Table of Contents
峰岸 純夫、中世社会の一揆と宗教、東京大学出版会、東京、2008年 (Minegishi Sumio, Protest and Religion in Medieval Society, Tokyo University Publishing, Tokyo, 2008)


峰岸 純夫、中世社会の一揆と宗教、東京大学出版会、東京、2008年 (Minegishi Sumio, Protest and Religion in Medieval Society, Tokyo University Publishing, Tokyo, 2008)

Writings of Rennyo – essentially stated that the way of the saving power of Amidha surpassed all levels of social class and gender, so that farmers, fisherman, merchants, builders, and soldiers and well as women were all considered equal before the grace of Amidha. After his accession to the head of the Honganji organization as the eighth Hossu in the first year of Chōroku (1457), Rennyo travelled about the provinces, or else he wrote down in his Ofumi (using kana) the key elements of his philosophy so that each much understand its content. The result of this activity was a sudden growth in the number of Monto adherents during the 1470s (the Bunmei era). The manner in which Rennyo dealt with either family relations, community groups, or with the powers that be provides an important key as to how the Honganji organization expanded so rapidly.(309-310)

Relationship of Ōbō to Buppō:

It is here that one must consider the relationship between the Buddhist teachings espoused by Honganji, the so-called Buppō, and the `世間ノ仁義`, the `仁義`, or the `世間`, the `Laws of the Secular World` (世法), as well as the laws that bound together the imperial court, Bakufu, right down to the Daikan representatives such as the shugo and jitō, - the so-called `Ōbō. The military ability of the old religions and their Sanmon, or else the forces of other factions such as the Bukōji sect, the Takada Senjūji sect, the shrines which held close relations with village organizations, and the authority of powers such as the Hakuzan would occasionally rise up against the expanding power of the Shinshū (Honganji) group and attempt to put a halt to its activities. From a past as a small group of faithful, Honganji had grown into a large organization. In order to realize this goal, it had become necessary to create a theory that would link both Buppō and Sahō and Ōbō. It is here where we may thank Rennyo for his efforts and flexibility in his approach.(310)

As Rennyo wrote in the Ofumi:
In many of his other correspondence, Rennyo made it clear that Buppō was to be kept `within one`s heart` and that it was to function as one`s principle source of belief, whereas Ōbō was to function as `the surface`, the `face` of one`s social discourse. Each in its own way was to be respected. However in all matters it would be the Buppō that would be emphasized, as it `above all others` (ソノウエニハナヲ), hence believers in Shinshū would have a dependent relationship with Buppō. From the point of view of veneration of the Buddhist laws for the sake of faith, the 「信心為本」, both `the law of this world`, and `the imperial law` would be respected out of a desire for a true `glory` of the Buddhist law. Respect for secular laws would be no more than a superficial gesture of respect for the state and its authority. Yet this did not mean that Honganji would treat secular laws with disdain, for as explain through the 蓮如上人御一代聞書, 「王法ハ額にアテヨ、仏法ハ内心二深ク蓄ヨ」. As the `額` held an important position in how one presented oneself to society, so one would guard the Buddhist laws deep within one`s heart. This precept was strongly re-inforced through Rennyo`s writing, thus giving Rennyo and Honganji a slight degree of flexibility in how he dealt with the secular laws.(310)

The main principles of respect for secular and imperial laws were as follows: 「守護・地頭方二ムキテモ、ワレハ信心ヲエタリトイヒテ、疎略ノ儀ナク、イヨイヨ公事ヲマタクスベシ」(御文 三二)、「国二アラバ守護方、トコロニアラバ地頭方ニヲヒテ、ワレハ仏法ヲアガメ信心ヲエタル身ナリトイヒテ、疎略ノ義、ユメユメアルベカラズ。イヨイヨ公事ヲモハラニスベキモノナリ」(御文、三四)、「守護・地頭ニヲヒテハカギリアル年貢所当ヲネンゴロ二沙汰シ」(御文、四六)、「守護・地頭方へ慇懃(いんきん)ノ振舞アルベク候。オナジク寺社本所ノ所領押領ノ義、カタク成敗アルベク候也」(御文、五八). Hence these instructions dealt with tithe payments to shugo and jitō, fulfillment of duties, and a ban on the forced possession and seizure of temple and shrine lands. The former instructions were aimed at the hyakushō Monto , whereas the latter dealt with dogō and Daikan, the so-called bushi Monto. Those Monto members with a strong sense of faith and determination in their beliefs (ワレハ信心ヲイタリトヒテ) and who had been promised a place in the Pure Land were quite convinced of their position in society at large, and thus this probably lay behind their decision to renege on tithe payments or duties to their place of living. If an increase in taxes or an inability to pay taxes emerged because of a poor harvest, then this would also become a problem, and the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the position of the estate owner or daikan would be argued. The Bunmei and Chōkyō ikkō ikki were closely linked to questions over the reduction of tithes and exemption from duties. The Chōkyō ikki, which overthrew Togashi Masachika, is primarily traced to the excessive financial burden that Masachika placed on his own territory when raising troops to participate in the subduing of the Sasaki family of Ōmi as ordered by shōgun Ashikaga Yoshihisa(311)

