Table of Contents
神田千里、一向一揆と真宗信仰、吉川弘文館、東京、1991年 (Kanda Chisato, Ikkō Ikki and Shinshu Beliefs, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, Tokyo, 1991)


神田千里、一向一揆と真宗信仰、吉川弘文館、東京、1991年 (Kanda Chisato, Ikkō Ikki and Shinshu Beliefs, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, Tokyo, 1991)

「加賀一向一揆の発生」pp.241-320 (Outbreak of the Kaga Ikko Ikki, pp.241-320)

Two points brought up by the author – the first deals with the uprising in Bunmei 6, the second with the uprising against Togashi Masachika in Chōkyō 2. Both of these particular incidents are referred to as being typical examples of early ikkō ikki activity. The first scholar to question this assumption was Kinryū Shizuka. He set out to clearly define the differences between those of the Ikkō sect and those who were not in order to remove some of the ambiguities that had arisen over the differences between these groups. The necessary conditions for an ikkō ikki were that; the ikki had to be religiously and politically tied in some way to Honganji, and that a majority of the participants in the ikki had to be members of the Honganji Monto. From these two criteria, Kinryū concluded that the evidence was inconclusive, and that the ikki of both the Bunmei and Chōkyō era could not strictly be classified as `ikkō ikki`. The first `true` ikkō ikki appeared in Kaga much later (so concluded Kinryū).(241)

Tanishita Ichimu also drew out another relevant point, which was `the ikki that occurred in Kaga was primarily made up of Ikkō shū followers, hence it seems convenient to label such ikki as `ikkō ikki`. Yet if one uses this label in referral to a religious ikki, then I`m afraid the label does not fit`. Tanishita preferred to see the ikki as centered upon `bushi dogō` within Kaga, and thus helped to push along Kinryū`s thesis.(242) As far as Tanishita was concerned, he could not see how `a purely religious ikki, or ikkō ikki` could have maintained a province for one hundred years.(242) Yet Kanda challenges this assumption, stating that `where in history has there ever been a purely religious ikki?` If one becomes fixated on the ideals of a religious ikki, then one starts to examine the Kaga ikki purely from that perspective alone, which leads to a mistaken conclusion. The same applies to Kinryū`s thesis. Just before the Bunmei 6 uprising, the Monto of Kaga and Echizen disobeyed Rennyo`s orders and rebelled against other sects and against the shugo and jitō. From Kinryū`s perspective, a Monto ikki that would disobey directives from Honganji cannot be regarded as part of an ikkō ikki. Yet, says Kanda, this is to apply a very narrow definition to the content of the ikkō ikki. If one supposes that the Honganji Monto of Yoshizaki wasn`t in fact a Honganji Monto at all, and that it was an ikki organization that included many sympathizers, then one probably couldn`t describe this as an ikkō ikki. Yet Kanda believes that it is far too idealistic to imagine an ikkō ikki purely made up of Monto members only.(242-243)

Kanda thus believes it important to remember that when thinking about the early Kaga ikkō ikki, the political turmoil of the Ōnin and Bunmei eras definitely plays a role in explaining the property invasions and damage to authority carried out by the Monto.(243) It is thus Kanda`s intention to examine both the leading role and internal structure of the ikki, starting with the organization of the `gun`, in relation to both the Bunmei and Chōkyō eras, and then oversee the structure of the `kumi` both before and after the Chōkyō era.(244)

The Gun: Its character and its role

Essentially, the ikki organization of the `gun`, whose existence emerged during the Bunmei and Chōkyō eras, is quite well known. The tenth patriarch of Honganji, Shonyo, referred to four gun in his diary, the `Tenbun Nikki` - those being the gun of Enuma, Nōmi, Ishikawa, and Kahoku. A great majority of researchers would agree that the gun were included as part of Honganji`s organizational structure. On the other hand, there is a great deal of doubt about the true nature of this organization, for it is not very clear as to whom or what the gun gave its loyalties. Those theories that abound argue that the gun was 1) an organization under the shugo, 2) an organization that co-existed as part of the shugo`s apparatus and as an ikkō ikki, 3)that it was originally part of the shugo`s organization, but defected to the ikkō ikki after the Chōkyō ikki, 4) that it was an organization made up of shōen daikan, or kokujin, neither affiliated with the shugo or the ikkō ikki, 5) a union of landowners with close ties to the Ikkō shū, 6) a Honganji Monto ikki, and 7) an ikki of bugyōshū and gokenin of the Bakufu.(245)

Just by looking at the variety of theories surrounding the organization, we can see that the `gun` possessed a multi-faceted nature. There is no prospect of reaching a consensus on the nature of the gun, but by examining evidence, we can at least perceive what its different facets were.(245)

The Ishida/Kanda debate:

The first piece of evidence related to the gun and Honganji involves Nukata no Shō, a shōen of the Naka no In aristocratic household. The source is the 十輪院内府記, a record of the correspondence of the Naka no In, and is dated for the 9th year of Bunmei.(245) This is followed by another source from the 十輪院内府記, and also dated for Bunmei 9 (and addressed to Honganji). The first source was written by the owner of Nukata no Shō, Naka no In Michihide, and accuses members of the Honganji Monto of having sided with a vassal of the shugo in invading Nukata no Shō (thereby violating the shōen owner`s authority). He then asks the court to order Honganji to halt the Monto`s activities. The second source then describes the response Michihide received from Honganji and his own course of action.(246-247)

In the first source, mention is made of the 能美・江沼両郡一揆. Kanda interprets these two gun as being part of the Honganji Monto ikki, whereas others do not. Here Kanda contrasts his own theory with that of Ishida Haruo (his main antagonist). In the first source, Kanda notes that both gun state that Yamakawa Mikawa no Kami (Takafuji), a vassal of the shugo, should guarantee the land (沙汰しすゑた) (thus from the point of view of Naka no In, the Monto ikki is aiding the illegal act of Yamakawa). Later, it states that the 一揆中 must promise to return the land (to either the Naka no In or one of their local deputies, it does not specifically say who) and then allow that deputy to administer the land. However, as this does not appear to have occurred and further illegal acts have been committed, thus Naka no In Michihide repeats his demand.(246)

