Political Incident of Eiroku 9

永禄九年の政変

Hatakeyama Group of Seven

Noto Province

Noto-Hatakeyama Clan

The Political Incident of Eiroku 9 occurred around the eleventh month of Eiroku 9 (1566).  This was a coup d’état in the Noto-Hatakeyama clan who served as the military governors of Noto Province.

In this event, Hatakeyama Yoshitsuna and his father, Hatakeyama Yoshitsugu, were ousted from Noto by senior retainers of the clan led by Chō Tsugutsura and Yusa Tsugumitsu.  Yoshitsuna was a sengoku daimyō, ninth head of the Noto-Hatakeyama, and military governor of Noto who reclaimed power from the senior retainers after a five-year struggle known as the Kōji Rebellion that ran from 1555 to early 1560.  Yoshitsuna’s father, Yoshitsugu, had earlier served as eighth head of the clan but, prior to this incident, had entered the priesthood under the name of Tokuyū.

Background

The Noto-Hatakeyama clan witnessed the peak of their prosperity when Hatakeyama Yoshifusa served as the seventh head of the clan, ruling jointly with his father Hatakeyama Yoshimune, from 1515 to 1525, and then on his own until dying of illness in the seventh month of 1545.  At the time of Yoshitsugu’s succession as the eighth head of the clan a power-struggle erupted among retainers of the clan.  Owing to conflict between Yusa Tsugumitsu and Nukui Fusasada, a portion of the clan’s base at Nanao Castle was burned down.  Unable to control his retainers, Yoshitsugu witnessed a loss of authority that became vested in a group of elders known as the Hatakeyama Group of Seven.  In 1551, Yoshitsugu took responsibility for the series of disturbances by assigning headship of the clan to his eldest son, Yoshitsuna, and retiring, thereafter serving as a guardian to Yoshitsuna.

After becoming the next head, Yoshitsuna sought to reclaim power and change the situation whereby his family served as puppets to the senior retainers comprising the Hatakeyama Group of Seven.  In 1555, together with a close associate named Igawa Yoshimune, Yoshitsuna plotted and assassinated Nukui Fusasada (the head of the First Hatakeyama Group of Seven) to reclaim power by removing Fusasada from his role as a leader in the clan.  In an event known as the Kōji Rebellion, the Nukui clan, together with the Miyake clan and adherents of the Ikkō sect in Kaga, joined forces to launch a rebellion against Yoshitsuna.   The Nukui backed Hatakeyama Harutoshi, a member of the Hatakeyama family, to become the next head of the clan. During the course of this rebellion, Igawa Mitsunobu served as an intermediary between Yoshitsuna and the powerful local clans opposed to him.

While the rebels initially imposed losses on Yoshitsuna’s forces, after a five-year struggle, by early 1560, the Nukui opposition faction was swept from Noto while Yoshitsuna achieved nearly complete victory and the rebellion came to an end.  Survivors including Nukui Takakage, Miyake Keipo, and Miyake Tsunahisa appeared to have surrendered.  To consolidate power, Yoshitsuna limited the authority of senior retainers who had formerly served in the Hatakeyama Group of Seven, implementing autocratic rule.  Igawa Mitsunobu served as a close associate of Yoshitsuna during this period.

Ouster from Noto Province

In 1566, in this incident, Yoshitsuna and Yoshitsugu were then ousted as part of a continuation of the struggle for power between the sengoku daimyō family of the Noto-Hatakeyama and its retainers.

Following his ouster, Yoshitsuna relied upon the Rokkaku clan of southern Ōmi Province with whom the Noto-Hatakeyama had a relationship through marriage.   At this time, Igawa Mitsunobu fled with Yoshitsuna to Sakamoto in Ōmi and became a central figure in his organization.  In 1568, Yoshitsuna, with the cooperation of the Rokkaku, the Uesugi, and the Jinbō clans, assembled an army with the aim of recovering Noto, but this ended in failure.  Thereafter, several efforts were made in this regard but, in the end, Yoshitsuna could not achieve his goal.

Chō Tsugutsura, Yusa Tsugumitsu and other senior retainers backed Hatakeyama Yoshinori (the eldest son of Yoshitsuna) to lead a puppet administration.  At this time, Yoshinori was around twelve years old, carrying the childhood name of Jirō prior to his coming-of-age ceremony.  These retainers also permitted the return of members of the Nukui and Miyake clans who had earlier been ousted by Yoshitsuna.

Thereafter, the Noto-Hatakeyama family continued with a young lord under the control of these retainers until its decimation by the Uesugi army at the Siege of Nanao Castle in 1577.