Minagawa Muneshige

皆川宗成

Minagawa Clan

Sengoku Daimyō

Shimotsuke Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to 11/10 of Daiei 3 (1523)

Rank:  bushō, sengoku daimyō

Clan:  Naganuma → Minagawa

Father:  Naganuma Ujihide

Siblings:  Muneshige, Shigemasa, Tomida Shigetada, Hirakawa Shigeaki, Masaaki

Children:  Shigekatsu

Minagawa Muneshige served as a bushō and sengoku daimyō during the Sengoku period.  He served as the head of the Minagawa clan and the lord of Minagawa Castle in Shimotsuke Province.

Muneshige was born as the eldest son and designated heir of Naganuma Ujihide.  The year of his birth is unknown but it surmised to be before the sixteenth century.  Together with four younger brothers, Muneshige expanded the power of the Minagawa clan.

During the Eishō Conflict, which included, in part, a power-struggle for control of the Koga kubō family, Muneshige aligned with the neighboring Sano clan by allying with Oyama Shigenaga who led the support for Ashikaga Masauji.  Consequently, he opposed Utsunomiya Shigetsuna who led those in the faction supporting Ashikaga Takamoto.

In the eleventh month of 1523, Muneshige was killed in action while fighting against the invading army of Utsunomiya Tadatsuna at the Battle of Kawarada.  His younger brother, Hirakawa Shigeaki was also killed in a clash that was a major blow to the clan.  After valiant fighting by reinforcements who came rushing from the Oyama and Yūki clans, the Utsunomiya forces were repelled.

Muneshige was succeeded by his son, Minagawa Shigekatsu.

The location of the battle remains to the present time under the name of the Tsugamachi Battlefield in Tochigi Prefecture.