Ishida Mitsunari (石田三成)

Mitsunari ISHIDA was a feudal warlord in the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was one of the five major magistrates in Toyotomi's government.

He was Hideyoshi's retainer, trained from boyhood.

He was born in 1560 as the second son of Masatsugu ISHIDA in Ishida-mura Village, Sakata County in Omi Province (the present-day Ishida-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture). Ishida Village was called Ishida-go(village), and the Ishida clan was a local ruling family who used the Go-mei (the name of a village) as its family name (he was said to study at Kannon-ji Temple).

He served Hideyoshi HASHIBA (later called Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI) as a pageboy in about 1574 (1577, according to another theory), when Hideyoshi became a lord of Nagahama Castle in Omi Province (now Nagahama City) serving Nobunaga ODA. When Hideyoshi went on an expedition to the Chugoku region as a chief commander by order of Nobunaga, ISHIDA served in the war.

After Nobunaga died an unnatural death in the Honnoji no Hen (the Conspiracy of Honno-ji Temple) in June 1582, Hideyoshi rose up as a tenkabito (ruler of the country) and Mitsunari gradually emerged as an aide of Hideyoshi. Mitsunari served in the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583. According to the "Hitotsuyanagi Kaki," he was in charge of a mission to spy on Katsuie SHIBATA's army and also performed a great feat of Ichiban-yari (being the first to thrust a spear at an enemy soldier) as one of the warriors on the front line. He served in the battles of Komaki and Nagakute in 1584. That same year, he worked as a kenchi (survey magistrate) at Gamo County in Omi Province.

Under Toyotomi's Government

When Hideyoshi was appointed as the chief adviser to the Emperor on July 11, 1585, Mitsunari was given the rank of a jugoi (Junior Fifth Rank) in the Jibu-sho department. At the end of the year, he was appointed to serve as the lord of Minakuchi, in Omi, with 40,000 koku.

It has been said that, in January 1586, he hired Sakon SHIMA, who was renowned as a commander having wisdom and courage, at a chigyo (fief) of 20,000 koku, which was the half amount of Mitsunari's chigyo. As Hideyoshi was impressed and praised for this, he gave a haori (half-coat) with the Kikukiri-mon crest to Sakon SHIMA in order to encourage fealty for Mitsunari (though other theories assert that Mitsunari employed Sakon when he was appointed as the lord of Sawayama with 190,000 koku, and that Sakon was a yoriki (lower-ranked samurai) who had supported Hideyoshi). In the same year, Mitsunari helped Kagekatsu UESUGI from Echigo to visit Hideyoshi and pledge to serve as a vassal. That year, he was appointed by Hideyoshi as a sakai-bugyo (magistrate around Sakai).

He went on an expedition to Kyushu in 1587, but he was said to be in charge of transporting military goods such as food provisions and weapons. The expedition to Kyushu finished within a short period, as did the previous year's expedition to Shikoku, because Mitsunari, who was a talented leader of bureaucrats, had effectively managed the transport of military goods. After the expedition to Kyushu, he became a Hakata magistrate and worked on behalf of the reconstruction of Hakata. Mitsunari arranged Yoshihisa SHIMAZU's audience with Hideyoshi in 1588.

He conducted kenchi (survey of crop yields) in Mino Province in 1589. He went on an expedition to Odawara in 1590. Hideyoshi gave Mitsunari an order to attack the Tatebayashi and Oshi Castles, which were subsidiary fortresses of the Gohojo clan. In the case of the Oshi Castle attack, Mitsunari flooded the castle by carrying water from the Moto-Arakawa River, and the remains of the castle are still in existence. Most of the Gohojo clan's subsidiary castles in the Kanto area had fallen prior to Odawara Castle, which was the main castle, but even after the surrender of Odawara Castle the attack on Oshi Castle continued till early July 1590. Therefore, many documents say that the attack on Oshi Castle proves that Mitsunari was not good at fighting, but there are opposing theories.