Rennyo firmly held onto his belief that in respect to the secular laws, he should maintain a stance that would discourage or prevent the incidences of ikki and that way avoid the overwhelming pressure and suppression that would inevitably come from other major powers. Yet the ikkō ikki managed to achieve results beyond what Rennyo believed it was capable of. The result of this was the great increase in the development of the groups of believers.(311)

The secular laws (世間ノ仁義) were basically classified as 1. Veneration for all gods and buddhas, 2. A ban on treating with disdain the various gods and buddhas, 3. Strict observance of traditions of funerals and other such practices, 4. Adherence to the morals of society. In this observance, Kakunyo wrote 「世法にありては五常と名づける仁・義・礼・知・信を守りて、内心には他力の不思議を持つべき由, 相承し奉る処なり」(改邪鈔). Hence the secular laws were given a position whereby they would regulate social activities. Again, in the 「九十箇条制法」, the quote 「仏法、世法二ツキ談義・内談」was used. For this mentioned 「コレミナ南無阿弥陀仏ノ六字ノウチニコモレルガユヘナリ」(御文、三二)and 「一切ノ神明トマウスハ、本地ハ仏菩薩ノ変化ニテ」(御文 四六).(312)

The general principle of respect for the secular laws was, in one sense, 「当時コノゴロハ、アナガチ二偏執スベキ耳ヲソバダテ、謗難ノクチビルヲメグラスヲモテ本トスル時分タルアヒダ」(御文、五○), in other words, a strengthening of preventative measures in order that Shinshū might not suffer attacks or be forced to evacuate. Moreover, a respect for the secular laws would increase the ties between those persons living in the midst of either the Shinshū organization or the village unit who had not yet joined the Monto. It was an active policy aimed at expanding the basis for conversions. A respect for the imperial law and secular law on the surface, and through it an expansion of the Buddhist law via the Monto, called for the creation of an ideal form of Monto. There was a greater need for flexibility in dealing with the apparent contradictions within the fundamentals of both the secular, imperial, and Buddhist laws. Yet it was the fundamental principle of the Shinshū organization that its believer`s consciously endeavour to create the authority to protect the Buddhist law.(312)

This ideology would later be used in the background of the alliance formed between Honganji and Hosokawa Masamoto, and would also apply to the logic of `敵法` that would be used against such figures as Hosokawa Harumoto and Oda Nobunaga. Hence from the outset of Rennyo`s belief in respect for secular law and veneration of the Buddhist law, through to the Honganji institution`s usage of 双輪論 (mutual assistance) and 敵法 to overthrow the authority of one`s enemies, at the core of these beliefs still lay the desire for the protection of the Buddhist law. The changes that were made applied to how the interpretation of defence of the Buddhist law would be carried out. The relationship between the Buddhist Law and the Imperial Law is an important question in the development of the relationship between the Monto organization and the village organization.(313) The Buddhist Law brought about changes and refinements to the secular laws (those of the villages), and paved the way for the creation of the `province of the Buddhist law`, where secular and Buddhist laws were combined.(313)

