Hosokawa Mototsune (細川元常)

Mototsune HOSOKAWA was shugo (provincial constable) of the northern part of Izumi Province and the lord of Shoryuji-jo Castle in Yamashiro Province in the Sengoku period (period of warring states).

He was born as the heir and son of Motoari HOSOKAWA in 1482. As his father died in a battle in 1500, Mototsune inherited the family head and the rank of shugo of the northern part of Izumi Province.

But when shogunal deputy Masamoto HOSOKAWA was assassinated (in Eisho Disturbance) in 1508, the Hosokawa family was split over who was to inherit the family. Mototsune sided with the adopted son of Masamoto, Sumimoto HOSOKAWA, and fought the other adopted son Takakuni HOSOKAWA, but as he was defeated in the battle, he was deprived of the rank of shugo. After the death of Sumimoto, Mototsune supported Sumimoto's heir Harumoto HOSOKAWA, and when Takakuni was killed in action in 1531, Mototsune was allowed to regain the title of shugo by Harumoto, and since then he acted as a pro-Harumoto samurai and repeatedly mobilized his army to crush the antagonistic groups in the domain.

The conflict between Ujitsuna HOSOKAWA, the adopted son of Takakuni, and Harumoto started in 1543. In response, Mototsune sided with Harumoto and fought Ujitsuna, but since one of close retainers of Harumoto, Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, betrayed his master and sided with the Hosokawa clan, Mototsune's army was defeated (in the Battle of Eguchi), and his territory was eventually bereaved by Nagayoshi. It lead to the decline of the lines of the Hosokawa clan, and Mototsune found himself running away to Omi Province accompanying shogun Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA ousted by Nagayoshi.

He died on July 25, 1554. He died at the age of 73. He transferred the family head to Fujitaka HOSOKAWA, who was a son of his younger brother Harukazu MITSUBUCHI.

The death of Mototsune practically ended the reign of Izumi by the Hosokawa clan, shugo of the northern part of Izumi Province.

[Original Japanese]