Asakura Kagetsune


Asakura Clan


Echizen Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 9/28 of Genki 1 (1570)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Senior Assistant Minister of Central Affairs

Clan:  Kusakabe branch of the Asakura

Lord:  Asakura Yoshikage

Father:  Asakura Kagetoshi

Siblings:  Kagemitsu, Kagetsune

Children:  Michikage

Asakura Kagetsune served as a retainer of the Asakura clan in Echizen Province.  Kagetsune was the second son of Asakura Kagetoshi.    He entered the priesthood at the Kōfuku Temple in Nara and assumed the name of 松林院鷹瑳.  In 1564, his older brother, Asakura Kagemitsu, killed himself after arguing with Asakura Kageakira while deployed in Wakasa Province.  Kagetsune then returned to secular life and performed the role of gunji, or governor, of the Tsuruga District in Echizen.  In the ninth month of 1566, Kagetsune received Ashikaga Yoshiaki  in Tsuruga and hosted him for over a year.  At this time, Yoshiaki awarded Kagetsune with the Court title of Senior Assistant Minister of Central Affairs.  When Yoshiaki moved to Ichijōdani, Kagetsune and his father argued with Asakura Kageakira in regard to the seating arrangements.  This dispute reflected a bitter falling out between the men owing to the circumstances that led to Kagemitsu taking his own life.  In the seventh month of 1568, after Yoshiaki severed ties with Asakura Yoshikage (head of the Asakura clan), Kagetsune and Maeba Kagemasa led a contingent of 2,000 men to protect Yoshiaki to the border of Ōmi Province as Yoshiaki headed toward Gifu to meet Oda Nobunaga.

The following month, Kagetsune acted upon orders from Yoshikage to invade Wakasa Province.  The forces proceeded to the coastal village of Obama, where they arrested Takeda Motoaki, a successor to the Takeda clan in Wakasa, and brought him to the home base of the Asakura clan at Ichijōdani in Echizen.

Kagetsune sheltered in Kanagasaki Castle after Oda Nobunaga invaded Echizen in the fourth month of 1570; however, in the ensuing Battle of Kanagasaki, he incurred a fierce attack by the Oda forces. Facing an onslaught and severely outnumbered, Kagetsune accepted a petition of surrender from Nobunaga and opened the castle.  The resulting criticism from other members of the Asakura clan led Kagetsune to seek a secluded life in the Eihei Temple in the Yoshida District of Echizen. The Eihei Temple was recognized in 1539 by Emperor Go-Nara as the leading temple for the practice of a form of Japanese Buddhism known as sōtōshū.

Kagetsune died in despair on 9/28 of 1570.