Ise Sadaoki (伊勢貞興)

Sadaoki ISE

A man who lived in the late Muromachi period. It is suggested he was an elder brother of Soun HOJO.

He lived from the late Sengoku period (Period of Warring States) to the Azuchi-Momoyama period. This section provides a brief description.

Sadaoki ISE (1559 - July 12, 1582) was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the Sengoku period and a researcher of Yusoku Kojitsu (court and samurai rules of ceremony and etiquette).

His childhood name was Kumachiyo. His common name was Yosaburo. He was the Governor of Ise Province. His grandfather was Sadataka ISE. His father was Sadayoshi ISE. His siblings were Sadatame ISE and Okogo no Tsubone (though some disagree).

He was a former retainer of shogun. He was a researcher of the Ise school of Yusoku kojitsu. He wrote 'Ise Sadaoki Hentosho,' a book that describes Buke Kojitsu (Regulations governing the customs of the warrior class).

Personal Profile

The Ise clan had originally served as Mandokoro Shitsuji (chief of the Mandokoro, the Administrative Board) of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), but had gone into decline after his grandfather, Sadataka, and his father, Sadayoshi, were defeated and killed in 1563 in conflict with the Miyoshi clan. Sadaoki and his brother, Sadatame, did not advance beyond kinju (attendants) of the bakufu. He succeeded as the head of the family because his elder brother was sickly.

When the last shogun of the Muromachi bakufu, Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA, was banished from Kyoto by Nobunaga ODA, effectively detroying the shogunate, Sadaoki served Mitsuhide AKECHI. He won the confidence of Mitsuhide AKECHI because, despite his youth, he had wisdom and courage, high administrative abilities, and was well-versed in military affairs and Buke-kojitsu. Some suggest that he married a daughter of Mitsuhide AKECHI. Under Mitsuhide AKECHI, he played an active role in campaigns such as the capture of Tanba Province and won fame within the Akechi family as a young yet distinguished warrior, comparable to Toshimitsu SAITO.

Early in the morning of July 1, 1582, when Mitsuhide AKECHI raided Nobunaga ODA on Honno-ji Temple (in the so-called Honno-ji Incident), Sadaoki ISE led a 2000-strong force in attacking Nobunaga ODA's eldest son, Nobutada ODA, at Nijo-jo Castle and he himself fought hard, wielding his spear.

In the Battle of Yamasaki that started around noon on July 12, 1582, a staring contest started between the forces of Mitsuhide AKECHI and the forces of Nobutaka ODA (including Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and Nagahide NIWA), who were looking to avenge Nobunaga ODA, with fighting finally starting as the sun was beginning to go down. The opening action saw the 2000-strong force of Sadaoki ISE start to attack Kiyohide NAKAGAWA's 3500-strong company from the army of Nobutaka KANBE. Sadaoki ISE's powerful forces steadily pushed back Kiyohide NAKAGAWA's numerically superior forces. Ukon TAKAYAMA's troops from Nobutaka KANBE's army saw the disadvantageous situation and tried to help Kiyohide NAKAGAWA's forces. Then Toshimitsu SAITO's company from Mitsuhide AKECHI's army interrupted the relief, resulting in a confused battle. One and a half hours after the start of the battle, the difference in strength between the 40000-strong army of Nobutaka KANBE and the 15000-strong army of Mitsuhide AKECHI was clear. Mitsuhide AKECHI's forces retreated from the front, leaving over 3000 dead and injured. Nobutaka KANBE's forces, with about 4000 dead and wounded, did not have any energy left to follow the retreating enemy, putting an end to the Battle of Yamazaki. In the confusion, Sadaoki ISE led the remaining solders as the rear guard to help Mitsuhide AKECHI flee. He himself fought desperately with his spear but died at the age of 24.

Descendants of his elder brother, Sadatame, took over as heads of the Ise clan and became hatamoto (direct retainers of the shogun) in the Edo period.

[Original Japanese]