Mitsunari had built up more and more works, such as arranging an audience with Hideyoshi for Yoshinobu SATAKE (Ukyo-no-daibu, chief of Ukyoshiki government agency), who was from Hitachi, and becoming a kenchi bugyo(survey magistrate) in Oshu after the clamp-down on Oshu. Mitsunari was a talented bureaucrat who rendered distinguish services.

When dispatching troops to Korea (the Bunroku no eki War), Mitsunari went to Korea as the So-bugyo magistrate with Nagamori MASHITA and Yoshitsugu OTANI. He participated in the Battle of Hekiteikan (ByeogJe Gwan) and the Battle of Henju-Sanson (the Battle of Haengju) in 1593. Subsequently, he returned to Nagoya in Hizen Province with SHA Yo Sho and Jo Ikkan, who were emissaries of pacification in the Ming army, and had an active role in peace negotiations with Ming. However, the budan-ha group (people who carried out politics by military means) which was known by Masanori FUKUSHIMA, one of the Toyotomi Family, was opposed to his conduct.

Mitsunari conducted kenchi (survey of crop yields) in the domains of the Shimazu and Satake clans as a survey magistrate in 1594.

Mitsunari accused Hideyoshi's nephew, Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI, of plotting a coup (which became known as the Hidetsugu Incident) in 1595. After Hidetsugu's death, Mitsunari received Omi with 70,000 koku, which was a part of Hidetsugu's domain as a daikanchi (place to govern). In the same year, Hideyoshi also gave him the territory of Sawayama, Omi, with 194,000 koku.

He enacted Jusan-kajo no Okitegaki (13 articles of rule) and Kyu-kajo no Okitegaki (nine articles of rule) in his Sawayama domain in 1596. He entertained an emissary of pacification from Ming. That year, he was appointed as Kyoto magistrate and was ordered by Hideyoshi to clamp down on Christians. In this incident, Mitsunari showed friendly feelings such as trying to reduce the number of Christians to be caught, and also placated Hideyoshi in order to prevent the execution of Christians (the 26 martyrs).

When the Keicho-no-eki War started in 1597, he tried again to make overtures of peace to Ming and Korea, but these efforts failed. It was said that he had endeavored to pull troops out of Korea in August 1598, after Hideyoshi's death.

After Hideyoshi's Death

After Hideyoshi's death, his legitimate son Hideyori TOYOTOMI took over the family estate. However, Tairo (Chief Minister) Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, who was the lord of Kanto with 2,500,000 koku, gradually rose up as a tenkabito (ruler of the country). Ieyasu established relations by affinity between himself and Mitsunari's adversaries, such as Masanori FUKUSHIMA, Kiyomasa KATO and Nagamasa KURODA, without the permission of the Toyotomi clan, doing so in order to gain supremacy. Mitsunari consulted with Toshiie MAEDA and in January 1599 dispatched an envoy to Ieyasu in order to investigate the crime because Ieyasu's relationship by affinity violated the law of the act banning marriage without authorization, which Hideyoshi had instituted in 1595. Ieyasu sensed his disadvantage and came to terms with Toshiie and Mitsunari on February 2, exchanging a written oath.

However, Tairo (Chief Minister) Toshiie MAEDA, who kept evenly balanced power with Ieyasu, died of a disease on the third day of intercalary third month. Right after his death, Mitsunari's adversary group Budan-ha, including seven lords--Kiyomasa KATO, Masanori FUKUSHIMA, Nagamasa KURODA, Tadaoki HOSOKAWA, Yoshinaga ASANO, Terumasa IKEDA and Yoshiaki KATO--attacked Mitsunari's Osaka residence (Iemasa HACHISUKA and Takatora TODO were also included, according to some documents). Mitsunari, however, had already escaped from Osaka to Fushimi Castle with the help of Yoshinobu SATAKE. Mitsunari then found himself in a standoff with seven lords in Fushimi, but they made peace through the arrangements of Ieyasu and Mitsunari agreed to retire, giving up the title to five major magistrates. Mitsunari returned to Sawayama Castle guarded by the Ieyasu's second son, Hideyasu YUKI, on March 10 (some documents state that Mitsunari escaped to Ieyasu's residence in Mukojima in this incident but their sources, such as "History of Japanese Warfare, Sekigahara-no-eki," were written after the Meiji period).
(There is no source written in the Edo period mentioned that Mitsunari had visited Ieyasu's residence.)

