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Mōri

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Mōri
Mori kamon.svg
Historical Information
Located at: Aki and Izumo Provinces; mainly relegated to Chūgoku region during Motonari's time
Served:
Crest(s)/Banner(s): "One" character and three stars (pictured)
Three stars with the "good fortune" (吉) character
Embracing omodaga
Paulownia seal (five flowered type)
Crane circle
Eight arrow wheel
Talent(s): Warrior clan (powerful navy and many family ties in the Warring States period)
Vast wealth
Aristocrats
Major Figure(s): Motonari, Terumoto, Shigetaka, Takachika (Yoshichika), Motonori (Sadahiro)

The Mōri clan (毛利氏) is a clan that has ties since the Heian period in Japan. They survived the Warring States period and are still active to this day.

The three stars in their family crest references three stars within Orion's constellation. In Chinese culture, these three stars represent three generals. This particular aspect of mythology carried over in Japan, in which the general group of stars was known as the "warrior's star". The single character that graces the three stars is believed to symbolize the ancient Mōri clan's founder, who was said to have been Emperor Heizei's bastard child and a lost candidate as the land's imperial prince. It remains as a lasting mark of the Mōri's ties to royalty.

Omodaga, also known as "Victory Grass" (勝ち草) in the Warring States period, was considered a good luck charm and was favored by soldiers since the early Heian era. The Mōri are said to use it due to a far-fetched yet interesting tale regarding Motonari. One year, while he was at war, he crossed a river. He stopped to watch a dragonfly land on a full grown omodaga and admired the beautiful sight. While he watched them and felt moved by the simple joys in nature, he happened to see a breech in the enemy lines. Motonari ordered his troops to advance and they claimed a resounding victory. Hence, the omodaga was said to have been assigned as a code of arms in their clan.

Clan HeadsEdit

This list only includes the immediate ancestors of the Mōri branch and doesn't list previous leaders from the Ōeno family.

  1. Ōeno Hiromoto
  2. Ōeno Suemitsu (Mōri Suemitsu)
  3. Tsunemitsu
  4. Tokichika
  5. Chikahira
  6. Motoharu (Motochika)
  7. Hirofusa
  8. Mitsufusa
  9. Hiromoto (unknown~1464)
  10. Toyomoto
  11. Hiromoto (1466~1506)
  12. Okimoto
  13. Kōmatsumaru - Okimoto's only heir; died when he was nine
  14. Motonari
  15. Takamoto
  16. Terumoto
  17. Hidenari
  18. Tsunahiro
  19. Yoshinari
  20. Yoshihiro
  21. Yoshimoto
  22. Munehiro
  23. Shigetaka
  24. Haruchika
  25. Narifusa
  26. Narihiro
  27. Narimoto
  28. Naritō
  29. Takachika (Yoshichika)
  30. Motonori (Sadahiro)
  31. Motoakira
  32. Motomichi
  33. Motohiro
  34. Motohide (present; also called the 72nd head of the family if every ancestor is included)

Motohide is currently married and he owns the Mōri residence in Yamaguchi. He is usually seen as a representative in traditional ceremonies and is reported to have met the current Shimazu head, Nobuhisa, in person.

