Hosokawa Okimoto (細川興元)

Okimoto HOSOKAWA was a military commander who lived in the Azuchi-Momoyama Period. He was the lord of the Motegi Domain in Shimotsuke Province. Later he became the first lord of Yatabe Domain in Hitachi Province.

Family Line

He was the second son of Fujitaka HOSOKAWA (Yusai HOSOKAWA). Although some historical data (Bukejiki [the account of the military houses]) states that his real name was Masaoki, Kansei Choshu Shokafu (genealogies of vassals in Edo bakufu) only shows Okimoto as his name. His mother was Jako, who was a daughter of Mitsukane NUMATA who was a vassal of the Ashikaga clan and also was the head of Wakasa Kumagawa Castle. Okimoto's legitimate wife was a daughter of Kanyuzaemon Kiyonobu NUMATA, while his second wife, who he married later, was an adopted daughter of Muneshige TACHIBANA (but was born to Shigetane TAKAHASHI).

It is possible to speculate that the second son Okimoto was able to take over Fujitaka as the head of the Hosokawa family and the governor of half of Izumi Province because Okimoto's older brother, Tadaoki HOSOKAWA, was adopted by Terutsune HOSOKAWA and took over the Oshu-Hosokawa family.


In 1566, he was born as the second son of Fujitaka HOSOKAWA.

He first served Nobunaga ODA with his father and brother, and played an important role in the invasion of Kataoka Castle in Yamato Province. After Nobunaga died, he served Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and played an important role in the Siege of Odawara and the Invasion of Korea. He temporarily became a Christian and therefore had a Christian name. He had no children for a long time and therefore adopted Okiaki HOSOKAWA, the second son born to Tadaoi and Gracia HOSOKAWA, before the Battle of Sekigahara.

After Hideyoshi died, he served Ieyasu TOKUGAWA and provided distinguished military service in the Battle of Sekigahara. Although he served as a jodai (keeper) of Kokura Castle in Buzen, his relationship with his older brother Tadaoki deteriorated and he therefore left his older brother and lived in seclusion in Kyoto. However, Hidetada TOKUGAWA recognized his military achievements, and in 1610, he received a territory of 10,000 goku crop yields in Motegi, Haga County, Shimotsuke Province and became a lord. Although the truth is not known, there has been a rumor that Hidetada originally planned to give 100,000 goku crop yields but reduced it to 10,000 because the idea was opposed by Tadaoki, the older brother.

Okimoto also showed outstanding performance in the Osaka no Jin (The Siege of Osaka) which started in 1614, and as a result, he received an additional 6,200 goku crop yields in both Tsukuba and Kawachi Counties in Hitachi Province, leading him to establish Yatabe Domain. In 1617, he was appointed to otogishu (adviser) of Shogun Hidetada TOKUGAWA.

He died on May 1, 1619. Died at the age of 53. His position was taken over by Okimasa HOSOKAWA who was born to him and a daughter of the Numata clan.

[Original Japanese]