Lifespan: 14xx to 8/24 of Eishō 8 (1511)
Title: Assistant Captain of the Bureau of Cavalry of the Right Division
Bakufu: Muromachi – District-level governor of Settsu
Father: Hosokawa Masakuni
Wife: Daughter of Hosokawa Yoshiharu
Children: Sumikata, daughter (wife of Hosokawa Takakuni)
Adopted Children: Tadakata
Hosokawa Masakata served as a bushō during the Sengoku period. He was a district-level military governor of the Nakashima District of Settsu Province. Masakata served as the third head of the Hosokawa-Tenkyū family.
Masakata was born as the son of Hosokawa Masakuni, or, under another theory, was adopted from the family of the military governor of lower Izumi Province. Together with the daughter of Hosokawa Yoshiharu of the family of the military governor of Awa, had a son named Hosokawa Sumikata who was conferred one of the characters in his name from Ashikaga Yoshizumi, the eighth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu. Masakata’s daughter wed Hosokawa Takakuni and was the mother of Hosokawa Tanekuni.
In 1495, after the death of Masakuni, Masakata inherited the headship of the Tenkyū family and, together with Hosokawa Masaharu of the Hosokawa-Yashū family, supported Hosokawa Masamoto, the head of the Hosokawa-Keichō family – the main branch of the Hosokawa clan.
In the sixth month of 1507, Takakuni’s adoptive father, Masamoto, was assassinated by Kōzai Motonaga and Yakushiji Nagatada, supporters of Hosokawa Sumiyuki, in an event known as the Lord Hosokawa Incident (Hosokawa-dono no hen). After the incident, Takakuni, together with Hosokawa Hisaharu from the family of the military governor of Awaji, attacked Sumiyuki. Masakata led the attack against Motonaga, killing him. Thereafter, another one of Masamoto’s adopted sons, Hosokawa Sumimoto, returned to Kyōto and became the next head of the Hosokawa-Keichō family. Sumimoto was the son of Hosokawa Yoshiharu and a sibling of Masakata’s wife. This gave rise to a prolonged succession struggle between Sumimoto and Takakuni known as the Eishō Disturbance (Eishō no sakuran).
In 1508, after Takakuni expelled Sumimoto and welcomed the prior shōgun, Ashikaga Yoshitada (Yoshiki, Yoshitane), around the end of the year, Masakata departed from Kyōto and went to side with Sumimoto. Following Masakata’s defection, Hosokawa Tadakata (Takakuni’s cousin) became the next head of the Tenkyū family by the first month of 1509.
In 1511, as the commanding general of vanguard forces in Sumimoto’s faction, Masakata led Hosokawa Mototsune and Yamanaka Tametoshi (Tōtōmi-no-kami) from the family of the military governor of upper Izumi and landed in Izumi en route to Kyōto. Hosokawa Hisaharu and Akamatsu Yoshimura sent reinforcements to them while Hatakeyama Yoshihide dispatched Yusa Hiromori. Initially, the forces advanced with strength in Settsu and Kawachi provinces but, in the seventh month, the forces from Awaji under Hisaharu was defeated at the gateway to Hyōgo while the Akamatsu forces bogged down in their assault on Itami Castle in Settsu. Perhaps further owing to the sudden death in the eighth month of Ashikaga Yoshizumi, the prior shōgun backed by Sumimoto, at the end of the eighth month, Masakata incurred a major defeat at the Battle of Funaokayama.
Mototsune fled but Masakata, along with Yusa Hiromori, Yamanaka Tametoshi, and a magistrate named Matsuda Yorisuke were all killed in action. Moreover, in Takakuni’s faction, the Tenkyū family was inherited by Hosokawa Tadakata, followed by Hosokawa Fujikata, but after the death of Masakata, his natural son, Hosokawa Sumikata, supported Sumimoto’s successor, Hosokawa Harumoto. Meanwhile, Sumikata’s son, Hosokawa Harukata, fought on the side of Miyoshi Masanaga in support of Harumoto at the Battle of Eguchi.