Ieyasu acted arbitrarily again due to Toshiie's death and because Mitsunari had remained at home, whereupon he promoted unauthorized marriages that had once been called off and conducted the distribution of territory in which Hideyoshi had interdicted. It is said that Ieyasu stayed at Mitsunari's residence when Ieyasu went to Osaka to see Hideyori in celebration of his Chrysanthemum Festival in September.

The Battle of Sekigahara

Mitsunari devised a plan along with Kagekatsu UESUGI and Kanetsugu NAOE to defeat Ieyasu in July 1600 (but one theory asserts that no such secret plot existed). Then, as Uesugi's army stood in open rebellion against Ieyasu, Ieyasu went on an expedition to Aizu with various feudal lords. Mitsunari made a decision to attack Ieyasu, using it as an opportunity to effect a pincer strategy by closing in from the east and west, and tried to get Yoshitsugu OTANI on his side. Yoshitsugu thought it would be reckless to have a conflict with Ieyasu and therefore opposed Mitsunari, but he accepted Mitsunari's plan because of their mutual affection as acquaintances.

On July 12, having appointed his brother Masazumi as a magistrate and established the checkpoint at Echigawa, Omi, Mitsunari prevented the saikoku daimyo (feudal lords in countries west of the Kinki district) such as Katsushige NABESHIMA and Shigekatsu MAEDA from going on an expedition to Aizu under Ieyasu's command, and forcibly moved them over to his side (the western army). On July 13, Mitsunari sent the army to take the feudal lords' families as hostages and keep them in Osaka Castle. However, some of the wives escaped, including that of Kiyomasa KATO, and moreover, Garasha HOSOKAWA, who was Tadaoki HOSAKAWA's official wife and Mitsuhide AKECHI's daughter, refused to be taken as a hostage and committed suicide by setting fire to her residence, which resulted in her tragic death; therefore, the operation was deemed a failure and stopped.

Mitsunari appointed Terumoto MORI as a captain general of the western army and instructed him to enter Osaka Castle on July 17, and he also sent to feudal lords an impeachment letter bearing thirteen articles of the charges signed by three magistrates (Geni MAEDA, Nagamori MASUDA and Masaie NATSUKA). On July 18, the western army attacked Fushimi Castle, which was protected by Ieyasu's main retainer Mototada TORII. However, Fushimi Castle didn't fall easily because of its impregnability and the resistance that Torii's army was able to mount. Mitsunari and Masaie NATSUKA took the families of Kogashu as hostages and threatened the kogashu (local samurai based in Koga County, Omi) who served under Torii. On August 1, as Kogashu accepted Mitsunari's request and opened the castle gate from the inside, Fushimi Castle fell. On August 2, Mitsunari issued to feudal lords across the country a declaration, cosigned by Mitsunari, Terumoto MORI and Hideie UKITA, stating that Fushimi Castle had fallen.

Though Mitsunari had ruled over the Ise region since August, he made a decision to fight in the fields of Sekigahara due to Ieyasu's quick inverting attack to the west. One of the most famous and fateful battles between the eastern and western armies, the Battle of Sekigahara, started on September 15. Initially, the western army was dominant and Mitsunari's army of 6,900 could hold out against more than twice that number led by Tadaoki HOSOKAWA, Nagamasa KURODA, Yoshiaki KATO and Yoshimasa TANAKA, because Sakon SHIMA, Satoie GAMO and Hyogo MAI fought so bravely. However, the troops of the western army generally had less will to fight and gradually found themselves at a disadvantage. At last, the western army was routed due to the betrayal of Hideaki KOBAYAKAWA and Yasuharu WAKIZAKA; therefore, Mitsunari escaped from the battlefield to Mt. Ibuki.

