Shiba Clan

Shiba Clan

The Shiba clan (斯波氏 Shiba-shi) was a Japanese clan that descended from the Seiwa Genji.

Shiba Clan History

The Shiba were descended from the Minamoto and during the Muromachi period were an influential shugo family that ruled the provinces of Owari and Echizen.

However, the clan had an internal diatribe between factions during the mid-15th century and failed to maintain their Daimyō status and lost the Echizen province to the Asakura clan in 1470.

In 1550 the Shiba were represented by Shiba Yoshimune of Owari province through whom the Iwakura branch of the Oda clan ruled. Yoshimune had his abode at Kiyosu Castle.

Yoshimune was killed in 1554 by Oda Nobutomo. Shiba Yoshikane (died 1600) was the son and heir of Shiba Yoshimune.

Important members of the clan

  • Shiba Ieuji (足利家氏) son of Ashikaga Yasuuji was the first to take the name Shiba during the 13th century
  • Shiba Takatsune (斯波高経; 1305-1367) great-grandson of Ieuji, joined Ashikaga Takauji in helping him defeat the imperial army at Takemshita (Suruga), and entered Kyoto in 1335. The following year he defeated Wakiya Yoshisuke and Nitta Yoshiaki at Uryu (Settsu), then occupied the castles of Kanagasaki (Echizen) where Nitta Yoshisada had settled (1337), and of Takanosu, defended by Hata Tokiyoshi, who was killed there in 1338. After these victories the Southern Court had no more followers in Echizen and the surrounding lands. But Takatsune, after several quarrels with Takauji, supported Tadafuyu, who after being defeated took refuge in Echizen (1354). However, after the death of Takauji, Takatsune reconciled with the shōgun Yoshiakira and his son Yoshimasa was appointed Shitsuji (minister) in 1362. The peace did not last long, however: Takatsune quarreled with Sasaki Takauji and Akamatsu Norisuke. Yashiakira sent against him Sasaki Ujiyori and Hatakeyama Yoshito who besieged him in his castle of Somayama (Echizen). The siege lasted for more than a year, but eventually Takatsune died of illness.
  • Shiba Yoshimasa (斯波義将; 1350-1410) son and heir of Tukatsune received the title of shitsuji in 1362; Yoshimitsu having become shōgun (1367) assigned him the role of kanrei. Favored by the new shōgun, Yoshimasa received the government of the provinces of Echizen, Etchū, Noto, Shinano, Sado, and Wakasa. He was also known as a poet of quality.
  • Shiba Yoshitake (斯波義健; 1435-1452) died young without an heir, and his succession became a dispute between Yoshikado and Yoshitoshi.
  • Shiba Yoshikado (斯波義健?; died c. 1480) was the son of Shibukawa Yoshino. Upon Yoshitake's death, his cousin was nominated to succeed him, but the great servants of the Shiba, Kai, Asakura and Oda refused to sanction this choice and named Yoshikado. A war between the two rivals and their factions followed. In 1459, the shōgun Yoshimasa approved the appointment of Yoshikado and ordered that all the domains of the Shiba be returned to him: Yoshitoshi, without renouncing his claims, fled to Suwo. His case was argued at the court of Kyoto, and in 1466, the shōgun, repealing his first decision, recognized Yoshitoshi as the legitimate heir of Yoshitake. Yoshikado refused to submit and appealed to his father-in-law Yamana Sōzen; Yoshimasa alarmed, again abandoned Yoshitoshi and appointed Yoshikado kanrei. The following year the Ōnin civil war broke out: Yoshikado was naturally on Sōzen's side. After peace was restored (1477),he retired to Kiyosu (Owari) castle.
  • Shiba Yoshitoshi (斯波義敏; 1435-1508) son of Ōno Yoshikane, was adopted by Shiba Mochitane, Yoshitake's uncle. Upon the latter's death (1452), the Shiba family appointed Yoshitoshi as its successor, but the Shiba's great vassals refused to recognize him and allied themselves to block his appointment; Yoshitoshi appealed to the shōgun Yoshimasa to whom the rebellious vassals sent Ise Sadachika to explain their reasons, based, they said, on Yoshitoshi's inability to lead the clan. The shōgun understood the reasons and accepted their candidate Yoshikado. Yoshitoshi retreated to Suwo to ask Ōuchi Norihiro for help. At that time, Yoshitoshi's wife's sister married Ise Sadachika, and the latter returned to the shōgun to plead the cause of his new ally. Yoshitoshi's rights were admitted (1466). Yoshikado, aided by his father-in-law, Yamana Sōzen, gathered an army and marched against Kyoto: Yoshitoshi fled north, and when civil war broke out Ōnin naturally took the side of Hosokawa Katsumoto, Sōzen's opponent (1467). In 1475 he retired to Owari, but the Oda had already occupied most of the province of which they had been shugo for several generations, and, Yoshitoshi, finding himself unable to regain his lost domains, fled to Echizen where he died.
  • Shiba Yoshitatsu (斯波義達; 1486-1569) son of Shiba Yoshihiro, faced pressure from the Imagawa clan in Tōtōmi province. He tried in vain to regain control of the vassal clans.
  • Shiba Yoshimune (斯波義統; 1513-1554) son of Yoshitatsu, was defeated by Oda Nobutomo and committed seppuku.
  • Shiba Yoshikane (斯波義統; 1540-1600) son of Yoshimune, asked for Nobunaga's help against Nobutomo. Shortly thereafter he was discovered plotting against Nobunaga and was exiled to Kawachi where he died almost destitute. With his death the Shiba clan, which had been so powerful and influential for over two centuries, ceased to exist.
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