According to the view of Ishida Haruo, it is not clear to whom the land should be passed, and so he interprets the sentence as reading that the land should be passed to the `Honganji Monto`. In other words, he believes that the gun should pass Nukata no Shō to Yamakawa Mikawa no Kami, who will guarantee the land as a daikan of Naka no In. He also believes that the 一揆中 are encouraged to return to land to the Honganji Monto and then to install the daikan of the Naka no In. However because the Honganji Monto have not stopped their illegal activities, Naka no In has issued another directive.(248)

Basically, Kanda believes that Ishida has ignored the grammar of the sentence by insisting on placing `to` in front of the Honganji Monto when there appears no need to do so, and then interpreting the text to mean that the gun ikki should hand over the land to Yamakawa who, as a vassal of Naka no In, will guarantee the land, and that this should not be kept hidden. Kanda rather believes that the Ikki Chū were told to promise to hand the land over, but chose to ignore this directive, which to Kanda is a more natural reading of the material.(248)   

The next question deals with the role of Yamakawa Mikawa no Kami (Takafuji), whom Ishida claims was a daikan of the Naka no In household. Yet this particularly figure, so crucial to the debate over control of the household land, does not appear anywhere within the 十輪院内府記 as a vassal of the Naka no In. Indeed, there are no records that they even contacted him. What we do know, however, is that he was a vassal of Togashi Masachika, the shugo, and that at the time of the uprising in Bunmei 6 he followed the shugo (according to the 白山宮荘厳講中記録), and that after Masachika became shugo he continued to serve him (両足院文書 長享元年十一月二日、六日山川高藤書状). He also appears as an important vassal of the Togashi household in the Kanchiron. It would be hard to imagine, then, the Naka no In hiring such a person to act against `the messenger of the shugo` and `provincials`.(248-249)

Moreover, in the 9th month of Chōkyō 1 (1487), when the shugo ordered the collection of materials for his expedition in support of the shōgun against the Rokkaku, Yamakawa Takafuji gave Nakazawa no Tsuyoshi (according to Nakazawa`s own words – he was a vassal of the Naka no In) an exemption for Nukata no Shō (十輪院内府記 長享一・九・二二条). It would be highly unusual for a daikan of the shōen owner to use a third party to exempt the owner from having to pay a war tax, hence the reason that Kanda believes that Ishida`s thesis is problematic.(249)

The Kinryū/Kanda debate over Rennyo`s `excommunication` of followers:

The next piece of evidence deals with a passage that reads:
According to Kinryū, this passage states that Honganji denies that there are any ikki ties between Kaga and those from `other provinces`, therefore the gun is not a Monto organization. The real question comes down to a reading of the latter half of the sentence. This is because of the subject with whom one agrees (同意). If the subject is the ikki, then the passage reads 所詮一揆が守護に同意するならば、破門する. In this instance, Rennyo would excommunicate the ikki, thus making this ikki a Honganji organization. Ultimately Kanda sees the reading of the above sentence to mean that the subject is the ikki, for nothing else can be excommunicated. Thus the shugo vassal has commited an illegal act, and the members of the Monto agree with it. The ikki, which is the subject of the `agreement`, is therefore the same as the Monto Chū.(251)
If Rennyo could thus excommunicate the ikki, then the Nōmi/Enuma gun would most likely have been an organization of Honganji.(251)

The `Buddhist words` and Master-Student relationship:

The next evidence involving the gun and Honganji is the following. It comes from the 六日講四講御文写本 (遺文 二十九), is signed by Rennyo, and addressed to the 江沼郡中へ. Kinryū believes that 山田光闡坊 was not built by the Enuma gun but that the verb 取り立て refers to assistance, therefore the Enuma gun was doing no more than `assisting` Kōkyōji, hence the Enuma gun cannot have been a Monto organization. Of course, it is possible to read the evidence like this, and if one only looks at things this way, then obviously the Enuma gun chū was not a Monto organization. Yet Endo Hajime also pointed out that in the passage are the words 仏法の安心の次第も、同能々決定, which clearly point towards some religious sermonizing.(252) This is because both Rennyo and the Enuma gun had a master/student relationship founded upon the Buddhist law. Rennyo would not use such language other than to either the kō-chū or to the Monto themselves.(252)

Ishida denies this by saying that Rennyo would not deny talking to either Monto or non-Monto members, particularly since he strongly promoted proselytization, thus it is unlikely that Rennyo would not have spoken about such subjects ergo the Enuma gun was not a Monto organization. Yet Kanda believes this ignores the reality of the Shinshū group of believers at the time. Within his own O-fumi, Rennyo had banned members from talking to other sects and people about their faith (Ofumi Bunmei 6/2/17, Ibun 54) even if pressed (such as being accused of stealing a cow) (Ofumi Bunmei 6/7/3, Ibun 64). Rennyo thus believed that speaking of the Buddhist law in undisclosed locations to undetermined numbers of people would be a betrayal of the teachings of Shinran. Rennyo might have been speaking of the Heizenji Shūto and Senjūji Monto (who had no intention of listening to Rennyo`s speeches) when he emphasized the need to only speak of teachings in the presence of fellow believers.(252-53)

Hence it is very unlikely that Rennyo would have taken such a high handed attitude in his Ofumi if the object of the Ofumi included members of other faiths. If Rennyo only sent Honzon and Seikyō (Ofumi) to his disciples and Honganji Monto, then as a matter of principle, he would not have indiscriminately sent teachings that included Buddhist concepts to non-Monto organizations. Ishida apparently is applying a more early modern concept of equality among believers to Rennyo`s actions.
This usage of Buddhist terminology towards the gun appears in later sources as well, as Jitsunyo, in Daiei 2 (1522) addressed both the `Ishikawa gun` and `Kahoku gun`, berating them thus これと申も、数年法儀の偽なる心中のあらはれとあさましく候 (六日講御書 五月十六日実如消息). Shonyo, in Tenbun 6 (1537) also addressed the `Ishikawa gun chū` by stating 仏法の次第よくよく聴聞候て、真実の信心に住せられ候はば、其身は勝徳たるべく候(明厳寺文書 八月廿三日証如消息). Hence three generations of Honganji leaders addressed the gun using religious terminology, which points towards the gun being a Honganji Monto organization.(243)

