Yasutomi Motoie (安富元家)

Motoie YASUTOMI was a samurai who lived in the Sengoku period (period of warring states) (Japan). He was the main retainer of the Hosokawa clan.

He was the heir of the Yasutomi clan who succeeded the deputy of provincial constable of the east Sanuki Province as a senior vassal serving the Hosokawa-Keicho family. Historical materials show that Motoie served as the deputy of provincial constable of the eastern Sanuki Province as the heir of the Yasutomi clan beginning in or around 1470. He distinguished himself in various battles in the Kinai region (the five capital provinces surrounding the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto), while serving Masamoto HOSOKAWA as a main retainer in Kyoto,. When Masamoto was appointed as the military commissioner of Omi Province in 1491, Motoie was appointed as the deputy of provincial constable and stayed in Omi to attend to government affairs. When the Coup of Meio occurred in 1493, upon the order of Masamoto, he attacked and defeated Masanaga HATAKEYAMA at Shogaku-ji Castle along with Motohide UEHARA.

At that time, Masamoto HOSOKAWA had little interest in attending to government affairs, being deep into Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism called 'Shugendo'; therefore, the Hosokawa-Keicho family administered the shogunate government by senior vassals, taking counsel together called 'uchishu.'
Motoie acted for Masamoto in attending to government affairs as the head of the uchishu, and actually became in charge of shogunate government administration. He supported Sumimoto HOSOKAWA as a successor to Masamoto. According to the Gohokoinki Diary, Motoie died in the battle against Matasaburo TERAMACHI in Yodo, Settsu Province, in 1504.

On September 17, 1507, Motoharu YASUTOMI, the eldest son of Motoie and successor as the deputy of provincial constable, also died in the battle caused by a conflict within the Hosokawa clan (according to Nobutane-kyo-ki (the diary of Nobutane NAKANOMIKADO)). Furthermore, Motoaki YASUTOMI, who succeeded Motoharu after his death as the head of the Yasutomi clan, died in the Battle of Funaokayama in 1511. In addition to Motoie's death, the successive deaths in the battlefield of the siblings Motoharu and Motoaki, who had been expected to be heirs to Motoie, led to the loss of power in the Kinai region and consequently to the sudden collapse of Motoie YASUTOMI.

Personality and episode

Motoie handled government affairs on behalf of Masamoto HOSOKAWA, who was deeply involved in Shugendo and had little interest in government affairs. Therefore, it is said that Motoie came into power in reality and wielded influence.

It is said that, when Masamoto went down to Tanba Province and would not return to Kyoto on the pretext of conducting the training of Shugendo, Motoie visited Tanba together with Motosuke SHO and forced Masamoto to return to Kyoto.

Motoie was appointed as deputy of provincial constable in Omi Province in relation to the conquest of Takayori ROKKAKU by Yoshitane ASHIKAGA. Therefore, it was allegedly extremely difficult for Motoie to control Omi because of the guerrilla warfare by the Rokkaku party. Motoie participated in various battles in the country, exerting himself in order to control Omi in cooperation with Toshisada ODA and Norimune URAGAMI; however, he eventually resigned from the deputy of provincial constable in September 1492 and returned to Kyoto.

In 1502, Masamoto HOSOKAWA fell out of favor with Yoshitaka ASHIKAGA and thus lived in seclusion in the house of Motoie YASUTOMI. This suggests that Masamoto had absolute confidence in Motoie.