Matsui Munenobu (松井宗信)

Munenobu MATSUI (date of birth unknown - June 22, 1560) was a Kokujin (local ruling family) who lived in Totoumi Province.
Saemon no jo (third-ranked officer of the Left Division of Outer Palace Guards)
Hyobu shoyu (junior assistant minister of the Hyobusho Ministry of War)
Castellan of Futamata Castle in Totoumi Province
He was a son of Sadamune MATSUI.

Brief ancestral history
The patriarch of the Matsui clan was MINAMOTO no Koreyoshi (Matsui kanja) who was a son of MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi of Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan), a Rokujo Hankan (the Rokujo office of Judicial Chief) and the clan was living in Yamashiro Province (it is said that their origin was Saiin Matsui, Kadono no kori, Yamashiro Province) as Gokenin (a lower-ranking vassal in the Kamakura and Edo periods) worked for the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) during the Kamakura period. After that, during the Kenmu period, Hachirosukemune MATSUI who was a Gokenin of Yamashiro Province took the side of Takauji ASHIKAGA and belonged to the Shogun Norikuni IMAGAWA, then received Hanashi so of Suruga Province in 1338 and served the Imagawa clan, Suruga shugo (military governor). His eison (descendant), Sadamune MATSUI was given Futamata Castle of Totoumi Province and became a kokujin in Totoumi Province. The position of castellan of Futamata Castle was transferred to Sadamune MATSUI's progeny, Nobushige MATSUI, then his second son, Munenobu.

It is assumed that Munenobu took over the family estate and the position of castellan of Futamata Castle in 1529 when his older brother, Nobushige MATSUI was died of illness. He has been serving as retainer for three generations of the Imagawa clan: Ujiteru IMAGAWA, Yoshimoto IMAGAWA and Ujizane IMAGAWA and acted as Sunpu zaibanshu (castle guards of Sunpu), also fought in various regions following the Imagawa clan's military tactics, then Ujizane IMAGAWA gave him a position of Daikanshiki (a local administrator) in 1559.

Battle of Okehazama
In 1560, he joined the military expedition to Owari Province with Yoshimoto IMAGAWA and the party led by Munenobu was deployed near the main unit. It is said that when Nobunaga ODA's army attacked, Munenobu's party struggled to protect the main unit and most of them were killed.

Subsequent Matsui clan
After the death of Munenobu, Munechika MATSUI who was a son of Nobushige MATSUI took over as castellan of Futamata Castle, but the fact that he was a husband to the older sister of Tsuratatsu IO who was castellan of Hamamatsu Castle caused him harm. Munechika was suspected of opposition intention and lured to be killed in Sunpu. Munenobu's son, Munetsune MATSUI replaced him.

While the Imagawa clan was losing their grip, the Tokugawa clan attained independence in Mikawa Province and the Takeda clan in Kai Province began to invade Totoumi Province and Suruga Province, respectively. Under these circumstances, the Matsui clan was divided by the confrontation over the political differences. A son of Muneyasu MATSUI who was allied to Munenobu, Munenao MATSUI submitted himself to Ieyasu TOKUGAWA in Futamata Castle in 1568, but capitulated to Shingen TAKEDA who attacked in 1572, after which he belonged to the Shogun Nobushige YODA. However, Nobushige YODA gradually took the side of Ieyasu as the Takeda clan was going to ruin and the Enshu-Matsui clan who were lineal descendants of Munenao MATSUI seemed to have returned to service of the Tokugawa clan, thereafter, the Enshu-Matsui clan received credit during the Battle of Joshu-Marukogawara and became the Matsui clan of Tokugawa jikisan (direct subordinate of Tokugawa) and Hatamoto (direct retainer of the shogun).

But, the Mikawa-Matsui clan (Yasuchika MATSUDAIRA line) became Fudai daimyo (hereditary feudal lord), maybe because of this, they are not addressed as families of Tameyoshi of the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan) in "Kansei Choshushokafu."

Chuko no so (the founder of a renaissance)
Later, Munenobu was called 'Chuko no so, the Matsui clan of Totomi Province' with respect for his faithfulness since he contributed to the prime of the Imagawa clan as castellan of Futamata Castle and fiercely defended his lord while being killed in the Battle of Okehazama. Currently, his tombstones are located in the Chofuku-ji Temple (Midori Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture) which is the site of the historic battlefield, Okehazama and in Tenryu-in Temple (Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture).

Iwane MATSUI, Empire of Japan full general was a descendant of the Matsui clan and it is said that he often visited the tombstones to pay his respects to the ancestors, particularly Munenobu.