The Asuke clan (足助氏)

The Asuke clan is one of the Japanese clans. It's a branch of the Urano clan, descended from MINAMOTO no Mitsumasa, the origin of Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan). It originated in Asuke no sho, Kamo County, Mikawa Province.

It is said that in the late Heian period a grandchild of Shigeto URANO, whose name was Sigenaga ASUKE, lived in Asuke-cho, Mikawa Province and called himself the Asuke clan, and for generations since then it was based at Iimori-jo Castle, in Mikawa Province. Also it is considered that it had a relationship to Takahashi-so of Hachijoin-ryo (estates of Hachijo-in), in the same province. Since the Kamakura period, its name was listed among the vassals and seemed to have such a strong relationship with the shogunate that the daughter of the first-generation Shigenaga became a wife of the second shogun of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), MINAMOTO no Yoriie, who had a child called Kugyo with her. It also had a close relationship with the Imperial Court because of its power in the key areas of Tokaido connecting Kyoto and Kamakura; and when the Minamoto clan was broken in 1221and Retired Emperor Gotoba staged a rebellion in an attempt to reclaim the throne and overthrow the Kamakura bakufu, it fought together with samurai around Kyoto who were against the shogunate, and Shigenari ASUKE, who was a child of Shigehide ASUKE, died in the battle (the Jokyu War).

After that, the Asuke clan survived as a vassal of the shogunate, but its relationship with the Imperial Court was still so close that the fourth head, Shigekata ASUKE, and his son Chikashige ASUKE had been given official rank and allowed to enter the denjo room in the palace; moreover, its dissatisfaction with the Kamakura bakufu increased because of problems such as the Shimotsuki Affair in 1285, in which Shigefusa ASUKE was involved and destroyed because, in the Asuke clan, there were relatives of the powerful gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate in the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo periods), Adachi clan.

In the Genko War of 1331, when the attack plan of Emperor Godaigo became known by the shogunate before the fact and the Emperor then evacuated to Mt. Kasagi in Kyoto Prefecture, the seventh head, Jiro Shigenori ASUKE, rushed to him first to engage him in battle. Shigenori fought as the leader of about 2,500 people whom the Emperor had called to action.

After Shigenori's death, the Asuke clan supported Imperial Prince Muneyoshi (of the Southern Court) in the Northern and Southern Courts period (Japan), but later the people left the Asuke clan and scattered throughout the country. Some of them were appointed to the important government post of hokoshu (a military post in Muromachi Shogunate) by the Muromachi bakufu.

[Original Japanese]