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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Hosokawa Takakuni now became kwanryo


Takakuni now became kwanryo, exercising his authority with a high hand. Then the Sumimoto branch of the Hosokawa, taking advantage of Ouchi's absence, mustered a force in Shikoku and moved against Kyoto. Takakuni found himself in a difficult position. In the capital his overbearing conduct had alienated the shogun, Yoshitane, and from the south a hostile army was approaching. He chose Hyogo for battle-field, and, after a stout fight, was discomfited and fled to Omi, the position of kwanryo being bestowed on his rival, Sumimoto, by the shogun. In a few months, however, Takakuni, in alliance with the Rokkaku branch of the Sasaki family under Sadayori, marched into Kyoto in overwhelming force. Miyoshi Nagateru retired to Chion-in, where he committed suicide; Sumimoto fled to Awa, dying there a few months later, and Yoshitane, after brief refuge in the island of Awaji, died in Awa, in 1523. Thus, Hosokawa Takakuni found himself supreme in Kyoto, and he proceeded to appoint a shogun, without awaiting the demise of Yoshitane. Yoshizumi, the eleventh shogun, who, as related above, fled from Kyoto in 1508, dying three years later in exile, left two sons: Yoshiharu, whom he committed to the charge of Akamatsu Yoshimura, and Yoshikore, whom he entrusted to Hosokawa Sumimoto. In 1521, Takakuni invited Yoshiharu, then eleven years old, to the capital and procured his nomination to the shogunate.


From this time forward

the confusion grows worse confounded. The Miyoshi of Awa are found in co-operation with Yanamoto Kataharu espousing the cause of the shogun's younger brother, Yoshikore, and of Harumoto, a son of Hosokawa Sumimoto. We see this combination expelling Yoshiharu and Takakuni from Kyoto, and we see the fugitives vainly essaying to reverse the situation. Thereafter, during several years, there is practically no government in the capital. Riot and insurrection are daily features, and brigandage prevails unchecked. Kataharu, though not holding the office of kwanryo, usurps its functions so ostentatiously that the assassin's dagger is turned against him. Again the two Hosokawa chiefs, Takakuni and Harumoto, fight for power, and, in 1531, Takakuni is killed, Harumoto becoming supreme. Soon the Miyoshi brothers, Motonaga and Masanaga, engage in a fierce quarrel about their inheritance, and the former, with Yoshikore as candidate for the shogunate and Hatakeyama as auxiliary, raises the standard against Harumoto, who, aided by the soldier-priests of Hongwan-ji, kills both Yoshitaka and Motonaga and takes Yoshikore prisoner. Thereafter, Harumoto quarrels with the Hongwan-ji bonzes, and being attacked by them, obtains the aid of Rokkaku Sadayori and the Nichiren priests, with the result that the splendid fane of Hongwan-ji is reduced to ashes. A reconciliation is then effected between Harumoto and the shogun, Yoshiharu, while Miyoshi Masanaga is appointed to high office. Yet once more the untiring Takakuni, aided by Miyoshi Norinaga, Motonaga's son, called also Chokei, drives Yoshiharu and Harumoto from the metropolis, and presently a reconciliation is effected by the good offices of Rokkaku Sadayori, the real power of the kwanryo being thenceforth exercised by the Miyoshi family. Japanese historians have well called it an age of anarchy.

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