Lifespan: 15xx to 3/12 of Tenshō 18 (1590)
Rank: sengoku daimyō
Title: Officer of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards
Clan: Hatakeyama (Noto-Hatakeyama family)
Bakufu: Muromachi – military governor of Noto
Father: Hatakeyama Yoshifusa
Siblings: Yoshishige, Yoshitsugu, sister (formal wife of Rokkaku Yoshikata), sister (second wife of Rokkaku Yoshikata)
Wife: Daughter of Shōkōji Renkei
Children: Yoshitsuna, daughter (Kōunin-dono), Yoshiharu, son (Chōsenin-dono)
Hatakeyama Yoshitsugu served as a sengoku daimyō in Noto Province. He was the eighth head of the Noto-Hatakeyama clan.
Yoshitsugu was born as the second son of Hatakeyama Yoshifusa, the seventh head of the Hatakeyama clan. Yoshitsugu’s older brother and designated heir, Hatakeyama Yoshishige, died early so Yoshitsugu became the successor. In 1545, after the death of Yoshifusa, Yoshitsugu became the eighth head of the clan. Around this time, however, a power-struggle erupted among the band of retainers.
In 1547, Yoshitsugu’s uncle (Hatakeyama Suruga) who was exiled to Kaga, obtained support of the Ikkō-ikki (followers of the Ikkō sect based in Kaga) and invaded Noto. This was known as the Battle of Oshimizu in the Hakui District of Noto. In 1550, owing to conflict between senior retainers, namely, Yusa Tsugumitsu and Nukui Fusasada, a portion of Nanao Castle was burned down in armed clashes known as the Noto Tenbun Conflict.
Owing to his inability to control his band of retainers, Yoshitsugu lost his authority as a sengoku daimyō, so the senior retainers established an organ headed by clan elders called the Hatakeyama Group of Seven to exercise authority on his behalf. While Yoshitsugu became a puppet, the members of this group, led by Nukui Fusasada, became the real holders of power in the clan. In 1551, Yoshitsugu took responsibility for discord in the clan including the Noto Tenbun Conflict by transferring headship to his eldest son, Hatakeyama Yoshitsuna, and retiring. Thereafter, he served as a guardian of Yoshitsuna.
In 1555, Yoshitsugu sought to restore his authority over the clan by collaborating with other senior retainers to kill Nukui Fusasada, the leader of the Hatakeyama Group of Seven. By this means, he temporarily regained power, but, later, efforts to further reinforce his authority stirred opposition from the senior retainers. In 1566, Chō Tsugutsura, Yusa Tsugumitsu, and Yashiro Toshimori launched an armed insurrection, ousting Yoshitsugu and his son, Yoshitsuna from Noto. The rebels then backed Yoshitsugu’s grandson, Hatakeyama Yoshinori, to succeed Yoshitsugu. This event is known as the Political Incident of Eiroku 9.
Drawing upon marital relationships with the Rokkaku clan, the pair were able to flee to territory under their control in Sakamoto in Ōmi Province. In 1568, Yoshitsugu and Yoshitsuna, with the support of the Rokkaku, raised arms in a bid to return to Noto. Joining forces with Uesugi Kenshin and Jinbō Nagamoto, the allied army invaded Noto, but the action ended in failure. Subsequent plans to restore their authority could not be achieved either. Yoshitsugu died on 3/12 of Tenshō 18 (1590).
Despite the turbulence associated with Yoshitsugu’s term as the head of the clan, Chō Tsugutsura, Nukui Tsugumune, and Yusa Tsugumitsu from the Hatakeyama Group of Seven all received one of the characters in their names from Yoshitsugu. Other retainers receiving the same character in their names included Itami Tsugukata, Oki Tsugutomo, Kumaki Tsugukane, Kōno Tsuguhide, Taira Tsugushige, Miyake Tsugunaga, and Nukui Tsugumoto.