Hosokawa clan (細川氏)

Hosokawa clan was a samurai family that prospered between the Kamakura period to the Edo period, the original family name was Genji. The family line was a branch family of the Ashikaga clan that descended from the Kawachi-Genji (Minamoto clan), one of the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan). The surname Hosokawa originated from the fact that the family settled in Hosokawa-go, Nukata County, Mikawa Province (presently around Hosokawa-cho, Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture) in the 13th century of Kamakura period.

Summary

At the disturbance in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), the Hosokawa clan actively involved as a family of the Ashikaga Shogunal family, and took the side of Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) of the Northern Court (Japan). They became a powerful Shugo daimyo (shugo, which were Japanese provincial military governors, that became daimyo, which were Japanese feudal lords) and the family held Shugo (a provincial military governor) of eight provinces in the Kinai region (the five capital provinces surrounding the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto) and the Shikoku region. Yoriyuki HOSOKAWA assisted the third shogun Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA well as a kanrei (Shogunal Deputy). After that, his direct descendant (Keicho family) was appointed to kanrei for generations, and was counted as one of Sankanrei (three families in the post of kanrei, or shogunal deputy), along with the Shiba clan and the Hatakeyama clan. Katsumoto HOSOKAWA became the commander-in-chief for the eastern army in the Onin War, and his son Masamoto HOSOKAWA took over the real power of the bakufu, ousting the 10th Shogun Yoshitane ASHIKAGA in the Meio Coup.

However Masamoto remained single all his life and did not have a single biological child. Moreover, he had three adopted children, and later he was killed in a contest of succession. The Hosokawa clan was split into two that each of them associated with hikan (low-level bureaucrat) or the powers in the Kinai-Kingoku area, and fought against each other (Ryohosokawa War). The Miyoshi clan, the Shugodai (the acting Military Governor) of Shugo (military governor) family of Awa and which one of Masamoto's adopted children Sumimoto HOSOKAWA was from, advanced into Kinai region and their power came to overwhelm that of the head family.

When Nobunaga ODA backed up the 15th shogun, Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA and drove the Miyoshi clan out from the Kinai region, Akimoto HOSOKAWA served Nobunaga and became the husband of Nobunaga's younger sister, but never retrieved the reins of power in his old days.

On the other hand, Yusai HOSOKAWA (Yusai) from a branch line of the Shugo family of upper Izumi (hangoku [half a province]), served Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA as a close associate for Yoshiaki's appointment to the shogunate. However, later he was actively involved as a vassal of Nobunaga ODA with his first son Tadaoki HOSOKAWA (Sansai), who was put up for adoption to the Oshu family. At the Honnoji Incident, he did not support Mitsuhide AKECHI, his own relative, and served Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, who later became tenkabito (person becoming the ruler of the country). Later, Tadaoki came to possess 399,000 koku of the Kokura Domain in Buzen Province by his distinguished service in the Battle of Sekigahara.

The Hosokawa clan became a feudal lord of 540,000 Koku of the Kumamoto Domain, Higo Province in the generation of Tadatoshi HOSOKAWA, the son of Tadaoki, then reached the Meiji Restoration. The heads of the family became marquis in the Meiji Period. Morihiro HOSOKAWA, a descendant of the Hosokawa clan, became a governor of Kumamoto Prefecture and a prime minister.

Among many daimyo (Japanese feudal lord), the Hosokawa clan is a rare family of pedigree that continued since the Kamakura period, the Muromachi period, and Edo period to present days.

Hosokawa clan and the medieval period

The originator of the Hosokawa clan is said to be MINAMOTO no Yoshikiyo (Yada no Hangandai) who was the first illegitimate child (who were born out of wedlock) of Yoshiyasu ASHIKAGA, the founder of the Ashikaga clan.

At the end of Heian period, Yoshikiyo was affiliated with MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka, and Yoshikiyo died in the Battle of Mizushima, in Bicchu Province, the battle against the Taira clan fled from the capital.

When Yoshiuji ASHIKAGA (the third head of the ASHIKAGA family) of the Ashikaga head family became Mikawa Shugo in the Kamakura period, Yoshikiyo's grandson Yoshisue HOSOKAWA advanced into Mikawa Province with his older brothers Yoshimune TOGASAKI and Sanekuni NIKI, and ruled over Hosokawa-go, and called himself Jiro HOSOKAWA.

Although the clan was of the Ashikaga clan, the Hosokawa clan in this period was not a powerful gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate in the Kamakura and the Muromachi through the Edo periods), unlike the Shiba clan and the Hatakeyama clan whose kakaku (family status) were high and were highly independent from the head family. The records of the activities in that period are hardly remained.

