Asakura Yoshikage

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Asakura Yoshikage
朝倉 義景
Asakura Yoshikage.jpg
5th Daimyo of the Asakura Domain
In office
Preceded by Asakura Takakage
Succeeded by None
Personal details
Born (1533-10-12)October 12, 1533
Died October 16, 1573(1573-10-16)
Relations Father:
Asakura Takakage
Daughter of Takeda Motomitsu
Daughter of Hosokawa Harumoto
In this Japanese name, the family name is Asakura.

Asakura Yoshikage (朝倉 義景?, October 12, 1533 – September 16, 1573) was a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku period (1467–1573) who ruled a part of Echizen Province in present-day Fukui Prefecture. Yoshikage's conflicts with Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582) resulted in his death and the destruction of the Asakura clan and its castle, Ichijōdani Castle.[1][2][3]

Early career[edit]

Yoshikage was born at the Asakura clan castle in Echizen Province, Ichijōdani Castle, in the present-day Kidanouchi district of Fukui, Fukui Prefecture. His father was Asakura Takakage (1493–1548) and his mother is presumed to be the daughter of Takeda Motomitsu.[3] The Asakura had displaced the Shiba clan as the shugo military commanders of part of Echizen in 1471.[1] Yoshikage succeeded his father as head of the Asakura clan and castle lord of Ichijōdani Castle in 1548.[2][4] He proved to be adept at political and diplomatic management, markedly demonstrated by the Asakura negotiations with the Ikkō-ikki in Echizen. As a result of the negotiations and effective governance by Yoshikage, Echizen enjoyed a period of relative domestic stability compared to the rest of Sengoku era Japan. Consequently, Echizen became a site for refugees fleeing the violence in the Kansai region. Ichijōdani became a center of culture modeled on the capital at Kyōto.[1]

Conflicts with Oda Nobunaga[edit]

After the capture of Kyoto, Ashikaga Yoshiaki appointed Yoshikage regent and requested Asakura aid in driving Nobunaga out of the capital.[3] As a result, Oda Nobunaga launched an invasion of Echizen. Due to Yoshikage’s lack of military skill, Oda's forces were successful at the Siege of Kanegasaki (in modern-day Tsuruga city), leaving the entire Asakura Domain open to invasion.[1][5][6]

Yoshikage benefited from the military conflicts between Azai Nagamasa (1545–1573), brother-in-law of Oda Nobunaga. Azai had launched a pincer attack strategy against Nobunaga in Kanegasaki, but the coalition of Asakura and Azai forces failed in the task of capturing Nobunaga.[3] In the Battle of Anegawa in 1570, Yoshikaga and Nagamasa were defeated by the numerically superior Tokugawa clan headed by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616).[1]


Yoshikage fled to Hiezan (Enryaku-ji, Hiei Monastery) after the Battle of Anegawa and negotiated a reconciliation with Nobunaga and was able to avoid conflict for three years.[3] Yoshikage was eventually betrayed by his cousin, Asakura Kageakira (1529–1574) in 1573. He was forced to commit suicide by seppuku at Rokubō Kenshō-ji, a temple which was located in present-day Ōno, Fukui Prefecture. He was 41 years old.[1][3] The Asakura clan was destroyed with the death of Yoshikage.[2]

Ichijōdani Asakura Family Historic Ruins[edit]

The former Asakura residence in Fukui Prefecture was excavated in 1967 and revealed the ruins of the castle, residences, and gardens of Ichijōdani. The site has been designated a Special Places of Scenic Beauty, Special Historic Sites, and an Important Cultural Properties of Japan as the Ichijōdani Asakura Family Historic Ruins. The site covers 278 hectares (690 acres).


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Asakura Yoshikage". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  2. ^ a b c "朝倉 義景" [Asakura Yoshikage]. Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (日本人名大辞典) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "朝倉 義景" [Asakura Yoshikage]. Kokushi Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 683276033. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  4. ^ "朝倉 義景" [Asakura Yoshikage]. Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  5. ^ "朝倉義景" [Asakura Yoshikage]. Dijitaru Daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  6. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1987). Battles of the Samurai. Arms and Armour Press. p. 60. ISBN 0853688265. 

External links[edit]