Makabe Hisamoto


Makabe Clan

Hitachi Province

Makabe Hisamoto

Lifespan:  6/3 of Daiei 2 (1522) to 3/30 of Tenshō 17 (1589)

Other Names:  Kojirō (common), Oni-Makabe (nickname), Anrekiken (monk’s name)

Rank:  bushō, kokujin

Title:  Uemon-no-suke, Aki-no-kami (informal)

Clan:  Makabe (descended from the Daijō clan of the Kenmu-Taira)

Lord:  Satake clan

Father:  Makabe Iemoto

Children:  Ujimoto, Yoshimoto, daughter (wife of Kajiwara Masakage), daughter (wife of Daijō Kiyomoto)

Makabe Hisamoto served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a kokujin, or provincial landowner, and served as a retainer of the Satake clan of Hitachi Province.  Hisamoto served as the lord of Makabe Castle in the Makabe District of Hitachi.

In the midst of ongoing conflict between the Satake (based in northern Hitachi), the Oda (based in southern Hitachi), and the Gohōjō (based in Sagami), Hisamoto expanded the authority of the Makabe clan.  

References in historical records to the nickname of Makabe the Demon for his ferocity on the battlefield that are attributed to his son, Ujimoto, may, in fact, have been in reference to Hisamoto.

In 1522, Hisamoto was born as the son of Makabe Iemoto, a kokujin in Hitachi.  Hisamoto was the father of Makabe Ujimoto and Makabe Yoshimoto.

Initially, Hisamoto obeyed the Oda clan, but, in 1548, he joined with Mizunoya Masamura to abandon the Oda.  In 1560, Hisamoto attacked Daijō Norimoto but, through the mediation of Ashikaga Yoshiuji, the Koga kubō, settled.  In 1561, after Satake Yoshiaki advanced into this territory, he joined forces with him and, together with Ōta Sukemasa of Katano Castle and Kajiwara Masakage (Sukemasa’s second son and Hisamoto’s son-in-law), served in the vanguard against the Oda.  In particular, in 1569, at the Battle of Tebaizaka, these forces imposed major losses on the army of Oda Ujiharu and captured Oda Castle.  Thereafter, Ujiharu could no longer recapture his main base.  In this battle, he had Daizō-bō, a priest from the Negoro Group, kill a member of the Oda family named Okami Harusuke by shooting him in the chest with an arquebus.  This was the earliest known use of the arquebus in this area.  In 1573, Hisamoto mediated a settlement between Oda Ujiharu and Satake Yoshishige.

During the Tenshō era (1573 to 1593), Hisamoto transferred headship of the clan to his eldest son and lineal heir, Ujimoto, adopted the monk’s name of Anrekiken-dōmu.  Hisamoto exercised independence.  While strengthening relations with the Satake clan, he entered into a written pledge with the rival Oda clan to collude and, at the Battle of Numajiri in 1584, initially sided with the Gohōjō clan, later returning to support the Satake.  He had other families issue written pledges addressed to him and, even after transferring the headship to Ujimoto, appears to have kept a grip on power.

Hisamoto died in 1589.


In historical accounts of the Makabe family, there are many stories of Hisamoto’s exploits.

In the Akita domain, whenever an issue arose concerning the status of the Makabe family, reference was always made to Hisamoto such that, even in later eras, he was a known individual.  Hisamoto, along with his father, Makabe Iemoto, possessed an interest in the cultural arts including renga, or linked-verse poetry, and participated in exchanges as noted by a renga instructor named Inawashiro Kennyo.