He then crossed Mt. Aikawa, located on the eastern side of Mt. Ibuki, and escaped to Kasuga-mura Village. It is said that at that time Mitsunari drank straight from the stream and ate uncooked rice to stave off his hunger, so he suffered from diarrhea. Subsequently, from Kasuga-mura Village, he took the route out through Shimbo-toge Pass and reached the Ane-gawa River, whereupon he entered Kusanotani through Magatani and the Nanamawari-toge Pass. He then traveled upstream of the Takatoki-gawa River from a threshold of the valley of Mt. Odani and escaped to Furuhashi. However, on September 21 he was caught by Yoshimasa TANAKA's troops who had been searching for Mitsunari under Ieyasu's command.

Sawayama Castle, which was a residence of Mitsunari, fell under attack by the eastern army on September 18, and Mitsunari's father Masatsugu and most of the Ishida family died in the battle.

On September 22, Mitsunari was escorted to Otsu Castle to be kept on public display, after which he was brought before Ieyasu. He was escorted to Osaka on September 27, and the next day he was pulled through Osaka and Sakai as a criminal along with Yukinaga KONISHI and Ekei ANKOKUJI. On September 29, he was escorted to Kyoto and was placed under the supervision of the Kyoto shoshidai (the local governor of Kyoto), Nobumasa OKUDAIRA.

On October 1, he was decapitated at Rokujo-gawara, the place of execution, by order of Ieyasu. He was 41 years old. After his head was pilloried at Sanjo-gawara, it was placed in the care of Soen SHUNOKU and Soho TAKUAN, who had formed close relationships with Mitsunari, and was buried at Sangenin in Daitoku-ji Temple, Kyoto.

A Japanese Haiku of Death

My life will soon be burnt out, like the torches in the reeds at Chikumae.

Anecdote

After his defeat in the Battle of Sekigahara, he escaped and holed up in Furuhashi-mura Village, Omi (Shiga Prefecture). At that time, Mitsunari said to the villagers, "The reason I escaped was for fighting with Ieyasu again and for ruling the country. He said, "Once I rule the country, I will build a wide field between Furuhashi and Lake Biwa and will make all roads stone-paved," so the villagers were attracted to what he said and harbored him. However, Yojiro-dayu, of a nearby village, betrayed Mitsunari, and as a result he was captured.

Following the death of Toshiie MAEDA, Mitsunari's adversaries such as Kiyomasa KATO and Masanori FUKUSHIMA attacked him. Mitsunari resigned from the magistrate and stayed at his residence of Sawayama Castle due to Ieyasu's arbitration. Mitsunari gave a sword called "Mumei Masamune (sword without the Masamune's name)" to Hideyasu Yuki, who had escorted him to Sawayama Castle; Hideyasu loved it and took good care of it all his life, calling it "Masamune ISHIDA." This "Masamune" sword was said to be given to Mitsunari by Hideyoshi, but the document "Token-Meibutsucho (Book of Special Swords)" issued in the Kyoho era of the Edo period said that Hideie UKITA bought it from Terumoto MORI and then gave it to Mitsunari.

Mitsunari's concubine, Hatsume-no-Tsubone, was a kunoichi (a female ninja and part of a group of secret agents) sent by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA. However, because she loved Mitsunari who had straightforward character, and betrayed Tokugawa, she was killed by the Tokugawa side (this Kunoichi was said to truly exist, and some have claimed to be her descendents).
(The name Hatsume may have been created by Genji KITANO.)
Another theory said that she escaped as the castle fell and mourned Mitsunari.

