Kutsuki Mototsuna (朽木元綱)

Mototsuna KUTSUKI (1549 - October 12, 1632) was a daimyo who lived from the later Muromachi period to the early Edo period. He was a child of Harutsuna KUTSUKI and his mother was a daughter of a Court noble, Masatsuna ASUKAI.


The Kutsuki clan, which branched from the Takashima clan, was Gozoku (local ruling family) that ruled Kutsuki-dani, Takashima County, Omi Province
He took over as head of the family at a mere 2 years of age in 1550 because his father had died in a war. The Kutsuki clan had served as hokoshu (the shogunal military guard) of the Muromachi shogunate for generations. He harbored Shogun Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA, who was driven out of Kyoto by Nagayoshi MIYOSHI in 1553. He became caught up in the tide of the turbulent age Sengoku, like when he submitted hostages and so on at the time of Nagamasa AZAI's invasion of Takashima County in 1566. He signed kishomon (sworn oath) with Hisamasa AZAI and his son Nagamasa in December 1568 (old calendar), but abrogated it soon. In attacking Asakura in 1570 he assisted in Kutuski-goe (Nobunaga ODA's withdrawal to Kyoto through Kutsuki valley), and after that he served the Oda family and under Nobunaga's command he was assigned to Kazumasa ISONO and Nobuzumi ODA after Kazumasa was cast out, but seems not to have been treated well by Nobunaga judging from the fact that he was dismissed from the post of bailiff in 1579.

After Nobunaga's death he served Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and was assigned as the governor of the land directly controlled by Taiko Hideyoshi in Omi Takashima County and Ano county, Ise Province, joined the Siege of Odawara, and was approved for land ownership of Kutsuki-dani twenty thousand koku (approximately 3.6 million liters of crop yield)

At the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 he joined the West squad following Yoshitsugu OTANI at first but switched to the East squad along with Yasuharu WAKISAKA, Suketada OGAWA and Naoyasu AKAZA in concert with Hideaki KOBAYAKAWA. After the war he had his territory diminished (to 9550 koku; about 1.7 million liters of crop yield) for not unveiling the secret communication but returned to daimyo later.

In 1616 he took the tonsure and called himself 'Bokusai,'
He died in Kutsuki-dani. Died at the age of 84.

After Mototsuna was dead, because his property inheritance was divided into his three sons, Nobutsuna KUTSUKI, Tomotsuna KUTSUKI and Tanetsuna KUTSUKI (the lord of Tsuchiura clan), the head family of the Kutsuki family was disqualified from the position of daimyo and demoted to hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which is a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).

However, because Mototsuna's youngest son Tanetsuna procured confidence of Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the eastern barbarians") Iemitsu TOKUGAWA and became daimyo under his patronage, a phenomenon that the territory of the branch line of the Kutsuki family was larger than that of the main line took place.