Best books online Library

Your last book:

You dont read books at this site.

Total books on site: 11 280

You can read and download its for free!

Browse books by author: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

Text on one page: Few Medium Many
So long as a high constable or a tandai was
loyal to the Bakufu, the latter received the appointed quota of
imposts; but in times of insurrection, the shugo or tandai
appropriated to his own purposes the proceeds alike of the buke-yaku
and the hyakusho-yaku.

Not merely inequalities of wealth operated to produce political
unrest. It has also to be noted that each great military family
supported a body of armed retainers whose services were at all times
available; further, we must remember that the long War of the
Dynasties had educated a wide-spread spirit of fighting, which the
debility of the Ashikaga Bakufu encouraged to action. The Onin
disturbance had its origin in disputes about inheritance. It has been
recorded that the high post of kwanryo (governor-general) in the
Muromachi polity was filled by a member of one of three families, the
Hosokawa, the Hatakeyama, and the Shiba. The Hosokawa were the most
powerful, and had for representative in the middle of the fifteenth
century an administrator, Katsumoto, who to extensive erudition and a
profound knowledge of medicine added very exceptional gifts of
statecraft and organizing ability. The Hatakeyama had for head
Mochikuni, called also Tokuhon, a man of parts; and it happened that
the rival family of Yamana was led by Mochitoyo, or Sozen, who, on
account of his powerful physique, shaved head, and peculiar
complexion, sometimes received the name of the "Red Monk"
(Aka-nyudo).

Tokuhon being without a legitimate son, adopted his nephew, Masanaga,
but subsequently desired to secure the succession to Yoshinari, a son
borne to him by a concubine. This change was not viewed with
equanimity by all the vassals of Tokuhon, and to solve the problem
the latter appealed to the shogun, Yoshimasa, who authorized the
death of Masanaga. Tokuhon, in his capacity of kwanryo, naturally had
much weight with the shogun, but Yoshimasa's conduct on that occasion
must be attributed mainly to a laisser-aller mood which he had then
developed, and which impelled him to follow the example set by the
Imperial Court in earlier times by leaving the military families in
the provinces to fight their own battles. Masanaga sought succour
from Hosokawa Katsumoto, and that magnate, welcoming the opportunity
of avenging an old injury at the hands of the Hatakeyama, laid siege
to the mansion of Tokuhon, who barely escaped with his life, his son,
Yoshinari, fleeing to the fortress of Wakae, in Kawachi, whence he
was presently driven by the forces of Katsumoto and Sozen, then
acting in conjunction but destined afterwards to become bitter
enemies.

The shogun, true to his complacent policy, now recognized Masanaga as
head of the house of Hatakeyama, Tokuhon having just died (1455). But
Yoshinari did not acquiesce. In 1456, he marched with a Kawachi army
against Masanaga, and a deadly struggle was barely prevented by the
intervention of the shogun. Thenceforth, the Hatakeyama became
divided into two families, Masanaga's branch being the more powerful,
but Yoshinari obtaining favour at Muromachi and being nominated
kwanryo. Owing, however, to some petty causes, the shogun's good-will
was subsequently estranged, and Yoshinari had to flee from Kyoto,
pursued by Masanaga, who now held a commission from Muromachi to kill
him. A seven-years' fight (1460-1467) ensued in Kawachi and Yamato.
Yoshinari displayed greatly superior skill as a strategist, and
finally Yamana Sozen, who had always entertained a good opinion of
him even while opposing his succession at the outset, openly espoused
Yoshinari's cause. The immediate result was that Masanaga, who had
been named kwanryo in 1464, had to give way to SOzen's nominee, Shiba
Yoshikado, and found himself in deadly peril.

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.

THE ONIN WAR

By the close of 1466, the two great protagonists, Katsumoto and
Sozen, had quietly collected in Kyoto armies estimated at 160,000 and
110,000 men, respectively. The shogun attempted to limit the area of
disturbance by ordering that the various rival inheritors should be
left to fight their own battles, and by announcing that whoever
struck the first blow in their behalf would be proclaimed a rebel.
Such injunctions were powerless, however, to restrain men like Sozen.
In February, 1467, his followers attacked the former kwanryo,
Hatakeyama Masanaga, and drove him from the capital. Katsumoto made
no move, however; he remained on the watch, confident that thus the
legitimacy of his cause would obtain recognition. In fact, the shogun
was actually under guard of the Hosokawa troops, who, being encamped
on the east and north of Muromachi, received the name of the Eastern
Army; the Yamana forces, which were massed on the west and south,
being distinguished as the Western Army.

It was evident that if either side retreated, the other would
perforce be acknowledged by the Bakufu, and both were reluctant to
put their fortunes to the final test. At length, early in July, 1467,
a petty skirmish precipitated a general engagement. It was
inconclusive, and the attitude of mutual observation was resumed. Two
months later re-enforcements reached the Western Army, and
thereafter, for nearly two years, victory rested with the Yamana. But
Katsumoto clung desperately to his position. Kyoto was reduced almost
completely to ruins, the Imperial palace, Buddhist temples, and other
mansions being laid in ashes, countless rare works of art being
destroyed, and the Court nobles and other civil officials being
compelled to flee to the provinces for shelter. A celebrated poet of
the time said that the evening lark soared over moors where formerly
there had been palaces, and in the Onin Records it is stated that the
metropolis became a den for foxes and wolves, and that Imperial
mandates and religious doctrines were alike unheeded.

At one time things looked as though the ultimate triumph must be with
Sozen. But what Katsumoto lacked in military ability he more than
compensated in statecraft. From the outset he took care to legalize
his cause by inducing the Emperor and the ex-Emperor to remove to
Muromachi, where they were guarded by the Hosokawa troops, and the
defections to which this must ultimately expose Sozen's ranks were
supplemented by fomenting in the domains of the Yamana and their
allies intrigues which necessitated a diversion of strength from the
Kyoto campaign.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | 232 | | 233 | | 234 | | 235 | | 236 | | 237 | | 238 | | 239 | | 240 | | 241 | | 242 | | 243 | | 244 | | 245 | | 246 | | 247 | | 248 | | 249 | | 250 | | 251 | | 252 | | 253 | | 254 | | 255 | | 256 | | 257 | | 258 | | 259 | | 260 | | 261 | | 262 | | 263 | | 264 | | Next |