Koori Munenaga


Koori Clan


Mutsu Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 1 (1532) to Keichō 6 (1601) (?)

Other Names:  Tenryōsai-fukyoku (monk’s name)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Koori

Lord:  Date Terumune → Date Masamune

Father:  Koori Kagenaga

Siblings:  Munenaga, Harada Taizō, Yamagishi Yasunaga, Kokubun Shigesada, Munetoshi, Bungo, sister (wife of Iisaka Muneyasu, sister (wife of Shiroishi Munezane), sister (wife of Ōmachi Yorisada), sister (wife of Nakano Daizen)

Children:  Masanaga, Harada Sōsuke (?), daughter (wife of Ishimoda Kageyori)

Koori Munenaga served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Date clan, serving Date Terumune and, thereafter, Date Masamune.  The Koori were a branch of the Date dating from the Kamakura period.

In 1532, Munenaga was born as the eldest son of Koori Kagenaga, a retainer of the Date clan.  The Koori were one of the senior retainers of the Date, and his father, Kagenaga served as an administrator for Date Harumune.  He further served as a retainer for the Ashikaga shōgun family while being treated with the status of a deputy military governor.

Initially, his father received as his heir the sixth son of Date Tanemune, Shirō (Munesada), but, while sparring with Shokaku (Munenaga), he was stabbed with a short sword and died early at the age of seventeen.  As a result, Shokaku, together with Kagenaga’s younger brother, Hikojūrō (Iida Munechika), entered the priesthood at the Yūgyō Temple in Fujisawa in Sagami Province and adopted the monk’s name of Kakuami.  Later, upon orders of his father, he was called back, returned to secular life, adopted the name of Harima-no-kami Munenaga (later, Settsu-no-kami) and inherited the headship of the Koori clan.

After the retirement of Date Terumune, Munenaga served Date Masamune,  During the era of Masamune, Munenaga served meritoriously in almost all of the battles by the Date.  Later, owing to his age, he transferred headship of the clan to his eldest son and heir, Koori Masanaga and adopted the monk’s name of Tenryōsai-fukyoku.  Thereafter, he continued to support Masanaga as a member of hyōjōshū, a consultative body of the bakufu for political and judicial affairs.

In 1593, Masanaga deployed for the Bunroku Campaign on the Korean Peninsula and died of illness in Busan.  His only child was a daughter, Yoshikiku, so, in the first month of 1594, upon orders of Masamune, the eldest son of Ishimoda Kageyori (who was Munenaga’s nephew and son-in-law) named Manroku (later known as Koori Shigenaga) became an adopted heir and succeeded to the headship of the clan.  Before long, however, Shigenaga also died and his eldest son, Sadanaga, was still an infant so, upon orders of Masamune, Kageyori’s fourth son, Muneyori, inherited the Ishimoda clan under the guardianship of Kageyori, while Kageyori adopted the name of Koori Kageyori and inherited the Koori clan.

Munenaga is noted to have died in the seventh month of 1601 at the age of seventy.  However, in the records of the Ishimoda family, there is a document to allocate a fief signed by Munenaga in 1608, and, in the same account, he is recorded as having died in 1614.  Therefore, it appears the references to his death in the seventh month of 1601 are erroneous.

Later, Sadanaga inherited the main branch of the Koori family associated with the Sendai domain, but, upon the wishes of a consort of Masamune named Iisaka-no-tsubone and orders of Masamune, he inherited the vestiges of the Iisaka family instead and the Sendai-Koori family was extinguished.  After Munenaga resuscitated the Iisaka family, Iisaka 輔俊 (the second son of Harada Munesuke) who was adopted by Munenaga, committed seppuku after being implicated in an event known as the Date Disturbance in the early Edo period.  As a result, the Iisaka family also came to an abrupt end.

In 1593, Munenaga’s youngest child, Benkei, upon orders of Masamune, was adopted by Harada Munetoki and inherited the Harada family and adopted the name of Harada Munesuke.  In the Koori genealogy, Benkei was the youngest child of the fifth son of Koori Kagenaga.  Harada Munesuke was the child of Sōsuke while Iisaka 輔俊 was his grandchild.

Munenaga’s younger sister married Iiisaka Muneyasu, bearing two children.  One wed Masanaga while one more became a consort of Date Masamune named Iisaka-no-tsubone, later becoming the mother of Date Hidemune who served as the first lord of the Iyo-Uwajima domain in Shikoku.