Ouchi Hiroshige (大内弘茂)

Hiroshige OUCHI (year of birth unknown - 1401) was a general who lived during the early Muromachi period. He was the seventh son of Hiroyo OUCHI, the ninth head of the Ouchi family. He was also a younger brother of the tenth family head, Yoshihiro OUCHI.

During the Oei War in 1399, he joined his older brother in holding a castle in Sakai City against the army of the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) led by Shogun Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA; however his older brother was killed in the attack of the besieging army by setting fire to the castle, and Hiroshige surrendered to Yoshimitsu. To punish the Ouchi family for the War, Yoshimitsu confiscated Buzen Province, Iwami Province, Izumi Province and Kii Province, but, on condition that Hiroshige pay him homage and render him service, Yoshimitsu approved Hiroshige's succession to the head of the Ouchi family, and granted him fiefs in Suo Province and Nagato Province. However, Moriharu OUCHI, who was taking care of the Ouchi house in Hiroshige's absence, defied Yoshimitsu's orders to give up the Ouchi's territory, and so Yoshimitsu ordered Hiroshige to bring down Moriharu. With support from Yoshimitsu and the feudal loads of Aki Province and Iwami Province, Hiroshige attacked Moriharu and temporarily succeeded in expelling him into Buzen Province, but Moriharu and his troops launched a counterattack at Shiojiyama-jo Castle in Chofu Province in December 1401, and Hiroshige was defeated and subsequently killed at Sakariyama-jo Castle in the Chofu Province.

[Original Japanese]