Uesugi Fusayoshi


Uesugi Clan

Shugo Daimyō

Echigo Province

Lifespan:  Bunmei 6 (1474) to 8/7 of Eishō 4 (1507)

Rank:  shugo daimyō

Title:  Senior Assistant Minister of Popular Affairs

Bakufu:  Muromachi

Clan:  Echigo-Uesugi

Father:  Uesugi Fusasada

Siblings:  Sadamasa, Akisada, Fusayoshi, sister (formal wife of Ashina Moritaka), sister (wife of Hatakeyama Yoshimoto) ?

Adopted Sibling:  Sekisui-in (formal wife of Date Hisamune)

Children:  Daughter (formal wife of Uesugi Sadazane)

Adopted Children:  Ryūmatsu (child of Hachijō Fusataka), Sadazane (child of Uesugi Fusazane)

Uesugi Fusayoshi served as a shugo daimyō during the Sengoku period.  Fusayoshi was the military governor of Echigo Province and the seventh head of the Uesugi family of Echigo.

In 1474, Fusayoshi was born as the son of Uesugi Fusasada.  At his coming-of-age ceremony, Nagao Yoshikage (the deputy military governor) served the honorary role of placing the eboshi on Fusayoshi, black-lacquered headgear worn by court nobles or high-ranking persons.  Having the childhood name of Kurō, he received one of the characters in his name from Yoshikage and adopted the name of Fusayoshi.

Fusayoshi’s oldest brother, Uesugi Sadamasa died early, and his next older brother, Uesugi Akisada, was adopted by the Yamauchi-Uesugi family and assumed the role of deputy shōgun of the Kantō so, after his father died of illness in 1494, Fusayoshi inherited the role as military governor of Echigo.  Fusayoshi received support from the deputy military governor, Nagao Yoshikage, but aiming to raise the Echigo-Uesugi family from the status of shugo daimyō to sengoku daimyō, in 1498, Fusayoshi ordered an end to a policy of the Muromachi bakufu that prohibited the military governor from exercising jurisdiction (such as to investigate crimes or levy taxes) within designated lands and manors in the province.  Fusayoshi’s efforts to restrict these privileges of local landowners caused conflict with Yoshikage.

In 1502, an incident occurred whereby Nagao Sukekage attempted to enforce the order from Fusayoshi by entering the Matsuyama neighborhood owned by Ise Moritane, a direct retainer of the Muromachi bakufu.  In addition to representing intervention by the military governor, this may have been an attempt to keep in check Ise Sōzui (later known as Hōjō Sōun) whom the Uesugi increasingly opposed.  Ise Moritane was from the same family as Sōzui.

Despite these developments, Yoshikage remained loyal in his duties as the deputy military governor; however, in the ninth month of 1506, owing to betrayal by the Jinbō clan, Yoshikage was defeated and killed by the Ikkō-ikki in Etchū Province.  He was succeeded by his son, Nagao Tamekage.

In 1507, Tamekage backed the adopted son of Fusayoshi, Uesugi Sadazane, and publicly declared a rebellion against Fusayoshi.  On 8/2 of 1507, Fusayoshi was subject to a sudden attack at his base by the forces under Sadazane and Tamekage.  Fusayoshi relied upon his older brother, Uesugi Akisada, to head toward the Kantō area; however, in the midst of fleeing, he was pursued by Tamekage’s soldiers who had stopped at Nōmine Castle in the Yasuzuke District of Echigo.  He fled to the village of Matsunoyama, and, around 2:00 PM on 8/7, killed himself at the Amamizu Pass.  This was one of a series of events comprising the Eishō Conflict that occurred in the Kantō and Hokuriku regions from 1506 to 1518.