Eisho Disturbance (永正の錯乱)

Eisho Disturbance refers to an incident during the early Sengoku period (period of warring states) (Japan) where the kanrei (shogunal deputy) for the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) named Masamoto HOSOKAWA was assassinated in 1507. This event was the so-called internal strife of the Hosokawa clan (the Keicho family).

The three adopted sons of Masamoto HOSOKAWA

In 1493, the kanrei Masamoto HOSOKAWA established a dictatorship after overthrowing Yoshitane ASHIKAGA, the tenth seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") (this incident known as the Meio Coup). As Masamoto did not have a biological child, he adopted three sons: Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA, the youngest child of the kanpaku (chief advisor to the Emperor) Masamoto KUJO, Sumimoto HOSOKAWA from the Awa Hosokawa clan and Takakuni HOSOKAWA from the Yasu family of the Hosokawa clan.

In 1506, Sumimoto, who had become the shugo (provincial constable) of Settsu Province, entered the capital leading forces from the Awa Province; upon their arrival, Masamoto gave important military posts to Sumimoto's kasai (main retainer) Yukinaga MIYOSHI. This intensified the confrontation between the forces from Awa and the senior vassals of the Keicho family (mainly powerful local lords in and around the capital) called 'uchishu' who had thus far supported Masamoto.

The assassination of Masamoto

On August 11, 1507, when Masamoto, who often behaved peculiarly and was obsessed with Shugendo (Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism that incorporated Shinto and Buddhist concepts) went into the bathhouse on his premises in preparation for acquiring magic, he was assassinated by the uchishu members Nagatada YAKUSHIJI and Motonaga KOZAI, who supported Sumiyuki. On the following day, Nagatada attacked the residences of Sumimoto and Yukinaga MIYOSHI, making them flee to the Omi Province and had Sumiyuki take over as the head of the family.

The other adopted son Takakuni, however, conspired with his two relatives, Masakata HOSOKAWA, the bungunshugo (a provincial constable of a specially given province in gun unit) of Settsu Province, Hisaharu HOSOKAWA, the shugo of Awaji Province and Yoshitaka HATAKEYAMA, the shugo of Kawachi Province; amongst the four of them, they agreed to make Sumimoto the successor of the Hosokawa clan (the Keicho family).

On September 15, Mantokumaru YAKUSHIJI, the son of Motokazu YAKUSHIJI (who had been overthrown by his brother Nagatada YAKUSHIJI), captured Ibaraki-jo Castle, the residence of Nagatada. The following day, Takakuni HOSOKAWA captured Arashiyama-jo Castle, the residence of Motonaga KOZAI. On September 17, Yukinaga MIYOSHI, who had escaped to Koga-gun, Omi Province where he won the support of the local lords, rushed back to the capital; together with the Takakuni forces, Yukinaga captured Yushoken in one stroke, causing Sumiyuki HOSOKAWA to commit suicide since it was the last of his strongholds. On September 18, Sumimoto had an audience with the shogun and succeeded the head of the family as well as the post of kanrei.

Sumimoto and Takakuni

Meanwhile, the former shogun Yoshitada ASHIKAGA (Yoshiki, later known as Yoshitane), who was displaced by the Meio Coup, had been relying on Yoshioki OUCHI in Suo Province since 1499. The bakufu was afraid of their movements, however, and after acquiring a rinji (Emperor's command) in July, ordered the local lords of the Aki and Iwami Provinces to hunt down and kill Yoshioki.
At the end of 1507, as Yoshioki OUCHI left Yamaguchi City leading his troops with Yoshitada at his side, he saw the year out at Tomonoura in Bingo Province while waiting for a chance to enter the capital,
During this time, the forces in kinai (the five provinces in the immediate vicinity of Kyoto) opposing the tyranny of Yukinaga MIYOSHI rallied behind Takakuni HOSOKAWA. Sumimoto tried sending Takakuni to make peace negotiations with Yoshioki but Takakuni fled to Iga Province instead. Takakuni made alliances with Yoshiki and Yoshioki and gained the support of the local lords in kinai, including Motosuke ITAMI from Settsu Province and Sadamasa NAITO from Tanba Province.

In May of 1508, Sumimoto and the eleventh shogun Yoshizumi ASHIKAGA fled to Omi one after the other and Takakuni entered the capital. In early June, Yoshitada and Yoshioki were met by Takakuni when they arrived at Sakai in Izumi Province and Takakuni took over as the head of the Keicho family. In July, the former shogun Yoshitada entered the capital from Sakai and became shogun again. Takakuni became kanrei and Ukyo no daibu (Master of the Western Capital Offices), and Yoshioki OUCHI became Sakyo no daibu (Master of the Eastern Capital Offices) and shugo of Yamashiro Province.

Within one year, the head of the Hosokawa clan (the Keicho family) changed chaotically from Masamoto to Sumiyuki, then to Sumimoto, and then again to Takakuni.

The Two Hosokawas' War

Triggered by these disturbances, battles repeatedly occurred over a prolonged period between the Takakuni HOSOKAWA forces that had gained control of the capital and the Awa forces that included Sumimoto HOSOKAWA, Harumoto HOSOKAWA and the Miyoshi clan.

In 1509, Sumimoto HOSOKAWA and Yukinaga MIYOSHI attempted to invade the capital, but Takakuni HOSOKAWA and Yoshioki OUCHI fought them off in a cooperative effort (The Battle of Nyoigatake).

