Ashina Moritaka


Ashina Clan


Mutsu Province

Lifespan:  8/17 of Bunan 5 (1448) to 12/8 of Eishō 14 (1517)

Other Names:  Kotarō

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Junior Fourth Rank (Lower), Master of the Office of Palace Repairs, Secretary of the Bureau of Justice

Clan:  Ashina

Father:  Ashina Moriakira

Mother:  Daughter of Utsunomiya Mochitsuna

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Uesugi Fusasada

Children:  Morishige, Morikiyo, daughter (formal wife of Date Tanemune)

Ashina Moritaka served as a bushō during the Muromachi and Sengoku periods.  Moritaka was the thirteenth head of the Ashina clan based in Aizu in Mutsu Province.  His father, Ashina Moriakira, served as the twelfth head of the clan.

Following the death of his father, in 1466, Moritaka inherited the clan.  In 1479, Moritaka eliminated Shibukawa Yoshimoto, a dogō, or local strongman, and expanded his base of power.  In 1484, he invaded the Iwase District of Mutsu and was intercepted by Nikaidō Yukiakira.

In 1494, Moritaka assisted Date Hisamune who sought refuge outside of his territory after encountering resistance from a band of his retainers.  Moritaka killed some of his retainers who rebelled, including in 1500, Matsumoto Sukemasa (a senior retainer), and, in 1501, Inawashiro Moriyori (a family member).  Moritaka exerted efforts to raise the stature of the clan to a sengoku daimyō.  However, he had a gradual falling out with his son, Ashina Morishige, and, in 1505, the two ended up fighting against one another.  After a defeat, Morishige fled to Hisamune for protection, but Moritaka later forgave Morishige for his crimes and had him return home.

Moritaka proactively sought to expand his territory, joining with Naganuma Masayoshi, lord of Shigiyama Castle, in battle against Utsunomiya Shigetsuna, the sengoku daimyō of Shimotsuke Province, in a bid to advance into Shimotsuke.

He died on 12/8 of 1517 at the age of seventy, after which Morishige inherited the family.

Moreover, great-great grandchildren of Moritaka included Ashina Moritaka (same pronunciation but a different character in his name) adopted from the Nikaidō clan to become the eighteenth head of the Ashina clan, Ashina Morishige adopted from the Satake clan to become the twentieth head of the Ashina clan, and, finally, Date Masamichi, who disputed with Morishige for the role.