harumoto to suppress Hongan-ji Temple. After that, the situation of the war got better and worse, but in June, 1536, the Hosokawa army launched an all-out attack and the Hongan-ji Temple side was as ruined as written as 'Hongan-ji Temple was destroyed' in the diary of Emperor Gonara.

At this timing, Shonyo began peace negotiations with Renjun who was called back from Nagashima in April, and Shonyo and Renjun were discharged by imputing the responsibility of having instigated this Ikki uprising to Shimotsuma brothers and, with the condition that they and all the followers in Kinai be excommunicated, the reconciliation between the bakufu, Hosokawa, and Rokkaku was achieved in November. After the reconciliation, Renjun continued to stay in Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple at Shonyo's request and practically recovered the position as he used to be in, as the assistant of Shonyo, who came of age, and until he died at this temple in 1550 Renjun kept the position as the virtual supreme leader of Hongan-ji Temple under the name of Shonyo.

[Original Japanese]