Asakura Arishige



Suruga Province

Asakura Clan

Lifespan:  Tenbun 14 (1545) to 11/6 of Genna 1 (1615)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Kawachi

Clan:  Asakura

Lord:  Imagawa clan → Nakamura clan → Tokugawa Ieyasu

Father:  Asakura Kagetaka

Siblings:  Kageakira, Kagetsugu, Arishige

Wife:  Daughter of Suetaka Masanaga

Children:  Nobumasa, Arishige (?), Kagetoshi

Asakura Arishige was a member of the Asakura clanThe Asakura of Echizen Province and the Asakura of Suruga Province may have had separate lineage or been distant relatives from a common ancestor. Arishige’s father, Asakura Kagetake, fled Echizen after a dispute with Asakura Takakage, whereupon Arishige separated from his father to seek refuge from the Imagawa clan in Suruga.  Following the demise of the Imagawa, Arishige first served Nakamura Kazuuji and then Tokugawa Ieyasu.

While with the Imagawa, Arishige held territory near Kakijima in the Abe District of Suruga.  Arishige became a hatamoto, serving as the head of a unit of bushi known as the Seven Abe Mounted Soldiers.  The unit was comprised of members from the Ishigaya, Kanō, Sugiyama clans, and initially operated on behalf of the Imagawa. However, following the demise of the Imagawa, the unit served the Takeda of Kai, followed by the Tokugawa.  These transitions led to internal conflict and the eventual dissolution of the unit.  Meanwhile, Arishige killed his younger brother-in-law (a member of the unit) with a concealed dart.

Thereafter, Arishige served as a retainer of the Tokugawa.  The Asakura continued to occupy former territory even after Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Edo bakufu headquarters in the Kantō Region, while Arishige served the Nakamura clan in Suruga.

While serving Ieyasu, Arishige and Unno Motosada managed a cold storehouse for tea leaves and valuable tea jars located on the Dainichi Ridge in the Igawa area of Suruga.  In the autumn, a formal procession was conducted to present the tea and tea jars to Ieyasu, the shōgun, and to members of the ruling family.