Asakura Kagefusa


Asakura Clan


Echizen Province

Lifespan: 14xx to 4/4 of Eishō 2 (1505)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Senior Inspector of the Board of Censors

Clan:  Asakura

Lord:  Asakura clan → Hosokawa Masamoto

Father: Asakura Takakage

Siblings:  Ujikage, Kageaki, Magoshirō, Kagefusa, Norikage, Tokikage, 景儀

Children:  余六、Jizō-in, daughter (wife of Asakura Kagetoyo)

Asakura Kagefusa was a family member of the Asakura clan in Echizen Province.

Kagefusa was born as the fourth son of Asakura Takakage, the seventh lineal head of the Asakura clan.  He was born from a mistress, and, therefore, ranked after his younger half-brother, Norikage, who was the son of Takakage’s formal wife, Keishitsu Eishō (adopted daughter of the Hemi clan), and Takakage’s fifth son. Resentful of a status below that of his younger half-brother, in 1484, Kagefusa killed Norikage in a sumō bout. This upset Asakura Kōkyū, Kagefusa’s uncle and Norikage’s father-in-law, causing Kagefusa to flee to the Takura-Jigen Temple in the Nanjō District, shave his head, and plead for mercy.

Years later, Kagefusa returned to Ichijōdani to support the clan.  In 1491, he served as an escort for Hosokawa Masamoto, the kanrei, or deputy shōgun, on a visit to Echigo Province.  In 1496, he served as the general in charge of forces dispatched to the Battle of Funada in Mino Province. Kagefusa’s daughter married Asakura Kagetoyo, his younger cousin and the governor of the Tsuruga District.  However, his relationship with Eishō, the mother of Norikage, remained broken.  He finally departed from Echizen, landing in Kyōto to serve Masamoto, whereupon he adopted one of the characters from Masamoto’s name and changed his own name to Asakura Motokage.

In 1503, Kagefusa plotted a rebellion with Asakura Kagetoyo and Asakura Norikage (Sōteki), devising a plan to attack their nephew and new lord of the clan, Asakura Sadakage. Norikage then proceeded to secretly inform Sadakage, after which Sadakage attacked Kagetoyo at his home base, compelling Kagetoyo to take his own life.  At the time, Kagefusa was deployed to Ōmi Province.  Upon hearing the news, he retreated via Mino and Hida to Kaga Province.

In Kaga, Kagefusa gathered an assortment of forces opposed to the Asakura.  In 1504, he joined with warrior monks from Kaga and advanced to Tsuboe in Echizen for a final showdown with Sadakage, but lost and escaped to Noto Province. In 1505, he died of illness at the Saitō residence in Haruki.