Masaki Tokishige

正木時茂 (正木時綱子)

Masaki Clan

Bushō

Kazusa Province

Awa Province

Lifespan:  Eishō 10 (1513) to 4/6 of Eiroku 4 (1561)

Other Names:  Yakurō (common), Daizen -no-suke, Yaridaizen (nickname)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Awa-Masaki

Lord:  Satomi Yoshitaka → Satomi Yoshihiro

Father:  Masaki Michitsuna (Tokitsuna)

Siblings:  Yajirō, Tokishige, Tokitada, Hirosue

Children:  Nobushige, daughter (wife of Satomi Yoshiyori), Yorifusa

Adopted Children:  Noritoki

Masaki Tokishige served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Satomi clan of Awa Province.

In 1513, Tokishige was born as the son of Masaki Michitsuna (Tokitsuna).  Skilled in the art of swordsmanship, Tokishige was called Yaridaizen.

In 1533, a succession struggle broke-out between Satomi Yoshitaka and Satomi Yoshitoyo known as the Inamura Incident or, alternatively, as the Tenbun Discord.  Tokishige’s father, Michitsuna, and Satomi Sanetaka were murdered by Yoshitoyo at Inamura Castle.  There is a theory that Michitsuna managed to escape but died later of his injuries.  Under the banner of avenging the death of their fathers, Tokishige joined Yoshitaka in the role of a yoriki, or security officer, and rebelled against Yoshitoyo.

In the course of a conflict that ebbed and flowed, Yoshitoyo initially defeated Yoshitaka, but Yoshitaka then counterattacked, driving Yoshitoyo to Kazusa Province.  The next year, Yoshitoyo received support from Mariyatsu Jokan (Nobukiyo) of the Takeda clan and returned to Awa, but at the Battle of Inukake, incurred a major defeat and took his own life.  He was twenty-one years old. 

Acfter Yoshitaka moved to Awa, Tokishige entered the former residence of Yoshitaka at Kanaya Castle in Kazusa, serving as the head of the Masaki family.  The following year, when Hōjō Ujitsuna fought against the Ōgigayatsu-Uesugi family, he was dispatched as a member of the reinforcement army on the side of the Hōjō.  Later, the relationship between the Satomi and Hōjō clans deteriorated.  In 1538, at the First Battle of Kōnodai, Tokishige served on behalf of the Satomi clan.

Thereafter, amidst a defection by the Uchibō-Masaki clan to the Hōjō clan and a weakening of the power of the Kazusa-Takeda clan, Tokishige moved his main base from Kanaya Castle in western Kazusa to the Asai District in Awa.  Later, he advanced into eastern Kazusa and, in 1542, attacked and captured Katsuura Castle.  In 1544, he killed Mariyatsu Tomonobu and seized Odaki Castle (later known as Ōtaki Castle) and the landholdings as his base.  Early in 1561, during the expedition by Uesugi Terutora (Kenshin) into the Kantō, Tokishige, together with his lineal heir, Masaki Nobushige, served on behalf of Satomi Yoshihiro, the lineal heir of Yoshitaka.

On 4/6 of Eiroku 4 (1561), he died.  This is substantiated in records kept by the Myōon and Jion temples.  Previously, he was believed to have lived until as late as 1578.  Therefore, the recorded achievements of Tokishige after 1561 were in fact attributable to his lineal heir, Masaki Nobushige, who died at the Second Battle of Kōnodai, or his adopted heir, Masaki Noritoki, who later rebelled against the Satomi.  Meanwhile, the individual referred to as Masaki Daizen-no-suke was either Nobushige or Noritoki.

Tokishige was buried at the Chōan Temple in Miyayama in the Nagasa District of Awa.

An account of Asakura Sōteki, a veteran of the Asakura clan, includes a list of exceptional bushō from the era which makes reference to Imagawa Yoshimoto, Takeda Shingen, Miyoshi Shuri-no-daibu (Nagayoshi), Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin), Mōri Motonari, Oda Kazusa-no-suke (Nobunaga), and Kantō Masaki Daizen-no-suke.