Kikuchi Taketomo (菊池武朝)

Taketomo KIKUCHI (1363-1407) was a busho (Japanese military commander), who lived from the period of Northern and Southern Courts to the early Muromachi Period. He was the 17th family head of Kikuchi clan. He was a child of Takemasa KIKUCHI, who was the 16th family head. His childhood name was Kagamaru. He had titles of Ukyo no daibu (Master of the Western Capital Offices), Higo no kami (governor of Higo Province), and Higo no kuni Shugodai (provincial governor of Higo Province).

His childhood name was Kagamaru. He took over the family head position due to the death of his father Takemasa in 1374. He received assistance from Takeyoshi KIKUCHI and Takeyasu KIKUCHI of the clan since he was still a child at the age of 12. However, due to never-ending attacks by Sadayo IMAGAWA (Ryoshun), who had been the old enemy since the time of his grandfather Takemitsu KIKUCHI, Taketomo was eventually forced to retreat from Mt. Kora and escaped to his main base in Higo.

He temporarily defeated the Imagawa army, which was in confusion, in the Mizushima Incident in 1375, but lost again in a counter attack by Ryoshun, which led to a series of losing battles and finally to giving up his base castle in 1381.

When the Northern and Southern courts were unified by Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, Taketomo made peace with Ryoshun and returned to Higo Province in 1392. However, as he continued to take a defiant attitude against the bakufu (government by shogun), he was attacked by territorial lords including Koremura ASO under orders of Yoshimitsu; as a result, the Kikuchi clan started to go on a path of deterioration.

He passed away at the age of 45 in 1407, and his son Kanetomo KIKUCHI took over his role.

[Original Japanese]