Serving Indolently or Well…

“If a man who serves indolently and a man who serves well are treated in the same way, the man who serves well may begin to wonder why he does so.”

Asakura Toshikage (1428 to 1481)

Asakura Toshikage was the Daimyo of Echizen, a province on the Japan Seas coastline. Like many of the lords of the Sengoku (warring states) period, Asakura endeavoured to strengthen his domain administratively as well as militarily.

Toshikage initially supported the Yamana in the Ônin War but switched his loyalties to the Hosokawa in 1471, a move that was coupled with a break from his nominal lords, the Shiba shugo family. The following year he defeated the Kai family of Echizen and became the de facto ruler of that province. He aided Togashi Masachika in his efforts to restore Togashi authority in the politically confused Kaga province (1473).

His hold on Echizen was cemented with his defeat of the Shiba at Kôfukuji in 1479. He died on 8/21/1481 and was succeeded by his eldest son Ujikage. Toshikage composed the Toshikage Jushichikajo, one of the earlier and most straight-forward Sengoku Period house codes. He established the Asakura capital at Ichijô no dani, which in some ways foreshadowed the castle towns of the Edo Period.

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