Gamo Sadahide (蒲生貞秀)

Sadahide GAMO was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the Sengoku period (period of warring states). He was a castellan of Hino-jo Castle in the Omi Province.


In 1508, he was born as a son of Takasato GAMO. He and his father served a Sengoku daimyo (Japanese territorial lord in the Sengoku period) as a vassal of the Rokkaku clan in Minami Omi. Sadahide's father, Takasato was a branch family of the Gamo clan, and Sadahide's cousin Hidenori GAMO had been taking over the reigns of head family, but while Hidenori was leaning toward the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), Takasato and Sadahide gained their lord Sadayori ROKKAKU's confidence, and he was given a word "Sada" with the backing of the lord, and identified himself as Sadahide, he attacked Hidenori in 1522, and destroyed Otowa-jo Castle which was the Gamo clan's castle at that time. Additionally, in 1525, he deliberately killed Hidenori that was staying in the Kaigake-jo Castle, and he inherited the family. Thereafter, in the former part of the Tenbun era (1532-1554), he constructed Hino-jo Castle (Nakano-jo Castle) and used it as his headquarters.

Sadahide participated in most of Sadayori's major battles such as the departure for Kyoto in 1530, and beheaded 29 enemy generals in the war against Sukemasa AZAI in 1531 (the Battle of Minoura) as a vassal of Sadayori, and distinguished himself in those wars. In 1549, he fought with Nagayoshi MIYOSHI in Settsu Province. After Sadayori's death in 1552, he served Sadayori's son Yoshikata ROKKAKU, and he played an active role in charge of conquering the Ise Province and so on.

He entered into priesthood in 1558. In 1559, he attacked Sawayama-jo Castle that Hisamasa AZAI belonged to.

He gave his second son, Shigetsuna AOCHI to the Aochi clan of the Sasaki family, and third son Sanetaka OGURA to the Ogura clan who was a predecessor of the capture of Ise for adoption, and married off his daughters to Morinobu SEKI and Tomomori KANBE; those his marriage policy had grown his unique power.

He had a good sense of domestic administration, and in Sadayori's confidence, he formed a castle town, and took measures for commerce. Manufacturing Hino-wan (a lacquerware bowl) was begun with the formation of the castle town. He recognized the importance of Teppo (gun) since early stage, and he invited a Teppo craftsman to the Hino castle town (there is another theory that he got a swordsmith to change the job).

In 1563, in the event of Kannonji family feud occurred within the Rokkaku clan, he hid lord Yoshiharu ROKKAKU following Takaharu GOTO and he made efforts to mediate a settlement and handled the situation. He signed to the Rokkaku clan code (1567) as a chief vassal.

In 1568, he served Nobunaga ODA after the Rokkaku clan went to ruin. He died in 1579. He was 72 years old.

Personal Profile and Anecdote

He was a grand person among the senior vassals of the Rokkaku clan, and he independently promulgated a Tokuseirei (ordering return of land sold and dissolution of debts) in 1562.

He and Sadayori ROKKAKU were tied by strong relationship as a master and servant, but after Yoshikata ROKKAKU inherited the family, Sadahide's power became more powerful and reversed this master and servant relationship, and he lent money to Yoshikata that was struggling against hard living because he was forced out of his castle by the Kannonji family feud in 1564, and he steadily secured a pledge of refund.

[Original Japanese]