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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

The province of Tosa was governed by the Ichijo



With the island of Shikoku (four provinces) are connected the names of the Hosokawa, the Miyoshi, the Ichijo, the Chosokabe, and the Kono families. Early in the fourteenth century, the celebrated Hosokawa Yoriyuki was banished to Sanuki, and in the middle of the fifteenth century we find nearly the whole of the island under the sway of Hosokawa Katsumoto. Then, in the Daiei era (1521-1528), the Miyoshi, vassals of the Hosokawa, came upon the scene in Awa. From 1470 to 1573, the province of Tosa was governed by the Ichijo, but, in the latter year, Motochika, head of the Chosokabe, one of the seven vassal families of the Ichijo, usurped the province, and then received orders from Oda Nobunaga to conquer the other three provinces of the island in the interests of Nobunaga's son. Motochika obeyed, but on the death of Nobunaga and his son he constituted himself master of Shikoku until Hideyoshi deprived him of all save Tosa. From 1156 to 1581 the Kono family held the province of Iyo, but there is nothing of historical interest in their career.


Connected with Kyushu are the families of Shoni, Otomo, Ryuzoji, Kikuchi and Shimazu. The term "shoni" originally signified vice-governor. Its first bearer was Muto Sukeyori (Fujiwara), who received the commission of Dazai no shoni from Minamoto Yoritomo. Subsequently

it became a family name, and the Shoni are found fighting against the Mongol invaders; stoutly supporting the Southern Court; passing over to the side of the Ashikaga, and losing their places in history after the suicide of Tokihisa (1559), who had suffered repeated defeats at the hands of the Ryuzoji.

The Otomo family was a branch of the Fujiwara. One of its members, Nakahara Chikayoshi, received from Minamoto Yoritomo the office of high constable of the Dazai-fu, and to his son, Yoshinao, was given the uji of Otomo, which, as the reader knows, belonged originally to Michi no Omi, a general of the Emperor Jimmu. In Kyushu, the Otomo espoused the cause of the Northern Court, and made themselves masters of Buzen, Bungo, Chikuzen, Chikugo, Hizen, and Higo. In 1396, the head of the family--Chikayo--held the office of tandai of Kyushu. Yoshishige, commonly called Sorin (1530-1587), fought successfully with the Kikuchi and the Akizuki, and the closing years of his life were devoted to a futile struggle against the Shimazu, the Ryuzoji, and the Akizuki. He escaped disaster by obtaining succour from Hideyoshi, but the Otomo domain was reduced to the single province of Bungo.

The Ryuzoji first appear in history as vassals of the Shoni, under whose banner they fought against the Otomo, in 1506. Subsequently they became independent and established a stronghold in Hizen, which province was granted to them in fief by Hideyoshi.

The Kikuchi, a branch of the Fujiwara, held office in Kyushu from the tenth century. They are chiefly noteworthy for their gallant defence of the cause of the Southern Court. After many vicissitudes the family disappeared from history in the middle of the sixteenth century.

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