Enya Takasada (塩冶高貞)

Takasada ENYA (Birth unknown-April 27, 1341) was the busho (Japanese military commander) who lived between the end of Kamakura to the Nanbokucho periods (the period of the Northern and Southern Courts) (Japan). His father was Takakiyo ENYA. His court ranks were Saemon no jo (Captain of the Imperial Palace Guards, Left Division), Iki no Kami (Governor of Iki Province), and Omi no Kami (Governor of Omi Province). His popular name was "Taihu Hogan" (大夫判官) (hangan (hogan) (inspector, who was the third highest of the four administrative ranks of the ritsuryo period)) and was commonly called as "Enya Hangan" (塩冶判官).

Family Lineage

The Enya clan was a powerful clan divided from its progenitor, the Sasaki clan in Omi Province. It originated from the younger brother of Takatsuna SASAKI, Yoshikiyo SASAKI being assigned to the post of Shugo (provincial constable) of Izumo no kuni (Izumo Province) and Oki no kuni (Oki Province).

Under the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), they were the Shugo of Izumo Province. Emperor Godaigo, who lost during the Genko no Ran (Genko War), was exiled to Oki in 1331. Kiyotaka SASAKI, who was the member of the clan and the Shugo of Oki no kuni, was signed with the post to watch over the emperor. In 1333, he followed Emperor Godaigo, who escaped from Oki and mobilized the army at Hoki Province with Nagatoshi NAWA, and entered Kyoto.


He joined with Doyo SASAKI 's army which marched towards the eastern countries to subjugate Takauji ASHIKAGA, who had become independent in the Kanto region after the Nakasendai no Ran (Nakasendai War) in 1335. At the Battle of Hakone Take no Shita, he and Doyo SASAKI betrayed the army of Yoshisada NITTA and went to the side of Takauji ASHIKAGA, and became the Shugo for Izumo no kuni and Oki no kuni under the Muromachi bakufu. He suddenly decamped from Kyoto in March 1341 and headed for Izumo, but was suspected of treason and chased by bakufu based on a false charge made by KO no Moronao that he committed suicide in Kageyama Mountain, Harima Province (current Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture). The cause for the false charge claimed by KO no Moronao is rumored to be that Moronao had feelings for the wife of Takasada ENYA and made Kenko YOSHIDA write and send love letters to her but became angry in the face of rejection, but the truth remains unclear. There was also a point of view that Takasada supported Tadayoshi ASHIKAGA and came in conflict with the bushi of his estate who supported Moronao. Due to this, most children of Moronao were killed together or were led to ruin. Sadamune NANJO, who was referred as the child of Takasada, named himself as the Nanjo clan and prospered as Hoki-kokujin (samurai in Hoki Province) as well as the younger brother of Takasada, Tokitsuna ENYA and his descendants survived as the Kinju (attendant) of the shogun. In addition, Okihisa ENYA, who was the third son of Tsunehisa AMAGO of the Amago clan diverted from the main Sasaki clan and became the Shugo of Izumo Province after the fall of Takasada, named himself a member of the Enya clan.

Art Works

"Kanadehon chushingura"(Revenge of the Forty-Seven Ronin) of Ningyojoruri (Japanese puppet show) and Kabuki (Japanese classical drama) could not directly portray the incident of Forty-Seven Ronin, Ako Roshi that the setting was changed to the Muromachi period to portray this incident, but incorporated the story of KO no Moronao by introducing Takasada ENYA and his wife, Kaoyo Gozen (Lady Kaoyo), who wandered in streets, at the beginning of the play. In addition, Naganori ASANO made an appearance in the name of Hangan ENYA.

[Original Japanese]