Toki Yoritake


Toki Clan

Shugo Daimyō

Mino Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to Kyōroku 3 (1530)

Other Names:  Jirō, Masayori, Moriyori,

Rank:  shugo daimyō

Title:  Master of the Office of Palace Repairs

Clan:  Toki

Father:  Toki Masafusa

Siblings:  Yoritake, Yoriaki, Haruyori, Umedo Mitsutaka, Ibi Mitsuchika, Washizu Mitsuatsu, Yorimitsu, Yoritaka, Mitsutake, sister (wife of Kagami Morimasa)

Wife:  Third daughter of Asakura Sadakage

Children:  Yorizumi

Toki Yoritake served as a shugo daimyō in Mino Province during the Sengoku period.  Yoritake was the father of Toki Yorizumi.

Yoritake was born as the eldest son and heir of Toki Masafusa.  Masafusa, however, cherished his second son, Toki Yoriaki, and considered removing Yoritake from the line of succession so that Yoriaki could become the next head of the family.  Nagai Nagahiro, the  vice-deputy military governor of Mino, joined the faction backing Yoriaki.  Meanwhile, Saitō Toshinaga, the deputy military governor, supported Yoritake so the family was split between rival factions.  On 12/27 of Eishō 14 (1517), the factions engaged in armed conflict.  Yoritake and his supporters prevailed, but the faction backing Yoriaki connected with Saitō Hikoshirō, the former deputy military governor in exile in Owari Province, and made plans for a counterattack.

On 8/10 of Eishō 15 (1518), the opposing factions clashed again and Yoriaki prevailed.  Yoritake, together with Toshinaga, went into exile with the Asakura clan in Echizen Province where Toshinaga’s aunt had earlier wed.  While in exile in Echizen, Yoritake wed the daughter of Asakura Sadakage.  Yoriaki’s faction requested the Muromachi bakufu and succeeded in having a letter issued to urge Yoritake to travel to the capital.  Asakura Takakage, however, ignored the demand.

While Yoritake was in Echizen, internal conflict raged in Mino.  In the third month of 1519, violent clashes erupted near Tarui.  After Masafusa died on 6/16 of Eishō 16 (1519), Takakage ordered his younger brother, Asakura Kagetaka, to deploy to Mino.  In the seventh month, under the protection of 3,000 Asakura troops led by Kagetaka, Yoritake entered Mino.  This army prevailed in successive battles including, on 9/14, the Battle of Masaki and, on 10/10, the Battle of Ikedo.  In the end, he succeeded in reclaiming the role of shugo, or military governor, of Mino.  Nagai Nagahiro died and Hikoshirō was removed from his position (or, according to another theory, was killed in action).

On 1/19 of Daiei 2 (1522), a prohibition was posted against the Eiho Temple in Tajimi.  The contents of the prohibition were exactly the same as the posting from Masafusa as the prior military governor, providing evidence that Yoritake had seized political authority and succeeded Masafusa as the military governor of Mino.  Thereafter, Yoritake’s administration yielded a temporary period of stability until, in the sixth month of 1525, Nagai Nagahiro raised arms again in support of Yoriaki.  On 6/23, a battle occurred in Gifu-Akanabe.  Leading figures among Yoritake’s administration including Saitō Toshishige, the deputy military governor, fled the base of the military governor at the Fukumitsu House which was subsequently occupied by the Nagai forces.  On 8/2, forces led by Azai Sukemasa, with support from the Nagai clan, invaded Mino from neighboring Ōmi Province, engaging in battle against the Toki army in the environs of Imasu in Sekigahara.

While located at the Funyō Temple in Mukedani, Yoritake requested support from the Asakura clan.  The Asakura responded whereupon Asakura Sōteki (Norikage) advanced with forces to Odani Castle and coordinated with the Rokkaku clan to contain the Azai forces.  Meanwhile, on 10/14, Asakura Kagemoto deployed with forces to Mount Inaba.  The conflict settled down at the end of 1527, but the political situation remained tenuous and, in 1530, Yoritake fled again to Echizen.  The following year, Yoriaki declared himself the Nōshū taishu or governor-general of Mino (given that he had not in fact assumed the seat of the military governor).

After entering Mino with the assistance of the Asakura army, Yoritake established a base at Ōga Castle and prepared for a showdown against Yoriaki.  In the sixth month, Yoriaki held a Buddhist ceremony marking the sixteenth anniversary of his father’s death and asserted the legitimacy of his governance, deepening the divide with Yoritake.  In the eighth month, he was invested with the title of Master of the Office of Palace Repairs.  To further reinforce his authority, he obtained permission from the Imperial Court to cut the wood of an aromatic tree kept at the Shōsō Temple in Nara.  On 8/17, Yoritake’s army, backed by reinforcements from the Asakura and Rokkaku, launched an offensive.  By the eleventh month, fighting spread over a wide area from the Tagi and Ikeda districts to Gifu and Seki during which many shrines and temples burned down.  Later, he died at the age of forty-nine.