Brothers of Kazuuji HOSOKAWA and Yoriharu HOSOKAWA and their male cousins, Akiuji HOSOKAWA and Jozen HOSOKAWA served Takauji ASHIKAGA through the end of Kamakura period to the period of the Northern and Southern Courts.

In 1333, Takauji raised the army to overthrow the shogunate. Kazuuji, with Shigeyoshi UESUGI, played the role of envoys requesting for the Emperor Godaigo to return to the allegiance, and also he joined to attack on Rokuhara Tandai (an administrative and judicial agency in Rokuhara, Kyoto) in Kyoto.

Moreover Kazuuji left the capital to assist the legitimate child of Takauji, Senjuo (later the second Shogun Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA), who had taken Kamakura with the order of Yoshisada NITTA, and he assisted the Ashikaga clan to take control of Kamakura, opposing Yoshisada.

Kazuuji and Akiuji traveled to Shikoku with an order of Takauji. They won through the battles against the Southern Court (Japan) around Awa Province and Sanuki Province, and promoted hikanka (to become a vassal of a Samurai family) of local powerful clans.

The Hosokawa clan became a powerful Shugo daimyo in this period.

At first, Kiyouji HOSOKAWA, a legitimate child of Kazuuji, held the real power of the shogunate government as a steward (later kanrei [shogunal deputy]) of the Shogun, Yoshiakira. However he was overthrown by a slander of Doyo SASAKI (the Koan Coup), and was eliminated after sided with the Southern Court. Shigeuji HOSOKAWA, the son of Akiuji, also died suddenly, therefore Yoriyuki HOSOKAWA, a legitimate child of Yoriharu, became the most influential person in the Hosokawa clan. The Keicho family that was successively appointed to bakufu kanrei refers to the descendant of Yorimoto HOSOKAWA, Yoriharu's younger brother who later became Yoriharu's adopted child, and the many of other powerful branch families were also derived in the period of Yoriharu.

In the Muromachi period, the Hosokawa clan reduced the risk of the internal discord within the family by forming a group so-called a clan alliance, centering on the Keicho family. By this way they rejected the influence of the shogun trying to reduce the power of the dominant Shugo, and kept the status of kanrei and a dominant Shugo.

Keicho family

The family was the legitimate line of the Hosokawa clan, and the family was successively appointed to the post of kanrei in 'Muromachi bakufu,' as well as being hereditary Shugo daimyo in Settsu Province, Tanba Province and so on. Keicho was a Tang name for Ukyo no daibu, and originated from that the family head was appointed to the post for generations.

Yoriyuki HOSOKAWA successively took the post of Chugoku Kanrei (shogunal deputy for the Chugoku region) and Shikoku Kanrei (shogunal deputy for the Shikoku region), and promoted the provincial allotment of Shikoku, including these provinces of Sanuki, Awa and Tosa. At the central government, he assisted young Shogun Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA. Although Yoriyuki gained the confidence of Yoshimitsu, he was temporarily fallen in Koryaku Coup happened in 1379. However, he repulsed the enemy forces by traveling to Shikoku and steadfastly maintaining the provincial control centering on Awa, and soon returned to the national political arena. He recommended his younger brother Yorimoto HOSOKAWA for the kanrei post as he reasoned that he was in priesthood. The Hosokawa clan was influential as a chief vassal of bakufu and Sankanrei along with the Hatakeyama and the Shiba clan.

Katsumoto HOSOKAWA successively took the post of kanrei for 3 times, total of 23 years, and weakened the Hatakeyama clan linking up with Sozen (Mochitoyo) YAMANA. However he opposed Sozen on the issues in succession of the Shogun and Shugo family headship and he sipported Yoshimi ASHIKAGA as a commander of the eastern army. He caused the Onin war, which lasted for 11years, against the western army led by Sozen, then in the course, he died from illness.

In the Kinai region, the conflicts between Shogun and the Keicho family continued in the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States). The son of Katsumoto, Masamoto HOSOKAWA achieved the enthronement and dethronement of the Shogun Yoshitane ASHIKAGA (Yoshitane) in Meio Coup, and killed the political enemy Masanaga HATAKEYAMA, and gaining the real power of bakufu. Both the Hatakeyama clan and the Shiba clan were ruined and the Keicho family gained exclusive possession of kanrei post. However Masamoto did not marry anyone and adopted three sons, Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA, Sumimoto HOSOKAWA and Takakuni HOSOKAWA, which caused a succession dispute. In 1507, Masamoto was assassinated by a vassal supporting Sumiyuki.