When Mitsunari received his first chigyo (fief) of 200 koku (or 400 koku) from Hideyoshi, he used up his entire chigyo to hire Kanbe WATANABE (as distinct from Satoru WATANABE) so that he had to live in Kanbe's residence. Kanbe was the person whom Hideyoshi and Katsuie SHIBATA had wanted and offered a fief of 20,000 koku, but he responded by saying, "I will not serve for less than 100,000 koku," and rejected their offers. It is said that Hideyoshi was very surprised that Kanbe had accepted Mitsunari's offer. Later, Mitsunari offered Kanbe an addition to his chigyo, but Kanbe rejected it and served for Mitsunari for 200 (or 400) koku all his life. The episode about hiring Sakon SHIMA might have become intermixed with this anecdote.

It was said that Mitsunari had been injured in the Battle of Henju-Sanson (the Battle of Haengju) during the Bunroku-no-eki War. Mistakenly, it was thought that he didn't join the War in Korea but instead remained in Japan. Actually, he was in the middle of the battle (incidentally, Masanori FUKUSHIMA, who was in a military reconnaissance group, didn't have much participation in the Battle of Bunroku-no-eki War, and stayed in Japan during the Keicho-no-eki War).

Though Mitsunari was offered a dried persimmon before his execution, he said, "Persimmons aren't good for the health," and therefore refused to eat it. He was told, "You'll be executed soon, so this isn't the time to worry about your health," and was laughed at derisively; but he simply answered, "A person of great ambition never gives up."

It is said that he had engaged in sodomy with Yoshitsugu OTANI.

Three Cups of Tea for the Lord

A legend states that once, when Hideyoshi was thirsty, he stopped by Kannon-ji Temple in Omi to ask for tea, and Mitsunari, who was a tera-kosho (boy doing the chores of a temple) at that time, served tea. It seems that this legend was only fictional, because the historical data was written in the Edo period.

Mitsunari, Yodo-dono and Kodaiin

It was one of the widespread misconceptions that Mitsunari had idolized Yodo-dono, who was a daughter of the former master (Azai clan). The reason for the misconception is assumed to be that both Mitsunari and Yodo-dono were from Omi, but the Ishida Family was a local ruling family that had an adversarial relationship with the Azai clan. In this sense, she was not his idol but the "adversary's princess."

Another misconception is that Hideyoshi was not Hideyori TOYOTOMI's father but Mitsunari was, having engaged in intrigue with Yodo-dono. However, in "Hagihan-batsuetsuroku (History Book of the Hagi Domain)," which was the basis for portraying Yodo-dono's bad behavior, her rumored affair was mentioned as having occurred after Hideyoshi's death, and that her lover was Harunaga Ono. Moreover, this historical data was issued after the mid-Edo period, and therefore the current widely held theory was that this story was created by scholars who pandered to the Edo government in order to demean Mitsunari and Yodo-dono. It is physically impossible that Mitsunari became Hideyori's father because Hideyori was born in August, 1593 and Mitsunari had been on an expedition to the Korean Peninsula since the previous year.

Contrastingly, there is a recent theory that Mitsunari had a very intimate relationship with Kodaiin, who was Hideyoshi's official wife, and that he disliked Yodo-dono and her close aides because she had interfered in politics as Hideyori's mother. The basis of this theory is that Tatsuhime, who was the third daughter of Mitsunari, was adopted by Kodaiin according to "Sugiyama-ke Yuishogaki (Pedigree of the Sugiyama Family)" and "Oka-ke Yuishogaki (Pedigree of the Oka Family)"; Kozosu, who was a top aid of Kodaiin, was Mitsunari's relative and negotiated to open Otsu Castle for the western army in the Battle of Sekigahara; and there were no Mitsunari's relatives in proximity to Yodo-dono (for details, see "Kodaiin").

Portrait

At least three or four types of portraits have been identified as depicting Mitsunari. The following is about the portrait that was painted based on his supposed skull (said to be authentic).

