Hatakeyama Takamasa


Hatakeyama Clan

Sengoku Daimyō

Kawachi Province

Kii Province

Lifespan:  Daiei 7 (1527) to 10/15 of Tenshō 4 (1576)

Rank:  shugo daimyō, sengoku daimyō

Title:  Governor of Owari

Clan:  Hatakeyama-Bishū

Bakufu:  Muromachi – Military Governor of Kawachi and Kii provinces

Father:  Hatakeyama Masakuni

Siblings:  Takamasa, Masahisa, Akitaka

Adopted Children:  Akitaka (younger brother), Sadamasa (nephew), Yukihiro (son of Hosokawa Saneyuki)

Hatakeyama Takamasa served as a shugo daimyō and sengoku daimyō of Kii and Kawachi provinces during the Sengoku period.  Takamasa was the head of the Hatakeyama-Bishū family.

In 1527, Takamasa was born as the eldest son of Hatakeyama Masakuni.  While Takamasa was a youth, in 1546, the Hatakeyama clan defeated Miyoshi Masanaga at the Battle of Shari Temple in Settsu Province, supporting Hosokawa Ujitsuna in opposition to Hosokawa Harumoto.  In Kawachi Province, the real authority, however, was almost entirely held by the deputy military governor, Yusa Naganori, until his assassination in 1551.  Taking advantage of his situation, Takamasa succeeded to the headship of the clan in 1553.

That same year, during a conflict between Ashikaga Yoshiteru and Miyoshi Nagayoshi, Takamasa sent reinforcements including Tange Moritomo and Yasumi Munefusa to Nagayoshi, maintaining the alliance.  On 11/30 of Eiroku 1 (1558), however, Takamasa came into conflict with Munefusa, whereupon Takamasa was ousted from his base at Takaya Castle and fled to the harbor town of Sakai.  Thereafter, leveraging the power of the Miyoshi clan, on 8/2 of Eiroku 2 (1559), Takamasa succeeded in expelling Munefusa and recovering Takaya Castle.  Nevertheless, in 1560, he clashed with Nagayoshi and reconciled with Munefusa.  As a result, on 11/13, the Miyoshi army occupied Takaya Castle while Takamasa and Munefusa fell into ruin.

As Yusa Naganori, the deputy military governor of Kawachi, acquired more power, the Hatakeyama clan serving as the military governors of Kawachi came under increasing pressure.  The Hatakeyama, however, had not relinquished the authority of the military governor to mobility the military.  Meanwhile, the Hatakeyama continued to maintain their governance of Kii Province without influence from the Yusa clan.  Therefore, in 1561, Takamasa led forces from Kii and, together with Hosokawa Haruyuki (the second son of Hosokawa Harumoto) and Rokkaku Yoshikata, marched to Kyōto and, for a temporary period, succeeded in expelling Miyoshi Nagayoshi from the capital.

On 3/5 of Eiroku 5 (1562), at the Battle of Kumeda, Takamasa killed Miyoshi Jikkyū (the younger brother of Miyoshi Nagayoshi) and recaptured Takaya Castle.  However, on 5/20, he was defeated at the ensuing Battle of the Kyōkō Temple and lost his authority in Kawachi, retreating to Kii.

In 1565, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the thirteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu, was killed by the Miyoshi Group of Three in an event known as the Eiroku Incident.  Takamasa then transferred the headship of the clan to his younger brother, Hatakeyama Akitaka.  Under another theory, Takamasa adopted Hatakeyama Sadamasa (the son of another younger brother named Hatakeyama Masahisa) while Akitaka served as the head of the clan until Sadamasa reached the age of maturity.  Takamasa focused on backing Yoshiteru’s younger brother, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, and continued support for him to become the next shōgun.  After a rupture of the Miyoshi family, Takamasa aligned with Matsunaga Hisahide.

In 1568, Takamasa obeyed Oda Nobunaga and Ashikaga Yoshiaki after their march to Kyōto and received official recognition of his rights to a portion of his former territory that had been taken away by the Miyoshi clan.  While aiming to promote the prosperity of the Hatakeyama clan, there are records of Takamasa residing in Kyōto.  Although he transferred the headship of the clan, in 1570, at the Battle of Noda and Fukushima Castles, he traveled to Kawachi and fought on the side of Nobunaga and Yoshiaki.

The story that Yusa Nobunori and Yasumi Munefusa backed Takamasa’s younger brother, Hatakeyama Akitaka, as the head of the clan and ousted Takamasa appears only in certain military chronicles and considered to be an adaptation of the conflict occurring in 1558 and not regarded as factual.

In 1573, after the killing of his younger brother, Hatakeyama Akitaka (a member of Nobunaga’s faction) by Yusa Nobunori, Takamasa maneuvered to recapture Kawachi, but the plans stalled.  Moreover, in 1575, Takaya Castle was destroyed by Nobunaga.

Thereafter, he wandered in Kawachi and Kii provinces, and, on 101/5 of Tenshō 4 (1576), died in despair at the age of fifty.  In his latter years, he was baptized as a Christian.  Takamasa had dealings with Ikeda Tango-no-kami and Ijichi Bundayū so it is surmised that these individuals introduced the Christian faith to him after which he underwent the baptism.  He is said to have either died at the Kanshin Temple in Kawachi or entrusted affairs after his death to Sadamasa and died at Iwamuro Castle in Kii.