The roles of the priesthood, the Toshiyori, and the Otona

Kasahara Kazuo, in his analysis of the leading elements of the sō village organization, quoted from the 栄玄記 using the following passage:
According to Prof Kasahara`s theory, the priesthood, Toshiyori, and Otona comprised the leadership of the sō village organization, and in their capacity `as the central part of the united village group, they became members of the regional group of faithful`. `In order for Shinshū to develop, the priests of the village and their leaders = Toshiyori and Otona, had to be converted to Shinshū. If this level of village dweller could be persuaded to change his faith, then all of the other villagers would follow suit. These Otona and Toshiyori were affiliated with the prominent Buddhist priest and temple of their region, they had their own dōjō, and would possess an influential Monto group, thereby providing a small to intermediate sized influence in the development of Shinshū in the provinces. These village leaders would become the priests of the dōjō, although they did not shave their heads, and would continue in their position in the same guise as before, yet they would also be a member of the local organization representing Honganji`.(313)

Prof Minegishi doesn`t dispute the fact that the advantages of gaining the conversion of the village leadership led to the expansion of Shinshū authority, yet he does question whether the practice of conversion of the leadership of a village (which in turn would lead to the conversion of the entire village) by the Monto groups under Rennyo`s guidance (a practice that led to the development of an expansion in the size of the Monto groups) was the same in all areas where Shinshū groups developed. For example, are the `Otona` and `Toshiyori` referred to in the 栄玄記 actually the Otona and Toshiyori of sō villages? Prof Minegishi quotes Rennyo`s response to two questions, both of which appear before and after the passage quoted by Prof Kasahara. Those are (when addressed by Hōkei at Yamashina)「仏法の繁昌とみえ申候、其故は、戸障子までもてのほかそこね申ほど諸人群集申され候」, to which Rennyo says「信心決定の人の一人つづもいでくるこそ仏法繁昌よ」(二五九頁)and Rennyo`s comment at Yoshizaki, which was 「かねをたたきかど(門)かどを念仏を申てあるくものは、念仏を売てあるくものぢゃ」and 「真実の信もなくてあらうずる坊主分は……おなじ事なり」(二六一~二六二頁).

Judging by these responses, Rennyo believed that the expansion of Shinshū was not through `securing large numbers of followers`, but that each follower had grasped the fundamentals of belief within him or herself. Rennyo is also reported to have said (whilst in Yamashina) 「仏ケにならうと思ふものは仏ケにはなるまじいぞ」and 「法義にはさやう驚くがほんじやぞ」 (when a number of people, stunned by the words of Rennyo, literally fell to their deaths after hearing what he said), with emphasis on the meaning of 法義 (二六○頁). Rennyo`s comment followed with 「信なき坊主衆」「念仏を売る」「かねたたき念仏」thus showing his criticism of the practices of his time.(314)

From this context, the priesthood, Otona, and Toshiyori refer to the priests of the Shinshū Monto (those of temples and dōjō), yet do they refer to the Toshiyori and Otona of the sō organization (the kōchū 講中)? While it is true that the Toshiyori and Otona were positions that headed the village unit and sō organization, the Shinshū Monto organization also used these titles to refer to the leaders next in line after the priests of the Monto sō. In such instances, the Toshiyori was made up of a number of village leaders, amongst whom were the Otona, who acted as representatives (note an example taken from the Honpukuji Atogaki for pg.280, which shows that there were Otona from surrounding sō villages and Otona of the Katata sōshō (惣荘) who earned the wages of a Bantō and compares them with the `Toshiyori` of the Monto (in both instances, the character for Otona and Toshiyori is 老). Hence in the 栄玄記, the conversion of the village leadership is not the problem, for they have already been converted, yet there seem to be many who did not possess real `knowledge` of the precepts of Shinshū, who had no `resolution in their faith`, hence the `priesthood, Toshiyori, and Otona` who made up the leadership of the kō lectures would be made to acquire a true understanding of the `ways of the Buddha` (法義), and thus their acquisition of this `true knowledge` would pave the way for other villagers to receive wisdom in `the ways of the Buddha`. This then, would be the `apex of the Buddhist Law`, or at least that is how one could interpret Rennyo`s meaning.(315)

Thus as a possible interpretation of the meaning of 法義 within the 栄玄記 and the 御文, `Toshiyori` and `Otona` could essentially stay unchanged, yet in the case of the priesthood (or those of priest-status, ie坊主), they were singled out (three times in the Ofumi) as responsible for the establishment of the 法義. Using this understanding of the 栄玄記 and applying it to Prof Kasahara`s theory, the Monto organization (or kō) and the village organization (sō) were one and the same, and in areas where Shinshū groups developed, this meant that the village organization had been supplanted by that of the Monto, that a result of the development of Shinshū was the take-over of the village administration by Shinshū believers. Therefore there is a need to re-examine the logic of the development of the Shinshū when one remembers that this contains a double meaning.(315)

