Adachi Yoshikage (安達義景)

Yoshikage ADACHI is a busho (Japanese military commander) who lived in the mid Kamakura period. He is the heir of Kagemori ADACHI. He was a senior vassal of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). Yasumori ADACHI and Kakusan ni (wife of Tokimune HOJO) are his children.


It is presumed that the kanji (Chinese characters) '義' used in his first name Yoshikage (義景) was borrowed from the first name of Yoshitoki HOJO (北条義時) who died in 1225 when Yoshikage was 15 years old. Yoshikage is considered to have celebrated his attainment of manhood in Yoshitoki's later years. Yoshikage served three successive regents, i.e. Yasutoki HOJO, Tsunetoki HOJO and Tokiyori HOJO, and he was taken into confidence as a hyojoshu (a member of Council of State). He ranked after the Hojo clan and the Miura clan in the bakufu. He also served the fourth Shogun FUJIWARA no Yoritsune closely. He joined a gathering of waka (Japanese poetry) held at the Shogun's palace, etc. Relations among the Shogun family, the Hojo, Miura and Adachi clans were touchy at that time. The stance of the Miura clan was pro-Shogun and anti-Tokuso (the patrimonial head of the main branch of the Hojo clan). On the other hand, Yoshikage was in a position to support the regency as a relative of the Hojo clan.

The Shogun Yoritsune went to the capital (Kyoto) after 17 years since Yoshikage's father Kagemori had entered into priesthood. Yoshikage inherited Akitajo no suke (provincial governor of Akita-jo castle in Dewa Province) at the age of 29 in that year. In 1242, he maneuvered to enthrone the Emperor Gosaga on the order of Regent Yasutoki. Yoshikage became an envoy to recommend him as the new emperor. As Miya Sodo (failed attempt at rebellion) occurred in 1246, he plotted with Regent Tokiyori HOJO. He was involved in banishing Mitsutoki HOJO and others who opposed Tokuso. The confrontation between the Miura clan that supported the Shogun family, and Regent Tokiyori HOJO also suggested a struggle for supremacy between Yasumura MIURA and Yoshikage. In 1247, Yoshikage was scolded harshly by his father Kagemori who became irritated at the confrontation with the Miura clan and thus came back to Kamakura. Yoshikage and his heir Yasumori took the lead in fighting in the Battle of Hoji to destroy the Miura clan.

Yoshikage who made efforts to establish the tyranny of the patrimonial head of the main branch of the Hojo clan maintained a special position. Tokimune HOJO, the heir of Tokiyori, was born at the residence of Matsushita zenni, a younger sister of Yoshikage. The lawful wife of Yoshikage is a daughter of Tokifusa HOJO. Kakusan ni, a daughter of him and his lawful wife, became the lawful wife of Tokimune. Yoshikage also built various blood ties with senior vassals such as the Nagai, Nikaido, Muto and other clans. After he had become a Buddhist priest in June 1253, he died at the age of 44 in July of that year.

The position of the Adachi clan that had been attained by his father Kagemori and Yoshikage was improved most in the time of Yoshikage's child, Yasumori ADACHI. The Adachi clan came to exert power under the regime of Tokimune.

[Original Japanese]