Kanamori Arishige


Kanamori Clan

Hida Province

Kanamori Arishige

Lifespan:  Eiroku 1 (1558) to 6/3 of Genna 1 (1615)

Other Names:  Kizō (common)

Rank:  bushō, daimyō

Title:  Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), Governor of Izumo

Clan:  Nagaya (branch of the Nagae clan) → Kanamori

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  lord of Hida-Takayama

Lord:  Oda Nobunaga → Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Tokugawa Ieyasu → Tokugawa Hidetada

Father:  Nagaya Kageshige

Adoptive Father:  Kanamori Nagachika

Mother:  Daughter of the Inaba clan (Inaba Ittetsu (?))

Siblings:  Daizen-no-suke Kageoki (lord of Aiba Castle), Kagetō (Ichirō-zaemon), Arishige, Kageyasu (Sōhachirō), Kagenobu (Shichirō-Kurōdō)

Wife:  [Formal]  Muromachi-dono (daughter of Endō Yoshitaka), [Second] Daughter of Nagoya Takahisa (sister of Nagoya Sanzaburō), daughter of Ema Terumori

Children:  Daughter (wife of Suetsugu Masanao), Shigechika (Munekazu), Shigetsugu (the foregoing were the children of Muromachi-dono); Shigeyori, Aritsugu, Shigekatsu (Sakyō), Shigeyoshi, Sakai Shigezumi, daughter (wife of a member of the 則生院), daughter (second wife of Koide Mitsutada), daughter (wife of Myōryō of the Shōren Temple), Nobuyoshi (tenth head of Zuizenji at the Inamibetsu Temple affiliated with the Ōtani branch of Shin Buddhism)

Kanamori Arishige served as a bushō and daimyō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  In the Edo period, Arishige was the second lord of the Hida-Takayama domain.

In 1558, Arishige was born as the son of Nagaya Kageshige, the lord of Tarui Castle in the Fuwa District of Mino Province and, later, the lord of Itadori Castle.

In 1580, after Kanamori Nagachika became the lord of Ōno Castle in Echizen Province, he adopted Arishige who then wed Muromachi-dono, the daughter of Endō Yoshitaka, the lord of Gujō-Hachiman Castle.  He received one of the characters in his name from his father and adopted the name of Arishige.

On 6/2 of Tenshō 10 ( 1582), Oda Nobunaga died in a coup d’état orchestrated by a senior retainer, Akechi Mitsuhide, in an event known as the Honnō Temple Incident.  During this incident, Arishige’s older brother-in-law and natural son of Nagachika, Kanamori Naganori, was killed at Nijō Castle in fighting along with Oda Nobutada whom he served.  Nagachika then underwent the rites of tonsure and adopted the monk’s name of Sogen, high priest of the Minister of Military Affairs.  Thereafter, a struggle arose within the clan to determine Nobunaga’s successor.  Initially, the Kanamori supported Shibata Katsuie who had served as a guardian.  Nevertheless, during the Battle of Shizugatake in the fourth month of 1583 marking the final showdown to determine the successor, the Kanamori switched their allegiance to Hashiba Hideyoshi (later known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and served in the Hashiba camp.

In 1585, Arishige joined his father, Nagachika, to serve in the Toyama Campaign and the Pacification of Hida.  As a leader of the Kanamori army, Arishige launched an offensive to eliminate Sassa Narimasa and Anekōji Yoritsuna and contributed to Nagachika’s efforts to sweep-up the resistance in Hida.  After these battles, Hideyoshi awarded control of Hida to Nagachika, while Arishige in turn received a fief of 10,000 koku in the Furukawa township from Nagachika.  He then constructed Masashima Castle in Furukawa.

Later, Arishige joined Nagachika by serving on behalf of the Toyotomi during the Conquest of Kyūshū, the Conquest of Odawara, the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign, and the Conquest of Aizu.

On 3/6 of Keichō 4 (1599), Arishige hosted a cherry-blossom viewing event attended by thirty individuals including bushi such as Furuta Oribe, Kobori Masakazu, and Ishikawa Sadamichi notable figures from Sakai and Kyōto such as Tsuda Sōgyū, a tea master.

