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戦国史研究会、戦国史研究, 第四八号、吉川弘文館、東京、平成十六年(2006) (Sengoku Historical Studies Society, Studies on the Era of the Warring States, Version Forty Eight, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, Tokyo, 2006)


戦国史研究会、戦国史研究, 第四八号、吉川弘文館、東京、平成十六年(2006) (Sengoku Historical Studies Society, Studies on the Era of the Warring States, Version Forty Eight, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, Tokyo, 2006)

神田千里、「一向一揆と土一揆」, pp.1-12 (Kanda Chisato, "Ikko Ikki and Tsuchi Ikki", pp.1-12)

-There are two conditions that must be kept in mind when contemplating the phenomenon of a `religious` uprising. The first deals with whether or not the formation of a group in revolt is based on the beliefs (or as a sign of faith) towards a particular religion. The second deals with whether those persons who make up a group that has taken up armed revolt has based its action on articles of faith of that particular religion. In regard to the first example, there are a number of precedents that illustrate this point. For example, the Kaga Ikkō ikki organization was made up of Honganji Monto ikki that went by the name of the `Enuma Gun`, the `Nomi Gun`, the `Ishikawa Gun`, and the `Kawakita Gun`. These titles would modify over time, so that by the era of the siege of Ishiyama Honganji, those groups in revolt would clearly be designated as affiliates of the Monto (such as the Bōzu Shūchū, and the Monto Shūchū).(1)

-The real problem when dealing with this phenomenon is related to armed uprisings. Is it right to think that all of the military forces that were affiliated with Honganji were made up of the Monto? When we look at the phenomenon of priests advocating resistance through comments such as 「敵の方に懸かる足は極楽浄土へ参ると思へ、引退く足は無間地獄の底に沈むと思ひて、一足も退くべからず」「賀越闘諍記」, we can imagine that the military forces of Honganji were bound together by religious conditions (or articles). However on the other hand, in the 3rd year of Ganki (1572), the Honganji forces that rose centered on the organizations of Kanemori and Mitaku in Ōmi, included some `other monks` described as 「三宅真浄坊」「福正寺文書 正月十九日下間正秀書状」. Though described as an `ikkō ikki`, it is not too hard to imagine that these forces contained mercenaries and other itinerants who fought `in order to eat`.(1)

-One particular point that needs to be stressed is that in relation to ikki, those persons making records of uprisings during the Chōkyō and Tenbun eras (and possibly earlier) referred to most local disturbances as either simply `ikki` or `tsuchi ikki`. This appears to have been the common title for such activity, for this is what the person writing the record recognized as conforming to an image of `ikki`. Though differences were made between ikki based on motive, when an ikki arose among villages this was predominantly classified as a `tsuchi ikki`. This is apparent in the conflict between Yukichiyo and the Takada Monto. Rennyo, on the side of Honganji, described as activity as thus 「今度加州一国の土一揆となる」(柳本御文集). Within the 「大乗院寺社雑事記」 the record states that 「加賀国一向宗土民<無碍(がい)光宗と号す>侍分と確執し、侍分悉くもつて土民の方より国中を払ふ」(文明六年十一月一日条). From the usage of such designations as `一向宗土民`, `土民の方` and the like, the instigators of these uprisings, the 土民, thus made these uprisings 土一揆 in nature.(2) There follow other examples in this nature, however most are outside of the Kaga framework. What can be said is that even if the ikki participants were bound together by articles of faith and belief in Honganji Shinshū, as far as observers were concerned their uprising was the equivalent of a `tsuchi ikki` and thus described it as such.(3)

-Thus Prof Kanda posits the question: for what reasons were the ikkō ikki described as `tsuchi ikki` or simply `ikki`? Unfortunately there are no good historical sources that specifically detail what Honganji`s fighting forces were like, however some inference can be made from other references, specifically the 大乗院文書 for the 享禄・天文之記. This source details an ikkō ikki that arose in Nara in the 7th month of the 5th year of Kyōroku. This source states that an ikkō force was assembled from among the villages of Tsuji(辻), Hakukōji (白毫寺), Ninjokuzan (忍辱山), Taiheio(太平尾) and Sei(Shō)tarin (誓多林) (all of which were related to 一乗院 in terms of their residing on the temple`s land – Ichijōin (Shingon), taking with them `threshing tools, and swords`. This ikki also gained two 大将 in the form of 新薬師堂内福禅・了春. These `generals` arranged the ikki, which then headed off in the direction of Kasuga shine in order to seize property in almost the same manner as a `tsuchi ikki`.(5) The ikki knew that goods from their storage houses were being stored at Kasuga shrine, hence to raise an ikki in order to seize one`s property was a very similar tactic to that adopted by a tsuchi ikki.(5)

Ordinarily, if one were to describe such an uprising as an ikkō ikki, the villages involved in the action would belong to a Honganji Monto, or else the leaders of the villagers would be part of the Honganji Monto. However in the case of these six villages, each held close relations with Ichijōin, and Ichijōin was a powerful institution of Kōfukuji, which itself had banned the `Ikkō sect` from Yamato province. It is thus difficult to imagine that there were many Monto members amidst the villagers (Eventually Prof Kanda explains that the leaders of these villages, who led the gathering and who exercised active political intentions, may have belonged to a Honganji Monto, but this is unverifiable. Hence it must be regarded as merely an example of what a village tsuchi ikki looked like according to a contemporary record.(6)

A further analysis is given in relation to the 「カリカ子屋」(雁金屋), a person of considerable influence within the Nara townspeople (this essentially gives a record of the actions of this person, noting that he had lodged Ennyo within his establishment, and thus was regarded as belonging to the Honganji Monto). There are, according to Prof Kanda, two specific features in relation to this latter uprising. The first is that this armed uprising was led by the Honganji Monto, and many of these Monto were affiliated with the `ichimi dōshin` practitioners of the kō and 寺檀 (Jidan) organization. The second point is that the armed force that was raised during the ikki consisted of many diverse members, drawn in from surrounding villages, and who were not necessarily all affiliated with Shinshū. Rather, in a similar manner to the recruitment strategies of daimyō and other military leaders, villagers would be raised and then formed according to the same principles as a tsuchi ikki (or at least, the probability of their being raised this way was very high). In this sense, the military force that Honganji raised from among the affiliates of its temples is made more apparent (further example follows from 1582 and the struggle against Oda Nobunaga in Ōmi).(7)  

The conclusion reached by Prof Kanda is that the armed uprisings that were commonly described as `Ikkō ikki` were, according to the Honganji Monto, not necessarily raised according to the articles of faith, and one can also see that villagers, known as `domin` or `hyakushō` made up a bulk of that military force. Of course, when Honganji called upon the Monto to act, this was done according to `the Buddhist Law`, hence thinking dictates that the Honganji Monto obeyed religious articles, and thus the Honganji Monto might be seen as an amalgamation between articles of faith and a military organization. Yet the Monto could not fight merely on its own. In the event that it did enter conflict, was it inevitable that they too would come to rely on mercenaries? Under such circumstances, it was more common for Honganji to raised troops using the reason of `Tokusei`. Though it might be true to say that the central crux of raising an ikkō ikki force came from the use of religion and belief, using secular methods for the raising of troops was another means by which a military force could be gathered.(10-11)

© Greg Pampling. This page was modified in December 2011