Hosokawa Sumiyuki (細川澄之)

Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the late Muromachi period (the Sengoku period [period of warring states]). He became an adopted son of Masamoto HOSOKAWA who was a Bakufu Kanrei (shogunal deputy).

In 1489, he was born as the last child of a chief adviser to the Emperor, Masamoto KUJO. His mother was a daughter of Takemitsu MUSHANOKOJI and Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA, who was the 11th Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), was his cousin from mother side.

Because kanrei Masamoto HOSOKAWA did not have biological child, Sumiyuki was adopted into Hosokawa Keicho family in September 1502 as the successor of family headship and he was given a post of Tanba shugoshiki (military governor of Tanba Province). However in May 1503, Masamoto disinherited Sumiyuki and adopted Sumimoto HOSOKAWA who was a son of Yoshiharu HOSOKAWA, from Awa Hosokawa clan, for his heir. In 1506, Sumiyuki went Tango Province for subjugation of Yoshiari ISSHIKI by an order of his adoptive father Masamoto, but he retreated.

In June 1507, Masamoto's hikan (low-level bureaucrat) Motonaga KOZAI and Nagatada YAKUSHIJI brought Eisho Disturbance, which was assassination of Masamoto HOSOKAWA. Motonaga and Nagatada also plotted an assassination of Sumimoto but Sumimoto escaped to Omi Province by tact of Kasai (main retainer) Yukinaga MIYOSHI. Sumiyuki went to Kyoto from Tanba Province and was welcomed by Motonaga. He held funeral ceremony for Masamoto and he was acknowledged as the successor of Hosokawa Kanrei family (Keicho family) from Shogun Yoshizumi.

Sumiyuki hardly involved in assassination of Masamoto. Hikan of Keicho family, including Motonaga and Nagatada, took lead in the disturbance, as they wanted to rid of Yukinaga MIYOSHI, the powers of Awa Province, by placing Sumiyuki as new head of Keicho family.

However Sumimoto and Yukinaga MIYOSHI who escaped to Omi Province made in roads into Kyoto on September 17, 1507, with samurai of Omi Province. Takakuni HOSOKAWA, who was an adoptive son of Masamoto as well as Sumimoto, also sided with Sumimoto and Sumiyuki died in the battle. He died at age of 19. Motonaga and Nagatada also died in the battle; therefore government of Sumiyuki only lasted for 40 days.

A death poem

Azusayumi (a bow made of Japanese cherry birch, also a set epithet in classical Japanese poetry), although the heart is strong like bent bow, now there is so little to hold the life back.


The reason for disinheritance is said that Masamoto HOSOKAWA judged it is hard for Sumiyuki to succeed as Kanrei by 15 years old, as Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA was a noble and was not quick-witted. Because of that, Motonaga KOZAI/Nagatada YAKUSHIJI and Yukinaga MIYOSHI separated to two side and there was an aggressive struggle for power.

[Original Japanese]