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Historical Information
Located at: Tosa Province, Okō Castle
Crest(s)/Banner(s): Seven leaf creeping woodsorrel (pictured)
Talent(s): Aristocratic class
Wealthy family
Major Figure(s): Motochika, Nobuchika, Morichika

The Chōsokabe clan (長宗我部氏, Chōsokabe-uji), or the Chōsokame clan according to the Oyudono no Uenonikki, was one of the many powerful clans that was known to exist during the Warring States period. Its political power diminished after the fall of the Toyotomi family.

Their clan's origins are largely unknown and not clearly recorded. The earliest known recording of the Chōsokabe clan's existence was a samurai named Yoshitoshi, a man who existed sometime during the Heian Period. The popular theory regarding the clan's origins states that the founder was a descendant of Hata no Kawakatsu, thought to be a member of the Chinese immigrant clan within Japan. These theories postulate that it's possible that the Chōsokabe clan's founder was a descendant of Shi Huangdi. However, family records fail to clearly distinguish the link between Yoshitoshi and the Hata clan due to lack of information regarding Yoshitoshi's father, so this theory is hard to support. Even so, the early family history of the clan during the Heian and Kamakura Periods lie in mystery. There is no known records that so far describe this clan's early history in lengthy detail.

What is known was that the clan once called themselves the Shu or Sokabe (宗我部氏) during its early formation. Since they shared the same name of a different clan in the Kami District, the name for both clans were altered. The Sokabe named themselves after the Nagoka District and were called Chōsokabe; the Sokabe in Kami called themselves the Kōsokabe. During the Nanboku-chō Period, Nobuyoshi (the predicted clan head of the time) served under Ashikaga Takauji. He was ordered with other retainers to fight against the southern court in Tosa. Control of the province was granted to the Hosokawa clan, and the Chōsokabe clan faced extinction during the early years of the Warring States period. The sole heir, Kunichika, fled to safety within the Ichijo clan. With their help, the Chōsokabe family name was reestablished.

When the ruling governor of Tosa, Hosokawa Masatomo, was assassinated in 1507, the land was without a governor. The seven prominent clans of the time eyed for the right to reign in an uneasy stalemate. Each clan fought for their part of Shikoku and helped one another to oust the Hosokawa's influence from spreading across the island. These clans in Tosa include the Chōsokabe, the Kōsokabe, the Yamada, the Motoyama, the Aki, the Tsuno, the Kira, and the Ichijo. Among them the Ichijo held the most wealth and property, unofficially assuming the right. However, Motochika turned the tides by strategically defeating his rivals and uniting the island. It's commonly assumed he and his clan became the rulers of the island, although his method of conquest is frequently disputed.

Motochika defended the island against the Oda and Hashiba invasions, but surrendered to the invaders on the second attempt. Due to losing his eldest son to war, his fourth son, Morichika, was the one to succeed him after his death. At the time, the tensions for Sekigahara were on the rise. Morichika initially wanted to side with Tokugawa Ieyasu, but stayed within Ishida Mitsunari's leadership due to his secret messenger's capture. When Osaka Castle fell, Morichika and his offspring were killed or executed. Ergo, the clan's political influence had ended with the Toyotomi's fall.

Survivors of the Chōsokabe's bloodline purportedly existed in the Edo Period. Whether this is true or not is unknown.

Clan Heads[]

  1. Yoshitoshi
  2. Toshimune
  3. Tadatoshi
  4. Shigeuji
  5. Yukiuji
  6. Mitsuyuki
  7. Kanemitsu
  8. Shigetoshi
  9. Shigetaka
  10. Shigemune
  11. Nobuyoshi
  12. Kaneyoshi
  13. Kanetsuna
  14. Yoshishige
  15. Fumikane
  16. Motokado
  17. Katsuchika
  18. Kanetsugu
  19. Kunichika
  20. Motochika
  21. Morichika

Other Figures[]

