THE HISTORIOGRAPHICAL INSTITUTE THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO
98. ASHIKAGA TADAFUYU'S CALL FOR ARMED SERVICE, 1350
(Okamoto docs. ; also KK, VII; SK, XVI; Dai Ni-hon shi-ryo, VI, xiv, 43. )
AFTER a decade of undoubted supremacy, the Northern party at Kyoto was suddenly rent by an
internal dissention. The Ko brothers, the powerful lieutenants of the sho-gun Takauji, playing upon
the latter's good nature, succeeded in estranging him from his younger brother Tadayoshi, upon
whose capable cooperation the success of the shogunate had largely depended. This event at once
wrought a cleavage among the immediate followers of the Ashikaga, with serious consequences.
The first development was the flight of Tadafuyu to northern Kyu-shu in October 1350. Tadafuyu,
the son of Takauji and adopted son of Tadayoshi, had been holding the important post of the
tan-dai at Nagato, that is, the sho-gun's deputy for the western kuni of the Main Island, when he
was suddenly attacked by partisans of the Ko and ousted from his strong position. Takauji was
induced to repudiate Tadafuyu as a rebel, and to order the great warriors in Kyu-shu to despatch
him if would not take the tonsure and retire.1 The intriguing Ko could, however, hardly have
forseen the turn of evants in Kyu-shu which followed Tadafuyu's entry and his condemnation.
He at once allied himself with the Shoni, took Chikuzen and parts of other kuni, overshadowed
the tan-dai Isshiki, and was joined even bt supporters of the Southern Court, not only in north
and middle Kyu-shu, but also in Hiuga and Osumi. It should be noted that the action of these men
was not, of course, owing so much to any belief on their part that Tadafuyu had conceived a
sudden devotion toward the Court at Yoshino, as to their common opposition to his enemies in
the island. Conspicuous among the latter was the lord of Shimadzu. From this fact resulted also
the singular spectacle of Hatakeyama Nao-aki, the sho-gun's representative in Hiuga, parting hands
with his logical comrade in arms, Shimadzu Sadahisa, and going over to Tadafuyu. Here, again,
the reason was largely personal: Sadahisa had always looked askance at Nao-aki, regarding him in
the light of an ambitious intruder seeking to undo the prestige his family had patiently and with
still partial success built up; it was Sadahisa's hostility to Tadafuyu that drove Nao-aki to alle-
giance to the latter. And for similar reasons Nao-aki was joined, though not heartily, by the
Kimotsuki and others of the Southern party, whose bitter enemy he had been till the day before.
Shimadzu Sadahisa who, owing to the recent rebellion of Nirei Yorinaka at Shibushi, had been
compelled to order the already reluctant warriors in Satsuma to serve also in Osumi,2 now found
himself under the new circumstances in a more serious predicament than before. The ranks of his
supporters seemed daily to grow thinner through defection.
In the meantime, Tadafuyu conducted himself as the general director of the military affairs of
Kyu-shu,3 and summoned to his side men in all parts of the island, winning an increasingly large
following. Below is an illustration of the breif calls he sent out broadcast. It will be seen that he
openly avowed his devotion to his fathers by birth and by adoption, as if to say that he had their
true interest at heart but was opposed solely to the intrigues of the Ko brothers.
"In order to rest the minds of the two lords,4 [Tadafuyu] has started [his mili-
tary enterprise]. It is hereby commanded that you shall speedily hasten to his side
and render loyal service.
"Jo-wa 6 y. 11 m. 20 d. [19 December 1350]. (Tadafuyu's monogram. )
"Shibuya Kuro5 dono. "
1Letters by Takauji and by Ko no Moronao: Dai Ni-hon shi-ryo, VI, xii, 1002-1003; xiii, 8,
2Sadahisa's letters to the Shigehisa, 6 m. and 11 m. 16 d. : SK, XVI.
3According to the Tai-hei ki, Tadafuyu received, on 24 November, an imperial mandate to
punish the Ko brothers, and was appointed Commander of Kyu-shu.
4Takauji and Tadayoshi. 5Okamoto Shigeoki.