After that, Sumimoto killed Sumiyuki. Yet in the next year, Takakuni linked up with Yoshioki OUCHI, the Shugo of Suo Province that supported the former Shogun Yoshitada ASHIKAGA (Yoshitane), and became kanrei after expelling the Shogun Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA and Sumimoto from Kyoto. In 1527, this time the son of Sumimoto, Harumoto HOSOKAWA defeated Takakuni. Moreover Sumimoto exterminated Takakuni in 1527 (Daimotsu kuzure [the Battle of Daimotsu]), also killed Motonaga MIYOSHI of Kasai (main retainer), who was gaining power, and he seized the shogunate government by supporting Shogun Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA. However in 1549, the legitimate child of Motonaga MIYOSHI, Nagayoshi MIYOSHI expelled Harumoto to Omi Province, and the government was collapsed. After that Harumoto continued to battle against Nagayoshi by supporting Shogun Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA, but he made peace in 1561 and died two years later.

The legitimate child of Harumoto, Nobuyoshi HOSOKAWA served Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA. Later he served Nobunaga ODA as a trusted vassal and changed his name from Akimoto to Nobuyoshi. However he was no longer a politically influential person in anyway. The legitimate child of Akimoto, Motokatsu HOSOKAWA (Yorinori) stayed at Osaka-jo Castle as a trusted vassal of Hideyori TOYOTOMI, and he sided with Toyotomi in Osaka no Eki (The Siege of Osaka). After the defeat, he lived in seclusion in Sanuki Province. Later he went to Shishido Domain of Hitachi Province relying on Sanesue AKITA, his younger sister's husband, and was welcomed as a guest. In the time of Yoshimoto HOSOKAWA, the legitimate child of Motokatsu, he became a vassal of the Akita clan, and the descendants served as Karo (chief retainer). After Yoshimoto, the reigns of the family were succeeded as follows, Nobumoto HOSOKAWA (the son of Yoshimoto), Tadamoto HOSOKAWA (the son of Nobumoto), Fumoto HOSOKAWA (the adopted son of Tadamoto, the son of Yasutada ONODERA who was a Karo of the Miharu clan) and Masamoto HOSOKAWA (the adopted son of Fumoto, the seventh son of Nobusue AKITA who was the lord of the domain).

Tenkyu family

It was a branch family of the Hosokawa clan (Keicho family). The founder of the family was Mochitaka HOSOKAWA. Originally, the family did not hold provinces under control as a shoryo (territory) and initially they were taking a role of managing the Keicho family's Uchishu (chief vassals). Later they took the post of Bungunshugo (a provincial constable of a specially given gun [county] unit of a province) of Nishinari County (Nakajima County), Settsu Province. The headship of the family was succeeded to Masakuni HOSOKAWA and to Masataka HOSOKAWA. Kanto (government service) of the family head was Uma no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses) or Umanosuke (deputy minister of the institution for the horse care), therefore, the family started to be called Tenkyu family from a Tang name of the Kanto. Mochitaka was at the role of supporting Katsumoto, who succeeded the headship of the Keicho family at the age of 13, and Masakuni, an adopted child of Mochitaka and the second family head of the Tenkyu family, was also a conservator of Masamoto, who succeeded the Keicho family at 9 years old. Masataka opposed Takakuni HOSOKAWA by following Sumimoto HOSOKAWA in the Eisho Disturbance, but he died in the Battle of Funaokayama. After that, the headship was succeeded by Tadakata HOSOKAWA, who was a relative of Masataka and an ally of Takakuni. Tadakata found out the detail of Takakuni in Daimotsu kuzure (the Battle of Daimotsu), and tried to switch side to Harumoto HOSOKAWA, but was not forgiven and killed.

Ujitsuna HOSOKAWA continues to oppose Harumoto, as the successor of Takakuni. Ujitsuna defeated Harumoto, as deceived by Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, who defected from Harumoto, and he became the last Kanrei of the Muromachi bakufu. However he was no more than a puppet. After he died, Ujitsuna's younger brother Fujikata HOSOKAWA became the head of Tenkyu family, and served the Shogun Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA. He fought with Yoshiaki when Yoshiaki took up arms against Nobunaga ODA, but surrendered. After that he served Nobunaga and appointed to the defense of Sakamoto-jo Castle in Omi.

