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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

The Yamana chief readily assented


justify;">It is necessary here

to recall the murder of the shogun Yoshinori, in 1441. That crime had resulted in the fall of the Akamatsu family, the direct agent of its overthrow being the united forces of Hosokawa, Takeda, and Yamana. There were no bonds of genuine friendship between the Hosokawa chief, Katsumoto, and Yamana Sozen. Their union was primarily due to Katsumoto's ambition. He desired to break the power of Hatakeyama Tokuhon, and with that ultimate object he courted the alliance of Sozen, giving his own daughter to the latter in marriage and himself adopting Sozen's son, Koretoyo. Thus, the two chiefs were subsequently found acting together against Tokuhon's attempt to substitute his son, albeit illegitimate, for his nephew, as heir to the Hatakeyama estates. Neither Katsumoto nor Sozen cared anything about the succession itself. Their object was simply to crush the Hatakeyama; and Sozen, who never relied on argument where force was applicable, lost no time in attacking Tokuhon and driving him from his burning mansion, as has been already stated. From the legal consequences of that violence, Sozen was saved by Katsumoto's intercession at Muromachi, and the alliance (1454) between the Hosokawa and the Yamana seemed stronger than ever. But Sozen did not greatly trust his crafty ally, with whose gifts of political strategy he was well acquainted. He suspected Katsumoto of a design to restore the fortunes of the once powerful Akamatsu family, and he began to muster forces for the great struggle which
he anticipated. Therefore it was that, in 1467, as shown above, he not only espoused the cause of Hatakeyama Yoshinari, in whom he recognized an able captain, but also championed Shiba Yoshikado.

With regard to this latter, it is necessary to recognize that he also figured in a succession dispute. The great family of Shiba being without a direct heir, a relative was appointed to the headship in 1452. This successor, Yoshitoshi, attempting to enforce the acquiescence of one of his vassals, was defeated and became a fugitive, a successor, Yoshikado, being nominated by the Shiba vassals. But a sister of the fugitive subsequently married the shogun's favourite, Ise Sadachika, and through her influence the shogun was induced (1466) to recall Yoshitoshi and to declare him rightful head of the Shiba family. Yamana Sozen, who had given his daughter in marriage to Yoshitoshi's rival, Yoshikado, immediately set a powerful army in motion for Kyoto, and the alarmed shogun (Yoshimasa) not only recognized Yoshikado and drove out Yoshitoshi, but also nominated the former to be kwanryo.

From this grievously complicated story the facts which emerge essentially and conspicuously are: first, that Yamana Sozen now occupied the position of champion to representatives of the two great families of Hatakeyama and Shiba; secondly, that the rival successors of these families looked to Hosokawa Katsumoto for aid; thirdly, that the relations between Sozen and Katsumoto had become very strained, and fourthly, that the issue at stake in every case was never more lofty than personal ambition.. The succession to the shogunate also was in dispute. Yoshimasa, being childless, desired to adopt as his heir his younger brother who had entered religion under the name of Gijin. The latter declined the honour until Yoshimasa swore that were a son subsequently born to him, it should be made a priest but never a shogun. Gijin then took the name of Yoshimi, and was for a time recognized as heir-apparent, Hosokawa Katsumoto being appointed manager (shitsuji). Presently, however, the shogun's consort, Tomi, gave birth to a boy, Yoshihisa, and the mother persuaded Yoshimasa to contrive that her son should supplant the sometime priest. Of necessity, the aid of Sozen was sought to accomplish this scheme, Katsumoto being already officially attached to Yoshimi. The Yamana chief readily assented, and thus the situation received its final element, a claimant whose right rested on a deliberately violated oath.


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