The ties between the gun and the Ikkō shū:

Two documents follow which bring into question whether the gun can be classified as a Honganji Monto organization. The first comes from the 両足院文書、and is signed by the `gun`. The content of this documents is as thus – a messenger from Ryōsokuin, a subsidiary of Kenninji, was sent to the capital, and after receiving an order from the Bakufu and the shugo, demanded that the tribute for their estate be paid. The gun chū then passes this order along to Shōkōji, an Ichimon temple of Honganji. At this point, the question arises as to why the gun is (if it is a Monto organization) taking orders from the Bakufu and the shugo and encouraging an Ichimon temple to make payments in tribute? In this, Kanda sees no contradictions. For him, there may have been a need for a Honganji organization to maintain ties to the Bakufu and shugo, and it was possible for an Ichimon temple and the Monto organization to disagree with one another. This evidence, therefore, does not prove that the gun was not a Honganji Monto organization.(254)

The second piece of evidence comes from the 蔭涼軒日録for 長享二・五・六条. This document claims that ten members of the Ikkō shū had been in league with Anrakukōin of Sentsūji (the chigyōnin of Rinkōin) who had been engaging in illegal activities within the said shōen of Rinkōin. The `gun` and those below them, in order to ensure that tithes were paid as before (to Shōkokuji) had chased these `Ikkō shū members` away. What Kanda says here is that the gun `political` organization would have chastised followers of the same faith, for there was no reason for them not to do so. This does not, therefore, contradict the claim that the gun was predominantly a Monto organization. (254-255)

Therefore there is no evidence here that the gun were in any way different to the Honganji Monto, or that they operated along different principles. Previous research stated that the Monto of the 3rd month of Bunmei 7 fought against Masachika, lost, and then fled to Etchū. Based on readings of the 実悟記拾遺, the gun organization during the Bunmei period in Kaga was not composed of the same ideals as the Honganji Monto. Yet the evidence clearly shows that this was not the case, and that in Bunmei 7 the gun was very much alive and operating as part of the Honganji Monto. Hence as Kinryū Shizuka suggested, although the uprising in the third month of Bunmei 7 might have resulted in a loss for the Monto, they did not lose their co-existence with Masachika (ie, they were not completely eliminated, they were not banned outright, their practices were still allowed, and they could still be used by the shugo.) (255)

This does not mean that all of the Monto organization in Kaga was made up of members of the gun, for we know that in Kaga there were other Honganji institutions such as the kō and the kumi. There`s little chance then that the members of the gun were involved in all of these areas, for the gun did exist as a separate body, just one among the various types of Honganji organizations within Kaga at the time.(256)

Gun and the shugo system:

The next piece of evidence comes from the 両足院文書, dealing with yet another missive from the gun, this time aimed at the Bantō of Hōzenin. From the details of the letter, Zenhōji of Iwashimizu had returned the lands of Hozenin to Kenninji Ryōsokuin. Both the Bakufu and the shugo had agreed to this, and a message had been given by the `gun chū` to the Bantō of the estate, saying that a messenger from Ryōsokuin would arrive from the capital. Tanishita Ichimu has interpreted this as meaning that the gun chū was organization under the shugo, while Inoue Toshio and later Kawazaki Chizuru both thought that the gun chū, which was a shugo organization until Chōkyō 1, was swallowed up by the ikkō ikki along with all of its authority afterwards.(256-257)

Kinryū Shizuka however pointed out that shugo orders would be carried out either by the shugo bugyōnin in Kyoto, or by the shugodai in the provinces (ie, the role of Yamakawa Takafuji in the 両足院文書) and that the gun chū would not directly receive such orders. Moreover, when the gun chū has received orders from either the Bakufu or the shōen owner, the resources show that this was done in a private manner (according to the type of language used and style of letter), hence one cannot say that the gun was an organization under the shugo (according to Kinryū).(257)

Yet by looking at the evidence from the gun chū to Shōkōji, this letter was sent from the gun chū to Nōmi Gobō, in other words the Ichimon temple of Shōkōji, stating that the temple should obey the directive of the shugo. Hence what we can say is that while the gun chū might not have directly been under the command of the shugo, they certainly were affiliated with him and did carry out his instructions.(257)

Togashi Masachika and the gun:

It is quite difficult to conceive of an organization that had ties with the shugo system, yet also functioned as an acolyte to Rennyo, hence it seems more unlikely that the gun did act as a shugo organization. The gun also received orders from the Bakufu, which in itself would rule out the gun being directly affiliated with the shugo. Moreover, if the gun was part of the shugo system, then before the ikki of Bunmei 6 it should have had some ties with the shugo Togashi Kōchiyo (Yukichiyo). However it didn`t, and the fact that Togashi Masachika managed to take the seat of shugo with the aid of the Monto (but not necessarily the gun) meant that it was only after Masachika had established himself in power that the Honganji Monto could receive orders from the shugo. (258)

Therefore Kanda suggests that there was no united Honganji Monto organization in Kaga during the Bunmei period. There is a tendency to downplay the significance of the change in the system of authority that occurred after the ikki of Bunmei 6, for the gun was very much alive within Kaga during the Bunmei period. Hence the fact that this organization could on the one hand act as part of the shugo apparatus but on the other hand become involved in an ikki that overthrew that same apparatus is in keeping with the nature of ikki, and the changes that were wrought in the aftermath of the Chōkyō ikki do not have to been seen as a larger version of the changes after the ikki of Bunmei 6. The gun merely became part of the new system of control in the province once the older system had been overthrown.(258)

