Lifespan: 14xx to 10/29 of Eishō 17 (1520)
Rank: bushō, shugo daimyō, sengoku daimyō
Title: Master of the Palace Table
Bakufu: Muromachi – military governor of Ōmi
Father: Rokkaku Hisayori (under another theory, Rokkaku Masayori)
Wife: Adopted daughter of Ashikaga Shigeuji
Children: Ujitsuna, Sadayori, Ōhara Takaysu, Wada Takamori, Umedo Takazane, Shingen, daughter (wife of Imadegawa Suetaka), daughter (wife of Kyōgoku Kimune)
Rokkaku Takayori served as a bushō and shugo daimyō during the late Muromachi and Sengoku periods. He was the military governor of Ōmi Province and sengoku daimyō of southern Ōmi. Takayori was the twelfth head of the Rokkaku clan.
Takayori was born as the son of Rokkaku Hisayori. His first name was Yukitaka.
From 1467, Yukitaka joined the Western Army in the Ōnin-Bunmei War and fought against Kyōgoku Mochikiyo of the Eastern Army in Kyōto. After Mochikiyo’s eldest son, Kyōgoku Katsuhide, a retainer named Taga Takatada, and his elder cousin, Rokkaku Masataka, attacked Yukitaka’s main base at Kannonji Castle, he returned to Ōmi and battled against Masataka and the Kyōgoku clan.
Before long, he killed Masataka while Mochikiyo and Katsuhide of the Kyōgoku clan suddenly died one after another, giving rise to a succession conflict that weakened the clan in an event known as the Kyōgoku Disturbance. Yukitaka endeavored to secure southern Ōmi. In battles between Kyōgoku Masatsune and Taga Takatada occurring in 1472 and 1475, Kyōgoku Takakiyo, Taga Kiyonao and Tada Munenao (father and son), backed by reinforcements led by Toki Shigeyori, Saitō Myōchin, and Shiba Yoshikado prevailed, and, in 1478, after the end of the Ōnin-Bunmei War, Yukitaka was appointed by the Muromachi bakufu to serve as the military governor of Ōmi.
Expeditions by the Muromachi bakufu to subdue the Rokkaku
After the Ōnin-Bunmei War, as Yukitaka aimed to strengthen his authority in pursuit of becoming a sengoku daimyō, he sought to control the powers of the noble families along with the temples and shrines. After seizing the lands of nobles, temples and shrines, in addition to lands of the hōkōshū, or the military organ of the bakufu, he reallocated the territory to kokujin, or provincial landowners, under his command. This was opposed by, among others, Ashikaga Yoshihisa (the ninth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu), who, in 1487, led a campaign to Ōmi to subdue him, causing Yukitaka to flee to the mountains of Kōka.
In 1489, Yoshihisa died so the campaign was suspended. Ashikaga Yoshiki (later known as Yoshitane; the tenth shōgun and successor to Yoshihisa) pardoned Yukitaka, so Yukitaka was restored to his position as the military governor of Ōmi. Yukitaka, however, did not return the territory earlier seized and allocated to the kokujin, so, in 1491, he was subject to another campaign (this time led by Yoshiki) to eliminate him, known as the Chōkyō-Entoku Expedition. Once again, he abandoned his base and fled to the mountains of Kōka. Yoshiki planned to back as the new military governor the adopted son of Rokkaku Masataka named Torachiyo or Hachirō who originated from the Takashima clan.
Ascendency of Ashikaga Yoshitaka
In 1493, however, Yoshiki was deposed in a coup d’état known as the Meiō Political Incident and replaced by Ashikaga Yoshitaka (the eleventh shōgun, later known as Yoshizumi) who became the eleventh shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu. Around this time, while subject to the second campaign to eliminate him, Yukitaka fought against Yamauchi Naritsuna (who became the military governor), but, with the support of Saitō Myōjun and others, repelled him.
