The rise and fall of the Amago clan

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What kind of family was the Sengoku daimyo "Amago clan" who ruled over the 11 provinces of San'in and Sanyo at their peak, centering on Gassan Toda Castle in Hirose Town, Yasugi City?

The Amago clan, descended from the Kyogoku clan of Omi (Shiga Prefecture), was originally Shugodai of Izumo Province, but became independent as a Sengoku daimyo against Shugo Masatsune Kyogoku in the era of Tsunehisa. Tsunehisa sensed a sense of danger and was driven out of Tomita Castle by the Kyogoku clan.


Amago family tree


Amago Mochihisa (ancestor of Amago Izumo)

Mochihisa entered Gassan Toda Castle as the governor of Takanori Kyogoku and became the ancestor of Izumo Amako.


Tsunehisa Amago, governor of the 11 provinces of Sanin and Sanyo

Tsunehisa seized Gassan Toda Castle from the Shugo Kyogoku clan, and later expanded his power and ruled the eleven provinces of Sanin and Sanyo.


The leader of the Shingu party, a clan led by Kunihisa Amago.

It was called “Shingu party” because it set up a mansion in Shingudani at the foot of Tomita Castle. Kunihisa was brave and good at tactics, and the family he led was active in overseas campaigns, so he gradually took a snobbish attitude, and a feud with the head of the family, Haruhisa. It is said that Motonari MORI took advantage of this and conspired against them, and the family was killed by Haruhisa.


Haruhisa Amago became the greatest feudal lord in the Chugoku region but stalled.

He became the guardian of six Chinese nations, and the territory of the Amago clan was the most prosperous. However, he attacked Yoshida Koriyama Castle in the Mori territory and was defeated by the Ouchi and Mori clan. Although he was bitter about the tyrannical behavior of the “Shingu Party,” he turned a blind eye to his achievements, but he was plotted by Motonari Mouri to destroy the “Shingu Party” and further weaken the Amago army.


Gassan Toda Castle fell due to Yoshihisa Amago’s invasion of the Mori clan.

In response to Motonari Motonari’s invasion of Izumo, he engaged in a siege battle at Tomita Castle, but four years later he surrendered in response to an offer of reconciliation from the Mori clan, and Gassan Toda Castle fell. The retainers who admired Yoshihisa also dispersed, and after being imprisoned, he spent the rest of his life as a monk in his later years.


Katsuhisa Amago, the last supreme commander of the Amago clan

When the “Shingu-to” was destroyed, he narrowly escaped and spent his days as a monk in Kyoto. Although he temporarily regained his power, he did not perform well and followed Hideyoshi Hashiba’s expedition to China, but was besieged by the Mori and Ukita clans and committed seppuku. The road to the Amago clan’s revival was cut off.


Yamanaka Yukimori, a tragic warlord who devoted himself to the revival of Amago

Commonly known as Shikanosuke Yamanaka. He fought bravely in the Mori clan’s invasion of Izumo, but when Gassan Toda Castle fell and Yoshihisa fell to the Mori clan, he became a ronin and wandered around the country. After that, he made Katsuhisa the commander-in-chief of the restoration army and fought hard to recapture the territory. The supreme commander, Katsuhisa, was captured when he committed suicide and was assassinated while being escorted. It is said that he prayed to the crescent moon, “Please give me the hardships.”


The Prosperity and Decline of the Amago Clan

In 1395, Amago Tsuchihisa decided to enter Tomita Castle as the guardian of Goshu Kyogoku Takaakira and decide to rule Izumo and Oki.
Mochiku’s son, Kiyosada, inherited the headship of the family and tried to become independent from Kyogoku, but it ended in failure.


Two years later, Kiyosada’s eldest son, Tsunehisa, attacked Tomita Castle and succeeded in taking over Tomita Castle. Furthermore, neighboring countries were added to the makushita one after another, and Tsunehisa’s system was steadily strengthened.
However, in the 15th year of Eisho (1518), Tsunehisa’s eldest son Masahisa died in battle at Ayo (Daito-cho).
In the first year of Taei (1521), Amago’s martial prowess rose with the momentum of the Rising Sun, and the 11 provinces of Sanin and Sanyo, including Aki, Bingo, Bicchu, Bizen, Mimasaka, Harima, Inaba, Hoki, Izumo, Iwami, and Oki, were taken over. The Amago clan entered its heyday.
In 1537, Tsunehisa, who had built the foundation of Amago, handed over the family estate to his grandson, Haruhisa. In the 9th year of Tenmon (1540), Haruhisa raised an army against Koriyama Castle to subjugate Motonari Motonari, the lord of Koriyama Castle.
In the following year, Tsunehisa’s younger brother Yoshikatsu Shimotsuke, who worked hard for the prosperity of the Amago clan, was killed in the battle against Mori.


In 1554 (1554), Motonari Mouri, who had Tsunehisa’s second son Kunihisa as the head, set his sights on the Shingu party, the strongest army in the Amago clan. Masahisa and his son are killed by Haruhisa.
In this way, the Shingu party was destroyed, and only one, Masahisa’s third son, Magoshiro, escaped.


After the sudden death of Haruhisa in 1560, his legitimate son Yoshihisa took over the position, but after the death of Shinguto, the Amago clan’s fighting ability declined sharply, and they fell short of the Ten Brave Warriors of Amago led by Shikanosuke Yamanaka. In the ninth year (1566), he finally surrendered to the army of Mouri, and Tomita Castle fell.


When the Shingu party was destroyed, the ronin (masterless samurai) such as Yamanaka Shikanosuke looked up to Magoshiro Katsuhisa, who was the only one who survived, to be the leader. In 1578, Katsuhisa committed suicide at Kozuki Castle and passed away.


Thus, the path to the restoration of the Amago clan was cut off, and the 180th anniversary of the prosperity of the Amago clan came to an end.


Yasugi Tourism Association Public Relations Department


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