Tsutsui Junshō


Tsutsui Clan

Yamato Province

Tsutsui Junshō

Lifespan:  Daiei 3 (1523) to 6/20 of Tenbun 19 (1550

Name Changes:  Fujimatsu → Junshō

Other Names:  Eishunbō

Rank:  daimyō

Clan:  Tsutsui

Father:  Tsutsui Junkō

Siblings:  Junshō, Junsei, Jimyōji Junkoku, Fukuzumi Toshihiro, others

Wife:  Ōkatadono, daughter of Yusa Naganori

Children:  Junkei, daughter (wife of Ido Yoshihiro), daughter (wife of Jimyōji Junkoku), daughter (wife of Fukuzumi Toshihiro), others

Tsutsui Junshō served as a daimyō in Yamato Province during the Sengoku period.  He was the representative of the monk-soldiers at the Kōfuku Temple in Nara and resided in Tsutsui Castle.

In 1523, Junshō was born as the lineal heir of Tsutsui Junkō, a sengoku daimyō in Yamato.  Junshō was the father of Tsutsui Junkei.

Upon the death of his father, Junkō, in the seventh month of 1535, Junshō inherited the headship of the clan.  In 1538, he attended his coming-of-age ceremony and entered the priesthood.

At the time that Junshō succeeded his father, Yamato was under the governance of Kizawa Nagamasa.  In the third month of 1542, Nagamasa was killed in action at the Battle of Taihei Temple.  Junshō joined with Hatakeyama Tanenaga, the military governor of Kawachi who killed Nagamasa, and, in the ninth month, deployed to Iimoriyama Castle in the Sasara District of Kawachi which was aligned with the Kizawa.

In the fourth month of 1543, Junshō led 6,000 mounted soldiers to attack the Sakukawa clan in Higashi-Sannai on the Yamato Plateau and toppled Sugawa Castle.  Next, Junshō attacked the Furuichi clan and captured Furuichi Castle, but the defenders burned it down.  In the seventh month of 1544, he felled Yagyū Castle in Higashi-Sannai.  At this time, Junshō led an army of 10,000 troops including 300 troops from the Yamato-Tōichi clan and 300 troops from Kawachi under the command of Takayama Hiroyori.

In the eighth month of 1546, in a dispute between Hosokawa Harumoto and Hosokawa Ujitsuna, Junshō, along with Hatakeyama Masakuni and Yusa Naganori allied with Ujitsuna and deployed for a while to Tatsuda in the Ikoma District.

In the ninth month, he attacked the Ochi clan and, in the tenth month, toppled Kaibukiyama Castle.  By this means, Junshō achieved the unification of Higashi-Sannai and Kuninaka (the Yamato Basin) and their environs.  In the ninth month, the Yamato-Tōichi clan vacated Tōichi Castle and, in the fifth month of 1547, destroyed the castle held by the Hashio clan, establishing the foundation for the period of peak prosperity for the Tsutsui clan.

In the fourth month of 1549, Junshō, along a small party, went to Mount Hiei, a sacred mountain, and transferred headship of the clan to his lineal heir, Fujikatsu (later known as Tsutsui Junkei).  In 1546, he appears to have contracted smallpox and, on 6/20 of Tenbun 19 (1550), died at the age of twenty-eight.

Afterwards, the young Junkei was under the guardianship of family members including Fukuzumi Munemoto and Tsutsui Junsei (Junshō’s younger brother).  A memorial for Junshō in the form of a five-part gravestone representing earth, water, fire, wind and heaven stands at the Enshō Temple in the city of Ikoma in Nara Prefecture and is deemed an Important Cultural Property of Japan.

While on the verge of death, Junshō gathered together family members and senior retainers to have them pledge loyalty to his son, Junkei, and requested that a blind priest named Mokuami from Nara who appeared and sounded similar to Junshō serve as a substitute (body-double) for Junshō.  Mokuami spent approximately one year at the residence in Nara where Junshō passed away.  Upon the first anniversary of Junshō’s death, following the announcement of his passing, Mokuami received compensation and returned to his role as a priest.  According to one theory, this story is deemed the origin of the term “mokuami” meaning silent Buddha.