(Still beggars the questions, how did the organization come together after Bunmei 6, and why did it appear in four different parts of the province? Did the removal of Kochiyo herald the arrival of a semi-autonomous local governing body with religious ties to Honganji but multiple political ties? That seems to be the most plausible explanation. This point is important to clarify, because the evidence itself suggests that while the gun may have affiliated itself with Honganji (as a result of the widespread belief in Shinshū, and the fact that it appeared after Bunmei 6, which means it was not allied with other sects or the former shugo) it was prepared to act on behalf of other institutions. Those acts themselves are reminiscent of kokujin, securing land and finances, but also maintaining order. Similar in a sense to kokujin ikki, however the gun appeared to include more than kokujin and had a sense of solidarity amongst themselves that transcended most other kokujin ikki. They might therefore have been kokujin Honganji believers, but more interested in acting for their own benefit when it came to economic and political matters. The next point will be to see how the kumi derived from the gun, for within that change we might be able to perceive who originally belonged to the gun, which would indicate why the gun acted on behalf of and against so many different organizations.)

Gun against the shugo:

The following evidence indicates a confrontational stance taken by the gun against the shugo Masachika. It comes from the 八坂神社文書, and is addressed to both 光徳寺 and 加北郡一揆中. According to the content, Bakufu bugyōnin had issued an order to those `members of the shrine` to resist an attempt by the shugo Masachika to illegally possess the territory of Karuga village, a part of the Gion shrine`s holdings. Yet the source has no month nor day, thus rather than being from the bugyōnin themselves, this document may have been nothing more than a draft. Supposing that the bugyōnin did issue the document (which might not be true), then all it shows is that the shugo was in confrontation against the Kahoku gun Ikki chū and Kōtokuji. Yet what it doesn`t prove is that the Kahoku gun Ikki chū wasn`t part of the control apparatus of the shugo Masachika. (258-259)

Gun and the Bakufu:

The next piece of evidence illustrates (again) how the gun did take orders from the Bakufu. The source is the 蔭涼軒日録 for 文明十八・二二・三条. According to its details, the daikan of Rinkōin`s Kohokushō shōen, Tachimachi Izu no Kami, had been withholding tribute, hence the Bakufu had issued an `invitation` for the Hokurinbō and Shōkōji (under Rengo), the Enuma gun Ikki chū, and the myōshu hyakusho chū of Kohokushō to prevent this. Much like the previous evidence, this document shows the gun receiving a direct order from the Bakufu. As for other examples of the gun receiving such orders, a little while later, during Eisho 16, an order had been passed to the Ishikawa gun Onchū regarding payments by Ishikawa gun Meikōho (守光公記 永正一六・三・二七条). In this instance, the court had ordered that a missive be sent to the hyakusho chū of the five kumi of Ishikawa gun, yet the Bakufu had replied stating that `the kumi are the same as the Ikki chū, and at this point they are not permitted to receive a missive`. Thus the decision was taken to hand the missive to the Ishikawa gun chū. What we can infer from this is that the gun had a closer relationship to the Bakufu than the kumi.(260)

What the exact relationship between these two bodies was remains unclear. At the time of the uprising of Bunmei 6, the gun appear to have acted as part of the eastern army (that is, the army of Togashi Masachika)…「上意として、忝くも…百姓中へ御奉書を成され」(柳本御文書), meaning that the Honganji Monto had been given a Bakufu missive for safe-keeping. It is true that Honganji, in the time of Rennyo, had close ties with the Bakufu、and during the Ōnin and Bunmei conflicts, Rennyo had acted as one member of the eastern army. This was reflected in the position taken by Honganji, thus we can expect that there were a comparatively large number of Bakufu officials found within the Honganji Monto.(260) Hence while Kanda believes that Ishida`s thesis on the gun being a Bakufu organization seems contrived, especially the insistence that all members had to have some form of official role within the Bakufu., it seems more likely that there were some members of the Monto who had an affiliation with the gun and had served as public officials. Yet most of this is conjecture as the relationship between the gun and Bakufu still remains so clouded.(260-261)

Bunmei 6 and the conflict between the Honganji Monto and the Takada Monto:

The next piece of evidence is drawn from the 白山宮荘厳講中記録, and deals with events that occurred within Kaga between Senjūji and the Honganji Monto. It goes thus:

  1. 同年七月廿六日(文明六年)、念仏衆高田・本願寺国民諍之、於此砌(みぎり)、富樫次郎殿幸千代殿御兄弟時守護代額熊夜叉殿、与力澤井、阿曾、狩野伊賀入道、此面々ハ幸千代殿方高田之土民同心也、

山本院へ出張、仍長吏御房澄栄法院并衆徒等御方ニ参、蓮台寺城十月十四日落了、打ルル人不知数、同廿四日於小原山龍蔵寺白山拝殿狩野入道 小杉腹キリ了、此前後数ヶ度ノ合戦有之、不及注委細之、然而翌年国民等本願寺威勢ニホコリ、寺社の領知、諸所免田年貢無沙汰、神事并勤行等及退転、先代未聞言語道断之次第也、随而武家ノ威勢も如無、不思義之時節難計之、狩野伊賀入道ハ米丸泉上坊ニメ腹仕了(262)

This particular document thus says that the `Takada Nenbutsu Shū and the kokujin of Honganji clashed`. Yet why does this source single out the Takada Monto as being the nenbutsu followers, whilst the Honganji Monto takes on the mantle of kokujin. In the following year (Bunmei 7) the kokujin took such pride in their force that they refused to pay their tithes. Hence here we see that whilst Masachika has been acknowledged as the victor of the conflict, the struggle of Bunmei 6 is also seen as a Honganji victory (in other words, that Honganji members were prominent in bringing about the victory).(262)

