Satake Masayoshi (佐竹昌義)

Masayoshi SATAKE (1081 - 1147?) was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the Heian Period. His real family name was Genji (Minamoto clan). His family line was the head of Kawachi-genji, one of the Seiwa-Genji clans. He was a child of MINAMOTO no Yoshinari, the eldest son of MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu who was the third son of MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi, Chinju-fu shogun (Commander-in-Chief of the Defense of the North). He was the founder of the Satake clan, Hitachi-Genji (Minamoto clan). His mother was a daughter of TAIRA no Kiyomoto of Hitachi-Heishi (Taira clan). He was the elder brother of Yoshisada YAMAMOTO. His lawful wife was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Kiyohira. His children were Tadayoshi DAIJO, Yoshihiro KOKUBUN, Takayoshi SATAKE, Yoshimune SATAKE, Chikayoshi OKADA, Yoshisue KAWASHIMA, Masanari SATAKE, and a daughter (Tsuneyoshi KIKKAWA's wife). He was Shinano no kami (Governor of Shinano Province). He was called Satake kaja. His formal Nanori (announcement of his name) was MINAMOTO no Masayoshi.

In the battle of Hitachi in 1106, he fought against MINAMOTO no Yoshikuni, whose base was in Shimotsuke Province, with his grandfather Yoshimitsu, his father Yoshinari, and his maternal grandfather TAIRA no Shigemoto and prevented Yoshikuni from pervading his power in Hitachi. Yoshikuni was the founder of the Ashikaga clan and the Nitta clan, and afterward both clans built the basis of power in Shimono and Ueno, respectively.

Masayoshi expanded his power outward from Satake-go, Kuji County, which he had inherited from his father, and submitted the Onozaki clan (Fujiwara clan of FUJIWARA no Hidesato house), who had traditionally settled in Hitachi Province, and further promoted his dominance in seven counties of Oku-Hitachi. Masayoshi tried to establish the foundation of his power by making relationships with influential people in the neighboring province through marriages, for example, a marriage to a daughter of FUJIWARA no Kiyohira of Oshu Fujiwara clan as his lawful wife.

There is a tradition that in 1140, he found a knot of bamboo (竹 in kanji, pronounced take) in Satake-ji Temple and was delighted viewing it as a propitious augury, then he called himself Satake. Also, he renovated Masaka-jo Castle and Ota-jo Castle (Hitachi Province) (Maizuru-jo Castle) and made the places be his bases.

Among Masayoshi's children, his eldest son Tadayoshi succeeded to the Daijo clan and Takayoshi succeeded to the Satake clan.

[Original Japanese]