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).

Early life[edit]

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.

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[edit]

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.

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.

Service under Hideyoshi[edit]

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.


In popular culture[edit]

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.


  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. ^ a b 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".
  • 新井政義(編集者)『日本史事典』。東京:旺文社 1987 (p. 263)