Kushihashi Norikore


Kushihashi Clan


Harima Province

Lifespan:  Eikyō 5 (1433) to 12/23 of Bunmei 18 (1487)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Kushihashi

Lord:  Akamatsu Masanori

Father:  Kushihashi Sadakore

Children:  Koreie, Noritaka (?), daughter (wife of Kodera Norimoto) (?) 

Kushihashi Norikore served as a bushō and retainer of the Akamatsu clan in Harima Province during the Muromachi period.

Norikore was the son of Kushihashi Sadakore, the fifth head of the Kushihashi family.  After the Kakitsu Incident (Kakitsu no ran), a raid by the Akamatsu clan that resulted in the slaying of Ashikaga Yoshinori, the sixth shōgun, the bakufu army exacted retribution by eliminating Akamatsu Mitsusuke, along with most of the Akamatsu clan.  Norikore’s father, Sadakore, was forced to kill himself in Ise Province.  At the time, Norikore was only nine years old, and spared by entering a monastery.

In 1458, former retainers of the Akamatsu initiated the Chōroku Disturbance (Chōroku no hen), an attack on the provisional residence of the gonanchō, or  post-Southern Court, that resulted in the killing of Emperor Takahide and Emperor Tadayoshi, brothers of imperial descent who served as leaders of a movement aimed at restoring the independence of the Southern Court following its unification with the Northern Court.  Their objective was to restore the position of the Akamatsu as military governors.  Akamatsu Masanori, the ninth head of the Akamatsu clan and great-nephew of Mitsusuke, resuscitated the Akamatsu family by becoming the military governor of one-half of Kaga Province.  Taking advantage of the chaos associated with the Ōnin-Bunmei War, the Akamatsu recaptured Harima Province, while Norikore returned to secular life to actively participate as a retainer of the Akamatsu.  In 1483, Norikore was appointed to serve as a bugyōnin, or commissioner, of Masanori in the same role previously held by his grandfather, Kushihashi Koretaka. 

In addition to Harima, the Akamatsu garnered control of Bizen and Mimasaka provinces, and, as a result, their differences with the Yamana worsened, frequently escalating into open conflict.  In 1488, in response to a rebellion led by Yamana Masatoyo and Matsuda Motonari, Norikore and other commanders sheltered in Fukuoka Castle in Bizen and requested reinforcements from Masanori.  Masanori, however, was preoccupied with attacks against the home territory of the Yamana in Tajima Province.  After Masanori lost to the Yamana, there was no prospect of assistance so the castle was turned over to the rebel forces.  In 1485, Norikore supported Masanori in a subsequent attempt to reclaim his former territory, participating in attacks against Kageki and Sakamoto castles in Harima.

The dates of his final years are uncertain.  According to certain sources, Norikore died in 1487.  Other sources indicate that Norikore built Shikata Castle in the Innami District of Harima in 1492 to serve as the home base of the Kushihashi clan.