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Chosokabe Kunichika

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  • Birth: 1504
  • Death: 1560
  • Titles: Shinano no kami
  • Sons: Sons: Motochika, Kosokabe Chikayasu, (Kira) Chikasada, (Shima) Chikamasu
  • Japanese: 長宗我部 国親 (Chousokabe Kunichika)


Kunichika was the son of Chôsokabe Kanetsugu. His father was attacked by the Motoyama in 1508. Okô castle fell and Kanetsugu was captured and killed after attempting to flee. However, he had earlier sent Kunichika, then 4 years old, to Ichijô Fusaie. According to the Chôgen monogatari, about three years later Ichijô Fusaie is said to have offered the young Kunichika a deal: he proposed, after a bit of drinking, that if Kunichika were to jump off side of the castle they were presently sitting on, he would help retake Okô. To his great surpirse, Kunichika promptly lept off the edge, an act of fearlessness that moved the Ichijô men who saw it. Around 1518 the Ichijô secured Okô and handed it over to Kunichika. Nominally a vassal of the Ichijô, he strengthened his position on the Kôchi Plain through alliances, timely aggression, and adoptions into other families. Kunichika clashed with his long-time rivals the Motoyama family (who had contributed to the fall of Kanetsugu in 1508) around Nagahama Castle in June 1560 at the Battle of Tonomoto. Although he died of illness shortly thereafter (8 July), he was able to leave the clan to his son Motochika secure with the knowledge of his courage and leadership ability on the battlefield.

References

  • Initial text from Sengoku Biographical Dictionary (Samurai-Archives.com) FWSeal & CEWest, 2005
  • Jinbutsu Tanbô・Nihon no Rekishi V.5, Sengoku no Bushô (人物探訪・日本の歴史(5)戦国の武将) Tokyo, Japan, 1982.
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