Chōsokabe Motochika

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Chōsokabe Motochika

Chōsokabe Motochika(長宗我部 元親, 1539 – July 11, 1599) [1] was a Japanese Sengoku-period daimyō . His childhood name was Yasaburō (弥三郎).

Sengoku period Period in Imperial Japan

The Sengoku period is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China. It was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under the Ashikaga shogunate, and came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu.

<i>Daimyō</i> powerful territorial lord in pre-modern Japan

The daimyō were powerful Japanese feudal lords who, until their decline in the early Meiji period, ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings. In the term, dai (大) means "large", and myō stands for myōden(名田), meaning private land.


Early life

He was the 21st chief of the Chōsokabe clan of Tosa Province (present-day Kōchi Prefecture). He was the son and heir of Chōsokabe Kunichika and his mother was a daughter of the Saitō clan of Mino Province.

Chōsokabe clan noble family

Chōsokabe clan, also known as Chōsokame (長曾我部、長宗我部), was a Japanese samurai kin group. Over time, they were known for serving the Hosokawa clan, then the Miyoshi clan and then the Ichijo clan.

Tosa Province province of Japan

Tosa Province is a former province of Japan in the area that is today Kōchi Prefecture on Shikoku. Tosa was bordered by Iyo and Awa Provinces. It was sometimes called Doshū (土州).

Kōchi Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Kōchi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.

In the 1562 Battle of Asakura Chosakabe Motochika defeated Motoyama Shigetoki and gained control of Shikoku Island. He then went on to take Aki Castle in the 1569 Siege of Aki. In the 1575 Battle of Shimantogawa, he defeated the Ichijo family. [2]

Battle of Watarigawa and Conflict with Hideyoshi

In 1575, Motochika was victorious at the Battle of Watarigawa, gaining control of Tosa Province. Over the ensuing decade, he extended his power to all of Shikoku.

Shikoku smallest of the four main islands of Japan

Shikoku is one of the four main islands of Japan. Shikoku is the smallest and least populous of the main islands, located south of Honshu and east of Kyushu. Shikoku's ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima (伊予之二名島), Iyo-shima (伊予島), and Futana-shima (二名島), and its current name refers to the four former provinces that made up the island: Awa, Tosa, Sanuki, and Iyo.

This included the 1582 Battle of Nakatomigawa and the Battle of Hikita. However, in 1585, Hashiba (later Toyotomi) Hideyoshi invaded that island [2] :233,236,241 with a force of 100,000 men, led by Ukita Hideie, Kobayakawa Takakage, Kikkawa Motonaga, Hashiba Hidenaga, and Hashiba Hidetsugu. Motochika surrendered, and forfeited Awa, Sanuki, and Iyo Provinces; Hideyoshi permitted him to retain Tosa.

The Battle of Nakatomigawa (中富川の戦い) was fought on August 27 to August 28 of 1582 on Shikoku island between the Chōsokabe clan and the Miyoshi clan. The armies met on the banks of the Nakatomigawa on the 27th, with the Chōsokabe army of 23,000 men enjoying a clear numerical superiority. The next day Chōsokabe Motochika sent 20,000 of his men against the Miyoshi army across the river and after fierce fighting the Miyoshi were defeated suffering 800 dead and the Chōsokabe 600 casualties.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Japanese daimyo, warrior, general and politician

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a preeminent daimyō, warrior, general, samurai, and politician of the Sengoku period who is regarded as Japan's second "great unifier". He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Warring Lords period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle. After his death, his young son Hideyori was displaced by Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Invasion of Shikoku (1585)

In the 1585 invasion of Shikoku, Toyotomi Hideyoshi seized Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands, from Chōsokabe Motochika.

Service under Hideyoshi

Under Hideyoshi, Motochika and his son Nobuchika participated in the invasion of neighboring Kyūshū, in which Nobuchika died. In 1590, Motochika led a fleet in the Siege of Odawara, the Siege of Shimoda, and also fought in the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592.

In 1596 the Spanish ship San Felipe was wrecked in Chōsokabe territory while en route from Manila to Acapulco. Motochika seized the cargo of the ship, and the incident escalated all the way up to Hideyoshi, leading to the crucifixion of 26 Christians in Nagasaki, the first lethal persecution of Christians by the state in Japan.


Motochika died in 1599 at age 60 at his mansion in Fushimi. His successor was Chōsokabe Morichika.


He is a playable character in Pokémon Conquest (Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition in Japan), with his partner Pokémon being Dewott and Samurott. [3]

Motochika is a playable character from Samurai Warriors 2 Xtreme Legends onwards, where he wields a shamisen, he continuously calls himself as "The Bat King", due to Nobunaga historically referring to him as a "the bat who refuses to fly away from its home". [4]

Motochika is also a playable character in the Sony PlayStation game, Sengoku Basara where he wields an anchor and appears as a pirate. He also appears in the anime adaptation of the game Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings.

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  1. 亀岡龍太 (December 11, 2010). "" [Chōsokabe clan documents on display at Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives beginning on the 11th] (in Japanese). My Town. Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  2. 1 2 Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 216,218,227. ISBN   1854095234.
  3. "Motochika + Dewott - Pokemon Conquest characters". Pokemon. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  4. "Characters in SW2 xtreme legend".