Ouchi Mochiyo (大内持世)

Mochiyo OUCHI (March 23, 1394 - August 14, 1441) was a Shugo daimyo (Japanese territorial lord as provincial constable) in the mid-Muromachi Period. He was the twelfth head of the Ouchi clan. His father was the 10th head, Yoshihiro OUCHI, who was famous for instigating the Oei War. Mochiyo's official rank was Junior Assistant Minister of Justice and Master of the Office of Palace Repairs.

In 1431, after the 11th head, Morimi OUCHI, was killed in a battle against the Otomo clan and the Shoni clan in Chikuzen Province, a conflict over the succession arose within the Ouchi clan. Morimi had made a will leaving the position at the head of the family and all territory except for Nagato Province to Mochiyo and leaving Nagato Province to Mochimori OUCHI. Mochiyo initially respected the contents of the will due to the orders from the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), but soon deposed Mochimori with the support of the local samurai) and took over the position at the head of the family and all territories of the Ouchi clan. Thereafter, he won battles against Mitsusada SHONI and Mochinao OTOMO and cemented his influence. Mochiyo came close eliminating the Shoni clan, but in 1440, he found it within himself to ask the shogun of the bakufu, Yoshinori ASHIKAGA, to mediate a reconciliation which allowed the Shoni clan lineage to survive. His motive may have been a fear of worsening relations with the So clan of Tsushima Province who had an alliance with the Shoni clan. In 1441, when Mitsusuke AKAMATSU organized a feast celebrating the victory in the Yuki War, Mochiyo attended with Yoshinori, but was gravely injured in the Kakitsu War which took place at this time and died of his wounds on July 28. He was forty eight years old. His adopted heir, Norihiro OUCHI., succeeded him.

Mochiyo was not only a capable head of the family head, but also an educated man with a talent for waka (traditional Japanese poetry of thirty-one syllables). Many of his works can be found in "Shinshoku Kokin Wakashu" (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry Continued).

[Original Japanese]