Inoue Toshio was aware of the fact that the objects for conversion to the Shinshū faith were the village Toshiyori and Otona, yet at the initial stages of the Shinshū progress into a gō or shōen, conversion did not occur because of pressure from the Monto group, in fact the Ikkō group and the leadership of the sō were completely separate entities. For example, between the years of Bunmei 5 to 9 in the three villages of Aga (英賀) in Harima province, the Monto organization consisted of `six of the otona`, `eleven of the toshiyori` and so forth (Tenbun Nikki). These particular characters appear to have been the otona and toshiyori of the kō organization found within the village, which doesn`t mean that it was the same as the organization running the village. Though one can posit that the development of the Monto organization came about because the Monto organization took over from the village organization, the role of the leaders of both organizations is unclear.(315) At any rate, the formation of the village organization (the sō), and the sō that was taken over by the Monto, whilst they had identical forms and titles, did not intermingle so readily, and were in fact separate entities. To question where their ties were and their contradictions lay is to spread new light on the characteristics of the ikkō ikki.(316)

Preliminary examination of the Bunmei and Chōkyō ikki:

To begin with, if Rennyo had not been in Echizen residing in Yoshizaki at the time of the outbreak of the ikki, then there is every possibility that the Kaga ikkō ikki would not have taken the form that it did. According to Prof Minegishi, it would have been synonymous with a kuni ikki, but it would not have become an ikkō ikki. (355) Yoshizaki became the focal point for belief in the Hokuriku, with the core elements of Shinshū ideology based on the teachings of Rennyo and those of the four temples of Kaga. In addition, there was the Senjūji sect and Sanmon sects. All of these combined made up the total of `Ikkō shū` believers (ie, those sects preaching the role of Amida Butsu). In addition, there also existed a belief in the Pure Land amongst the Hakuzan worshippers of Kaga. Into this situation came the teachings of Rennyo, which gradually spread throughout the entire region. As a result of the growth of Honganji Monto, the Senjūji Monto began to fear being surrounded, and through the assistance of the shugo Togashi Yukichiyo worked to suppress Honganji activities. To counter this, the Tayashū that was assembled under Rennyo was addressed in an Ofumi (the Taya Ofumi) that stated the following line:
文明第五十月  日

In this particular Ofumi, Rennyo refers to himself as a 愚身, however at the end of the letter the subject written under the date is the 多屋衆. It is an inconsistent letter (in terms of style), however it was written by Rennyo, and was confirmed by way of a 衆議. Moreover, this document indicates both the intention of the Tayashū and Rennyo. From what we can discern from this letter, the Monto gathered at Yoshizaki, together with those of Echizen, Kaga, and the three regions of Etchū and 「土民百姓已下」had no other intention than to promote rebirth in the Pure Land through belief in the Nembutsu, and that being tied by reputation to the 「牢人出張」(those Echizen Monto in league with Togashi Masachika against the shugo) had created a lot of rumours (種々雑説) that were proving to be a nuisance. Moreover, the Yoshizaki Taya had no desire for territory (所領所帯), but were engaged in building defences in order to prevent attacks from `a whole range of devils and demons` and brigands. If these forces persisted in trying to suppress the Monto (無理難題), then they were prepared to stand and engage in battle, to risk their lives for the Nembutsu. In sum, the Ofumi makes very clear the intention of the forces of the shugo and Senjūji to attack and criticize the Tayashū, and answers with equally clear language that this will be met by force.(357)

