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Chosokabe Motochika (1539 – July 11, 1599) was a prominent daimyo during Japan's Sengoku period. He held the position of the 21st chief of the Chosokabe clan in Tosa Province (present-day Kochi Prefecture), establishing his rule over the Shikoku region.

Early Life and Ascension

Motochika was born to Chosokabe Kunichika and a daughter of the Saito clan of Mino Province. His childhood name was Yasaburo. Although he started as a quiet and gentle youth, he later revealed himself as a skilled and courageous warrior. His first significant battle was at the Battle of Tonomoto in 1560, where he fought valiantly, earning admiration from his father and retainers.

In 1562, he launched an attack on Asakura castle, defeating Motoyama Shigetoki and consolidating his power base on the Kochi plain through alliances with local families.

Unification of Shikoku

By 1573, Motochika's power had grown significantly. Seizing an opportunity, he marched on the Ichijo's headquarters at Nakamura, forcing Ichijo Kanesada to flee.

In 1575, at the Battle of Shimantogawa, Motochika emerged victorious, solidifying his control over Tosa Province. He then set his sights on Iyo province, facing resistance from Kono Michinao.

In 1579, Motochika's army, led by Kumu Yorinobu, clashed with Doi Kiyonaga's forces at the Battle of Mimaomote, resulting in Kumu's death. The following year, Motochika led a substantial force into Iyo Province, compelling Kono to flee.

Over the next decade, Motochika extended his power to all of Shikoku island, achieving his goal of ruling the entire region.

Conflict with Hideyoshi

In 1585, Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched an invasion of Shikoku, leading to Motochika's surrender and the loss of Awa, Sanuki, and Iyo Provinces.

Under Hideyoshi's rule, Motochika participated in various military campaigns, including the invasions of Kyushu and Korea. In 1596, a Spanish ship incident escalated into a conflict leading to the persecution of Christians in Japan.

Motochika passed away in 1599 at the age of 60. His successor was Chosokabe Morichika. In addition to his military leadership, Motochika is remembered for creating the '100-Article Code of the Chosokabe' and for his efforts in establishing economically prosperous castle towns. He transitioned from Oko to Otazaka and ultimately to Urado during his career.


See also

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  • Yamamoto Kansuke

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  • Yamaga Soko

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  • William Adams - Miura Anjin

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    William Adams, also known as Miura Anjin, holds the distinction of being one of the few non-Japanese individuals granted samurai status. Born in Gillingham, Kent, England in 1564, Adams embarked on a remarkable journey that led him to become an influential figure in Japanese history.

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  • Wakisaka Yasuharu

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  • Ukita Hideie

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    Ukita Hideie was born as the second son of Ukita Naoie, the ruler of Okayama Castle. Tragically, Hideie's father passed away when he was just nine years old, thrusting him into the responsibilities of leading the castle, clan, and domain. Prior to his father's demise, the Ukita clan had aligned with Oda Nobunaga. After Nobunaga's assassination during the Honno-ji Incident, Hideie remained loyal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, whose ties were further solidified through marriage.

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  • Uesugi Kenshin

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    Uesugi Kenshin stands out as one of the most formidable daimyo of the Sengoku period, presenting the sole substantial challenge to Oda Nobunaga's quest for dominance.

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