Yashu family

It was a branch family of the Hosokawa clan (the Keicho family). Founder of the family was Mitsukuni HOSOKAWA, who was a younger brother of Mitsumoto HOSOKAWA. The headship of the family was succeeded as follows, Mochiharu HOSOKAWA, Noriharu HOSOKAWA, Masaharu HOSOKAWA and Harukuni HOSOKAWA. The name, Yashu family seems to be established as Mochiharu and Noriharu wore the title of Shimotsuke no kami (the governer of Shimotsuke Province) over two generations. The family served as Bungunshugo of Asakuchi County, Bicchu Province and Uma County, Iyo Province. The adoption of children into the Keicho family from the Yashu family continued for two generations, the son of Noriharu, Katsuyuki was adopted into Katsumoto and the son of Masaharu, Takakuni was adopted into Masamoto.

Also, the son of Mochiharu, Masakuni HOSOKAWA was adopted to Mochitaka HOSOKAWA of the Tenkyu family, and Masakuni succeeded as the second family head. The Yashu family also maintained such close relationship with the Tenkyu family, which had a solid relationship with the Keicho family.

The Yashu family possessed its nature as a shogun attendant, but on the other hand, they maintained the close relationship with the Keicho family and the Tenkyu family, as a result, it is assumed, they had contributed to the involvement of the Hosokawa clan in bakufu.

Takakuni, the son of Masaharu, was adopted into the Keicho family as a son of Kanrei, then he came to be in the dispute of the family headship. Also, Michimasa intended to maintain their shoryo in the Sengoku Period, but fled to Iyo Province, as he was oppressed by Haruhisa AMAGO of Izumo Province. A nephew of Michimasa, Michitada (Michishige) HOSOKAWA tried to regain the control of Bicchu, but he became a guest commander of the Mori clan that extended the power in the Chugoku region, and his descendants served the Choshu clan.

Awa Hosokawa family

The Awa Hosokawa family started with Akiharu HOSOKAWA, a younger brother of Yoriyuki HOSOKAWA, around the middle of 14th century. The family succeeded the Shugo of Awa by representation. Unlike the other Hosokawa branch families, the Awa Hosokawa family served as Shobanshu (officials who accompany the Shogun) of the Muromachi bakufu. Whereas the Keicho family was called Kamiyakata, the Awa Hosokawa family was given an honorific title, Shimoyakata or Awayakata. From the time of Shigeyuki HOSOKAWA, the family also served as Sanuki Shugo concurrently, and they are also called the Awa Sanuki Hosokawa family. Also they are called the Sanshu family as successive generations of the family heads professed to be Sanuki no kami (the governor of Sanuki Province).

The family head often attended the chief vassal meetings of the bakufu, and their kakaku (family status) was second to that of the Keicho family, among the Hosokawa clan. Although it varies depends on how to count, the family line ended at the 10th generation.

Mochitsune HOSOKAWA, the fourth family head counting from Akiharu, gained trust from the sixth shogun, Yoshinori ASHIKAGA, and he served as an additional post of the Shugo of Mikawa Province, replacing Yoshitsura ISSHIKI who was said to have died in a battle in 1440. However, because the death of Yoshitsura ISSHIKI was a plot of Yoshinori, the remnants (of a defeated party) of Isshiki fiercely resisted when Mochitsune and his successor Shigeyuki were establishing the authorization of Shugo in Mikawa Province, and they made a great sacrifice.

After Yoshinori was assassinated in the Kakitsu War, Mochitsune, who was a confidential of Yoshinori, dispatched troops to Harima Provicne for the subjugation of Mitsusuke AKAMATSU. However, he fell a step behind of Sozen YAMANA, and the Yamana clan took the post of Harima Shugo. The potential rivalry between the Yamana clan and the Awa Hosokawa clan over Harima, was revealed as Shigeyuki, who succeeded the family head after Mochitsune, supporting in the restoration movement of the Akamatsu family. These worsened the relationship between the Yamana clan and the Hosokawa Keicho family that was originally in friendly term, and it also became an underlying cause of the Onin War. Shigeyuki backed up the Keicho family in the Onin War as the eastern army. However, in the time of Masamoto after Katsumoto HOSOKAWA died, the family often opposed to the Keicho family, which was seeking the concentration of its power, and the family was involved in the rebellion of Motokazu YAKUSHIJI, who was a deputy Shugo of the Settsu Province. Although Shigeyuki succeeded to give Sumimoto, his grand son to Masamoto as an adopted child, it intensified the conflict in the Kinai region and the situation led the assassination of Masamoto and the 'Eisho Disturbance' afterwards.

