Ryūzōji Iekado

龍造寺家門

Ryūzōji Clan

Bushō

Hizen Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to 1/23 of Tenbun 14 (1545)

Other Names:  Saburōbei (common)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Izumi

Clan:  Mizugae-Ryūzōji

Lord:  Shōni Sukemoto, Shōni Fuyuhisa

Father:  Ryūzōji Iekane

Siblings:  Iesumi, Iekado, Gōkaku, sister (wife of Oho Tanemune)

Children:  Ieyasu, Akikane, daughter (wife of Ryūzōji Tanemitsu), daughter (wife of Ryūzōji Takanobu), daughter (wife of Oda Masamitsu), daughter (wife of Tsutsumi Sadamoto), daughter (wife of Tokushima Taneyori)

Adopted Children:  Kaneie (son of Iesumi and designated successor)

Ryūzōji Iekado served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Shōni clan.

Iekado was born as the son of Ryūzōji Iekane, a retainer of the Shōni clan (a sengoku daimyō family of Hizen Province).

Iekado was adopted by his older brother, Ryūzōji Iesumi, and inherited the position as the head of the Mizugae-Ryūzōji family, an illegitimate branch of the Ryūzōji clan.  He then adopted Iesumi’s son, Ryūzōji Kaneie, as his designated successor.

His father, Iekane, served as a pillar of the Shōni clan during a period when the influence of the clan was in decline.  In 1535, when Shōni Sukemoto was forced to take his own life, Iekane was suspected of colluding with the Ōuchi clan so became the target of derision by former retainers of the Shōni.  Nevertheless, owing to an ardent desire to revive the Shōni clan, Shōni Fuyuhisa aimed to reconcile with Iekane.  Iekane agreed on the condition that Iekane’s son, Iekado, become a regent of the Shōni family, which Fuyuhisa accepted.  With the cooperation of Iekane and the other members of the Ryūzōji clan, the Shōni clan was thereby revived.

Former retainers of the Shōni who detested Iekane for the past betrayal of Sukemoto felt indignant toward the Ryūzōji family including as a result of Iekado’s autocratic governance of the clan.  Consequently, in 1545, Baba Yorichika served as the mastermind of a plot to murder the Ryūzōj.  Iekado, along with Ryūzōji Ieyasu (Iekado’s eldest son), Iesumi (Iekado’s older brother and adoptive father), and Kaneie (Iesumi’s son adopted by Iekado) were all assassinated.  When Yorichika saw the heads of the fallen members of the Ryūzōji, he showed his contempt for their past tyranny by kicking them.

His father, Iekane, escaped the purge and fled for protection under Kamachi Akimori of Chikugo Province.  In 1546, he attacked and decimated his archenemy, Yorichika, and Yorichika’s son, and succeeded in reviving the Ryūzōji clan.