Kōno Michinobu (Sakyō-no-taifu)

河野通宣 (左京大夫)

Kōno Clan

Iyo Province

Kōno Michinobu (Sakyō-no-taifu)

Lifespan:  Daiei 2 (1522) to Tenshō 9 (1581)

Other Names:  Michikata  → Michinobu

Rank:  daimyō

Title:  Master of the Eastern Capital Office and Governor of Iyo

Clan:  Kōno

Bakufu:  Muromachi – Military Governor of Iyo

Father:  Kōno Michinao (Danjō-shōhitsu)

Siblings:  Michimasa (brother-in-law), Michinobu

Wife:  [Formal] Daughter of Ōtomo Yoshiaki, [Second] Daughter of Shishido Takaie (Tenyū Eiju) (?)

Adopted Children:  Michinao (Iyo-no-kami)

Kōno Michinobu (Sakyō-no-taifu) served as a daimyō during the Sengoku period.  He was the head of the Iyo-Kōno clan and served as the lord of Yuzuki Castle in Matsuyama in Iyo Province.  He carried the titles of Master of the Eastern Capital Office and Governor of Iyo.

Michinobu was considered to be the son of Kōno Michimasa (and the grandson of Kōno Michiharu) of the Yoshū family, and illegitimate branch of the Kōno established in the Muromachi period by descendants of Kōno Michiyuki, the thirty-first head of the Kōno clan.  More recent research is confirming that he was the natural son of Kōno Michinao (Danjō-shōhitsu).  In 1543, Michinobu succeeded his older brother-in-law, Kōno Michimasa, who died early while serving as the head of the clan.  At the time, however, Michimasa was in his youth so his father, Michinobu, served as his guardian.

Around the time that Michinobu became its head, the Kōno clan confronted a series of crises including rebellions by retainers, invasions by the Ōtomo clan from Bungo Province in northern Kyūshū and Ichijō Fusamoto of neighboring Tosa Province in Shikoku.  Moreover, within Iyo, the Kōno were in conflict with Utsunomiya Toyotsuna.  After maturing, similar to his older brother (Michimasa), Michinobu clashed with his father, Michinao (Danjō-shōhitsu).  Retainers aimed to take advantage of the situation by launching rebellions, including by Ōno Toshinao in 1553 and by Wada Michioki in 1554.  Senior retainers led by Murakami Michiyasu and Hiraoka Fusazane led repeated expeditions to suppress these rebellions, but, after a while, Michinobu lacked the power to pacify the province on his own accord.  This led to the formation of an alliance with Mōri Motonari of the Chūgoku Region with whom the clan had familial ties.  With the support of the Mōri army under Kobayakawa Takakage, Michinobu was able to repel the Tosa-Ichijō and Iyo-Utsunomiya clans.  This event is known as the Deployment of the Mōri to Iyo.

Perhaps owing to his despair in the wake of a series of invasions of Iyo in addition to rebellions by his retainers, Michinobu fell ill.  Based on a letter dating from around 1562 from Umeyama Kenreichō, a servant of Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the thirteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu, Michinobu contracted paralysis in 1562.

Michinobu did not have an heir so, in 1568, he transferred the headship of the clan to his adopted son, Kōno Michinao (Iyo-no-kami), and retired.  He died in 1581, but, based on death records of the Kōno family, he is surmised to have died around 1570.