Etchū Ikkō-ikki


Hongan Temple

Etchū Province

Hatakeyama Clan

Nagao Clan

Uesugi Clan

The Etchū Ikkō-ikki occurred from around Bunmei 11 (1479) until Tenshō 4 (1576).  This was an uprising by followers of the Ikkō sect (affiliated with the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple) centered around monks at the Zuisen Temple and the Doyama monastery in Etchū Province that persisted for nearly a century as the Ikkō forces vied against local clans for control of the province.  In the end, Etchū was subjugated by Uesugi Kenshin of neighboring Echigo Province.  The primary bases for the Ikkō-ikki were at Omine Castle (the Doyama monastery), the Zuisen Temple, and the Shōkō Temple in Etchū.

In 1390, Shakunyo, the fifth high priest of the Hongan Temple, built the Zuisen Temple, establishing a base in Etchū.  In 1442, Nyojō, the husband of Sakunyo’s granddaughter and the second son of Gyōnyo (the sixth high priest of the Hongan Temple), built the Honsen Temple in Kaga Province by which the Hongan Temple expanded into Kaga.

In 1475, the Kaga Ikkō-ikki suppressed by Togashi Masachika, the military governor of Kaga, fled for safety to the Zuisen Temple in Etchū.  Ishiguro Mitsuyoshi, the lord of Fukumitsu Castle in Etchū felt threatened and attempted to attack the Zuisen Temple but was killed instead.  Thereafter, the influence of the Zuisen Temple extended to the Tonami District of Etchū.

In 1488, Masachika was killed by the Kaga Ikkō-ikki.  Thereafter, Kaga was ruled by the three sons of Rennyo (the eighth high priest of the Hongan Temple).  These were Renkō (the abbot of the Shōkō Temple), Rensei (the abbot of the Kōkyō Temple), and Rengo (the abbot of the Futamata-Honsen Temple).

After Rennyo’s second son, Renjō, became the son-in-law of Nyojō and Shōnyoni, the Zuisen and Futamata-Honsen temples were transferred to him.  Meanwhile, the Doyama monastery was transferred by Shōnyoni to Renjō’s younger brother, Rensei, who provided guidance to the monks in Etchū.  Rensei then transferred the Doyama monastery to his second son, Jitsugen, while the Kōkyō Temple was inherited by his third son, Kensei).  In 1519, after the Doyama monastery burned down, he moved and built the Anyō Temple (monastery).  Following the death of Renjō, Zuisen Temple was inherited by the descendants of Renkin (his younger brother-in-law) and the Futamata-Honsen Temple was inherited by his younger brother, Rengo.

In the ninth month of 1506, Nagao Yoshikage deployed to Etchū in response to an urgent request from the Hatakeyama clan but, at the Battle of Hannyano, was killed in the course of a defeat to the allied forces of the Etchū Ikkō-ikki and Jinbō Yoshimune.  Thereafter, Nagao Tamekage (Yoshikage’s son) clashed with Yoshimune over a long period until the twelfth month of 1520.

In 1531, the Kaga Ikkō-ikki and Hongan Temple came into conflict.  Upon the outbreak of a rebellion known as the Daishō Uprising, the Shōkō Temple joined the Dai ikki on the side of the Hongan Temple.  As a result, Kaga came under the direct governance of the Hongan Temple while Etchū was governed by the Shōkō and Zuisen temples.

Thereafter, over a period of many years, the Ikki forces in Etchū comprised a powerful military acting in opposition to the Hatakeyama clan (the military governors of Noto), the Nagao clan (the deputy military governors of Echigo), and the Yusa clan (the deputy military governors of Etchū).  From the Eiroku era (1558 to 1570), through the Genki era (1570 to 1573), and until the Tenshō era (1573 to 1593), the Ikkō-ikki combined forces with the Kai-Takeda clan and violently clashed with Uesugi Kenshin.

Early in the ninth month of 1572, at the Battle of Shiritarezaka, the Kaga Ikkō-ikki and Etchū Ikkō-ikki incurred a major defeat, resulting in the decimation of the Etchū Ikkō-ikki.  After a settlement was reached with Uesugi Kenshin, the long-running conflict finally headed toward a conclusion.

In 1576, Uesugi Kenshin toppled Masuyama and Moridera castles in the course of subjugating Etchū.