Ōdachi Hisauji


Ōdachi Clan



Lifespan:  Kyōtoku 3 (1454) to Tenbun 15 (1546)

Other Names:  Shigenobu, Jūrō (common), Jōkō (monk’s name), 

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Junior Fourth Rank (Lower), Assistant Vice-Minister of Civil Affairs, Director of the Bureau of Military Storehouses, Deputy Inspector, Assistant Captain of Outer Palace Guards of the Left Division, Governor of Iyo

Clan:  Ōdachi

Bakufu:  Muromachi – hōkōshū (military organ of the shōgun)

Father:  Ōdachi Noriuji

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Yamana Toyoyuki

Children:  Mitsushige (Jibu-shōyū), Takanobu (Hyōgo-no-kami), Harumitsu, Fujiyasu, daughter (consort of Ashikaga Yoshiharu), daughter (wife of Genshū)

Ōdachi Hisauji served as a bushō during the late Muromachi period.

In 1454, Hisauji was born as the son of Ōdachi Noriuji, a bushō serving Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eighth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu.

In 1463, after the sudden death of his father, Ōdachi Noriuji, Hisauji was cared for by his grandfather, Ōdachi Mochifusa, and, similar to his father, served Yoshimasa.

In 1469, Hisauji was assigned to Ashikaga Yoshihisa (the designated successor to Yoshimasa) as a mōshitsugi, or individuals responsible for communications between the shōgun, the Imperial Court, and daimyō.  After Yoshihisa became the ninth shōgun, Hisauji served in the otomoshū, or the retinue to accompany the shōgun on outings, and the mōshitsugishū for communications, in addition to serving as the head of the Fifth Division of the hōkōshū, a military organ under the direct jurisdiction of the shōgun.  Together with Nikaidō Masayuki, Yūki Masatane, and Yūki Hisatoyo, Hisauji was a close associate of the shōgun.  He also received one of the characters from the name of Yoshihisa and adopted the name of Hisauji.

In 1487, during an expedition to eliminate Rokkaku Takayori known as the Chōkyō-Entoku Expedition, Hisauji participated with the Fifth Division of the hōkōshū.  Together with Masayuki and Masatane, Hisauji was appointed to the hyōjōshū, the highest organ in the bakufu for the conduct of administrative and judicial affairs.  Hisauji was also involved in political sanctions activities.  Two years later, following the sudden death of Yoshihisa, he advocated for a prompt withdrawal and ended the counterattacks from the Rokkaku clan, but was nevertheless demoted and removed from his position as the head of the Fifth Division owing to his association with Masayuki and Masatane who wielded power under Yoshihisa.  Thereafter, he served the bakufu and, in 1505, was invested with the title of Junior Fourth Rank (Lower).  Hisauji served as a representative of the bakufu with respect to lands in the Hokuriku region under their direct jurisdiction including in the 青保, Matsunaga, Aka, Toba, and Miyagawa manors of Wakasa Province.

In the era of Ashikaga Yoshiharu, the twelfth shōgun, Hisauji served in important roles as an elder retainer of the bakufu, receiving appointments as a mōshitsugi and as a member of the naidanshū to adjudicate disputes in regard to landholdings and taxes.  Hisauji’s daughter became a consort of Yoshiharu so he received special treatment.  There is a theory that a woman named Sako-no-tsubone (later known as Seikōin, the older sister of Mitsubuchi Harukazu) who is deemed to have raised Yoshiharu was adopted by Jōkō (or the Ōdachi family).  Jōkō’s daughter followed after her and adopted the name of Sako-no-tsubone.  One of his daughters wed Genshū from the family of the Hongan Temple.  Genshū was a relative of those at the Wakamatsu-Honsen Temple based at the Wakamatsu manor in Kaga Province where the Ōdachi clan owned land.

Hisauji was known as an expert in the affairs of the Imperial Court, the nobility, and military families, including laws, customs, and events.  He was also known as a skilled calligrapher and well-versed in traditional poetry (waka, renga) as well as kemari, a ball game dating back to the Heian period.  He authored a document on annual events and the diary that he wrote in his later years is regarded as an invaluable source of information to understand the ongoings of the Muromachi bakufu during the Sengoku period.  Owing to these interests, he maintained cordial relations with nobles such as Sanjōnishi Sanetaka and priests.  Based on his role as a mōshitsugi, Hisauji had contacts with sengoku daimyō from many regions.  In particular, historical records remain in regard to his dealings with the Nagao clan of Echigo Province.   Negotiations between Yoshiharu, Hisauji, Nagao Tamekage, and Nagao Harukage continued into the next generation between Yoshiteru, Ōdachi Harumitsu, and Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin).

In his later years, he entered the priesthood, adopting the name of Jōkō.  He was also called Iyo-Nyūdō.  In 1546, after the Battle of Shari Temple, an elderly Hisauji accompanied Yoshiharu during an escape to Ōmi Province.  The year of his demise is unknown, but, as of this time, he is surmised to have still been active.