Kamei Hidetsuna

亀井秀綱

Kamei Clan

Bushō

Izumo Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 15xx

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Kamei

Lord:  Amago Tsunehisa

Father:  Kamei Nagatsuna (or, based on another genealogy, Kamei Yasutsuna was his father)

Siblings:  Hidetsuna, Toshitsuna

Children:  Yasutsuna, Kunitsuna, daughter (wife of Yamanaka Yukimori), daughter (wife of Kamei Korenori)

Adopted Children:  Kamei Korenori

Kamei Hidetsuna served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Amago clan – the sengoku daimyō of Izumo Province.

In the era of the Amago family, members of the Kamei family appearing in historical records include Kamei Nagatsuna, Kamei Yasutsuna (Musashi-no-kami), Kamei Hidetsuna (Noto-no-kami), and Kamei Toshitsuna.  Hidetsuna and Toshitsuna were brothers.  Based on genealogical charts, Nagatsuna was either the father or grandfather of Hidetsuna, while Yasutsuna was either the father or son of Hidetsuna.  Recent research noted below indicates Yasutsuna was his son.

Under one account, the Kamei family served the Amago clan from the era of Hidetsuna’s grandfather, Kamei Nagatsuna.  Nagatsuna and his son, Kamei Yasutsuna (Hidetsuna’s father), participated in the recapture of Gassantoda Castle.  Owing to these achievements, Yasutsuna was appointed to serve as the chief retainer of the Amago.  His son, Hidetsuna, served Amago Tsunehisa.  In 1508, when Tsunehisa joined Ōuchi Yoshioki on a march to the capital of Kyōto, Hidetsuna accompanied them.  In 1511, he participated in the Battle of Funaokayama among other events, serving as one of the chief retainers.  From around the time of Yasutsuna, the Kamei attained the status as the leader of the chief retainers within the Amago family.

After Hidetsuna inherited the headship of the Kamei family, Mōri Kōmatsumaru, the youthful head of the Mōri clan of Aki Province, died.  He was succeeded by Mōri Motonari, who favored the Ōuchi clan over the Amago.  As Motonari began to distance himself from the Amago, in 1524, Hidetsuna instigated a plot involving Motonari’s younger brother, Aiō Mototsuna, and others to oust Motonari in a coup d’état, but an astute Motonari forestalled the event and the plot failed.  This affirmed Motonari’s conviction to betray the Amago in favor of the Ōuchi.  Meanwhile, Hidetsuna failed to assuage the son of Amago Tsunehisa, Enya Okihisa, who was dissatisfied with his landholdings, becoming a catalyst for a later rebellion.  Hidetsuna’s younger brother, Kamei Toshitsuna, allied with Okihisa in the rebellion and, in 1532, was killed.

In his latter years, Hidetsuna continued to serve the Amago clan until the era of Tsunehisa’s great-grandson, Amago Yoshihisa, participating in the Second Siege of Gassantoda Castle from 1565 to 1567.  During this engagement, Hidetsuna and his son are considered to either have been killed by Sugihara Morishige or to have surrendered to the Mōri,  but the details are uncertain.

According to recent research, Hidetsuna served in a leadership role with respect to shrines and temples, and, as a representative of his lord, exchanged many letters with the religious powers in Izumo (the Kizuki Grand Shrine and the Gakuen Temple) and was involved in the construction and renovation of many sites.  Based on these communications, as well as notices that were posted on the ridgepoles of buildings at the time of construction stating the building’s donor, builder, date, and reason for construction, Hidetsuna last appears in connection with the rebellion by Enya Okihisa in 1530.  Kamei Yasutsuna, appears in materials after this date.  Around this time, Yasutsuna likely inherited the headship of the clan from Hidetsuna (in which case Yasutsuna was his son and not his father as traditionally understood).  This is as far as can be determined via primary sources, and actions during the Eiroku era (1558 to 1570) previously attributed to Hidetsuna are surmised to have been those of his successor.