Shiōten Masataka


Shiōten Clan

Tanba Province

Shiōten Masataka

Lifespan:  15xx to Tenshō 10 (1582)

Other Names:  Matabei (common)

Rank:  bushō, daimyō

Title:  Governor of Tajima

Clan:  Shiōten

Lord:  Akechi Mitsuhide

Siblings:  Masataka, Masazane (under another theory, his son)

Shiōten Masataka served as a bushō and daimyō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of Akechi Mitsuhide.

Masataka came from the village of Hirai in the Kashiwara manor in the Hikami District of Tanba Province.  Shiōten Masazane was his younger brother (or, under another theory, his son).  The Shiōten surname was derived from the Yomoda clan of the Kodama party, a band of bushi who held territory in Musashi Province from the late Heian period to the Kamakura period.

Masataka came under the command of the Akechi clan around the time that Mitsuhide, a senior retainer of Oda Nobunaga, entered Tanba Province.  In 1575, Masataka participated in the invasion of Tanba by the Oda clan but withdrew in defeat.  This is known as the First Siege of Kuroi Castle.  Masataka, together with his younger brother, served in the invasion of Echizen Province and, the following year, the Ishiyama War against the warrior monks of the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple.

In 1578, Akai Naomasa died of illness.  In 1579, Masataka served as a unit commander in the Akechi army during a second invasion of Tanba.  This is known as the Second Siege of Kuroi Castle.  After entering the Hikami District, he toppled Takami Castle followed by Oniga Castle in the Amata District.  He then toppled the Senjōji fortress when the defenders were shorthanded and commenced an all-out attack against the main walls of Kuroi Castle.  During the assault on Yakami Castle, his younger brother, Masazane, fought vigorously against Hatano Hideharu who was captured.  In the eighth month, the base of the Akai clan at Kuroi Castle fell and Mitsuhide achieved the pacification of Tanba.

After Nobunaga delegated the governance of Tanba to Mitsuhide, Mitsuhide repositioned his commanders in Tanba.  Masataka and Masazane became chamberlains of Fukuchiyama Castle in the Amata District and Masataka was granted a fief of 10,000 koku in the area surrounding the castle.

In the sixth month of 1582, Oda Nobunaga died unexpectedly in a coup d’état led by Mitsuhide in an event known as the Honnō Temple Incident.  During this attack, Masataka sided with Mitsuhide.  After Akechi Mitsutada sustained injuries in the battle, Masataka commanded the assault against Oda Nobutada who was holed-up at Nijō Castle.  Masazane is deemed to have killed a retainer of Nobunaga named Mori Naritoshi (Ranmaru) at the Honnō Temple but, according to other theories, this was attributed to Masataka or other individuals.  Moreover, there is a theory that he did not kill Naritoshi but rather his younger brother, Mori Nagauji (Rikimaru), who was an attendant of Nobunaga.

On 6/13 of Tenshō 10 (1582), at the Battle of Yamazaki, Masataka was killed in action before Mitsuhide.  Meanwhile, Masazane fled to go underground in Kishū (Kii) Province and served a landlord and daimyō named Aoki Kazunori.  He followed the Aoki clan upon their transfer.  In 1600, in the wake of the Battle of Sekigahara, the Aoki clan serving as landlords of Kita-no-shō in Echizen Province were removed from their position.  Thereafter, Masataka became a rōnin, or wandering samurai, until he was engaged in service by Yūki Hideyasu, a daimyō and the first lord of the Kita-no-shō domain.  His descendants served as retainers of the Fukui domain in the Edo period.