Shigeyuki's second child, Yukikatsu HOSOKAWA (later Yoshiharu HOSOKAWA) had been an adopted child of Katsuhisa HOSOKAWA, the Shugo of Bicchu Province, but he succeeded the Shugo family of Awa after changing the name to Yoshiharu, as Shigeyuki's legitimate child, Masayuki HOSOKAWA, died young. Later Yukimochi HOSOKAWA, Yoshiharu's son, was appointed to Bicchu Shugo for a short period.

Although Shigeyuki lived a long time, his sons, Masayuki (died in 1488) and Yoshiharu (died in 1494), died before him. Moreover, the family head with unfortunate life span continued, as his grand son Yukimochi also died young a year after Shigeyuki's death, in 1511. The chief vassal of the Miyoshi clan gained power in the Awa Hosokawa clan, which the youth family heads continued after the time of Shigeyuki. Yukinaga MIYOSHI backed up Sumimoto and continued to fight against Takakuni HOSOKAWA in the Kinai region, but was defeated. Sumimoto also died young before taking back initiative of the Keicho family.

On the other hand, the son of Yukimochi, Mochitaka HOSOKAWA grew up in the care of Motonaga MIYOSHI, and he continued the confrontation against the bakufu, such as cooperating with Harumoto, the son of Sumimoto, and Motonaga to support Yoshitsuna ASHIKAGA as Sakai Kubo (head of [Sakai-based) municipal governmen]). After the disorganization of the Sakai bakufu, he invited Yoshitsuna to Awa as Hirashima Kubo. He claimed the enthronement of Yoshitsuna to shogun, when Harumoto was collapsed in the Battle of Eguchi and Nagayoshi MIYOSHI gained real power of the Kinai region by expelling Shogun Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA. However he opposed Nagayoshi's younger brother Yoshikata MIYOSHI, who did not wish for the full-scale confrontation against Yoshiteru, and he was assassinated in 1553 by Yoshikata.

Mochitaka's son, Saneyuki HOSOKAWA was no more than a puppet of Yoshitaka and his son Nagaharu MIYOSHI. When Nagaharu disturbed Awa by his misrule, Saneyoshi planned to regain his position by linking up with Motochika CHOSOKABE, who started gain power in Tosa, and eliminated Nagaharu. However, he was attacked by Masayasu SOGO, the younger brother of Nagaharu, and died by jijin (commit suicide with one's sword) in 1582.

Shugo (military governor) family of Izumi

In Izumi Province, the two branch families of Hosokawa adapted double Shugo system, which was a joint control method that does not divide a Province. The founders of both Shugo families were Yorinaga HOSOKAWA (a nephew of Yoriyuki) and Motoyuki HOSOKAWA (an adopted child of Yoriyuki). It is assumed that, the former was called the Shugo family of upper Izumi Province while the other was called the Shugo family of lower Izumi Province.

It is believed that adaptation of double Shugo system was aimed at the divergence of power, as Izumi Province was a taigoku (major province). However some other possibilities are suspected as Yorinaga and Motoyuki appointed concurrently to the Shugo of Bingo and Tosa before taking the post.

Shugo family of upper (half province) Izumi Province
Descendants of Yoriari, a younger brother of Yoriyuki, successively filled the post of Izumi Shugo from the mid 14th century. Mochiari, Noriharu, Tsuneari (a younger brother of Noriharu) and Motoari (a grand son of Tsuneari) served as Shugo by heredity, after Yorinaga. Motoari HOSOKAWA and the Shugo family of lower Izumi Province formed an alliance with Hisanobu HATAKEYAMA of the Shugo of Kii Province, and they were hostile to the Kanrei, Masamoto HOSOKAWA. However both Shugo families were soundly defeated and obeyed Masamoto, therefore they were invaded by Hisanobu HATAKEYAMA. The family declined after Motoari died in a battle in 1500. Shugo was in name only in the generation of Mototsune HOSOKAWA, the son of Motoari, and he and his brother Harukazu MITSUBUCHI became trusted vassals of the Shogun, Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA. Mototsune did not have a child therefore he adopted Yusai HOSOKAWA, the second son of his younger brother Harukazu, and handed over the family headship to Yusai.