  • Chikasada (Kira Chikasada) - Kunichika's second son. Shared his first battle with his eldest brother, Motochika, at Nagahama. Adopted into Kira clan on brother's orders and became a family retainer. Helped his brother's fight against the Ichijo clan until he died of illness in 1576.
  • Yashichirō (Kōsokabe Chikayasu)- Kunichika's third son. On his father's orders, he became Kōsokabe Chikahide's adopted son and family retainer to the Chōsokabe. Temporarily allied with Nobunaga due to family ties on wife's side. Chikayasu's location helped Oda's invasion for Shikoku. Defected during Hideyoshi's invasion to return to his homeland. Later served in the Korean Invasion but died whilst in service during 1593.
  • Shima Chikamasu - Kunichika's fourth son. Became a part of the Shima clan to appease demands for an heir. Known as a brave warrior who fought in Motochika's campaign to quell the Motoyama clan. Succumbed to illness in spring 1571 and was sent to recover at Kaifune Castle. However, the castle was sieged by Kaifu Tomomitsu. Chikamasu was killed during the attack. Upon learning of his younger brother's death, Motochika sought to avenge him and angrily took the castle back from Tomomitsu four years later.
  • Nobuchika - Motochika's eldest son. Heavily romanticized as a tall, heroic and beautiful man in the dubiously accurate gunki-monogatari, Tosa Monogatari. The narrative states that the "Nobu" in his name is an homage to the Chōsokabe's attempts to befriend Nobunaga. Nobuchika in the story was a well mannered and intelligent child, one who even Nobunaga wanted as his heir, and was the apple of his father's eye. Historically supported his father's campaigns until his death during the Battle of Hetsugigawa. He was twenty-two years old. Luis Frois wrote that he could have been a possible Christian.
  • Kagawa Chikazu - Motochika's second son. Adopted into Kagawa family so the family could obtain political influence in Shikoku. After Motochika's surrender to Hideyoshi, Chikazu was sent as a political hostage to Yamatokōriyama before he was allowed to return a year later. After Nobuchika's death, Hideyoshi advised Motochika to make Chikazu his heir. Motochika refused the proposal and favored Morichika. Chikazu went into a state of shock and died of illness at the young age of 22. Also speculated to have starved himself due to being cut off from family inheritance or that he was assassinated.
  • Magojirō (Tsuno Chikatada) - Motochika's third son. Adopted into Tsuno clan to end aggressions between Motochika and his adopted father, Tsuno Katsuoki. Became Tsuno family successor and led the clan after Katsuoki's death. Became a political hostage to Hideyoshi after the second Shikoku invasion. After Nobuchika's death, Chikatada earned his father's disapproval by befriending Hisatake Chikano and Tōdō Takatora and was imprisoned by him. Mysteriously killed or assassinated the month after Sekigahara. Legends states that Morichika killed his older brother due to his ties to Takatora, although there isn't much historical evidence to support this story.
  • Name unknown - Motochika's fifth son. Mother was Koshōshō. Only listed by his title, Inner Bureaucrat of the Right (右近大夫). Raised Morichika's grandson, Moritane. Served Katō Kiyomasa during Sekigahara but was ordered to commit suicide due to claims that he helped Morichika.
  • Yasutoyo - Motochika's youngest son. Served under Morichika's command at Osaka and is said to have escaped death. Afterwards he went into hiding using the name Adachi Shichizaemon. Served under Sakai Tadayoshi for a meager salary. Suspiciously named only in Edo Period records and fiction, so historical authenticity of his name and existence are debatable.
  • Moritsune - Morichika's eldest son. Died at Fushimi Castle.
  • Moritaka - Morichika's second son. Fled from Tosa but was executed by Yamauchi clan.
  • Morinobu - Morichika's third son. Shared the same fate as Moritaka.
  • Morisada - Morichika's fourth son. Tried to flee the capital but was caught and executed.
  • Bō - Morichika's fifth son. Shared the same fate as Morisada.


  • Daughter of Saitō clan - Kunichika's wife, Motochika's mother. Known under the pseudonym Shōhō
  • Motoyama Shigetoki's wife - Kunichika's eldest daughter
  • Ike Yorikazu's wife - Kunichika's second daughter
  • Hakawa Kiyomune's wife - Kunichika's third daughter
  • Motochika Fuujin - Motochika's wife. Real name and identity unclear. Postulated to either be Ishigai Terumasa's daughter or Saitō Toshimitsu's younger sister. Also speculated to have been a concubine to various historical figures. Married Motochika when he was twenty-five either when they first met in the capital or when they were introduced to one another by Ishigai Yoritoki. Died due to unknown causes in 1583. Known as Nana due to historical novel, Natsukusa no Bu. In the same narrative she is Toshimitsu's sister, and her marriage to Motochika led to his friendship with Akechi Mitsuhide during the Oda Shikoku invasion.
  • Koshōshō - Motochika's concubine.
  • Ichijō Tadamasa's wife - Motochika's eldest daughter
  • Kira Chikazane's wife - Motochika's second daughter
  • Satake Chikanao's wife - Motochika's third daughter
  • Yoshimatsu Jyuzaemon's wife - Motochika's youngest daughter
  • Nobuchika's daughter - Morichika's wife

Major Vassals[]

  • Yoshida Takayori
  • Yoshida Sadashige
  • Yoshida Shigetoshi
  • Yoshida Shigeyasu
  • Yoshida Masashige
  • Fukudome Chikamasa
  • Fukudome Yoshishige
  • Fukudome Masachika
  • Ōnishi Yorikane
  • Hewa Chikatake
  • Toyonaga Katsumoto
  • Hiyuu
  • Hagawa Kiyomune
  • Hagawa Senemon
  • Hagawa Saemon
  • Hisatake Chikanobu
  • Kuwana Yoshinari
  • Kagawa Yukikage
  • Emura Chikaie
  • Emura Chikatoshi
  • Kumon Shigetada
  • Hosokawa Sadasuke
  • Nakajima Shigefusa
  • Fujioka Kensuke
  • Hirota Nobuyasu
  • Hiroi Toshimasa
  • Hagi Nooribe
  • Hatakeyama Sanetada
  • Haguchi Chokujo


External Links[]