In 1907, more than 300 years after the Battle of Sekigahara, Yosuke WATANABE, of Tokyo Imperial University, excavated a tomb believed to be that of Mitsunari, and Buntaro ADACHI, in the anatomy department of Kyoto Imperial University, investigated and analyzed the skeleton. At that time he took a picture of the skull. As the result of the investigation, he was a "man whose bone structure suggested a gentle manner, with a wooden-mallet-shaped head and projecting tooth... the age at death was around 41 years." In 1976, at the request of Takayuki ISHIDA, a photographer and descendent of Mitsunari, Shuichi NAGAYASU, the former chief of engineering of the Tokyo National Research Institute of Police Science, used plaster to reconstruct the facial features. In March, 1980, the Japanese-style painter Mikio MAEDA drew a portrait of Mitsunari from the plaster-reconstructed face under the direction of Tetsuro ISHIDA, of Kansai Medical University. This portrait is maintained in the castle keep of Osaka Castle. Mitsunari was approximately 156 centimeters tall, according to the analysis.

A Wise and Steadfast Retainer

He established the Gonin-gumi settlement system (Japanese history) for posterity as a method of organizing neighborhoods. This system was based on the agricultural policy of the Edo period.

Mitsukuni TOKUGAWA mentioned about him in Dainihonshi (Japanese History Book). "Mitsunari was a fine man. It is justice that each person serves his lord. It is wrong that we speak ill of Mitsunari because he was an adversary of the Tokugawa Family. Both lords and vassals should learn from him."

One of the reasons that Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI was able to rule the entire country was that he had talented bureaucrats such as Mitsunari and that they always accomplished the transport of military goods. In fact, in the Bunroku-no-eki War he persuaded the feudal lords who had widened battle lines in ignorance of military logistics and let them come together at Hancheng (Seoul). That was the base of the triumph of the Battle of Hekiteikan.

Because Mitsunari governed wisely in Sawayama, he was beloved by his people; after his death, they set ksitigarbhas near Sawayama Castle to comfort his spirit. Ieyasu's main retainer, Naomasa II, who ruled Sawayama after Mitsunari's death, died from wounds of the Sekigahara two years after the execution of Mitsunari (1602).

Mitsunari was said to exempt villagers from customs when famine struck Furuhashi-mura Village in his domain. He provided generous support to the temple of his mother's family, Hokke-ji Temple, which was then located in Furuhashi.

Consequent upon the downfall of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI in 1595, even though the feudal lords had abandoned him, Mitsunari begged for Hidetsugu's life till the end, believing in his innocence. The Wakae hachinin-shu (eight elite retainers of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI) such as Tadayasu MAENO (Hyogo MAI) were impressed by Mitsunari and thus aligned themselves under his command. There is a theory that at that time Mitsunari wanted to act in concert with Yusai HOSOKAWA, but he couldn't do so effectively because he was in a distant location conducting kenchi (surveys).

His crest was that of "Daiichi-Daiman-Daikichi." It means, "When all people work for one and one works for all, it brings a peaceful world."

A Demonic Retainer

Mitsunari hated injustice and implemented the Toyotomi government on the basis of morality without personal consideration. However, he was so serious and honest that he was perceived as arrogant and was disliked by feudal lords. This caused budan-ha (persons carrying out politics by military means) such as Kiyomasa KATO to attack Mitsunari. The fact that Mitsunari tried to take hostages from the feudal lords of the eastern army gave rise to the rumor of demonic behavior.

Terumoto MORI said of Mitsunari, "That man was an important person at the time, but he said few words." It makes me nervous." Yoshihiro SHIMAZU said of him, "As Hideyoshi's right-hand man, the power of Jibu-sho Ishida, the castellan of Goshu-Sawayama, is without parallel." Mokujiki Ogo Jonin (St. Ogo MOKUJIKI) said, "As to Jisho (Jibu-Sho title, Mitsunari's title), Gobugyo can be seen as the foremost of them." If he turns his face away even a little, the government will go wrong in a whisk."

It is said that Mitsunari slandered Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI by saying to Hideyoshi, "He was staying in the mountains to plot a rebellion," and this made Hideyoshi decide to exclude Hidetsugu.

