Tsukushi Mitsukado


Tsukushi Clan


Chikuzen Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to 1/18 of Daiei 4 (1524)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Shimotsuke, Governor of Chikugo

Clan:  Tsukushi

Lord:  Shōni Noriyori → Shōni Masasuke → Ōuchi Yoshioki

Father:  Tsukushi Hidekado or Tsukushi Norikado

Children:  Hisakado/Masakado, daughter (wife of Baba Yorichika)

Tsukushi Mitsukado served as a bushō during the Muromachi and Sengoku periods.  He was a retainer of the Shōni and Ōuchi clans.

The Tsukushi were either descendants of Ashikaga Tadafuyu or a branch of the Shōni clan.  The family acquired wealth and power in Chikuzen and Hizen provinces in Kyūshū.  There are assorted theories concerning the lineage of the Tsukushi clan of the Muromachi and Sengoku periods and many details remain uncertain.

Initially, Mitsukado served the Shōni clan.  From 8/24 of Kakitsu 1 (1441) to 11/19 of Bunmei 11 (1479), Mitsukado’s rights to his landholdings in Chikuzen, Hizen, and Chikugo provinces were officially recognized by Shōni Masasuke (the son of Shōni Noriyori).  Mitsukado also contributed to stripping the power of the Shibukawa clan as the local commissioners of the Muromachi bakufu in Kyūshū.  In 1491, however, he offered protection to Shibukawa Tadashige (the local commissioner) after Tadashige’s ouster from Inuzuka Castle by Ōtomo Masachika.

Invasions into Kyūshū by the Ōuchi gradually reduced the power of the Shōni.  In 1497, after Masasuke took his own life and the clan was temporarily extinguished, Mitsukado and Higashi Hisamori surrendered to Ōuchi Yoshioki and were pardoned.  Thereafter, he strengthened the position of the Tsukushi clan in Kyūshū as allies of the Ōuchi.  On 2/24 of Meiō 7 (1498), Mitsukado joined with Hisamori on behalf of the Ōuchi in Hizen to fight against and repel Chiba Taneshige, the orphan of Chiba Tanesuke of the Kyūshū-Chiba clan.  In 1521, he re-built a Shintō shrine complex on Mount Hōman.

In 1524, Mitsukado refused an invitation from his son-in-law, Baba Yorichika, a retainer of Shōni Sukemoto (who had revived the Shōni clan) to betray the Ōuchi clan and, to the contrary, urged Yorichika to return to the service of the Ōuchi.  This upset Yorichika, who then lured Mitsukado to Ayabe Castle under the pretext of meeting with Mitsukado’s daughter and grandson and killed him instead.

In 1530, Mitsukado’s son, Hisakado, was killed in action fighting for the Ōuchi clan at the Battle of Tadenawate, an attack led by Sugi Okikazu of the Ōuchi army against the base of Shōni Sukemasa at Seifukuji Castle in the Kanzaki District of Hizen.