Kizawa Nagamasa (木沢長政)

Nagamasa KIZAWA (1493? - April 12, 1542) was a man in the Warring States period of Japan. He was the a deputy of the provincial constable of Kawachi Province and southern Yamashiro Province. He had the title of Sakyo no Suke. He was a castellan of Kawachi Iimoriyamajo Castle and Shingisanjo Castle in Yamato Province. Some say that Uhen (Sakon?) KIZAWA was his father. Samojo KIZAWA was his younger brother. Some say that Ukon KIZAWA and Matahachiro KIZAWA were members of his clan.

The Kizawa clan was a family whose name is seen among the vassals of the Hatakeyama clan. Renin KIZAWA is known from the period of Mochikuni HATAKEYAMA.

During the period of Nagamasa, his master's family the Hatakeyama clan was divided into the Soshu and Bishu families in opposition to each other; at first, Nagamasa served Yoshitaka HATAKEYAMA of the Hatakeyama Soshu family, which had Yoshinari HATAKEYAMA as its ancestor. However, as he gave up his master's family with internal trouble, he gradually started taking action independently.

He tried to elevate his position by gaining the favor of the Hosokawa clan, and to eliminate his political enemies he showed the cunning of using religious conflict between the Ikko and Hokke sects. Finally, he gained power enough to control his master family in his own generation, which made his name known throughout the Kinai region. He became isolated, however, because he had been bid-headed, and in the end he lost against Nagayoshi MIYOSHI and died in the battle.

Make full use of scheme
In those days, he approached Harumoto HOSOKAWA, who was about to gain an advantage in the dispute over the position of Kanrei (shogunal deputy) in the Hosokawa clan, by supporting Yoshitsuna ASHIKAGA, who was also called Hirashima Kubo. However, in 1531, when Takakuni HOSOKAWA, a sworn enemy of Rokuro (Harumoto), invaded Settsu Province, he temporarily disappeared probably in fear of a confrontation with the Takakuni army which was forceful at first. However, when the victory of the Sakaikubo group, Rokuro (Harumoto) and others became definitely by defeating Takakuni in the battle of Tennoji (Daimotsukuzure) and forcing him to commit seppuku (suicide by disembowelment), Renin showed up again, captured Tadatake HOWOKAWA, who was a leading figure of the Takakuni side, and made Tadatake commit seppuku.

Besides, he was also a member in support of Sakaikubo, Yoshitsuna ASHIKAGA probably because his master Yoshitaka had Rokuro's sister as his lawful wife. After eliminating their common enemy Takakuni, however, the unity of the Sakaikubo group began to crack.

Rokuro (Harumoto) was the cause.

Even though Motonaga MIYOSHI, a powerful vassal of Harumoto, was the main person of the Yoshitsuna (Sakaikubo) group, he remonstrated against the policy of Rokuro (Harumoto) to try to make peace with the shogun Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA, who had been opposing them. Both of them gradually began to oppose each other such that Yoshitaka also stood on the side of dissuasion.

In this situation, Nagamasa's attitude of making a closer approach to Rokuro (Harumoto) over a head of his master family (the Hatakeyama clan) resulted in the unity of his master Yoshitaka and Motonaga MIYOSHI, who both regarded it as dangerous. Nagamasa, who risked execution, paid attention to Masanaga MIYOSHI, who regarded Motonaga as an enemy in the Miyoshi clan. He succeeded in estranging Motonaga and Rokuro (Harumoto) by conspiring with Masanaga to slander Motonaga against Rokuro (Harumoto).

He was in an inferior position as his residential fortress Iimoriyamajo Castle was attacked twice by Yoshitaka and Motonaga, but in July and August 1532, he encountered the reinforcements of the Ikko Ikki (an uprising of Ikko sect followers), who had come to fight at Rokuro's (Harumoto) request, and repulsed them. He escaped the difficult situation.

The Ikko Ikki in that situation attacked so tremendous that they not only caused his master Yoshitaka to commit suicide with a sword but also raided the base of the Miyoshi clan in the Kinai region, Kenponji Temple in Izumi Province (Sakai City) to drove Motonaga to suicide, whereupon the Sakaikubo were extinguished.

Although he successfully eliminated his political enemies by using the conflict between the Ikko clan and the Hokke clan, the Ikko Ikki army turned and entered Yamato Province beyond the expectation of Nagamasa. In Yamato, they caused a disturbance by colliding with some other religious sects such as Kofuku-ji Temple and starting riots such as the Kyoroku Tenbun Disturbance and the Tenbun War.

Consequently, having received the order from Harumoto, who had become Deputy to the Shogun under Shogun Yoshiharu, Nagamasa became busy with taking action and suppressing the Ikko Ikki. Then, he allied with the Hokke Ikki, who opposed the Ikko Ikki, and using their power he sought out and attacked the Ikko Ikki. When he successfully reduced the power of the Ikko Ikki, the Hokke Ikki became a nuisance; in 1536, he attacked and defeated them (the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance).

Thereafter, he managed to repair the relationship with the Ikko sect by actively exchanging letters and gifts with Shonyo and Renjun of Hongan-ji Temple. In this way, Nagamasa became recognized as one of the influential persons in the Kinai region.

