Kusunoki Masasue (楠木正季)

Masasue KUSUNOKI was a busho (Japanese military commander) who lived from the late Kamakura period to the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). He was a younger brother of Masashige KUSUNOKI, who headed a local ruling family in Kawachi Province and was known as Akuto (a villain in the medieval times).

In 1336, his elder brother, Masashige was ordered to fight against the army of Takauji ASHIKAGA who was heading from Kyushu to Kyoto under the command of Yoshisada NITTA, but was defeated in the Battle of Minato-gawa River (Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture).

In classical literatures such as 'Taiheiki' (The Record of the Great Peace), he is described to have committed suicide with his elder brother Masashige by stabbing each other, and he swore the famous 'shichishohokoku' (which means if he is reborn seven times, he will destroy enemies of the Emperor to serve the country every time he is reborn); but this has been mistaken as the words that Masashige said by some people. Moreover, there is another story that he committed suicide by kappuku (the fixed form of suicide committed by former samurai class) by himself.

There is also a legend that he was an ancestor of Ujo NOGUCHI.