This is also perceived in another source, this time written by 大乗院寺社雑事記 文明六・一一・一条, which specifically states that the uprising was caused by the Ikkō shū domin together with `some samurai`. Whilst it mistakenly states that Masachika (鶴童) did not seize control of Kaga, it does state that the shugodai Kosugi had been killed, hence it reports the same events as the previous source, hence it is safe to say that it is relaying the truth of events. It also states that the main perpetrators were members of the Ikkō shū. What it reveals is that the forces of Masachika were understood to belong to the Ikkō shū, and that Masachika`s own retainers were little more than a part of this army (the `some samurai`). This evidence thus indicates that within the conflict of Bunmei 6, the Honganji Monto had a prominent role. Hence whilst the conflict of Bunmei 6 could be regarded as the Kaga version of a larger drama being played out during the Ōnin and Bunmei period, the conflict between Honganji and Senjūji was a comparatively large part of the dispute being fought between `kokujin` retainers in Kaga. In order to discern what the people thought of the fighting, the next source is of use.(263)

The perception of conflict in Bunmei 6:

The next source comes from the 那谷寺本泉坊周応謹言上, outlining a dispute between Nayadera Honsenbō Shuō and the Watanabe family concerning the rule of Tokumarumyō on the Nukata estate. The Watanabe insist that when Watanabe Shisoku took the tonsure, he would be able to administer Tokumarumyō (most likely, the Watanabe and Yagi families had come to some form of agreement, whereby whichever succeeded to the priesthood as a descendant of Yagi Nyudō would be able to carry on administering both Honsenbō and its territory). Shuō, and with them Nukata no Shō, answered this by saying that it was utterly impossible to repeatedly go over a debate that had been settled the year before.
In response, the Watanabe state that in the recent fighting they shut themselves up in their castle, and insist that the spoils of victory included the right to administer Tokumarumyō. However the shōen respond by noting that at the time of the `disorder in this province`, arms had been taken up to strike down the `enemies of the Buddhist law`, thus seeking to profit from this was utterly unforgivable. It appears that the Watanabe were unable to answer such charges.(264-265)

In the past, this resource was looked upon as indicating that the Nukata Soshō, as it insisted that the fighting of Bunmei 6 was a `holy war` against enemies of the Buddhist law, was a shōen undergoing the process of changing to the Monto. Yet this resource, rather than revealing what the Honganji Monto thought, is more related to showing what the average local citizen in Kaga thought about the fighting against the enemies of the Buddhist law. The document itself is a legal deposition, hence Shuō, who wrote the document, was able to insert his own view on the claim of reward of Tokumarumyō for services rendered during the recent conflict by stating that it was a battle to destroy enemies of the Buddhist law. It basically used the arguments of the Watanabe against them. For their part, the Watanabe, who virtually have nothing to characterize them as members of the Monto, seem to have excepted the argument put forward by Shuō, which means what it insists must have happened – ie, that the conflict of Bunmei 6 was generally regarded by the local community as a holy war against enemies of the Buddhist law.(265)

The Monto’s own beliefs – Ikki and the Ikko shu

One problem when examining the religious reasons for the Monto’s conflict with the shugo is that Rennyo, when addressing the Monto, used few words that encouraged disobedience against either civil authorities or against other faiths. Indeed he gradually came to emphasize that the Monto should not seek to provoke or slander other faiths. Hence it is very difficult to imagine that the Monto were motivated by reasons of faith to act against the shugo. Yet on the other hand, the fact that Rennyo had to issue missives against members of the Monto slandering other faiths and gods and against refusal to follow secular laws meant that the Monto itself contained quite a lot of members who engaged in such activities. Yet why were there so many Monto members opposed to the shugo and jito, and why did they refuse to pay their tithes or engage in public works? (269)

Part of those reasons can be discerned from the O-fumi, which show that the Monto did not always follow Rennyo’s precepts. Note the following O-fumi:

それ、国にあらば守護方、ところにあらば地頭方にをいて、われは仏法をあがめ、信心をえたる身なりといひて、疎略の義ゆめ~あるべからず、いよ~公事をもはらにすべきものなり、(御文 文明六・五・一三 「遺文」五九)

Here, the “disobedience” against the shugo and jito, and the refusal to engage in public works all stemmed from the Monto’s religious basis, which was that they had received the Buddhist law and were holders of true faith. Rennyo used this as a basis for his counter argument, stating that resistance against the shugo and jito was a “problem of faith”. This degree of faith appears to have had a large role in provoking the religious protests surrounding the position of the shugo. (270)

When one looks at things from this perspective, it seems necessary to imagine that there was a gap between the belief of Rennyo and those of the Monto. Whilst from Rennyo’s perspective there may have been quite a few pseudo-faithful amongst the Monto, it’s also true that Rennyo thought that the Monto did not possess true belief (and he said as much many times within his O-fumi). Hence there was ample room for a gap to appear in the beliefs of both sides. During the Kamakura and Nambokucho eras, gaps appeared between what the Monto were learning and Shinran’s original teachings. Realistically it was very unlikely that the religious changes implemented by the head of the faithful would have permeated all the way down to the Monto. The Monto’s beliefs were themselves secular beliefs, and existed as some sort of ideal above religion. Hence one could argue that the leadership provided by the head of the faithful tried to make amends with those views as much as possible.(270-271)

The Ikko shu:

Hence from the O-fumi, one can see the criticisms and scathing remarks Rennyo made towards the Monto. Yet one of interesting things about such criticism is that it did not focus on an absence of understanding of the teachings of Shinshu, or reproach the Monto for engaging in overly heretical practices, yet rather looked at their ‘making light’ of the various gods and Buddhas, of attacking the laws and other faiths, of acting against the shugo and jito and not engaging in public duties. By examining this evidence, we can indirectly see the central part of the faith held by the Monto at the time.(270-271)
Whilst keeping an eye on Rennyo’s criticisms in the O-fumi, we might also examine other evidence that touches upon the actions and words of the Monto, for here we can perceive the gap that had appeared between Rennyo’s own beliefs and those of the Monto.(271)

