Clan History: Chosokabe

By Terikel Grayhair | Forum thread

We are the Chosokabe, a proud samurai clan. We are the rulers of Tosa province, a relatively poor province, but one which comprises most of the small island of Shikoku. We are bordered on the northwest by the Iyo province of the Matsuyama clan, and on the east by Awa province.

It is said we are descended from the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang, the man who rose from king of the Qin State to become emperor of all of China. You may know him as the man who built the Great wall to keep out the Xiongnu and other primitive tribes of the plains. He is also the man who is buried with an army of terra cotta soldiers to protect him throughout eternity. This is the first of our line, and like him we too may one day rise from ruler of a small state to command all of the nation.

Throughout the ages, we were Jito, deputy administrators, and our clan leaders respected daimyo. We ruled Tosa for over four hundred years, though in the later years we were vassals to the Ichijo clan in our own province.

Then came Motochika, our twenty-first and greatest clan leader. Under his rule, we overthrew the Ichijo to achieve supremacy again. Then we marched to war outside our province. Awa and Iyo provinces submitted to our rule after we defeated their samurai clans. On our island, we were supreme!

This could not last, of course. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a rising warlord on Honshu and one of the most remarkable men in history, came against us. He sent a hundred thousand samurai against us when we were at our weakest- recovering from our grand conquest. Motochika wisely asked for negotiations, and accepted the generous terms of his new lord. He was to surrender Awa and Iyo provinces to the Mori and another clan, but could retain our native Tosa province. Thereafter he served honorably in the armies of Hideyoshi, and as an admiral, and again as an army commander during the invasion of Korea. In every service, he received praise for his sober thinking and excellent leadership.

Motochika’s heir, Morichika, would be less blessed. He would pledge support to Ishida Mitsunari against Tokugawa Ieyasu, and be present at the battle of Sekigahara, where he would do very little. He lost us our lands- Ieyasu disowned us and gave our lands to Yamaouchi Kazutoyo. We were now ronin, though Morichika would later join the defenders of Osaka castle. He would be taken with the other defenders, and was beheaded in Kyoto in 1615, ending our line.

Yet we survived, disgraced as we were. Our descendants would plague the Tokugawa, and be among the forefront of those pressing the Meiji Restoration, where the Emperor finally succeeded in escaping from under the thumb of the Tokugawa and rule in his own right.

We are the Chosokabe, sons of emperors and makers of emperors.