After Fujitaka, the second son Okimoto HOSOKAWA succeeded the line of the Shugo family of upper Izumi Province, and became the founder of the Hitachi Yatabe clan. It is said that the letter '興' in Okimoto (興元) was after his older brother Tadaoki (忠興) HOSOKAWA, and the letter '元' was after Mototsune (元常), the foster father of Fujitaka. The family was ranked as viscount in the Meiji period. Moreover, the first son of Fujitaka, Tadaoki became adopted child of Terutsune HOSOKAWA of the Oshu family when he was young, with an order of the Shogun family. Therefore his descendant, the Higo Hosokawa family was genealogically a line of the Oshu family.

Shugo family of lower (half province) Izumi Province
Mochihisa (a grand son of Motoyuki), Katsunobu (could be a recording error of Mototsune) and Masahisa HOSOKAWA successively served as Shugo, after Motoyuki. Masahisa opposed to Masamoto HOSOKAWA by forming an alliance with the Shugo family of upper Izumi Province and also linked up with Hisanobu HATAKEYAMA, but later obeyed Masamoto. However he died in a battle when Hisanobu invaded. Masamoto defeated Hisanobu HAYAKEYAMA in Kawachi and invaded Izumi to recover the control, but the Shugo family of lower Izumi Province could not maintain the status after that.

Shugo family of Bicchu Province

The founder of the family was Mitsuyuki HOSOKAWA, the youngest brother of Yoriyuki, and a post of Shugo was successively taken over to Yorishige HOSOKAWA, Ujihisa HOSOKAWA and to Katsuhisa HOSOKAWA. Also there is a record showing the possession of Nii County, Iyo Province and so on.

The Bicchu Province was originally strongly affected by the other dominant Shugo families, such as the Keicho family and the Awa Shugo family, and the control of kokujin, including the Sho clan, was in utmost difficulty. Yorishige mysteriously died in a fit of madness in 1431. In the generation of Katsuhisa, a war against Motosuke SHO (Izu no kami [Governor of Izu Province]) broke out (the great battle in Bicchu), and the Shugo family of Bicchu won in the battle. However, the disturbance within its province was increasingly accelerated, and the family gradually weakened its power after that. Yukikatsu (Yoshiharu HOSOKAWA), Katsuhisa's adopted child from the Shugo family of Awa, returned to the Shugo family of Awa, as his real older brother Masayuki died, therefore, the line of Katsuhisa did not take a position of Shugo after that, and the Shugo family was practically ended.

After that, Yukimochi HOSOKAWA (the son of Yoshiharu) of the Shugo family of Awa temporarily succeeded the Bicchu Shugo, and Masaharu HOSOKAWA of Yashu family, who was a biological father of the Kanrei Takakuni HOSOKAWA, became the Bicchu Shugo after few years of blank. However the appointment of Bicchu Shugo was not made for long time on and after 1518. Bicchu entered in warlike period.

Shugo family of Awaji Province

It was a branch family of the Hosokawa clan. The founder of the family was Morouji HOSOKAWA who was a younger brother of Kazuuji and Yoriharu. Ujiharu HOSOKAWA, the son of Morouji, fought against the shogunate side, as Kiyouji, the son of Kazuuji, surrendered to the Southern Court. The descendant successively filled the post of Shugo of Awaji Province. The family also served as the first head of hokoshu (a military post in Muromachi Shogunate) that was an army immediately under the Shogunate. The family was ended in the beginning of the Sengoku Period, as Hisaharu HOSOKAWA was eliminated by Yukinaga MIYOSHI.

Oshu family

It was a branch family of the Hosokawa clan. It is also called Otozama (the great tozama, or outside lords). The family was a descendant of Akiuji HOSOKAWA, who was a male cousin of Kazuuji and Yoriharu. Akiuji's brothers were excellent in military prowess and did splendid service, but they died before Akiuji. The surviving Akiuji devoted himself to territorialize Sanuki and Tosa, and built up the power. After the death of Kazuuji of the main line, he became an influential person together with Kazuuji's younger brother, Yoriharu. Akiuji played an active role in the Kanno Disturbance, but died around the same time as Yoriharu. Shigeuji HOSOKAWA, a real son of Akiuji, succeeded Akiuji's territory and gained the military exploits, but died suddenly. After that, the family was continued as Nariuji HOSOKAWA, a son of Kazuuji, succeeded the headship of the family, but the territories including Sanuki was taken by Yoriyuki, the son of Yoriharu, and the family became subordinate to the Keicho family after that. However, the family was a powerful retainer of the shogun, such as Nariuji performed a haircut at the kakan (put a crown on a young man's head on a genpuku ceremony) of the 3rd Shogun Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA and Harutsune HOSOKAWA, a descendant of Nariuji, also performed a haircut at the kakan of the 13th Shogun Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA.

