Suzuki Magoichi is a name used in reference to the leader and strongman of the Saika Group and Saikatō-Suzuki clan for successive generations. Other names include Saika Magoichi and Hirai Magoichi, with Hirai being the place name where Magoichi resided.
Historical accounts from the Sengoku to Edo periods refer to Magoichi of the Kishū-Saika Group. In 1573, at the Battle of Ishiyama, he led the Saika Group, entered the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple, and provided stiff resistance to the army of Oda Nobunaga. With respect to this individual, there are several theories including that he died in the battle, that he was murdered by Tōdō Takatora during the invasion of the Saika by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1586, that he died fighting as the head of the infantry division at the Conquest of Odawara in 1590, or that he joined Ishida Mitsunari in the Western Army at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and, after the war, served in the Mito domain.
Historical archives from Wakayama distinguish between three individuals, as follows:
1. Suzuki Shigehide
The samurai general at the Battle of Ishiyama is deemed to be Suzuki Shigehide. In the authenticated biography of Nobunaga known as the Shinchō-kōki and other accounts, he is identified as Suzuki Magoichi. With respect to Shigehide, he is also referred to in materials as Saika no Magoichi, but this is believed to be a similar instance of using another name (such as Nobunaga of Owari to refer to Oda Nobunaga) to refer to the same person. The name of Saika Magoichi or the Saika clan do not appear in his own writings or as the addressee in letters. In exchanges between persons with whom he had a close relationship, including in a memorandum from his comrade, Satake Yoshimasa, and in letters from Nobunaga, Kennyo, and Shimotsuma Rairen, the name Suzuki Magoichi is used.
2. Suzuki Shigetomo
The individual identified as Suzuki Magoichi who served Toyotomi Hideyoshi, participating in the Conquest of Odawara and the Siege of Fushimi Castle is surmised to be Suzuki Shigetomo. He is also referred to as Suzuki Magosaburō.
3. Hirai Magoichi Yoshikane
There is a grave of Hirai Magoichi Yoshikane at the Renjō Temple in Hirai in Wakayama where there is also an image of an enlightened person presented by Kennyo, the eleventh high priest of the Hongan Temple. At the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute, the individual who served as the leader of the Saika Group to contain Hideyoshi on behalf of Oda Nobukatsu and Tokugawa Ieyasu is surmised to be Hirai Magoichirō Yoshikane.
The name Saika Magoichi was publicly used by Suzuki Shigetsugu (the second son of Shigetomo). Initially, he had the same name as his father, Suzuki Magosaburō, but later changed the name, and it was inherited by successive generations thereafter.