Uesugi Norifusa

上杉憲房 (戦国時代)



Kōzuke Province

Lifespan:  Ōnin 1 (1467) to 3/25 of Daiei 5 (1525)

Other Names:  Gorō

Rank:  daimyō

Title:  Director of the Bureau of Military Storehouses

Clan:  Yamanouchi-Uesugi

Bakufu:  Muromachi – Deputy shōgun of the Kantō

Father:  Shusei

Adoptive Father:  Uesugi Akisada

Adopted Siblings:  Sister (formal wife of Takayama Shigezumi), Jōjō Sadanori (?), Akizane

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Uesugi Tomomasa

Children:  Norimasa

Adopted Children:  Norihiro (fourth son of Ashikaga Takamoto)

Uesugi Norifusa served as a daimyō during the Sengoku period.  Norifusa was the thirteenth head of the Yamanouchi-Uesugi family.  He also served as the deputy shōgun of the Kantō.

In 1467, Norifusa was born as the son of Shusei, a monk who, in turn, was the son of Uesugi Norizane, the eighth head of the Yamanouchi-Uesugi serving as a bushō, shugo daimyō, and military governor of Kōzuke, Musashi, and Izu provinces during the middle Muromachi period.  Norifusa was adopted by Uesugi Akisada, the deputy shōgun of the Kantō and second cousin of Norifusa.  His position, however, was not secure and, in the final stages of the Revolt of Nagao Kageharu, for a certain period, Norifusa was backed by Nagao Kageharu to be the head of the Yamanouchi-Uesugi family.  There is also a theory that he was the natural (or illegitimate) son of Akisada.  In any event, in1507, after Uesugi Akizane (the second son of Ashikaga Shigeuji, the Koga kubō) was adopted by Akisada, Akizane was permitted to use Akisada’s pseudonym of Shirō while Norifusa was removed as a potential successor and relegated to the status of an illegitimate son.  Meanwhile, Akisada, separate from Akizane, led a powerful army in numerous battles.

Norifusa deployed with the aim of eliminating Akisada and Nagao Tamekage, the deputy military governor of Echigo Province.  He was stationed at Shiroi Castle in Kōzuke Province but, after the death of Akisada at the Battle of Nagamorihara, he retreated.  Based on the last will of Akisada, the role of the deputy shōgun of the Kantō was inherited by Akizane, but Norifusa fought against him and prevailed so, in 1512, he inherited the headship of the Yamanouchi-Uesugi family.  In 1515, owing to the death of Akizane, Norifusa also assumed the role of the deputy shōgun of the Kantō.  This occurred in connection with the Eishō Conflict.

After the rebellion by Nagao Kageharu and many years of fighting against Uesugi Tomooki of the Ōgigayatsu-Uesugi family, Hōjō Ujitsuna of Sagami Province, and Takeda Nobutora of Kai Province, Norifusa fell ill in the midst of a turbulent environment.  On 3/25 of Daiei 5 (1525), he died at the age of fifty-nine.

His son, Norimasa, was in his youth so Uesugi Norihiro (who was earlier adopted) became the fourteenth head of the Yamanouchi-Uesugi family.  Similar to the history between Norifusa and Akizane, however, the conflict between Norimasa and Norihiro intensified.  In the end, Norimasa ousted Norihiro and succeeded to the headship of the family.