Ashikaga Takamoto


Ashikaga Clan

Koga kubō

Shimōsa Province

Lifespan:  Bunmei 17 (1485) to 10/8 of Tenbun 4 (1535)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Ashikaga (branch in the Kantō)

Bakufu:  Third Koga kubō of the Muromachi bakufu

Lord:  Ashikaga Yoshitane → Ashikaga Yoshiharu

Father:  Ashikaga Masauji

Siblings:  Takamoto, Yoshiaki, Motoyori, Sadaiwa

Wife: [Formal] Zuiun-in (daughter of Utsunomiya Shigetsuna)

Children:  Haruuji, Takazane, Tokiuji, Harunao (Uesugi Norihiro), Ōuchi Haruyasu, 瑞山尼 (a nun at the Tōkei Temple)

Ashikaga Takamoto served as a bushō and the third Koga kubō (1512 to 1535) during the Sengoku period.  Takamoto was the eldest son of Ashikaga Masauji and his wife, Zuiun-in, was the daughter of Utsunomiya Shigetsuna.

Takamoto attended his coming-of-age ceremony in 1495.  He received one of the characters in his name from the eleventh shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu, Ashikaga Yoshitaka (later known as Ashikaga Yoshizumi), adopting the name of Takauji.  Although the character was different, the pronunciation was the same as the name of the first shōgun, Ashikaga Takauji, so he changed his name again to Takamoto, adopting one of the characters from the first Kamakura kubō, Ashikaga Motouji.

Takamoto had a falling out with his father (Ashikaga Masauji) and uncle (Uesugi Akizane) regarding the policies toward the Uesugi clan, leading to the Eishō Conflict.  For a period of time, he depended upon Utsunomiya Shigetsuna for support.  Meanwhile, in the midst of the conflict between Takamoto and Masauji, Takamoto’s younger brother, Ashikaga Yoshiaki rebelled, became independent, and assumed the role of the Oyumi kubō.

In 1512, Takamoto benefited from the support of his father-in-law, Shigetsuna, along with Yūki Masatomo, Oda Masaharu, and others to become the successor of the Koga kubō.  He then worked feverishly to expand his power while opposing the Ōgigayatsu-Uesugi and Yamanouchi-Uesugi clans.  In 1516, Shigetsuna defeated Satake Yoshikiyo who supported Masauji at the Battle of Nawazuri.  This made him well-renowned and he became the Koga kubō.  Thereafter, he reconciled with the Yamanouchi-Uesugi clan and assigned his second son, Harunao (Uesugi Norihiro) to be adopted by the clan.  Following the demise of Shigetsuna, letters addressed to Tadatsuna demonstrate that Takamoto maintained positive relations with him.  In his later years, he opposed his lineal son, Ashikaga Haruuji, leading to an internal struggle known as the Kantō-Kyōroku Conflict.