Tadaoki, the son of Fujitaka of the Shugo family of upper Izumi Province, became an adopted child to Terutsune HOSOKAWA, the family head in the end of Sengoku Period, and inherited the Oshu family.

Higo Hosokawa family (the Kokura Domain, Buzen Province, the master's house of the Kumamoto Domain in Higo)

Initially, Yusai HOSOKAWA (Yusai) from the Shugo family of upper Izumi Province supported the 15th shogun of the Muromachi bakufu, Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA, but later he served Nobunaga ODA, changing the surname to Nagaoka, and the family possessed 120,000 koku of Tango Province.

His first son, Tadaoki (Sansai) HOSOKAWA took uijin (first battle) in the attack of Saiga of Ki Province, and did splendid service as busho (commanding officer) of Nobunaga.

Yusai did not follow Mitsuhide AKECHI who was the father of his wife, Garasha HOSOKAWA, and served Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI.

Yusai and Tadaoki were also influential in the cultural field, as Yusai was a successor of Kokin denju (the secret transmissions of the "Kokinshu," Anthology of Old and New Japanese Poems) and Tadaoki was a high-caliber disciple of SEN no Rikyu.

When the battle between Ieyasu TOKUGAWA (the eastern army) and Mitsunari ISHIDA (the western army) started after the death of Hideyoshi, the family sided with the eastern army, there, Garasha committed suicide refusing to be a hostage of the eastern army, Yusai fought in a siege of Tanabe-jo Castle (Tango Province) for two month and Tadaoki did distinguished service in the Battle of Sekigahara. After the battle, they changed the surname back to Hosokawa. As a result of the distinguished services, the family possessed 399,000 koku in the Kokura Domain, Buzen Province, and later at the generation of Tadatoshi HOSOKAWA, the third and son of Tadaoki, they possessed 540,000 koku in Kumamoto Domain, Higo Province and ruled for 237 years, until the end of Edo period. The family became a marquis in the Meiji period.

In the Higo Hosokawa family, there were the Nagaoka-naizen family and the Nagaoka-Gyobu family as senior vassals of the lord family, and the branch clan of Shinden (Takase) and the branch clan of Uto as branch domains. Also there were three hereditary karo (chief retainer) called the three families of shokei (the top court officials), the Matsui clan (Jodai [the keeper of castle] of Yatsushiro-jo Castle 30,000 koku in Nagaoka, Sado, for generations), the Komeda clan (Nagaoka Kambutsu duty) and the Ariyoshi clan, and all were senior vassals from the time of Fujitaka. The Hitachi Yatabe Domain was not a branch domain, but an independent domain.

The eighth family head, Shigekata HOSOKAWA carried out the reformation of domain duties called the Horeki Reform, which included the foundation of han school Jishukan and the encouragement of new industries, and he was called 'a phoenix of Higo.'
He is counted as the three wise rulers in the middle of the Edo period along with Yozan UESUGI of Yonezawa Domain, Dewa Province and Harusada TOKUGAWA (Kirin [a mythical Chinese animal] of Kii) of the Kishu Domain, Kii Province. It is believed that those peasants were wealthy in the Kumamoto Domain, and almost no peasants' revolt happened throughout the Edo period. However, the finance of the clan was a hard one and they were disliked and called 'indigent Hosokawa,' as they repeatedly failed to pay debts to those great merchants in Edo and Osaka.

The 16th family head, Moritatsu HOSOKAWA became the chair person of the National Treasure Reserve Committee and he was called 'the lord of art.'
He established Eisei Bunko Foundation that stored many art works passed down in the Hosokawa family and his own collections. The 17th family head, Morisada HOSOKAWA took a post of secretary of the prime minister, Fumimaro KONOE, he also worked in political action during wartime and left the "Hosokawa diary." Morisada is known as a fancier of arts, flower arrangement and Sado.

The son of Morisada, the 18th family head Morihiro HOSOKAWA, formed Japan New Party after serving as the governor of Kumamoto Prefecture. He became a prime minister in 1993 and formed the non-LDP coalition administration. His younger brother, Tadateru KONOE who inherited the Konoe Family, was the president of Japanese Red Cross Society.

Hosokawa (Nagaoka) naizen family

After the battle of Sekigahara, Tadaoki considered the importance of the relationship with the Tokugawa family, therefore he ordered a divorce of his legitimate son Tadataka HOSOKAWA and Tadataka's wife Chiyo (a daughter of Toshiie MAEDA) to end the Tokugawa family's vigilance. Tadaoki showed a will of vassalage to the Tokugawa family by disinherit Tadataka who opposed the order, and made his third son Naiki (Tadatoshi), who had been presented at Ieyasu as a hostage, the successor.

