Hosokawa clan

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The Hosokawa kamon.
  • Japanese: 細川(Hosokawa-ke)

The Hosokawa were descended from Ashikaga Yoshiyasu (1126-1157), whose great-grandson Ashikaga Yoshisue took the name Hosokawa. Yoshisue's own great-grandson Yoriharu (1299-1352) was a staunch supporter of Ashikaga Takauji during the early Nanbokuchô period. As a result the Hosokawa became influential under the Ashikaga shôguns as a powerful shugo family. Hosokawa Yoriyuki (1329-1392) served as the first kanrei (Deputy/Vice-shôgun) and acted as guardian and counsel to Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Hosokawa Katsumoto (1430-1473) was one of the most powerful figures in Kyoto politics in his day and shugo of much of Shikoku Island. In part as a result of a succession dispute surrounding Shôgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, Katsumoto and Yamana Mochitoyo, another powerful shugo, became involved in a conflict that consumed Kyoto and would become known as the Ônin War (1467-77). In the aftermath of this struggle, which is often marked as the opening of the Sengoku Period, the Hosokawa managed to retain their hold on Kyoto into the 16th century. Internal struggles and the rise of the Miyoshi, formerly Hosokawa retainers, led to the eclipse of the Hosokawa by 1550. One branch of the family survived to much success under Hosokawa Fujitaka and his son Tadaoki. Thanks to their efforts, the Hosokawa family would endure as daimyô of Kumamoto han (540,000 koku)[1] to the end of the Edo Period.

In the Meiji period, the head of the Hosokawa family was named a Marquis (kôshaku) in the new kazoku aristocracy, and held a seat in the House of Peers. The family's private collections, including a wealth of historical documents, artworks, arms & armor, and other artifacts, are today managed as the Eisei Bunko.

Selected Genealogy of the Hosokawa

The graves of the heads of the Hosokawa clan from Fujitaka (1534-1610) to Narimori (1804-1860), at Kôtô-in, a sub-temple of Daitokuji, in Kyoto.

Medieval Period


Edo Period + 20th century


  1. Gallery labels, Futagawa-juku honjin shiryôkan.[1]