Shisa Sumimoto

志佐純元

Shisa Clan

Bushō

Hizen Province

Lifespan:  14xx to Unknown

Name Changes:  Matsura Masashi → Minemasa (Tabira Masashi) → Shisa Sumimoto

Other Names:  Genshirō (common)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Iki

Clan:  Shisa

Father:  Matsura Toyohisa

Siblings:  Sumimoto, Matsura Hirosada, Saza Tayoru, Koteda 栄, Yoshida Sadahisa, Shikata Hajime

Children:  Matsura Okinobu, Sumitsugu, Fukae Sumitada, Momono Hyōgo-no-suke, Sechibaru Sadaharu, daughter (wife of Sasebo Isamu)

Shisa Sumimoto served as a bushō during the late Muromachi and Sengoku periods.

The Shisa clan were an illegitimate branch of the Matsura clan (who wielded power in the northern portion of Hizen Province).  The first generation of the Shisa clan was led by Shisa 貞, the grandson of Mikuriya 直, the son of Matsura Hisashi, a bushi from the late Heian period.  貞 received from his father, 清, Shisa in addition to Nishijima and Iki to the east of the Gotō Islands.  The clan established their base at Shisa and adopted the Shisa surname.  The Shisa engaged in trade with the Joseon Dynasty of Korea and exercised power commensurate with a military governor in Iki, but lost control of Iki following an attack by the Hata clan.

Sumimoto was born as the eldest son of Matsura Toyohisa and his first name was Masashi.  In the beginning, he was sent for adoption by Tabira Minehiro, the lord of Sato Castle in Tabira.  At this time, he adopted the name of Minemasa (or Tabira Masashi).  Masashi, however, did not get along well with Minehiro, so Minehiro revealed a plan to transfer his territory in Tabira to Masashi’s younger brother, 正 (later known as Hirosada) who inherited the Hirado-Matsura clan.  As a result, the relationship between the siblings, Masashi and Hirosada, deteriorated.  In 1486, Hirosada attacked Masashi at Sato Castle in Tabira causing Masashi to flee for safety to the Arima clan.  In 1491, upon request from Masashi following his defeat to Hirosada, Arima Takazumi solicited Shōni Masasuke, Ōmura Sumimasa, and Matsura Sadamu of the Aikōnoura-Matsura clan and led an army on a northward march.  While en route, members of other surrendering clans including the Shisa, the Saza, and the Fukae joined the allied forces to assault Hirosada at Hirado Castle whereupon Hirosada fled for the support of Ōuchi Yoshioki.  This is known as the Battle of Minotsubo.

In 1497, Ōuchi Yoshioki, with his sights set on northern Kyūshū, attacked and destroyed Shōni Masasuke and Shōni Takatsune (father and son) who controlled Hizen.  In an effort to contain the Arima clan who were allies of the Shōni, Yoshioki had China Okitsune (the deputy military governor of Hizen) command the Ryūzōji, the Ōmura, and the Kamachi clans to attack Naoya Castle, the base of Shisa Sumikatsu on the side of the Arima clan.  After Sumikatsu was driven away, Hirosada reclaimed Hirado and Masashi settled with him.  Masashi inherited the vestiges of the Shisa clan and adopted the name of Shisa Sumimoto, becoming the landlord of Shisa.  To validate the settlement with Hirosada, Sumimoto sent his lineal heir, Genzaburō (Matsura Okinobu) for adoption by Hirosada.