First come two pieces of evidence, one drawn from the 翰林胡蘆集(がんりんころしゅう)
and the other from the O-fumi. The first goes thus:
抑丁亥歳、京師喋血、諸将左袒右袒、未決勝敗矣、于時禅師適回賀之故里、居無何其国有変、一妄男子、号一向宗、篝鼓百姓、蟻衆鳥合、排毀諸宗、以為己党、加之殺掠守吏、剽奪賦斂、其勢不可遏也、昔蒙元有庸民、冒名蓮社、唱無碍光之説、自称導師、広行魔事、所謂一向宗、乃無碍光之流亜也、(271) Followed by the O-fumi for 文明五・九下旬, finishing with (おほきなるあやまりなり、)

The first piece of evidence is a poetical piece written in the first year of Onin (1467) by the Zen priest Hakusho (伯升) upon his return to Rinsenji in Kaga. Those members of the Ikko shu (called 一妄男子) had motivated the peasantry. They had then sought out to “ridicule the various faiths”, “kill and abduct” from the shugo, and “steal away the wealth”. To Hakusho, such acts are in the same league as the “Lotus society” (`蓮社’) that had inspired the commoners (庸民) during the late Yuan dynasty in China.(272)

This in itself is quite an interesting piece of evidence, not just for its reference to the White Lotus society. Yet what most signifies this evidence is the use of the phrase 一妄男子 to refer to the Ikko shu. Until now, most have considered that this phrase meant Rennyo, yet as Rennyo’s O-fumi shows, there was no way Rennyo would use Ikko shu to refer to himself. Hence Hakusho points out that this “Ichibo Danshi” is the leader of the Ikko shu. The Ikko shu themselves are thus the “peasants” referred to at the beginning of the piece. These peasants have thus engaged in belittling other gods and Buddhas, have stolen away funds, in other words have taken part in ikki like activities that are comparable to the White Lotus society. The actions of these peasants are also synonymous with the proscriptions that Rennyo had enacted against the Monto.(272)

On the other hand, when one looks at the Ofumi, Rennyo refused to use the title Ikko shu in reference to the Monto. We know that the Kaga Monto had self-styled themselves as the Ikko shu, hence they were called that by others. As seen in the previous evidence, “Ichibo Danshi”, who bore the title Ikko shu, thus wasn’t Rennyo, but referred to the peasantry partaking within the ikki.(272-273)  

The structure of the ikki:

One particular noteworthy point, as illustrated by Kinryu Shizuka, is that the only main source for the events that occurred in Chokyo 2 are derived from the Kanchiron, a work that was completed some one hundred years after the events that it describes. Hence all we are left with in terms of understanding how an ikki was formed and what its various parts were is a very broad outline describing a conflict between the forces of Honganji and those of Togashi Masachika. Hence what Kanda attempts to do from pages 290 onwards is draw out some of the characteristics of the ikki and the forces that were available within the shoen at the time. (290)

First of all, Kanda believes that the usage of terms such as “Ikkoku no Ikki” and “Kokuchu Ikki” have a very close relationship with the uprising of Chokyo 2. The first use of the term “Ikkoku no Ikki” comes from the 大乗院寺社雑事記 明応五・九・一六条 (in other words, after the Chokyo uprising) The details are thus:
A priest of Zensuiji, located near Kosaka shoen in Kaga province, had passed on news to Jinson of Daijoin. In the “provincial revolt”, only the “chikabito” were participating. As for the various ikki of different sects and samurai ikki, they certainly existed in the province, however in this instance, in which Hosokawa Masamoto had called for an attack on Ashikaga Yoshi(材) to prevent his passage to the capital, the “kokujin” had not agreed to participate.( 291)

The question that underlies this source is the relationship between the “chikabito” of the “provincial ikki” and the “kokujin” “ikki”. Jinson was a diarist who quite explicitly separated those of samurai status from those of commoner status (in other words, samurai bun and chikabito). Samurai bun, in the case of Yamato province, related to “believers” or “kokumin” (大乗院寺社雑事記 文明十九・五・晦条). Kokumin, in any province other than Yamato, were equivalent to kokujin (大乗院寺社雑事記 延徳二・十二・晦条). Hence the above “provincial ikki” was perpetrated by “commoners” and did not include kokujin, or to put this another way, an ikki that included kokujin was not the same as a ‘provincial ikki’ made up of commoners.(291)

The 大乗院寺社雑事記 made mention that there were other forms of temple ikki and samurai led ikki within Kaga, which means that ikki which included kokujin was included in this appraisal. Hence within Kaga at the time, there existed both the “provincial ikki” as well as the various temple ikki and samurai ikki.(292)
Yet what did this mean, this “provincial ikki”? Something of a clue to its nature can be drawn from the 蓮如上人一語記 一九九. This record states the following in relation to the aftermath of Chokyo 2:


Togashi Masachika had died because of the uprising of Chokyo 2, and the shogun Ashikaga Yoshinao wanted those who had participated in the “provincial ikki” to be excommunicated and had said as much in an order sent to Honganji. This record does not date from the same period as the Chokyo uprising, but as far as it can be used as a record, the ‘provincial ikki’, which had been designated for excommunication was a Honganji Monto ikki. We have seen how the gun was part of the apparatus of the Honganji Monto ikki( meaning that the Honganji Monto of Kaga was derived from a variety of organizations and was not one, solid apparatus), hence by comparing the reference to the ‘provincial ikki” described here to the one given earlier within the 大乗院寺社雑事記, the provincial ikki was a different Monto organization to the gun. This Monto ikki, made up of commoners, as well as “ignorant priests and nuns” can thus be expected to have formed around the time of the Chokyo uprising.(292-293)

However Hosokawa Masamoto did not agree with the order from the shogun for excommunication, but instead decided that they should be chastised 御叱りの御書, as seen in the following missive from Rennyo:
七月四日                     蓮如(花押)
専光寺                    (専光寺文書)
A similar document to this, with the same date, was sent to the 光徳寺門徒中(光徳寺文書), and on the 21st day of the 10th month, Rennyo sent a letter to 木越御房(光徳寺)addressed to the 国中の門徒の面々, and highlighting that the violence caused by the Monto “throughout the province” (国中) would be punished. If the 蓮如上人一語記 is to be believed, Senkoji and the Monto under them and well as the Monto of Kotokuji were therefore part of the “provincial ikki” that the shogun had wanted banished.(293)

