Ashikaga Masatomo (足利政知)

Masatomo ASHIKAGA was a member of the Ashikaga family and the first Horigoe Kubo (the Governor-general based in Horigoe, Izu Province) in the late Muromachi period.

He was a younger paternal half-brother of the 7th Shogun Yoshikatsu ASHIKAGA as well as an older paternal half-brother of the 8th Shogun Yoshimasa and Yoshimi. He had children including Chachamaru ASHIKAGA, Jundoji, Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA who became the 11th Shogun, and Masaharu ODA who was adopted to Shigeharu ODA.

Although he left the capital as Kanto Kubo (the Governor-general of the Kanto region) officially recognized by Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), he could not enter Kamakura and ended up in staying in Horigoe, Izu Province due to the decline of the bakufu's authority and the internal conflict in the Uesugi clan. For that reason, he was called Horigoe Kubo.

Brief Personal History
He was born the second son of the 6th Shogun Yoshinori ASHIKAGA in 1435. He was older than Yoshimasa and Yoshimi, but positioned as a younger brother because mother of Yoshimasa and Yoshimi was from the Hino family which seized the reins of power in the bakufu. In his childhood, he became a Buddhist monk in the Kyogoku-in of the Tenryu-ji Temple, but returned to secular life by the order from his younger brother Yoshimasa in 1457.

He was dispatched as the bakufu-recognized Kanto Kubo (the Governor-general of the Kanto region), but he could not enter Kamakura and stayed in Horigoe, Izu Province because Shigeuji ASHIKAGA who stood against the bakufu in those days had big influence there. Believing the slander of his assistant Yoshikane SHIBUKAWA, Kanto Shitsuji (assistant to Kanto Kubo), he notified Yoshimasa of the rebellion of Mochitomo UESUGI of the Ogigayatsu Uesugi clan, which led to the objection of support to Masatomo within the Uesugi clan. Consequently, he lost the opportunity to enter Kamakura. Since then, he waged battles against the Koga Kubo (the Ashikaga family based in Koga, the Kanto region) led by Nariuji for nearly 30 years, but failed to control throughout the Kanto region because he was not given sufficient military forces by the bakufu which was engaged in the Onin war in those days.

He made peace with Nariuji in 1483 because the Uesugi clan and Nariuji were reconciled to each other and the bakufu acknowledged it. The Horigoe Kubo was finally a ruler of Izu Province only.

In his later years, he ordered Kanto Shitsuji, Masanori UESUGI to kill himself because he admonished Masatomo against disinheritance of the oldest son Chachamaru. He also planed to abandon the 10th Shogun Yoshitane ASHIKAGA in cooperation with Shogunal Deputy Masamoto HOSOKAWA, but failed because he died of illness in Izu in April 1491. He was 57 years old.

Three months after his death, the internal conflict occurred between his sons Chachamaru and Jundoji over a successor to him and it incurred the invasion to Izu Province by Soun HOJO.

Career of job grade
* Date expressed in old calendar. He became Horigoe Kubo (the Governor-general based in Horigoe, Izu Province) on December 19, 1457. He returned to secular life and took the name of Masatomo on December 26. On the same day, he received Jugoige (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and was appointed to Sama no kami (Captain of Samaryo, Left Division of Bureau of Horses).

He was promoted to Jushiige (Junior Forth Rank, Lower Grade) on November 26, 1470.

He was promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) on September 9, 1475. He remained in the position of Sahyoe no kami (Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards).

He resigned as Sahyoe no kami in 1485.

[Original Japanese]