Kakiya Tsugunari


Kakiya Clan


Tajima Province

Lifespan:  Bunmei 14 (1482) (?) to Genki 1 (1570)

Other Names:  

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Kakiya

Lord: Yamana Masatoyo → Yamana Okitoyo

Father:  Kakiya Munetsugu

Children:  Mitsunari, Tsugutsura (?)

Kakiya Tsugunari served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Yamana clan and counted among the Four Divine Kings of the Yamana.

The Kakiya were kokujin, or provincial landowners, in Tajima Province.  In 1483, Kakiya Munetsugu, while serving as the deputy military governor of Tajima, participated in an expedition led by his lord, Yamana Masatoyo, to Harima Province.  A counterattack by Akamatsu Masanori resulted in a major defeat for the expeditionary forces.  As noted in an account dated 4/10 of Bunmei 15 (1483), Munetsugu’s younger brother, his lineal heir, and 350 followers of the family were killed in action.  Thereafter, a son of Munetsugu referred to as Magoshirō who inherited the Kakiya clan is deemed to refer to Tsugunari.  Since the death of Tsugunari’s great-grandfather, Kakiya Hirotsugu, in 1474, the clan lost four lords (including Munetsugu’s lineal heir) over just nine years, triggering a temporary decline.

Owing to these circumstances, the relationship between Tsugunari and Yamana Masatoyo (followed by his successor, Yamana Okitoyo), was unstable.  This led to frequent conflicts between the Kakiya clan and the Yamana (serving as the military governors of Tajima) during the Meiō, Bunki, and Eishō eras (1492 to 1521).

From 1502, Tsugunari served as the deputy military governor of Tajima.  In 1512, he moved his residence to Tsurugamine Castle which became the main base for the Kakiya clan.

Thereafter, as Oda Nobunaga gained prominence, members of the Kakiya split into factions with one side supporting the Oda (to which the Yamana were allied) and the other supporting the Mōri.  Tsugunari then announced his alignment with the Mōri.  This triggered conflict with Tainoshō Koreyoshi (another member of the Four Divine Kings of the Yamana).  In 1570, Koreyoshi launched a surprise attack during which Tsugunari took his own life at the Yōju Temple in the village of Iwai.

Based on genealogical records, Tsugunari’s son was Kakiya Mitsunari, but the source material was generated sixty-five years after the fact so there is a theory that Tsugunari’s son was Kakiya Tsugutsura (commonly known as Tsuguzane) who appears in records during this time while Mitsunari was in fact Tsugunari’s grandson.