Kobayakawa Sukehira

小早川扶平

Kobayakawa Clan

Bushō

Aki Province

Lifespan:  Bunmei 17 (1485) to 1/14 of Eishō 5 (1508)

Other Names:  Matatsurumaru (childhood), Matatarō (common)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Assistant Director of the Bureau of Palace Maintenance, Assistant Vice-Minister of the Military, Director of the Bureau of Palace Maintenance

Clan:  Numata-Kobayakawa

Father:  Kobayakawa Takahira

Children:  Okihira, Yoshiuji, Funaki Tsunehira

Kobayakawa Sukehira served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a kokujin, or provincial landowner, in Aki and Bingo provinces.  Sukehira served as the head of the Numata-Kobayakawa clan.

In 1485, Sukehira was born as the eldest son of Kobayakawa Takahira.  In 1499, upon the death of his father, Sukehira inherited the headship of the clan.  In the era of Takahira, the Kobayakawa clan expanded the power of the clan.  In 1501, Sukehira, with the backing of Hosokawa Masamoto (the deputy shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu), garnered as his own the territory of Mihara in Bingo Province held by the Sugihara clan.  In 1504, he was assigned the role of representative of the bakufu in Mihara.  This was all achieved through the maneuvers of Masamoto.

In 1507, Masamoto was slayed in an event known as the Lord Hosokawa Incident.  Meanwhile, Ashikaga Yoshitane (the tenth shōgun who was earlier ousted in a coup d’état by Masamoto) began to march toward Kyōto with the support of Ōuchi Yoshioki, Sukehira was pressured by Yoshioki to participate in the march.  Kobayakawa Hirohira from a cadet family known as the Takehara-Kobayakawa, opposed Sukehira from the main branch and was obedient to Yoshioki.  Amidst his toil and the pressures of situation, Sukehira fell ill and, before deciding whether to stay or return, died on 1/14 of Eishō 5 (1508).  He was succeeded by his eldest son, Kobayakawa Okihira.  Although Sukehira died early at the age of twenty-four, he had three children.