On the other hand, within the Kanchiron part of the ikki military forces (approximately 40,000 troops made up of young groups and fellows) consisted of four temples, those of Kietsu Kotokuji, Yoshifuji Senkoji, Isobe Shoganji, and Torigoe Koganji. The terms 同宿、若党、and 門下 do not necessarily refer to one another, yet the overall military forces which were a precursor to the kumi and a section of the forces of the four temples can quite possibly be the “general Monto” (諸門下) referred to in Rennyo’s missive to Senkoji.(293)

(So what has been revealed here is that the Monto organization within Kaga consisted of a variety of groups, not necessarily aligned with the political ideology of Honganji but certainly tied religiously to the main temple. On the one hand, there existed the gun, derived from local kokujin groups with ties to local temples but prepared to act on their own accord, and the “provincial ikki’, a much larger organization consisting predominantly of commoners which would play an active role in shaping Kaga’s political landscape in years succeeding the Chokyo uprising. Both organizations did not strictly adhere to the policies of Honganji, hence the difficult for any shoen owner or non-Honganji affiliated group to press their demands for tithes or the return of property, yet that situation gradually disappeared as the Ichimon temples were brought under direct Honganji control. So with these two organizations at work, what role did the kumi play – was it a third institution, or a derivative of the gun or provincial ikki? And what does that suggest about the nature of the “commoners” that constituted the bulk of the provincial ikki?)  

Kanda then explains that the “地下人ばかり” who made up the Monto organization, and who are thought to have been the “provincial ikki” were most likely the Monto of the four temples mentioned above (here’s another thought; Did Rennyo, or would Rennyo, issue a missive against any organization that he considered to be equal to his own social position? i.e, when Rennyo wrote to the gun, did he address them in harsh terms and threaten their expulsion? If not, is it possible to suggest that the Monto of Senkoji were considered by Rennyo to be social inferiors and thus obligated to obey his instructions (or as far as Rennyo was concerned, obligated to obey his instructions?) Hence Kanda believes that the locally prominent temples and the united Monto forces attached to them were the “provincial ikki”.(294)

Kanda then turns his attention to the 国の一揆 and the 国中一揆, both of which bore a similarity to the provincial ikki. He quotes three sources in relation to this. The first is from the 蔭涼軒日録 長享二・七・一五条 
林光院領賀州横北庄事、斉籐御園筑前守代官識事白、掠給奉書、守護被官月橋仁契約、月橋又我傍輩「  」仁白付候、今度為国之一揆、月橋一党又「   」悉討殺之、然間彼横北事、打棄置条、為無主之地、早々自寺家可下置上使之由白、地下百姓二人致上洛、訴訟有之、

The next is from the 鹿苑日録 長享一・閏一一・二四条

The third piece of evidence comes from the 北野神社引付 延徳一・一二・二条紙背文書

The “Kuni no Ikki” seen in the 蔭涼軒日録 was, according to this source, the main perpetrator in the downfall of Togashi Masachika. This points to the leader of the uprising of Chokyo 2. Thus the “provincial ikki – Ikkoku no Ikki 一国の一揆” seen earlier can be thought of as one part of the “Kuni no Ikki 国の一揆”. The “provincial ikki” was previously thought to have been an ikki synonymous with those of various sects and of kokujin ikki, yet the “Kuni no Ikki” seems to have been a more appropriate approximation.(295)

In the second piece of evidence, it mentions a “Kuni Chu Ikki”. Two Otona peasants of Awazu Ho make a deposition to Rokuon-in, the owner of the shoen. In this, they state that 1) a report was made to the shugodai of the Togashi that because tithes had been specially reduced during the chaos of the Onin War, this amount had been mistaken for the original tithe amount, 2) As they had always paid the correct amount of tithe to Rokuon-in before the Onin War, they wish for Rokuon-in to acknowledge that it has  been keeping two sets of records, 3) If Rokuon-in let this be known, then Awazu Ho might be reprimanded (ie, set upon) by either the shugo or the “Kuni Chu Ikki”, hence the reason that Rokuon-in refused to acknowledge the two sets of records. What this evidence thus shows is that the “Kuni Chu Ikki” possessed a right of authority towards the shoen of Kaga that was the equivalent of the shugo.(295)

In the third piece of evidence, the “Kuni Chu” also appears to have held authoritative rights towards the Kaga shoen . The territory of Kitano shrine had been invaded by “chikabito”, yet despite hearing a rumour that the “Kuni Chu” had implemented a strict policy of arresting perpetrators throughout Kaga, nothing had been done for Kitano shine, hence the demand for correct payment of tithes. This ikki, which expected to punish the commoner perpetrators of the property invasions, was in all probability not the same thing as the “provincial ikki” that was primarily made up of commoners. The “Kuni Chu Ikki” probably included a number of organizations that oversaw the application of authority at the local level in Kaga. We know of the existence of the “gun” from the Bunmei period onwards, as well as the “kumi” and “ikki chu”. These organizations were definitely synonymous with ikki led by kokujin.(296)

Hence the Kuni no Ikki and Kuni Chu Ikki were a united organization of ikki that participated within the uprising of Chokyo 2. Together with these, there were the gun, kumi, and ikki chu that included kokujin, there were the Hakusan followers, a religious form of ikki, that appears in the Kanchiron, and then there was the provincial ikki, primarily made up of commoners. It is not clear what happened to either the Kuni no Ikki or the Kuni Chu Ikki in later years after they had solidified Honganji’s authority over Kaga, yet the members of the kumi that emerged during the Tenbun era included those from meetings of the “gun and kuni”. While the details are unclear, it is possible that the Kuni Chu Ikki carried on in an alternative form.(296) 

The kumi:

