Naito Hironori (内藤弘矩)

Hironori NAITO was a busho (Japanese military commander) lived in the late Muromachi Period
He was also the head of the Naito family, whose family members assumed the post of Shugodai (deputy military governor) of Nagato Province for generations as a chief retainer of the Ouchi clan of shugo daimyo (shugo, which were Japanese provincial military governors, that became daimyo, which were Japanese feudal lords). He was a leading figure in the Ouchi clan by serving two lords successively, Masahiro OUCHI and Yoshioki OUCHI. Later, his daughter (Higashimuki-dono) became Yoshioki's lawful wife and gave birth to Yoshioki's child, Yoshitaka OUCHI.

Rebellion of his elder brother

Accompanying Masahiro OUCHI who came to Kyoto for participating in the Onin War, Hironori also stayed in Kyoto and made distinguished contributions in battles broke out in various places. In 1470, Masahiro's uncle Noriyuki OUCHI (another name Doton OUCHI) raised a rebellion against Masahiro who had been stayed away from home due to an extended stay in Kyoto. Hironori's elder brother Takemori also participated in the rebellion to support Noriyuki OUCHI. Since the rebellion was subdued by the efforts of Hiromori SUE and others, Hironori succeeded to his father's position to become the head of the Naito family instead of Takemori, although Hironori was the younger brother of Takemori.

Assassination of Hiromori SUE

In the Masahiro's day, Hironori played an important role as a senior vassal of the Ouchi clan together with Hiromori SUE, the shugo daimyo of Suo Province, and held the fort while Masahiro stayed in Kyoto. In 1482, Hiromori was involved in an accident and killed at a banquet by Nobuyori YOSHIMI who had borne a grudge against Hiromori. Hironori sorted out the difficult situation by executing Nobuyori on the spot. Thereafter, Hironori wielded great power as the most influential vassal of the Ouchi clan.

He was killed as a criminal by Yoshioki Ouchi.

After sick Masahiro transferred the headship of the family to Yoshioki in 1494, Hironori assisted the young lord. In the next year, however, Takemori Sue, the son of deceased Hiromori SUE, told Yoshioki an ungrounded story that Hironori had schemed to let Yoshioki's brother Takahiro OUCHI succeed as the head of the family instead of Yoshioki. Yoshioki, who took Takemori's word for it, issued an order and killed Hironori together with his son Hirokazu as a criminal.

Since Hironori's innocence was proved later, Yoshioki spared no pains to repair relations with the Naito family: for example, he took a Hironori's daughter for his lawful wife, and let Okimori NAITO, a son of Hiroharu NAITO who had succeeded as the head of the Naito family after Hironori's death, marry to another Hironori's daughter. Takemori was executed for entrapping Hironori by making an ungrounded story.

Hironori's daughter who married to Yoshioki gave birth to Yoshioki's son, Kidomaru (later, Yoshitaka OUCHI).

Personality and anecdotes

It is said that Hironori was behind the succession dispute in the Sue family broke out after Hiromori SUE was assassinated.

Hironori was also active as a man of literature, which is shown in a document that he had contact with Sogi, one of the most prominent Renga (Japanese collaborative poetry) poets in those days.

[Original Japanese]