Ise Sadachika (伊勢貞親)

Sadachika ISE (1417 - February 27, 1473) was mandokoro shitsuji (head of the chief governing body) within the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) during the Muromachi period. His father was Sadakuni ISE and his mother was the daughter of Chikatoshi NINAGAWA. Sadafuji ISE was his brother. Sadamune ISE was his son.
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In 1454, he inherited the family estate. Sadachika raised young Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA, the future 8th shogun, and through mediation by Mochikuni HATAKEYAMA, then kanrei (top official post in the Muromachi bakufu), formed a spurious father-son relation with Yoshimasa.
He succeeded in restructuring bakufu finances through the establishment of the buichisenseido (tax system developed by the Muromachi bakufu), thereby winning the confidence of the Ashikaga shogunate
In 1460, he was appointed mandokoro shitsuji. In place of passive Yoshimasa, Sadachika and a zen monk, Shinzui KIKEI, held power over the bakufu government.

In 1464, when Yoshimasa's legal wife, Tomiko HINO, gave birth to a boy (Yoshihisa ASHIKAGA), Sadachika became his menoto (a foster father). At the time, there was a fight for the family estate within the Shiba clan between Yoshitoshi and Yoshikado. Sadachika intervened and suggested that Yoshimasa award the Shiba estate to Yoshitoshi; however, Mochitoyo YAMANA (Sozen) and Katsumoto HOSOKAWA sided with Yoshikado. Before Yoshihisa was born, it had been decided that Yoshimasa's younger brother Yoshimi ASHIKAGA would be the next shogun; however, with the birth of Yoshimasa's son, a dispute over who would become the next shogun broke out between Yoshimasa and Yoshimi, and in the same year, Sadachika, Yoshihisa's foster father, schemed to discredit Yoshimi by starting a rumor that Yoshimi was planning a rebellion. Yoshimi sought the help of Katsumoto, which resulted in Sadachika being accused of zanso (bringing false charges) and driven out to Omi Province (Shiga Prefecture), an incident leading to the Bunsho Political Incident in which Shizui and Masanori AKAMATSU, who had sided with Sadachika, were ousted.

In the following year, 1467, a fight broke out between the west force led by Katsumoto HOSOKAWA and east force led by Mochitoyo YAMANA, which developed into the Onin War, and he was called back by Yoshimasa. In 1471, he resigned from his position and joined priesthood. He died in 1473, at the age of 57.

He is said to be one of the persons responsible for the Onin War, and the book entitled "Onin Bekki" includes a lampoon "世の中は 皆歌読に 業平の 伊勢物語 せぬ人ぞなき." Sadachika left "Ise Sadachika kyokun" (The teachings of Sadachika ISE) to his son, Sadamune. Incidentally, Moritoki ISE (a.k.a. Soun HOJO) was a family lord of the Ise clan, a clan related to Sadachika, in Bicchu Province, and was the son of Morisada ISE (one theory argues that Morisada's wife was Sadachika's sister and the relationship between Sadachika and Moritoki was that of uncle and nephew), who was involved in the shogunate government along with Sadachika and served Yoshimi ASHIKAGA on Sadachika's recommendation.

Ise Sadachika Kyokun

Ise Sadachika Kyokun is the teachings of Sadachika ISE left for Sadamune, at the end of the Muromachi period. The book consists of 38 articles and a memorandum explaining the intent of the work (epilogue and one waka poem).

There are many theories as to when the book was written, but the most dominant theory is that it was written several years before Sadamune's genpuku (coming of age ceremony). It details the bukekojitsu (manners and rules for the samurai class) of Ise, and the fostering of the Ashikaga shogunate family's children, focusing on important points in the education of samurai family, that he learned while fostering Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA, prompting increased consciousness of Sadamune's future role.
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The book systematically describes important points regarding the education of successors to samurai families, particularly the feudal lord's family, thereby giving Sadachika the title, "The Forefather of Daimyo Education."

Sadachika placed importance on the following four points.

Do not neglect reverence to the gods and Buddha.

In government and as a leader of a clan, have the people show respect to their superiors. Show courtesy as followers and reward those who are loyal and faithful to the lord.

Samurai should acquire skill in archery and horsemanship, which should be practiced daily; then comes the importance of academic training (not to be insisted upon as much as archery and horsemanship). Art (good or bad) is sufficient at an inconspicuous level. On the other hand, one should not be too taken up with inuoumono (dog-hunting, a skill involving archery) and sarugaku (the performing arts).

Lastly, Sadachika explains the importance of showing courtesy on a daily basis. The Ise clan, in particular, was mandokoro shitsuji and the family set the example for bukekojitsu (manners and rules for the samurai class); therefore, showing respect and courtesy was important in maintaining authority as a leader and Ise's position in the bakufu government. It states that showing hospitality to visitors will lead to gaining allies (in other words, not creating enemies).

The above four points: "Reverence to God and Buddha," "Relationship between leaders and followers in private and public settings," "Education focusing on the military and cultural arts," and "Courtesy on a daily basis" are fundamental in the education of samurai families in general, not only the Ise clan, and the book greatly influenced later generations, along with "Hojo Shigetoki Kakun" ("A family precept by Shigetoki HOJO").

[Original Japanese]