Enya Okihisa


Enya Clan


Izumo Province

Lifespan:  Meiō 6 (1497) to 8/10 of Tenbun 3 (1534)

Rank:  bushō

Title:   Senior Assistant Minister of the Sovereign’s Household

Clan:  Enya – served the Amago

Father:  Amago Tsunehisa

Mother:  Sister of Kikkawa Tsunemoto

Adopted Father: Enya Jōkei

Siblings:  Masahisa, Kunihisa, Okihisa

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Yamauchi Naomichi

Children: Kiyohisa

Enya Okihisa was the third son of Amago Tsunehisa, a powerful sengoku daimyō in Izumo Province.  Although Okihisa was born into the Amago clan, Tsunehisa arranged for his later adoption by the Enya clan of western Izumo for political purposes.

In 1511, Tsunehisa supported a march upon Kyōto by Ōuchi Yoshioki, the prominent sengoku daimyō from Suō Province.  As an expression of gratitude, Yoshioki conferred one of the characters from his name on Tsunehisa’s son, Okihisa.  At the same time, Tsunehisa’s second son, Amago Kunihisa, received one of the characters in his name from Hosokawa Takakuni, a kanrei, or deputy shōgun.  The use of these characters in each of his son’s names symbolized the goodwill that Tsunehisa sought with Yoshioki and Takakuni as supporters of Ashikaga Yoshitane, the shōgun.

Okihisa was adopted into the Enya clan, which originated from the Sasaki branch of the Uda-Genji family of Izumo.  References are made to Enya Okihisa in documents concerning the donation of lands for the Hinomisaki Shrine in 1518.  The Enya had significant influence in western Izumo, having served as the shugo for Izumo during the Kamakura period.  The Enya established a base of power in the area surrounding the Hii River, and had familial ties to the Koshi clan and the high priests of the Kizuki no Ōyashiro, including the Kitajima and Senge clans which served in the role of Izumo kokuzō, or regional administrators and conductors of religious services under authority of the Court.  The Enya served as hōkōshū, or officials of the Muromachi bakufu, and held exclusive privileges to the local administrative office of the bakufu which prohibited shugo from entry.  As the shugo of Izumo, it made sense for Tsunehisa to have Okihisa join the Enya family to bring them under his control.

Okihisa abided by the will of his father, and, as expected, asserted direct control over areas formerly administered by the bakufu.  This was part of a broader trend across the provinces as the influence of the central authorities waned during the Sengoku period.  Okihisa also placed the Koshi clan under his control; however, recognizing the benefits afforded to the Enya based on their independent status,  Okihisa endeavored to bolster ties with other powerful clans opposed to the Amago, such as the Mizawa and Taga, having influence over the Kizuki no Ōyashiro and southern areas of Izumo. Okihisa then married a daughter of the Yamauchi, a clan with influence in the northern areas of Bingo Province.  Areas in his domain, or under control of his allies, thereby covered western and southern Izumo, in addition to northern Bingo.

In 1530, Okihisa launched a rebellion against his father, Tsunehisa.  Several possible reasons for the action include a refusal by Tsunehisa to grant more territory to Okihisa, revolt by kokujin who had become overburdened with military expeditions continuing for years, or a power struggle among senior retainers, in addition to rising discontent with the Amago’s governance of Izumo.   This turn of events could be surmised as a final showdown between the Enya and the Amago dividing Izumo Province.  At this time, the Amago also had a contentious relationship with the Ōuchi.  The mutual opposition of the Enya and Ōuchi toward the Amago was consistent with Okihisa’s past connection to Yoshioki and may have factored into the rebellion as well.  Okihisa is said to have commenced the rebellion after overseeing the enshrinement of a deity at the Kizuki no Ōyashiro.  Okihisa’s discontent with Tsunehisa is reflected in his own writings at this time when he promised to protect the status and landholdings of the Nariai Temple from the Amago’s evasion of their civic responsibilities.  Those supporting Okihisa in the rebellion included the high priests of the Kizuki no Ōyashiro and Gakuen Temple, the Mizawa, the Taga, the Maki, the Yamauchi of Bingo, the Yamana of Tajima, and powerful kokujin from southern Izumo.  This array of adversaries of the Amago reflected the lack of the clan’s support in the western portions of Izumo.

The rebellion shook the Amago to their foundation, with institutions such as the Gakuen Temple, along with kokujin in the Ōhara District of Izumo, having abandoned the Amago in favor of the Enya.  Okihisa requested support from the Ōuchi, but Yoshioki sought for both clans to fall, and supported Tsunehisa, who appeared to be in a weaker position than Okihisa.  Okihisa waged a good battle, but, in the end, after the fall of 佐陀 Castle in Izumo, Okihisa fled to the protection of the Yamauchi in the hometown of his wife in Bingo Province.  In 1533, in a letter to the Shinmi clan of Bitchū, Tsunehisa called for troops to join an expedition to Bingo, indicating that Okihisa continued his resistance from the neighboring province.

In 1534, Okihisa killed himself, bringing the rebellion to an end.  His son, Kiyohisa, and brother, Kunihisa, inherited his domain.

The rebellion by Okihisa revealed problems in Tsunehisa’s governance of Izumo as well as the power structure of the Amago family itself, leading to efforts to strengthen his command over the clan.