Toki Masafusa

土岐政房

Toki Clan

Bushō

Mino Province

Lifespan:  1457 to 6/16 of Eishō 16 (1519)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Toki

Bakufu:  Muromachi

Father:  Toki Shigeyori

Mother: Daughter of Saitō Toshinaga

Siblings:  Masafusa, Ōhata Sadayori, Saraki Naoyori, Motoyori, Kayazu Yorifusa, unknown (adopted by Rokkaku Takayori)

Children:  Yoritake, Yoriaki, Haruyori, Umedo Mitsutaka, Ibi Mitsuchika, Tagizō Mitsunobu, Yorimitsu, Yoritaka, Kōken, daughter (wife of Kakami Morimasa)

Toki Masafusa served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was the military governor of Mino Province, inheriting the role from his father, Toki Shigeyori.  Later, he received a character from the name of Ashikaga Yoshimasa (the eighth shōgun) whereupon he changed his name from Yoritsugu to Masafusa.

Skilled at the art of dance, a nobleman from Kyōto named Ichijō Kaneyoshi praised Masafusa for his skills in a diary recorded during his stay at Kawate Castle in Mino while avoiding the battles in the capital during the Ōnin-Bunmei War.

As the eldest son of Toki Shigeyori, Masafusa became the designated heir to the Toki clan; however, Shigeyori adored his fourth son, Toki Motoyori, and aimed to remove Masafusa from the line of succession and replace him with Motoyori.  Upon instructions from Shigeyori, Saitō Toshifuji (the deputy military governor) and Ishimaru Toshimitsu (the junior deputy military governor) backed Motoyori, whereas an uncle on his mother’s side, Saitō Myōjun (Toshifuji’s younger brother from a different mother) supported Masafusa.  This led to an internal conflict in 1494 known as the Battle of Funada.  In the seventh month of 1495, Masafusa and Myōjun joined forces to defeat Motoyori’s faction, and in the ninth month, Shigeyori was compelled to retire and reluctantly transfer to Masafusa the role as head of the clan and military governor of Mino.  Motoyori and his supporters aimed to raise arms again, but, on 5/30 of 1496, after Saitō forces under Myōjun surrounded Kidaiji Castle, Toshimitsu and his son, Toshitaka, committed seppuku in exchange for a promise from Myōjun to spare the lives of Shigeyori and others, while Motoyori took his life the following month as the fall of the castle became imminent.  As a result, Masafusa’s faction prevailed again.

In Mino, the Saitō clan in their role as deputy military governors gained more power than their lords, the Toki clan.  As an outcome of the Battle of Funada, the Saitō became even stronger.  In the twelfth month of 1496, Myōjun deployed to Ōmi Province and fought against the Rokkaku clan, but, along with his son, Saitō Toshichika, died in battle in the course of a major defeat.  Thereafter, Nagai Nagahiro acquired power in his role as the junior deputy military governor.

In 1509, Masafusa constructed and moved into Fukumitsu Castle in the Nagara-Fukumitsu area of Gifu.

Masafusa set aside his eldest son, Toki Yoritake, and supported his second son, Toki Yoriaki, as his successor.  This action garnered support from Nagai Nagahiro and Saitō Hikoshirō (Toshichika’s younger brother) while Yoritake was backed by Saitō Toshinaga (Toshichika’s son), giving rise to a succession struggle.  In 1517, this finally escalated into a battle.  Yoritake’s faction prevailed, but, in the following year, Yoriaki’s faction won, and Yoritake fled to Echizen Province.  In the midst of this internal conflict, Masafusa died on 6/16 of 1519.  After his demise, Yoritake assumed the seat of the military governor with the support of the Asakura clan from Echizen.  Nevertheless, continuing efforts by Yoriaki’s supporters to gain control of the clan resulted in ongoing chaos in Mino.