Hatakeyama Yoshifusa


Hatakeyama Clan

Sengoku Daimyō

Noto Province

Lifespan:  Entoku 3 (1491) to 7/12 of Tenbun 14 (1545)

Rank:  bushō, shugo daimyō, sengoku daimyō

Title:  Junior Fourth Rank (Lower), Master of the Office of Palace Repairs

Clan:  Hatakeyama (Noto-Hatakeyama family)

Bakufu: Muromachi, Military Governor of Noto

Lord:  Ashikaga Yoshizumi → Ashikaga Yoshitane → Ashikaga Yoshiharu

Father:  Hatakeyama Yoshimune

Adoptive Father:  Hatakeyama Yoshimoto

Mother:  Kingo Oe (daughter of Hatakeyama-Kingo family (?))

Siblings:  Yoshifusa, Kurō, Suruga

Wife:  [Formal] Daughter of Kajūjji Masaaki), [Second]  Daughter of Hatakeyama Naomasa

Children:  Yoshishige, Yoshitsugu, daughter (wife of Rokkaku Yoshikata)

Hatakeyama Yoshifusa served as a bushō, shugo daimyō and sengoku daimyō during the Sengoku period.  He was the seventh head of the Noto-Hatakeyama clan.  He is well-known as the individual who ushered in the period of peak prosperity for the Noto-Hatakeyama clan.  His common name was Jirō.

In 1491, Yoshifusa was born as the son of Hatakeyama Yoshimune, the fifth head of the Noto-Hatakeyama clan.  After the death of Hatakeyama Yoshimune (a different person than his father whose name is written with a different character) who was Yoshifusa’s uncle and the third head of the clan, an internal dispute arose in the clan and, as a result, the fourth head of the clan (Hatakeyama Yoshimoto) was ousted and, in lieu of Yoshimoto, Yoshifusa’s father (Yoshimune) became the fifth head of the clan.

In 1506, however, Yoshimoto returned to serve as the sixth head of the clan while Yoshimune retired whereupon Yoshifusa was adopted by Yoshimoto and became his designated successor.

There are records of his activities in Kyōto prior to evacuating with Yoshimoto from the capital in advance of the Battle of Funaokayama which occurred in the eighth month of 1511.

Thereafter, Yoshifusa, together with Yoshimoto, jointly governed Noto, suppressing the Ikkō-ikki group.  The strengthening of their authority succeeding in elevating the Hatakeyama family from the status of the shugo daimyō to a sengoku daimyō.  In 1515, after the death of Yoshimoto, Yoshifusa inherited the role and became the seventh head of the clan, ruling jointly with his father, Yoshimune, until 1525.

Yoshifusa actively promoted development of the province, constructing Nanao Castle as his base known as one of the five great mountain fortresses.  Decades later, in 1577, at the Siege of Nanao Castle, the defenders held-out for over a year against Uesugi Kenshin, exemplifying how it was designed as an impregnable fortress.  Yoshifusa also maintained an interest in the cultural arts, welcoming nobles and poets who came to seek refuge from the war in the capital.  Finally, Yoshifusa offered protection to merchants and craftsmen and, under his governance, the town below Nanao Castle flourished to the point that it was referred to as little Kyōto.

In the fifth month of 1545, Hatakeyama Tanenaga from the main branch of the Hatakeyama clan died of illness.  Prior to his demise, Tanenaga planned to have Yoshifusa’s son serve as the next head of the family, but Yoshifusa himself died of illness on 7/12 of Tenbun 14 (1545) so Tanenaga’s plan failed to materialize.  Yoshifusa was fifty-five years old and was succeeded by his second son, Hatakeyama Yoshitsugu.

In the era of Yoshifusa, the Noto-Hatakeyama clan witnessed their period of peak prosperity, but after the death of Yoshifusa, the beginning of a prolonged power-struggle between his senior retainers foreshadowed the decline of the clan.