Having a command of both Hatakeyama families
The Soshu family had already been ruined in the Kawachi Hatakeyama clan, but on the other hand, the Bishu family whose ancestor is regarded to be Masanaga HATAKEYAMA was still thriving. At that time of 1534, the head of the Bishu family was Tanenaga HATAKEYAMA, but Nagamasa banished Tanenaga to Kii Province by conspiring with the family's senior vassal Naganori YUSA and others. Initially, they made a pupppet of Tanenaga's younger brother Nagatsune HATAKEYAMA, the master of the Eastern Capital Offices, but due to interference from Harumoto, Nagatsune was dedposed; then, they backed Nagatsune's younger brother Masakuni HATAKEYAMA, the governor of Harima province? and Ariuji HATAKEYAMA from the Soshu family to take the form of joint sovereignty, whereby Nagamasa, along with Naganori, held the reins of the Hatakeyama clan.

Since then, Nagamasa's ambition didn't stop with the rule of only a single province Kawachi, but his military actions extended to each province in the Kinai region. He was particularly tenacious of Yamato Province, the Soshu family's past territory, which became a great threat for the local samurai 'Kokujinshu'. At this time he constructed Shingisanjo Castle and Nijozanjo Castle (Yamato Province) as footholds which lead to both Kawachi and Yamato.

The turning point
In Kinai, Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, a child of the late Motonaga, and Nobumasa (Hisamune) IKEDA, the powerful Kokujin in Settsu, were emerging.

It was Nagamasa who interceded with Nagayoshi to return to service; this was because that as the Miyoshi clan was deeply connected with the Hokke clan, Nagamasa needed the help of the Miyoshi clan in order to make peace with the Hokke clan. Nagayoshi, who was beginning to stand out in the Harumoto government despite being young, first opposed Harumoto among the enemies that had killed his father, but later, made peace with Harumoto. After receiving Settsu Koshimizujo Castle, Nagayoshi steadily expanded in Kinai and sought to regain the former territory of his father Motonaga, which had been confiscated by Nagamasa.

A problem more serious than these changes in external conditions was a conflict with Naganori YUSA over the initiative in the Hatakeyama family. To oppose Naganori YUSA, who had even schemed to drive out Nagamasa by making peace with his former master Tanenaga HATAKEYAMA, he planned to strengthen the relationship with Kanrei, Harumoto HOSOKAWA through the intermediation of monk Renjun, but failed in that attempt. The reason isn't clear but he killed Nagatsune HATAKEYAMA, who had once been ousted, and during this period, there were signs that Nagamasa became big-headed in the Hatakeyama family.

In 1541, he opposed Harumoto and Nagayoshi about the treatment of Masatoshi SHIOKAWA (the Yamashitajo Castle) who was regarded as being of the former Takakuni group. Therefore, in order to compete with them, Nagamasa allied himself with Chikaoki ITAMI and Kunimura MIYAKE, who were powerful local samurai in Settsu. He withdrew Nagayoshi and Nobumasa who had envelopped Hitokurojo Castle; attacked Nobumasa's Haradajo Castle and advanced on Kyoto; and schemed to back up Shogun Yoshiharu, but the essential Yoshiharu escaped to Sakamoto in Omi Province, which caused Nagamasa to become a rebel against the bakufu. Moreover, with the defections of Masatoshi and Kunimura who quickly made peace with Harumoto, he became more isolated.

In the next year 1542, a coup broke out in Kawachi Takayajo Castle. The vassals of the Kizawa group were executed, and Masakuni HATAKEYAMA was banished. Tanenaga Hatakeyama returned as the head of the family by eventually repairing his relationship with Nagori Yusa. Nagamasa had lost his backing base in the Kawachi Hatakeyama Bishu family and had been made to withstand an increasingly difficult situation; therefore, only part of Yamato Kokujinshu, mainly as former vassals of the Soshu family, such as Ieyoshi YAGYU had followed Nagamasa.

He failed in his scheme of retaking Takayajo Castle; and even though he fought against the bakufu's hunting army in the battle of Kawachi Taiheiji, he was defeated by the joint army of Harumoto HOSOKAWA, Nagayoshi MIYOSHI and Naganori YUSA, and killed in the battle.

Even though his period of conspicuous activity in a turbulent times lasted slightly more than ten years, he had keen nose for political unrest and was cunning enough to entrap opposing enemies, he lived through the confusion of the Kinai region. Moreover, with his fiendish plan without regard to its appearance, it can be said that he was a crafty hero who incited the confusion of the Kinai region. However, without such fiendish plan which had been a source of his success in life, he was frail.

After his death
A lot of members of the clan were killed in the battle as well as Nagamasa, whereupon Nijozanjo Castle and Shingisanjo Castle fell and the power of Nagamasa vanished; but the remnants combined with those of the former Takakuni HOSOKAWA, and several months later, the Ujitsuna HOSOKAWA Rebellion erupted as they raised an army with Ujitsuna HOSOKAWA as their leader. After Nagamasa's death, Junsho TSUTSUI gained power in Yamato, and the military commander Hisahide MATSUNAGA was sent by Nagayoshi to suppress that power.

[Original Japanese]