Wakasa Province「若狭国」

Wakasa Province was in the Hokuriku Region, an area encompassing provinces in the northeast portion of Honshū along the Sea of Japan.

A relatively small province, in current terms, Wakasa covered the southern portion of Fukui Prefecture, comprised of the city of Obama and the districts of Ōi, Mikata, and Mikata-kaminaka.

During the Kamakura period, the Hōjō clan ruled Wakasa.  In the early years of the Muromachi period, Wakasa was ruled by the Shiba based on their close ties to the Ashikaga family in Kyōto.  In 1366, the Isshiki clan became shugo of the province, remaining in power until the assassination of Isshiki Yoshitsura in 1440.  The Takeda clan, who had served as district-level shugo in Aki Province, seized control and Takeda Nobuhide became the next shugo of Wakasa.  The Takeda clan then served as sengoku daimyō of Wakasa throughout the Sengoku period.

The Takeda of Wakasa established close relations with the Ashikaga shogunate and the Hosokawa who served as kanrei, or deputy, to the shōgun.  Based in the city of Obama, the clan deepened their local roots and generated revenue through trade on the Sea of Japan.  However, the clan’s influence began to wane following the Eishō no sakuran in 1507, an internal dispute among the Hosokawa triggered by the assassination of Hosokawa Masamoto, a kanrei, as conflicts broke out across the Kinai Region.  The Takeda were then protected by their relatives, the Asakura clan of Echizen Province, and became puppet rulers of Wakasa.

The Asakura were ultimately decimated by the Oda, who had risen from shugodai of Owari to conquer large swaths of central Japan.  In 1573, Oda Nobunaga appointed Niwa Nagahide, one of his senior commanders, to govern Wakasa, while former members of the Takeda served as hikan, or local administrators.  After the dramatic coup d’etat to overthrow Nobunaga, his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, appointed a protege, Yamauchi Kazutoyo, to become the shugo of Wakasa.  Asano Nagamasa then served as daimyō for the province.  Nagamasa was appointed lord of Obama Castle and awarded a fief of 80,000 koku, entering the territory in 1587.  He transferred to Kōfu in Kai Province with a fief of 215,000 koku in 1593.

Shugo:

1440-1471:  Takeda Nobukata

1471-1490:  Takeda Kuninobu

1490-1519:  Takeda Motonobu

1519-1539:  Takeda Motomitsu

1539-1558:  Takeda Nobutoyo

1558-1567:  Takeda Yoshimune

1567-1582:  Takeda Motoaki

Shrines:

The administrators of the Wakasa-Hiko Shrine in the city of Obama, dating back to the eighth century, possessed significant landholdings in the Muromachi period.  The 牟久 family hosted officials from the bakufu in Kyōto and other influential personages.