Dodo Tsunaie (百々綱家)

Tsunaie DODO (c. 1548 - 1609) was a military commander in the period ranging from the period of warring states to the Edo period. He served for Nobunaga ODA and Hidenobu ODA and was invited by Kazutoyo YAMANOUCHI after the battle of Sekigahara was over. His personal name was Yasunobu and Yasuyuki. The name of his official title was the governor of Echizen Province. He was familiar with the techniques of open battle and the construction of a castle.


The Uda-Genji (Minamoto clan) and the Omi-Kyogoku clan. He was a younger brother of Hidetsuna KYOGOKU.
MINAMOTO no Tsunaie
He had a house in Dodo Village, Inukami Country, Omi Province, so he was called Dodo dono (Master Dodo). He was born in 1548. Morizane (Morimichi) DODO, who was the keeper of Sawayama-jo Castle and belonged to the Asai clan, may have been from the same family (there is a theory that Tsunaie may have been born in 1546).

At that time, as the Kyogoku clan, who continued to serve in the position of the Provincial Constable of Omi Province, had weakened due to disputes over succession, he belonged to the Asai clan in Omi, which was in the line of their vassal. After Nagamasa ASAI lost the Battle of Anegawa against Nobunaga ODA in June 1570, he served Nobunaga and worked to safeguard a barrier located in Suruhari-toge Pass where Nakasen-do Road and Hokkoku Kaido Road were merged.

After Nobunaga was killed in the Honnoji Incident in 1582, he joined the camp of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and distinguished himself in the Battle of Yamasaki. Then, since he was directed by Hideyoshi to act as a guardian for Nobunaga's legitimate grandson Sanboshi (he was two years old at that time, staying in Gifu Castle, and grown to Hidenobu ODA), he entered the castle, and became a chief retainer afterward. Around that time, he had territories that yielded 11,000 koku in rice including a local governor territory vested to him.

In 1592 when the Bunroku-Keicho War occurred, Tsunaie crossed the ocean to reach Korea, leading six thousand soldiers as a representative of Hidenobu ODA who was twelve years old.

In the battle of Sekigahara occurred in 1600, Hidenobu was supporting the West squad; Tsunaie advised him to take the side of the East squad rather than the West squad, but he would not listen to Tsunaie's advice. In the Komeno War, Tsunaie set up a camp in Komeno and fought hard enough to give a tough time to the East squad, directing 2500 soldiers together with Nagasuke IINUMA and Tozaemon TSUDA--but were forced to pull back, as they were threatened with losing the war due to the enemies size being five times their own. In this incident, he served as a leader and left an accomplished record. Afterward, he determined to hold Gifu-jo Castle, but he surrendered the castle to the enemy in accordance with Masanori FUKUSHIMA's advice. For punishment, Hidenobu was expelled to Mt. Koya, and Tsunaie was ordered to be placed under house arrest in Kyoto.

After the battle of Sekigahara, Tsunaie led a life of masterless samurai for a while. Kazutoyo YAMANOUCHI acting as the lord of Tosa Domain sent Ieyasu a request asking 'to relieve the governor of Echizen Province from the confinement,' which was accepted, and Tsunaie was invited to take the position of the magistrate of building a castle which yielded 7,000 koku in rice. The name 'Echizen-cho' in the west of Kochi-jo Castle, still exists, signifying the name of his official position. Tsunaie built 'Kochi-jo Castle' in a marsh called 'Kawachi' using the techniques of a masonry group 'Anoshu' in Sakamoto (Otsu City), Omi Province; and also made a long trip to Edo-jo Castle to repair the stonewalls in 1601.

After Kazutoyo died, he served Tadayoshi YAMANOUCHI. In 1609 when Tsunaie was acting as grand magistrate for the construction of Kochi-jo Castle in Tosa Province, the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) began with the construction of Shinoyama-jo Castle in Tanba Province with an aim to demonstrate their power to the western part of Japan and use it as the residing castle of Yasushige MATSUDAIRA (believed to be Ieyasu TOKUGAWA's illegitimate child); Tsunaie left for Tanba Province to assist the construction of the stonewalls headed 2,000 soldiers. However, Tsunaie fell ill due to stresses and returned to Kyoto where he passed away. He was sixty-three years old.

Regarding his offspring, the governor of Izumo Province Naoyasu DODO and the successive heirs of the Dodo family served the Yamanouchi family. Koshiro-masakiyo YOSHIDA, who was a horse guard of Tosa Domain and the father of Toyo YOSHIDA, a politician of Tosa Domain, was a son-in-law of the Yoshida family from the Dodo family.

Famous castle construction techniques

In 'Shinsen-minoshi' (Newly Edited Annals of Mino Province) written by Bunen OKADA in the late Edo period, there is a statement that 'Dodo Echizen no kami, a retainer of associate chief of the councilor of state Hidenobu, was conferred a family name Dodo because he stayed here.'
In some of recent 'gazetteers,' there is a description about the highest mountain in Gifu City that 'the mountain was given a name Dodogamine because the castle where the governor of Echizen Province used to live existed there,' and such episode may have been told from his aspect that 'He is a mater of castle construction.'
Some of gazetteers tell 'the governor of Echizen Province is missing after Gifu-jo Castle was surrendered'--but he was involved in the construction of Kochi-jo Castle, Edo-jo Castle and Shinoyama-jo Castle as a 'mater of castle construction.'
There is a bridge called Dodo-bashi Bridge in the site of Azuchi-jo Castle, which tells that he had the techniques of bridge construction.

Masonry group called 'Anoshu'

Methods of constructing castle's stonewalls are:
Nomen-zumi': Stacking natural stones as they are;
Uchiawase-hagi': Cutting natural stones roughly before stacking; and
Kirikomi-hagi': Cutting natural stones thoroughly into shape before stacking. It is believed that 'Anoshu' who were living in Sakamoto located at the bottom of Mt. Hiei were from Korea and technically excelled at constructing stonewalls for strength and great water drainage rather than for appearance, using various sized natural stones as they were. After they developed their techniques through construction, first, Kofun (tumulus) in the sixth to seventh centuries, and then stonewalls of Enryaku-ji Temple and stonewalls and stone pagodas of small village temples, they got involved in the construction of the stonewalls of Osaka-jo Castle, Jurakudai residence and Fushimi-jo Castle, and it is supposed that Tsunaie got help and assistance from such professional groups.