Disinherited Tadataka stayed at his grand father Yusai HOSOKAWA, and was at Kinshin Chikkyo (being placed in confinement at home) in Kyoto, naming himself Kyumu NAGAOKA. After Yusai died, 3,000 koku of Fuchimai (salary rice) was supplied from the Hosokawa family. He spent the rest of his life in Kyoto as a Sukisha (zen philosopher) in Chanoyu (the tea ceremony) and Noh, that connected the court noble society and the Hosokawa family. Tadatsune NAGAOKA and Tadaharu NAGAOKA, who were born between Kyumu and his second wife Kiku, were invited to Kumamoto, Higo by Mitsunao HOSOKAWA after the death of Kyumu and became the Nagaoka-naizen family, a vassal of the Kumamoto clan. In the time of Tsunatoshi HOSOKAWA, Tadashige (Tadasue), the son of Tadaharu, succeeded the total of 6000 koku, and his descendant successively ranked as the head of the family. The family crest was Goshichi no kiri and the nine-planet crest of the Hosokawa family, and Toki's family crest of a stylized Chinese bellflower of the Akechi clan was used for the Ura-mon to remember Garasha, the family background. The family changed the surname back to Hosokawa in the Meiji period and was granted a title of baronage. The Sunatori-tei site, which was originally an ochaya (rest house) of the lord in the Edo period and where the Hosokawa-naizen family lived in the Meiji period, in the suburbs of Kumamoto is maintained as a part of the Suizenji-Ezuko Park (Kumamoto Prefectural library garden). Ryugen HOSOKAWA, a political critic, and his nephew Ryuichiro HOSOKAWA were from a branch family of Makizaki of the Naizen family.

Hosokawa (Nagaoka) Gyobu's family

The family was founded when Okitaka HOSOKAWA, Tadaoki's fifth son, was given 25,000 koku. The family took the name of 'Nagaoka-Gyobu family' or 'Nagaoka book' for generations and the Karoku (hereditary stipend) was 10,000 koku. The family changed the surname back to Hosokawa in the Meiji period and was granted a title of baronage. The Gyobu family's suburban residence built in Kokai, the suburb of Kumamoto, was designated as the prefectural important cultural property, and presently it has been reconstructed and open to the public at Sannomaru (outer part of the castle) of Kumamoto-jo Castle.

Takase Hosokawa family

The family ruled a branch domain of the Higo Kumamoto Domain known as the Higo Shinden Domain (an area of land that had been newly made into a rice field with a yield of more than 10,000 koku) of the Kumamoto Domain, and later ruled the Takase Domain, which yielded 35,000 koku. The family was the 10th generation after Toshishige HOSOKAWA, a child of Mitsunao HOSOKAWA. The family lived in the Cannon Sandbar in Edo and moved to Higo, Takase (Tamana City, Kumamoto Prefecture) in the end of Edo period, therefore they are also called as the Takase clan. The sixth family head of the head family, Nobunori HOSOKAWA was a son of Toshishige.

Uto Hosokawa family

The family was the lord of the Uto Domain of the Kumamoto Domain (Uto City, Kumamoto Prefecture), a branch domain of the Higo Kumamoto Domain, with 30,000 koku. The family was the 11th generation after Yukitaka HOSOKAWA, a son of Tatsutaka HOSOKAWA who was the fourth son of Tadaoki. The fifth family head, Okinori HOSOKAWA cooperated with Shigekata HOSOKAWA of Honpan (the original domain) for the reformation of domain duties such as the foundation of the han school, Onchikan, and the farmland irrigation and the encouragement of new industries of local productions. The appointment of him to be a bakufu roju (member of shogun's council of elders) was discussed, as he was the lord of a branch domain of tozama (outsider). The 10th family head, Narishige HOSOKAWA and the 12th family head, Narimori HOSOKAWA of head family were both from the Uto Hosokawa family.

Hitachi Yatabe Hosokawa family

The family was the lord of the Yatabe Domain in Hitachi Province (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) with 16,000 koku. The family was the ninth generation after Okimoto HOSOKAWA, the second child of Fujitaka HOSOKAWA. The founder of the clan, Okimoto was a younger brother of Tadaoki HOSOKAWA, but the Yatabe clan was not a branch clan of the Kumamoto clan, it was an independent clan.