Other FiguresEdit

  • Aiō Mototsuna - Hiromoto's third son, Okimoto and Motonari's younger half brother. Said to have carried the nickname "Ima Yoshitsune" and was fabled to be on good terms with Motonari. When Kōmatsumaru died, Mototsuna planned to use his daughter-in-law as a means to gain leadership of the clan. He died while reportedly planning to assassinate Motonari, supposedly being killed by the latter before his plans could come to pass.
  • Kita Narikatsu - Hiromoto's fourth son, Okimoto and Motonari's younger half brother. Due to his mother's low status, he became a priest at Jorakuji. Eventually, he returned to a secular life and was introduced into the Kita clan, family vassals of the Mōri. Since Narikatsu had no children, Motonari was going to offer his second son to his brother. However, the child was ultimately sent to the Kikkawa family to compensate for Kikkawa Okitsune's abolishment. Narikatsu died without leaving behind an heir.
  • Misuke Motoshige - Hiromoto's fifth known son, Okimoto and Motonari's half brother. He is quoted from shrines and other sources to have existed, but it remains unclear if he was born before or after Motonari. Two popular beliefs regarding his origin is that he is either a bastard child or Hiromoto's grandson. Not much is currently known about him.
  • Kikkawa Motoharu (Mōri Motoharu) - Motonari's second son. Was said to have had mixed impressions with his father, receiving both praise and doubts about his capabilities. He didn't like his adopted father, Kikkawa Tsuneyo, but was willing to help his younger brother, Takakage, at any opportunity. He served with commendable services for both families before retiring to build his stone mansion.
  • Kobayakawa Takakage (Mōri Tokujumaru)
  • Hoida Motokiyo (Mōri Motokiyo) - Motonari's fourth son. Since Motonari already had three sons of noble lineage, he was said to have handled the rest of his children rather roughly. Motokiyo was born when his father was 50, and he was hastily married away to the Hoida family to strengthen their naval forces. Even though he was pushed into the background, he served bravely in many of his family's campaigns. Terumoto grew fond of his son, Hidemoto, and established them once more with the Mōri name.
  • Sugimori Motoaki (Mōri Motoaki) - Motonari's fifth son. To vitalize his ties with the childless Sugimori Takayasu, Motonari assigned Motoaki to be his vassal's adopted child. When Motonari's ties with Takayasu disappeared during the Izumo campaigns, he was then renamed under his biological family name.
  • Izuha Mototomo - Motonari's sixth son who was adopted by the then childless Izuha Motosuke at an early age. Motosuke planned to make him his successor but Mototomo died a premature death at age 17. Motosuke mourned his passing and enshrined him under his family name with utmost respect.
  • Amano Motomasa (Mōri Motomasa) - Motonari's seventh son who was said to have been a proud warrior and faithful to his father, even if he was a sloppy dresser. He was sent to the Amano clan at an early age to quell disputes regarding a family successor. He participated in several battles including Siege of Kōzuki Castle and The Battle of Sekigahara. Eventually reestablished himself under the Mōri name and started the Migita-Mōri clan.
  • Suetsugu Motoyasu (Mōri Motoyasu) - Motonari's eighth son. Inherits Motoaki's castle after his older brother's death. Prior to the Sekigahara conflict, he decided to leave Hidemoto to his own fate and led a group of followers to join the Siege of Ōtsu Castle. Returned to Osaka Castle and died in 1601.
  • Kobayakawa Fusamoto (Ota Mototsuna or Mōri Hidekane) - Motonari's ninth son. First adopted into the Ota clan but was later adopted by his older brother, Takakage. He was sent to Hideyoshi as a hostage and gained the Hidekane name. Appealed to Terumoto to join forces with Hideyoshi after the Komaki-Nagakute conflicts. Assisting in the Kyushu conflict, he married Ōtomo Sōrin's daughter and converted to Christianity. His baptized name was Simao Findenao. Participated in the Siege of Ōtsu Castle and resisted with the Tachibana family until their surrender. To disassociate himself from Hideaki's betrayal, he adopted the Mōri name once more. He died due to illness in 1601.
  • Ninomiya Naritoki - Motonari's illegitimate child (though some speculate that this is only a rumor).
  • Hidemoto - Motokiyo's son and Terumoto's adopted son. He is best known for his indecisiveness and inability to act at Sekigahara.

LadiesEdit

  • Fukubara Hirotoshi's daughter - Hiromoto's first wife, Okimoto and Motonari's mother
  • Sugi no Ōkata - Hiromoto's second wife. Little is known about her but Motonari thought fondly of her loyalty to his father.
  • Takahashi Hisamitsu's daughter - Okimoto's wife
  • Myōgyu Fujin - Kikkawa Kunitsune's daughter, Motonari's first wife. Gave birth to Yōsetsu no Kata, Takamoto, Gōryu no Tsubone, Motoharu, and Takakage. Motonari and his first three sons seemed to have loved her as they unabashedly held funeral rites for her and mourned for her.
  • Nomi no Ōkata - Motonari's second wife (also said to be his concubine), her real name is unknown. Gave birth to Motokiyo, Motomasa and Hidekane.
  • unknown maiden from Miyoshi clan - Motonari's concubine. Gave birth to Motoaki, Mototomo, and Motoyasu.
  • unknown maiden from Yada clan - Motonari's possible concubine. Ninomiya Naritoki's mother.
  • Yōsetsu no Kata - Motonari's tenth child, eldest daughter
  • Gōryu no Tsubone - Motonari's eleventh child, youngest daughter
  • Minami no Kata - Shishido Takaie's daughter, Terumoto's wife
  • Setai-in - Kodama Motoyoshi's daughter, Terumoto's concubine. Mother of his three children.
  • Takehime - Terumoto's daughter, Kikkawa Hiromasa's wife

Major VassalsEdit

Eighteen Generals of MōriEdit

The Eighteen Generals of Mōri (毛利十八将) were individuals who were praised and distinguished during Motonari's rule. While it's unlikely that they were called as such during their lifetimes, they were indeed important vassals for the Mōri family.

