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Ko Morofuyu, a key figure in the service of the first Ashikaga Shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, held crucial administrative and military roles in various provinces. Initially serving as the administrative governor of Mikawa Province (Aichi Prefecture) and the military governor of Musashi Province (Saitama Prefecture), he later assumed the governorship of Ise (Mie Prefecture). To ensure clan stability, he was adopted by his cousin, Ko Moronao.

During the Nanboku-cho period, characterized by the division of the Imperial court into Northern and Southern factions, Morofuyu aligned with the Northern court. He actively participated in actions against the court noble Kitabatake Akiie in Aonohara, Mono (Gifu Prefecture) alongside his cousin. In 1339, he became a direct councilor to the Shogun’s son and future shogun Ashikaga Yoshiakira in the Kanto region. His military successes led to his appointment as the Governor of Musashi. Following orders to return to Kyoto, he was later assigned as the governor of Ise, where he continued to distinguish himself in battles.

In 1349, Shogun Ashikaga Takauji sent his fourth son, Motouji, to control the Kanto regions, and Morofuyu, along with Uesugi Noriaki, was tasked with supervision due to Motouji's young age. However, during the subsequent Kanno Joran civil war (1350-1351), when Uesugi and the Shogun's brother defected to the Southern Court ruled by Emperor Go-Daigo, Morofuyu left his post in Kamakura. Engaging in battle with Uesugi Noriaki near Kamakura, Morofuyu suffered defeat. Forced to retreat to Suzawa Castle in Kai Province, he faced encirclement and, on February 13, 1351, chose to perform seppuku.

 


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