In the 6th year of Bunmei (1474), from the 26th of the seventh month to the 14th day of the tenth month, battles were fought out in Kaga, resulting in Togashi Yukichiyo`s flight to Rendaiji and its eventual surrender, the destruction of the shugodai Kosugi, and the flight of Yukichiyo. The characteristics of this ikki can be discerned from the documents surrounding it:
The downfall of Togashi authority was not a result of 「人間之所為」but because 「仏法・王法之所作りせしむ」. Thus the reason given for the uprising was the fact that the Takada Monto, together with the shugo, had `acquiesced` or `agreed` with each other`s plans, and then they had launched attacks against the Honganji Monto, both damaging property and committing arson. As a counter-attack to this, the 「加州一国之土一揆」was formed, which saw an alliance between the 「山内方」(Togashi Masachika of the Yamanouchi sō) and the Honganji Monto. The peasantry (百姓分) did not originally seek to expel shugo or jitō rule from their territory, and was merely a form of 「前代未聞」, yet they too were described as acting against the enemies `of the Buddhist Law` 「仏法に敵対し」whereas the suppression of the peasantry (誅伐) were caused by violations (謀叛). Thus a 御奉書 had been received from the shogunate addressed to the 百姓中 calling for the overthrow of the current shugo, Yukichiyo, thus making the conflict public (公の戦), which appealed to the logic of the position of Masachika and the Monto that insisted that the actions of the shugo were violations.(359)

In sum, the attempted suppression of the Honganji Monto by the Takada Monto and the shugo forces was tied to an internal conflict within the Togashi family over authority. Masachika, who had led the anti-Yukichiyo members of the Togashi household, had formed an alliance with the Monto of Honganji. Added to this were the aftereffects of the Ōnin and Bunmei wars, which saw the shōgun Ashigaka Yoshihisa launch a series of edicts backing up the position of the Masachika-Monto force, which then attacked Yukichiyo at Rendaiji. If this had merely been an ikki formed by the Honganji Monto, there was no way that they would receive an busho (奉書) from the shōgun, which means this only took place because of Masachika`s involvement. The Bunmei ikki could thus be categorized as 1. a conflict over protection of laws – hence a religious war, anti-shugo conflict driven by the hyakushō and kokujin (who objected to tithes and other public expenses), internal dispute amongst the Togashi family – hence a power struggle, 4.the inclusion of the central power (the shōgunate) binds all four of the elements together thus resulting in a kuni ikki (a point made more certain by the alliance formed between Monto and non-Monto forces). However, this conflict included an element which saw the Monto defending the Buddhist Law, and since the Monto played a large part in leading the uprising, in this sense the Bunmei ikki was an ikkō ikki.(359-360)

The origins of `ikki`:

The Muromachi and Sengoku eras certainly deserved their reputation as `the age of ikki`. The word `ikki` itself is derived from a unit of measurement for both the length of roads and volume, however the word itself was eventually replaced by `road` (道) and came to signify a method or the extent of an action, thus taking on a more abstract meaning. In classical Chinese, `ikki` was mentioned by 孟子 (Mencius) who wrote that 先聖後聖其揆一也. This idea was then copied in volume sixteen of the Taiheiki, where Kusunoki Masashige楠正成, before he sets out for the battle of Minatogawa (湊川), quotes to his son Masayuki the famous phrase in reference to the generals of the Sengoku era of Chinese history. 「前聖後聖一揆二シテ有難カリシ賢佐ナリ」which means `the path that the sage takes is the same whether now or in the past`.

In medieval society, to act as one or work in cooperation was referred to by the words `ikki`, and was used in relation to a reading of sutras at temples or the combined military action of samurai. After the Nambokuchō era, it came to be used in relation to establishing a bond or demonstrating a combined objective whether it be for one on one encounters, individual against group, and group against group situations, and was associated with such practices as swearing vows to gods using a Kimonjō, or having all participants place their signature on a document swearing their allegiance to a cause. This combined action was thus referred to as an `ikki`. The ikki, when it was formed, assumed an equality among those participating in it, and was thus created based upon horizontal relations. When a situation emerged whereby a foreseen objective could be realized, an ikki placed the objective at the forefront of the reasons for the joint activity, thus conflict or violent protest by groups working in conjunction also became known as ikki. The term itself thus came to be used for a wide variety of phenomena resulting from a combined group action. This type of ikki emerged from among the warrior class. During the Nambokuchō wars, which form the first part of the Taiheiki, lower to medium level samurai known as kokujin had been organized into groups by Ashikaga Takauji and Naoyoshi, and had given them titles such as the Shirohata Ikki (formed in Ueno and Musashi) (白旗一揆) and the Ketsukō(or the Ketsuyamanire) Ikki (formed in Mino)(桔梗一揆). These groups were imagined to be a sort of `standard bearer`, and thus kokujin ikki would be sent to the front.(255)