  1. Kobayakawa Takakage
  2. Kikkawa Motoharu (Mōri Motoharu)
  3. Shishido Takaie
  4. Amano Takashige
  5. Yoshimi Masayori
  6. Kodama Naritada
  7. Katsura Motozumi
  8. Fukubara Sadatoshi
  9. Kuchiba Michiyoshi
  10. Shiji Hiroyoshi
  11. Akagawa Motoyasu
  12. Awaya Motohide
  13. Watanabe Hajime
  14. Kumanai Nobunao
  15. Kunishi Motosuke
  16. Awaya Motochika
  17. Iida Motochika
  18. Inoue Motokane

Other VassalsEdit

  • Asonuma Hirohide
  • Asonuma Motohide
  • Awaya Motomichi
  • Fukubara Mototoshi
  • Ichikawa Tsuneyoshi
  • Kaneshige Motoshige
  • Kaneshige Motonao
  • Kaneshige Mototsugu
  • Kikkawa Motonaga
  • Kikkawa Motokage
  • Kikkawa Tsuneie
  • Kikkawa Tsuneyasu
  • Kikkawa Hiroie
  • Kuchiba Haruyoshi
  • Saka Motosada
  • Shigezawa Motoshige (Mōri Motoshige)
  • Sugimori Motoyori
  • Shiji Motoyasu
  • Shishido Mototsugu
  • Shimizu Muneharu
  • Katsura Hirozumi
  • Katsura Hirotada
  • Kumagai Takanao
  • Kumagai Motonao
  • Katada Motoyoshi
  • Sugihara Morishige
  • Nomi Munekatsu
  • Kawamura Shigeyoshi
  • Miura Mototoda
  • Hiroga Hirosuke
  • Hiroga Motosuke
  • Matsuda Fujikane
  • Matsuda Motonaga
  • Kunishi Motosuke
  • Iinoe Harutada
  • Kodama Narikata
  • Sawa Takahide
  • Yoshimi Hiroyoshi
  • Takanoyama Michitsugu
  • Yamanouchi Takamichi
  • Minakata Narimasa
  • Nakahara Senzaemon
  • Ankokuji Ekei
  • Hirosa Narimutsu
  • Watanabe Kayō
  • Watanabe Suguru

Forty-seven RoninEdit

Hidemoto's grandson, Tsunamoto, was involved with watching ten of the famous Forty-seven Ronin in his residence. He was ordered to do so after the ronins had achieved their goal. True to the typical attitude towards rebels, he labeled them as scoundrels and criminals. Once he realized that the Hosokawa clan had treated the ronins with respect, Tsunamoto reflected on his actions and strove to portray the ten warriors in a better light. A marker for the mansion these ronins once resided and other memorials for the ten still exists in Tokyo today. The following lists the ten ronin in question.

  1. Okajima Tsunashige
  2. Yoshida Kanesada
  3. Takebayashi Takashige (Takebayashi Tadashichi)
  4. Kurahashi Takeyuki
  5. Muramatsu Hidenao
  6. Sugino Tsugifusa
  7. Katsuta Taketaka
  8. Maehara Munefusa
  9. Onodera Hidetomi (Onodera Kojirō)
  10. Hazama Mitsukaze

CastlesEdit

These list represents the castles that Motonari ruled at one point during his time of power. They are separated by province name.

Aki
Ishidakōriyama Castle, Tajihisarukage Castle, Mibu Castle, Funayama Castle, Nagamiyama Castle, Miiratayama Castle, Tokunoyama Castle, Yaki Castle, Koi Castle, Satōkanayama Castle, Sakuraō Castle, Miyao Castle, Kusatsu Castle
Bingo
Takayama Castle, Niitakayama Castle, Mihara Castle, Hatagaeshi Castle (also known as Miyoshi Castle or Nitta Castle)
Bitchū
Takamatsu Castle, Takamatsuyama Castle
Buzen
Moji Castle, Matsuyama Castle
Chikuzen
Tachibanayama Castle
Harima
Kōzuki Castle
Iwami
Yamabuki Castle, Fukumitsu Castle, Nanao Castle, Tsuwano Castle
Izumo
Gassantoda Castle, Mitoyama Castle, Arawai Castle
Nagato
Katsuyama Castle
Suō
Kōnomine Castle
Tottori
Tottori Castle

GalleryEdit

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