In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Arishige sided with the Eastern Army led by Tokugawa Ieyasu.  Together with Nagachika, he participated in the Uesugi Conquest and other campaigns in the east.  Upon orders of Ieyasu, he quickly returned from Edo to Hida to join his father-in-law, Endō Yoshitaka, to mount an assault against Inaba Sadamichi holed-up in Gujō-Hachiman Castle in Mino.  This is known as the Siege of Hachiman Castle, occurring from 9/1 to 9/4 of Keichō 5 (1600).  Subsequently, Arishige led his forces to converge with those led by Nagachika for the main Battle of Sekigahara on 9/15 of Keichō 5 (1600).  The Kanamori army fought against forces led by Ishida Mitsunari, the leader of the Western Army which lost the battle.

In 1605, while in his eighties, Nagachika delegated to Arishige command of Takayama Castle and the governance of Hida Province.  Nagachika himself then entered Nataoyama Castle in Kōzuchi in the Mugi District of Mino, territory that he received after the Battle of Sekigahara.  Thereafter, he constructed and moved to Ogurayama Castle.  A town developed below the castle known as Udatsunoagaru-machinami which is preserved as a group of traditional buildings of historical significance.  In this year, his second son, Kanamori Gorohachi (Nagamitsu) was born.

In 1608, after the death of Nagachika, Arishige formally inherited Hida-Takayama and a fief of 38,000 koku, taking control of all of Hida.  The land in Kōzuchi was allocated to Nagachika’s young son, Kanamori Nagamitsu, who was born when Nagachika was eighty-two years old.  This became the Kōzuchi domain.

Similar to his father, Arishige cultivated his skills in the tea ceremony, learning from tea masters such as Sen-no-rikyū and Furuta Oribe.  After Hideyoshi ordered Sen-no-rikyū to commit seppuku, Arishige harbored Sen-no-rikyū’s son, Sen-no-dōan, who escaped to Hida-Takayama, during which period Arishige continued to study the tea ceremony.

Arishige, along with Ishikawa Sadakiyo, attended a tea ceremony at the Chikurin Temple in Yoshino hosted by Oribe in memory of Sen-no-rikyū.

Ieyasu desired to appoint Arishige as the instructor of tea ceremony for Tokugawa Hidetada, the second shōgun of the Edo bakufu, but, owing to Arishige’s position as the lord of a province, he appointed Oribe instead.  Oribe (Ōno) Dōka served as the instructor at the tea hall.  Meanwhile, Arishige had friendly relations with Date Masamune and frequently exchanged writings of waka, or linked-verse poetry with him.

In 1610, Arishige oversaw the construction of Nagoya Castle.  In 1611, he presented Tokugawa Ieyasu with a ginseng plant with thirty-seven leaves.

On 10/6 of the same year (or, on 8/23), Arishige’s young brother-in-law, Nagamitsu, died at the age of seven.  The land owned by Nagamitsu in Kōzuchi was appropriated by the Edo bakufu instead of transferring to Arishige.

In 1614, Arishige joined his fourth son, Aritsugu, and fifth son, Shigekatsu, to serve in the Winter Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka.

Together with his younger brother-in-law, Itō (Kamon-no-suke) Haruaki, Arishige joined the forces of Koide Yoshihide, the lord of the Kishiwada domain.  In 1615, at the Battle of Kashii, he repelled the Western Army and the Kanamori took 152 heads (or, based on another account, 208 heads).  On this occasion, his eldest son, Shigechika (Kanamori Munekazu) objected to serving in the Eastern Army whereupon, on that same day, Arishige removed him from the line of succession.

After the war, owing to his contributions, there were plans to grant him control of Tanba Province with a fief of 400,000 koku.  There are theories that Arishige was not satisfied with the offer, but, soon after the campaign, he died in Fushimi in the environs of Kyōto on 6/3 of Genna 1 (1615) at the age of fifty-eight. His cause of death is uncertain, and may have been that he committed seppuku or was poisoned.  As an heirloom, the oldest known arquebus in Japan inscribed with the date 9/9 of Tenshō 11 (1583) and his common name of Kizō is kept to the present day at the Ryōgen Temple.  Another arquebus with an inscription is said to have been owned by his adoptive father, Nagachika.  Arishige is known for fostering the development of his territory.

After the demise of Arishige, the headship of the Kanamori clan was inherited by his third son, Kanamori Shigeyori.