Hosokawa Sumimoto (細川澄元)

Sumimoto HOSOKAWA was a war lord and daimyo during the Sengoku period (period of warring states). He was an adopted son of Masamoto HOSOKAWA. He was the father of Harumoto HOSOKAWA. He was from the Awa HOSOKAWA Clan (based in Shimoyakata), which held the rank of Shobanshu (officials who accompany the Shogun).

He was born to Yoshiharu HOSOKAWA in 1489. His father, Yoshiharu, was the Shugo of Awa Province but died young. Subsequently he was raised by his grandfather, Shigeyuki HOSOKAWA.

The childless Masamoto HOSOKAWA, who at the time controlled the shogunate government as Kanrei (shogunal deputy), had adopted Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA from the Kujo clan to be his successor but in May 1503, he disinherited Sumiyuki and adopted Sumimoto as the heir to the family title. However, this caused conflict between Sumiyuki and Sumimoto over who should be family head. From 1506 to 1507, under Masamoto's orders, Sumimoto and Sumiyaki attacked Yoshinari ISSHIKI of Tango Province but were defeated.

On August 11, 1507, Masamoto was assassinated by Sumiyuki's supporters, including Motonaga KOZAI and Nagatada YAKUSHIJI, and on August 12, Sumiyuki's vassals attacked the residence of Sumimoto, who managed to escape to Koga in Omi Province together with Yukinaga MIYOSHI. Having regained strength with the help of Omi residents, Sumimoto entered Kyoto on September 17, killed Sumiyuki and his supporters and, on September 18, had the eleventh Shogun, Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA, approve his inheritance of the HOSOKAWA Clan.

But Sumimoto's youth meant that his right hand man, Yukinaga MIYOSHI, in fact became more powerful, and this made him temporarily think about returning to Awa. But he decided not to return home, partly at Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA's urging.

When news of the chain of events in Kyoto reached the tenth Shogun, Yoshitada (renamed from Yoshiki) ASHIKAGA, in exile in Suo Province, he began marching for Kyoto, supported by Yoshioki OUCHI. Although Sumimoto attempted to hold peace talks with Yoshioki, they broke down because Takakuni HOSOKAWA, who was another adopted son of Masamoto and had cooperated in the fight against Sumiyuki, betrayed Sumimoto and took sides with OUCHI.

Takakuni HOSOKAWA marched into Kyoto in May 1508. Sumimoto was defeated by the combined forces of Motosuke ITAMI of Settsu and Sadamasa NAITO of Tanba and fled to Omi together with Yukinaga and Shogun Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA. When Yoshitane (renamed from Yoshitada) ASHIKAGA entered Kyoto with the support of Yoshioki OUCHI in July, he deprived Sumimoto of his right to be head of the HOSOKAWA clan, giving it instead to Takakuni.

However, in 1509, as Yoshioki OUCHI's relationship with Yoshitane ASHIKAGA soured, Sumimoto and Yukinaga attacked Kyoto in the Battle of Nyoigatake but were defeated by Takakuni and Yoshioki's counterattack and escaped to Awa.

In 1511, Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA joined forces with Masakata HOSOKAWA (of the Tenkyu branch) and entered Kyoto (Battle of Funaokayama). But, partly because of the death of Yoshizumi from illness during the battle, Sumimoto suffered a major loss in the face of a countercharge by Yoshioki OUCHI; consequently Masakata was killed in action, and Sumimoto fled to Settsu.

In September 1518, Yoshioki OUCHI returned to Suo and, in 1519, Sumimoto and Yukinaga attacked Settsu. In February 1520, following a peasant uprising in Yamashiro in support of Sumimoto, Shogun Yoshitane ASHIKAGA turned against Takakuni HOSOKAWA in favor of Sumimoto, with Takakuni fleeing alone to Sakamoto in Omi Province. This marked the start of Sumimoto's administration.

In May, Takakuni raised a large army and marched into Kyoto. However, Sumimoto and Yukinaga were unable to raise an army and Yukinaga was arrested and forced to kill himself, while Sumimoto fled to Itami Castle in Settsu; his administration collapsed in a short period of time. The disappointed and disease-stricken Sumimoto soon had to escape again to Harima Province following Takakuni's offensive. He died at Awa Shozui Castle on July 4, 1520 at the age of 32.

He was succeeded by his son, Harumoto HOSOKAWA.

[Original Japanese]