In 1495, Yukikata was restored by Ashikaga Yoshitaka to his former role as the military governor of Ōmi whereupon he received one of the characters from Yoshitaka’s name and adopted the name of Takayori. Soon thereafter, at the Battle of Funada, he joined Ishimaru Toshimitsu, inviting an expedition to Ōmi by Saitō Myōjyun after Myōjun’s victory at Funada. However, with the support of followers of the Enryaku Temple and Kitabatake Masasato, Takayori ultimately avoided a crisis.
Elimination of the deputy shōgun
In the sixth month of 1507, Hosokawa Masamoto, the kanrei, or deputy shōgun, who earlier orchestrated the coup against Yoshiki, was assassinated in a plot was Hosokawa Sumiyuki, one of his adopted sons who had earlier been removed from the line of succession. This event is known as the Lord Hosokawa Incident, which led to a prolonged succession struggle among his adopted sons supported by their respective factions known as the Eishō Disturbance. Soon after the assassination, Yoshitaka came into conflict with Takayori (who was in Kyōto at the time) owing to the seizure by the Rokkaku clan of landholdings in Ōmi. Indignant toward Yoshitaka over the situation, and despite efforts by Ise Sadamune to mediate, in the seven month, Takayori returned to Ōmi.
In the fourth month of 1508, after Ashikaga Yoshiki (the prior shōgun), with the support of Ōuchi Yoshioki (the sengoku daimyō of Suō Province) and Hosokawa Takakuni (one of Masamoto’s adopted sons), ousted Yoshitaka and resumed his former position as the shōgun, Takayori offered refuge after Yoshitaka fled to Ōmi. In 1511, however, following the death of Yoshitaka from illness, Takayori killed Kuri Nobutaka, the lord of Mizuguki-Okayama Castle, who had been sheltering Yoshitaka and then declared his support for Yoshiki.
Latter years and conflicts with the Iba clan
In 1506, Takayori conveyed the headship of the clan to his eldest son, Rokkaku Ujitsuna, and retired. Ujitsuna died before Takayori, so Takayori had his second son, Rokkaku Sadayori, leave the priesthood and inherit the family. Moreover, he placed his other sons as adoptees and servants of members of the hōkōshū, the military organ of the Muromachi bakufu, stationed in Ōmi. One of these sons, Shingen, entered the priesthood, working to revive the Shōjuraikō Temple affiliated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism.
In his latter years, Takayori engaged in incessant conflict with his head retainer, Iba Sadataka, known as the Revolt of the Iba Clan. Since his youth, Sadataka served as a deputy military governor to Takayori, helping Takayori to navigate through crises including the Ōnin-Bunmei War and the expeditions by the bakufu to subdue the clan, but eventually he wield the powers of governance in lieu of his lord, Takayori. Traditionally, it was concluded that Takayori took steps to remove Sadataka out of fear that Sadataka sought to replace him. Based on more recent research, however, the conflict appears to have further nuance. Rather than a power-struggle between Takayori and Sadataka over powers of governance, the authority of the Rokkaku as the military governors as well as the Iba as the deputy military governors of Ōmi was established via events such as the Ōnin-Bunmei War and the expeditions by the bakufu against the Rokkaku, whereas the more fundamental conflict was between the Iba and the Mabuchi clans as senior retainers, exacerbated by a deterioration in the relationship between Takayori and Sadataka owing Takayori’s displeasure at the protection that Sadataka afforded Ashikaga Yoshiki after Yoshiki fled the capital.
In 1502, with support from Hosokawa Masamoto, and, again, in 1514, with the support of Azai Sukemasa, Sadataka temporarily chased Takayori away to the base of Gamō Sadahide at Otowa Castle. However, in 1520, Sadataka fell into ruin with the fall of Okayama Castle. Soon thereafter, Takayori himself died. The fall of Sadataka, combined with the organization of the kokujin, solidified the governance of the Rokkaku clan in Ōmi, and, in the era of Sadayori, the clan witnessed its peak years of prosperity.