However, today theories such as Hidetsugu's rebellion and Mitsunari's slander are discounted. Mitsunari might have worked in a businesslike manner on Hideyoshi's disposition, and might have played the bad guy instead of Hideyoshi. However, this was not enough to assert that "it was Mitsunari that accused Hidetsugu directly as a rebel," and there is disagreement about it (Mitsunari had gone to Kanto and Kyushu to conduct kenchi surveys until a week before the Hidetsugu incident). It is said that a fully prepared plan was needed in order to carry out the Hidetsugu plan, because most people concerned could avoid complicity except for Hidetsugu's family. In this sense, Mitsunari had an "alibi."

In the event of the Battle of Sekigahara, Yoshitsugu OTANI said to Mitsunari, "even if you (Mitsunari) give them a pep talk, your natural imperiousness makes even those who want peace and security of the Toyotomi Family go under Naifu (Ieyasu). Here, put Aki Chunagon (Terumoto MORI) or Bizen Chunagon (Hideie UKITA) to the front and you remain behind," and expostulated with him. Yoshitsugu said in reference to Mitsunari's battle plan, "It isn't a battle plan but a gamble." Though Mitsunari initially followed Yoshitsugu's advice, he became arrogant as before.

It is said that the kick-off ceremony held by Hideie UKITA on July 1 at his own discretion led to the Battle of Sekigahara involving both the eastern and western armies, and that Mitsunari was poorly prepared (Mitsunari's brother-in-law, Masayuki SANADA, complained to Mitsunari in his letter, "Why didn't you ask me beforehand?" but Yoshinobu SATAKE (Ukyo-no-daibu), Tamenobu TSUGARU, Yoshitsugu OTANI and others of the Mitsunari faction weren't consulted beforehand, either).

On January 19, 1599, Takatora TODO informed Ieyasu of Mitsunari's plot to assassinate Ieyasu TOKUGAWA. It is said that the assassination plot was attempted but failed in March 1599 (while another theory asserts that Mitsunari's main retainer, Sakon SHIMA, plotted on his own).

There is a theory that Mitsunari plotted the poisoning of Ujisato GAMO, Gamo-sodo (the Gamo Family feud) and the resultant weakening of the Gamo Family, but many of Gamo's former retainers served and died for Mitsunari so today this theory is denied.

The Family Tree

He was said to have three sons and three daughters or two sons and five daughters besides the children born out of wedlock.

Eldest son: Shigeie ISHIDA - After the Battle of Sekigahara, he was spared by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA and became a priest.

Second son: Shigenari ISHIDA - He was harbored by the Tsugaru clan and gave himself the name Gengo SUGIYAMA. His descendents became retainers of Tsugaru.

Daughter: Tatsuhime - She was adopted by Kodaiin. She became an official wife of Nobuhiro TSUGARU, the second lord of the Hirosaki domain, but she was demoted to the status of a concubine because Matehime (Ieyasu's adopted daughter) married Nobuhiro. Her son, Nobuyoshi TSUGARU, was the third lord of the Hirosaki domain.

Daughter: Unknown - She married a certain Yamada who was a retainer of Ishida. As a certain Yamada's aunt was Ieyasu's concubine Cha'a-no-Tsubone, he served Tadateru MATSUDAIRA, taking his wife (Mitsunari's daughter) after the ruination of the Ishida Family.
(Another theory exists.)

Daughter: Unknown - She became a wife of Shigemasa OKA, who was a retainer of the Gamo clan. When Shigemasa aroused the displeasure of Furihime, who was the lord Tadasato GAMO's mother (and the third daughter of Ieyasu), and had to commit seppuku (suicide by disembowelment), she left Aizu. The daughter of her son, Kichiemon OKA, was a concubine of Iemitsu TOKUGAWA called Jishoin (Mitsunari's great-granddaughter). Ofuri-no-kata had a baby called Chiyohime, who was the first daughter of Iemitsu; eventually, Chiyohime married into the Owari-Tokugawa Family and her family tree continued till the seventh lord Muneharu TOKUGAWA. (though another theory exists).