Asakura Kōkyū


Asakura Clan


Echizen Province

Lifespan:  Eikyō 12 (1440) to 1/5 of Meiō 3 (1494)

Rank:  bushō and monk

Clan:  Asakura

Lord:  Asakura Takakage → Asakura Ujikage → Asakura Sadakage

Father:  Asakura Iekage

Siblings:  Sister (wife of Horie Toshizane), Takakage, Tsunekage, 輿市郎、Kagefuyu, Kōkyū, 聖室 Sōrin Hisatake, Akiyoshi, Sadakuni

Adopted children: Norikage (Sōteki’s older brother)

Asakura Kōkyū, a bushō and monk, served as a retainer of the Asakura clan of Echizen Province.

Kōkyū was the son of Asakura Iekage, the sixth lineal head of the Asakura clan.  In his youth, Kōkyū spent time at the Kennin Temple in Kyōto associated with the Rinzai sect of Buddhism and the Kōshō Temple which served as a gathering place for monks to engage in monastic activities in Echizen.

Despite his role in the priesthood, in 1461, Kōkyū traveled from Kyōto to Echizen to collect a tansen, or an extraordinary tax to support the operation of the temples and shrines and associated events in Kyōto.  The tansen was to be sourced from the Kawaguchi and Tsuboe shōen, or manors, under the administration of the Kōfuku Temple.  The shōen were formed as private estates whose rise contributed to the decentralization of political and economic power from the bakufu in Kyōto to local clans during the Sengoku period. In 1469, Kōkyū attacked the shōen administered by the Ichijō family in the Asuwa District. 

In 1489, Kōkyū secured the right of the Tōun Temple to collect taxes from 鍬懸・弘名 in the Ōno District.  He supported efforts by his older brother, Asakura Takakage, to pacify Echizen. Takakage had been appointed as the provincial bugyō and gunji, or governor, for the Ōno District.  Following the death of Takakage, Kōkyū served as a deputy for his nephew, Asakura Ujikage, and his great-nephew, Asakura Sadakage.

After the killing of Asakura Norikage (the younger brother of Ujikage) by Asakura Kagefusa (Norikage’s older half-brother) at a sumō event, Kōkyū clashed with Kagefusa but later reconciled.