In November of the same year, Takakuni's forces invaded Omi, and Sumimoto and Yukinaga fled to Awa. A son of Yukinaga named Nagahide MIYOSHI fled to Ise but committed suicide after being attacked by Kichika KITABATAKE.

In 1510, Takakuni's forces invaded Omi but suffered a crushing defeat due to the resistance they met by local lords who supported the Sumimoto side.

In 1511, Sumimoto engaged in battle with the forces of Masakata HOSOKAWA and Hisaharu HOSOKAWA (The Battle of Ashiyakawara), and then again with the forces of Yoshitaka HATAKEYAMA, the shugo of Kawachi Province (The Battle of Izumi and Fukai). Sumimoto then invaded the capital in a collaborative effort with Yoshimura AKAMATSU, the shugo of Harima and Bizen Provinces. Takakuni and Yoshioki were temporarily cornered with inferior numbers and forced to withdraw to Tanba Province with shogun Yoshitane ASHIKAGA.

During these events, however, the former shogun Yoshizumi, who held the forces of Awa, died of illness. In September, the Takakuni and Yoshioki forces were victorious at the Battle of Funaokayama. Masakata HOSOKAWA committed suicide, and Sumimoto withdrew to Awa.

In 1517, as Yukinaga MIYOSHI invaded Awaji in order to take control of the Awaji Navy, Hisaharu HOSOKAWA, the shugo of Awaji Province, fled to Sakai in Izumi.

In September of 1518, when threatening movements began showing in the Amago clan of Izumo Province and the Takeda clan of Aki Province, Yoshioki OUCHI returned home to Suo Province (modern day Yamaguchi Prefecture) due to the local lords under his command defecting one after another.

In June of 1519, Hisaharu HOSOKAWA surrendered to Sumimoto but was killed by Yukinaga.

During December of the same year, Sumimoto and Yukinaga landed in Hyogo in the Settsu Province and captured Koshimizu-jo Castle, owned by Masayori KAWARABAYASHI (瓦林正頼, also known as 河原林政頼) (The Battle of Koshimizu-jo Castle).

In February of 1520, when Takakuni was defeated by Sumimoto and Yukinaga in Settsu, shogun Yoshitane took sides with Sumimoto.

Takakuni fled to Sakamoto in Omi, but in May he invaded the capital, defeating Sumimoto and Yukinaga after gaining support in Omi from Sadayori ROKKAKU and Takakiyo KYOGOKU and Sadamasa NAITO from Tanba. Although Yukinaga had an audience with Takakuni to beg for his life, he was forced to commit suicide at the request of Hikoshiro HOSOKAWA, an adopted son of Hisaharu HOSOKAWA. Sumimoto was banished to Settsu and died of illness in July at Shozui-jo Castle in Awa.

In April of 1521, Takakuni banished shogun Yoshitane who had turned against him, and put up Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA as the twelfth shogun. In September the name of the era changed to Daiei. During the year, Muramune URAGAMI, a senior vassal of Yoshimura AKAMATSU, as well as Yoshimura himself were assassinated after being incarcerated.

In November of 1524, Takakuni's senior vassals Motomori KOZAI and Kataharu YANAGIMOTO defeated the remnants of the Awa forces in Izumi.

In August of 1526, Takakuni murdered Motomori KOZAI due to false charges made by the shugo of Tanba Province, Tadakata HOSOKAWA. Motomori's brother Tanemichi HATANO and Kataharu YANAGIMOTO raised an army in Tanba in a collaborative effort with Harumoto HOSOKAWA and Motonaga MIYOSHI from Awa. Takakuni had Tadakata HOSOKAWA invade Tanba but he was defeated.

In March of 1527, Tanemichi HATANO and Kataharu YANAGIMOTO invaded the capital. Takakuni and Tadakata attacked their forces at the Katsura-gawa River but they were defeated and fled to Sakamoto in Omi with shogun Yoshiharu (The Battle of Katsura-gawa River). With Yoshitsuna ASHIKAGA, the former shogun Yoshitane's adopted son and a younger brother of Yoshiharu on their side, Harumoto and Motonaga advanced to Sakai and governed the capital (Sakaikubo [the municipal government based in Sakai City]).

In 1528, Takakuni tried to recapture the capital but was defeated by Harumoto. Tadakata HOSOKAWA defected to Harumoto's side.

In 1530, Kataharu YANAGIMOTO died while departing for the front in Harima. Takakuni invaded the capital in a collaborative effort with Muramune URAGAMI.

During March of 1531, Takakuni suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Nakajima in Settsu Province due to a counterattack made by Motonaga MIYOSHI.

In July, Takakuni was defeated again by Motonaga at Daimotsu Kuzure (The Battle of Daimotsu) and fled to Amagasaki City but was captured and committed suicide. Muramune URAGAMI also died in the battle.

In August, Tadakata HOSOKAWA was killed by Nagamasa KIZAWA. Although Nagamasa and Motonaga had become opposed to each other, Harumoto HOSOKAWA showed favor for Nagamasa.

In July of 1532, Harumoto formed an alliance with Shonyo HONGANJI and Nagamasa KIZAWA and had Ikko-ikki (mobs of peasant farmers, monks, Shinto priests and local nobles who rose up against samurai) troops attack Motonaga in Sakai. Motonaga was defeated and committed suicide. Harumoto made peace with shogun Yoshiharu. Later on, the Kyoroku-Tenbun War erupted.