Upon entering the Sengoku era, a kokujin ikki became synonymous with a combined action formed from mutual interests, most of which had to deal with the political and economic state of the local region, and which made up of a far more diverse group of participants, including the upper levels of village councils and their dogō representatives. Then the `gun` organizations would from an ikki separate to that of a kokujin ikki and raise what became known as a sōkoku ikki. A sōkoku ikki took place in the 17th year of Bunmei (1485) in the southern region of Yamashiro province and lasted for eight years. From the years Tenbun 21 (1552) through to Eiroku 11 (1568) there occurred the Iga Sōkoku Ikki, and in Ōmi province there occurred the Koga gun chūsō (中惣), which lasted for most of the Sengoku era. (255)

On the other hand, at the village level the dogō and `hyakushō` would join together to form a collective based around the concept of the sō organization. This was responsible for the administration of water usage and hunting rights, as well as the performance of duties to protective deities. A number of sō villages in regional areas would join together to form a sō gō organization (惣郷). This organization often involved itself in conflicts against a single overlord or owner (名主), and thus came to be called sōke ikki (荘家一揆). A tokusei ikki, which involved making a demand to either local authorities or the Bakufu for the revocation or destruction of Tokusei (which dealt with debts and loans), was also known as a tsuchi ikki. In such instances, the sō villages and sō gō consisted not merely of farming villages, but also fishing villages and representatives from manufacturing towns. Moreover, the dogō that appeared in such protests were not always merely influential peasants, yet might also have been fairly powerful landowners. The word `hyakushō` denoted the payment of tithes and performance of public duties towards a lord or owner, and thus covered a wide range of professions, not merely farming. (256)

The above ikki thus occurred with the participation of those lower on the scale of warrior status, such as dogō, as well as peasants. This is illustrated by Fig.1 (256)

What this diagram shows is that everyday organizations existed in conjunction with their military counterparts - the sōkoku and sōkoku ikki, the sōmura, sōgō, and sōke no ikki, and the tsuchi ikki. Hence the formation of an ikki and its activities went through a social progression, from the warriors, to the dogō, to the peasantry. In the midst of this, the figure of the dogō was the most widely distributed, taking part in sōke no ikki, sōkoku ikki and tsuchi ikki.(256)

In the midst of this tripartiate relationship between warriors, dogō, and `hyakushō`, the number of Shinshū affiliated Monto grew, and within the sō organization (villages and gō – or conglomerates of villages) the Monto organization held its `lectures`. These village organizations were thus influenced (or infiltrated) by the ideology of Shinshū. When a sō village, sōgō or sōkoku thus came to be divided up into Monto and non-Monto elements (which on occasion produced conflict), as a result of the authoritative lead taken by the Monto, they in turn secured the right to lead the village, and thus took over the administration of the village. In this way, what was previously a sōkoku ikki, sōke no ikki, or tsuchi ikki (particularly in areas in the Kinai and surrounding regions which were heavily influenced by Shinshū activity) took on the appearance of an ikkō ikki. The ideology of Shinshū combined with the Monto organization proved effective, for when an ikkō ikki formed that was led and inspired by the Monto yet also combined with non-Monto forces, it would lead to the development of a powerful military organization. When both sides came to contradict the other quite strongly, and the division of ideas spread more widely, the ikkō ikki thus came to rely purely on the Monto itself to fight its battles, and this in turn was to lead to its defeat. Hence the ikkō ikki was not simply led and inspired by the Monto itself. It involved a number of Monto and non-Monto elements each participating with their own political and economic agenda, yet drawn together to act in unison when the occasion called. (257)    

As a short digression from Kaga, notes by Prof Minegishi on p.340 state that according to the records of Honpukuji of Katata, the leadership of the village was divided up into the temple, the dōjō (or Monto sō) and the sō itself. The social class of leader within the groups of the village were described as `toshiyori`, with the leaders of the toshiyori described as otona. According to the record of the 18th day of lectures held at Honpukuji, the leaders assembled at that lecture were the dōjō nushi of the local area (making them priests), and who were the otona of small groups of Monto. These groups formed at toshiyori band at Honfukuji, and through them other groups of Monto from different provinces and allegiances came to join the Monto of Honpukuji.(340-341)

The Gun:

During the Bunmei Ikki, a series of gun formed the so-called `gun ikki` of Kaga (centered around the Kawakita, Ishikawa, Nomi, and Enuma). As these went by the name of `gun` and `gun chū`, it was assumed that these control organizations were made upon kokujin status warriors. Within the Bunmei Ikki, Honganji and Togashi Masachika formed an alliance, the so-called `anti-shugo` ikki which soon transformed into a gun ikki. The course of these events saw members of the shugo forces desert the gun, whilst others were forced out. It was then more concretely established after the ikki had passed. However the controversy over whether to evaluate the gun ikki of the Bunmei to Chōkyō eras as a gun under the direction of the shugo system, or whether to argue it was a Monto organization still continues. Those prime sources appear as thus (see source materials Minegishi). A result of this study shows that Kinryū Shizuka`s thesis that the `gun ikki` was in fact made up of Monto and non-Monto elements appears to be the most justifiable. Of course, the Monto played the leading role in the organization itself, which brought about a difference in the abilities of the gun based upon the individual characteristics of the Monto. The Enuma gun, which was the closest to Yoshizaki, had removed the presence of the Kosugi and Gaku families (daikan of Togashi Yukichiyo) (小杉・額) and had appropriated their former positions  (as jitō and daikan seifu 代官請負). This led to the rapid growth of the kokujin Monto, and the leadership authority of the kokujin Monto became the most powerful.(364)

The gun ikki, under the rule of the new shugo Togashi Masachika, created the framework for a regional authority organization, and took over the roles of the former gun. In sum, as the sources show that the gun acted as the messengers for the shugo`s orders (7.a・b), were involved in dispute resolution (over tithes) by playing the role of negotiator (4,6), and also carried the right to hold inspections. As we may also note that Honganji sent an order to the gun ikki in relation to the non-payment of tithes from shōen on behalf of the shōen owners, one may certainly posit that the gun ikki was in fact a Monto organization.(364)

Prof Fujiki Hisashi states that the gun phenomena was based on two separate organizations – the gun chū, which operated by receiving orders from the shugo and opposed the Ikkō sect, and the gun ikki, which was a Monto organization. Prof Fujiki states that one should realize that these organizations co-existed and fought.

Yet the gun chū referred to in sources 5, 7 a・b were not answerable to Rennyo and were in their own right a self-styled gun, for we know that Rennyo did not approve of ikki yet this is what the organization decided to call itself. In the case of 9, the gun and `chige` did not pay off the Ikkō shū in order for them to desist in land seizures, yet from the content of the passage which states that the 御動座 (Ashikaga Yoshimasa`s army in Ōmi) desired the expulsion of 10 members of the Ikkō shū who had tried to engage in land seizures, seizures that had been made by `gun` and `chige` against the owner of 鹿苑 (Kaen) estate. Yet there was no truth to these allegations. Hence the group that carried out these acts was mistakenly believed to be the gun ikki. It is not necessary to separate the gun chū and the gun ikki, for they were not separate entities, but it is necessary to understand that the historical resources for the period to contradict the internal workings of the organization. The gun ikki was in its initial form a gun, after the Monto became its more prominent members and by using their initiative they took over the gun and ran it. As a local `public` institution it had a sense of `justice` that went beyond the damage or concerns of the Monto.(365)

Hence even though the gun chū, gun ikki chū went by different names, they were the same organization, an organization created from both Monto and non-Monto elements. From this point of view, eventually the non-Monto elements were encouraged to undergo conversion. Hence for the gun ikki to qualify as a Honganji Monto organization, it had to:

  1. have its founding members in a Monto
  2. rely on the Monto to take the initiative and form a close bond with Honganji
  3. exist as an organization under the authority of Honganji

In the case of a, these gun were under political control. B was a religious organization.
Thus when we look at the gun ikki of Bunmei and Chōkyō, these confirmed to types 1 and 2, whereas 3 illustrates a direction that the gun eventually went in. If we look at 3b, we see that this was not a gun ikki, but a `gun chū kō (講).(365)

The gun was thus a separate type of `kumi`, which was formed at the shō and gō level from Monto and non-Monto elements to form an ikki. This `gun ikki`, in contrast to the involvement of kokujin (or kokushū) and the image of the gun as a kokujin organization, can also be thought of as a hyakushō organization (dogō and nōmin).(365) 

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© Greg Pampling. This page was modified in December 2011