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Sukemasa was a former samurai under the Kyōgoku clan, but he gradually increased his power under an internal struggle within the clan. He managed to become daimyō, a powerful feudal ruler, but became engaged in a perpetual struggle against Rokkaku Sadayori. Sukemasa was completely overrun and forced to retreat into Echizen, but he managed to maintain his independence with the help of the Asakura clan. While this alliance would prove to be a curse to the Azai clan, it was essential to the clan's survival.