The kumi first appeared as part of ikki forces in the Kanchiron, however the first use of the term within a contemporary historical document is dated from Meio 4, in a letter outlining tithe payments for Ono shoen belonging to Rinsenji(臨川寺);
玖拾弐角六斗六升    就可有越中国敵出張物忿、国中所々并庄内ニ横堀壁入目等、
廿貫文、米泉組一円、以詫言不出之、   「天龍寺文書」

This document relates to the move to collect funds from throughout the province for defense against the military maneuvers of an army from Etchu led by Shinpo (Kamiho, 神保) Naga誠 in support of the shogun Yoshi(材). It appears that the burden of tithes for Rinsenji, the owner of Ono shoen, would be met by the “ten man kumi” and the “six kumi”. Although it is unclear what relation the “ten man kumi” had to Ono shoen, the six kumi definitely included the forces of Miyakoshi (宮腰) and 佐那武守(寺) villages (天文日記 七・七・一九、八・二・一八、九・一○・七の各条) which resided in Ono shoen. In addition, it rather cryptically states that the shoen owner, considering the amount of tithes imposed on both kumi, was not able to negotiate for 21 kanmon from the six kumi, nor was it able to negotiate for any payment of the remaining 20 kanmon from the “Beisen” (Yonezumi) kumi.(297)

As the 守光公記 noted (永正一六・ニ・二九条) “与は一揆中と同じ事なり”, thus revealing that the kumi was considered part of the ikki. As noted earlier, the kumi tended to take its name from the place in which it resided, and as Inoue Toshio explained, the kumi not only pointed towards its affiliation with an ikki, its name also showed the extent of its power. The 本願寺文書, admittedly written long after the Chokyo 2 uprising, stated that;
山上組、能美の郡、八幡田善法寺領、よき御知行過分の由、今は荒れ申候由に候、石川の川の際にて御座候 (297)
The extent of the ikki forces, revealed through their place name, thus appeared after the Chokyo uprising. The above source is the only contemporary (or nearest) contemporary historical document related to the kumi of the Chokyo era. All other references date from the [Tenbun Nikki], written some fifty years later. It is this that one must primarily rely on in order to gauge something of the nature of the kumi.(297-98)

Each kumi had a “master” 棟梁(とうりょう). For example, during the Tenbun era the master of the “ten man kumi” was Yamamoto Taro Maru (山本太郎丸 勝授寺文書 八月九日山本太郎丸・十人衆惣組中書状. According to the Kanchiron, during the Chokyo era it was Yamamoto Ensho Nyudo (山本円正入道 明応三年に近衛家領安江保の代官になっている実在の人物、「近衛家文書 明応三年七月山本円正・藤井吉兼連署代官職請文」. The master of the six kumi was, during the Tenbun era, Rokka Shinsaei’mon (六ヶ新左衛門 天文日記 五・二・ニ三条など), whereas according to the Kanchiron the leader of this group during the Chokyo era was Takahashi Shinsaei’mon.(298)

In the 5th year of Tenbun (1535), Kawai Hachiro Saei’mon (河合八郎左衛門) secured the authoritative rights to the position of 目代職 of Shibahara market, a right that belonged to one of the members of his kumi, a certain Suzunori Goro Saei’mon (鈴興五郎左衛門), which he used to launch a deposition against Honganji (天文日記 五・一ニ・ニ八条). From this evidence, we can see that in addition to having a leadership role in military affairs, the master of a kumi could appropriate the lands and titles of members of the group. (298)

During the Tenbun era, these ‘masters’ of the kumi’s military and spiritual affairs were appointed as “retainers” (旗本) by Honganji. Of course, there were those who were promoted to such positions from among the gun (天文日記 八・一一・四) , yet we can suppose that those masters who were promoted to a position as a retainer already possessed considerable authoritative power. However the kumi was not the sole preserve of the master, as seen from the following references to the kumi:
(「天文日記」 六・一一・一八条)

(「天文日記」 七・六・二八条)(298)

In the seventh month of the sixth year of Tenbun, as no-one had turned up to a meeting of the gun, Shonyo, in sympathy with Shimotsuma Yorihide, had excommunicated the Yamagami kumi (天文日記 六・七・九条). As apologies for this error had been issued three times, those kumi groups that had attended the “kumi yoriai” and those that attended the “kuni and gun meeting” in the tenth month (as well as those general kumi) were to be exempted from the excommunication. Moreover, in the sixth month of the following year, all those groups that attended meetings of the kumi and gun would be pardoned, except for Shimizu Hachiro Uei’mon and Waki (Kazuki) Rokuro Uei’mon.(298-99)

What these documents reveal is that the kumi could send its principal members to meetings of the “kuni and gun” (this includes masters of the kumi who served as hatamoto), that middle ranking members could attend meetings of the kumi, and that all others were considered general members of the kumi. Thus those masters of the kumi designated as hatamoto were definitely the central part of the kumi, whilst there were other kumi members of similar rank who were able to attend meetings of the kuni and gun.(299) (In other words, there was a three tiered system at work within the kumi)
“Banto” (番頭) would attend meetings of the kumi yoriai (勝授寺文書 八月九日山本太郎丸・十人衆惣組中書状) . These middle ranking members most likely included the upper echelons of village elders (in other words, dogo and possibly jizamurai). Those general kumi members were thus more likely to be of lower social status.(299)

The kumi were also part of the Honganji Monto organization. When a kumi member died, a donation would arrive from 与衆十一人中 paid directly to Honganji for Buddhist rites to be held at Honganji for the deceased (天文日記 二二・閏一・二九条). The kumi could also be appointed as forces(与力) to Ichimon temples (拾塵記) and pay their donations to them, and Honganji Monto members most certainly acted as guards (番衆) in the service of the guardhouse (番屋) at Ishiyamadera.(299)

That the kumi was also a regionally based ikki similar to the “同名中” found in the Koga gun chu so (甲賀郡中惣) can be discerned from the continuation of local laws.(299-300)

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© Greg Pampling. This page was modified in December 2011