World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001849161
Reproduction Date:

Title: Kōsa  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Shimozuma Chuko, Shimozuma Rairen, Shōe, Ikkō-ikki, Siddheshwar
Collection: 1543 Births, 1592 Deaths, 16Th-Century Japanese People, Japanese Religious Leaders, Japanese Warrior Monks
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



Kōsa (光佐, February 20, 1543 – December 27, 1592), also known as Hongan-ji Kennyo (本願寺 顕如), was the 11th head of the Hongan-ji in Kyoto, and Chief Abbot of Ishiyama Hongan-ji, cathedral fortress of the Ikkō-ikki (Buddhist warrior monks and peasants who opposed samurai rule), during its siege at the end of the Sengoku Period. He engineered many alliances, and organized the defenses of the cathedral to the point that most at the time considered Ishiyama Hongan-ji to be unbreachable.

In 1570, Takeda Shingen, a relative of Kōsa through marriage, faced not one but three major rivals: Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Uesugi Kenshin. He asked the Abbot for aid, and Kōsa persuaded the Ikkō sectarians (also called monto) in Kaga Province to rise up against Uesugi Kenshin. Several years later, after the death of Takeda Shingen, Kōsa secured the aid of the Mōri clan in fighting Oda Nobunaga and defending the Hongan-ji's supply lines from blockade.

Oda Nobunaga's Takeda Katsuyori (son of Shingen) and Uesugi Kenshin, as well as the Ikkō armies of other provinces, to attack Nobunaga, relieving the siege. But neither Takeda nor Uesugi answered his call. When Nobunaga attacked the fortress with 3,000 troops, the monks answered with 15,000; Nobunaga then turned to attacking Kōsa's allies, the Asakura, Uesugi, and Azai clans as well as other outposts of Ikkō-ikki monks. The Abbot wrote a desperate letter to Ikko followers in Musashi and Sagami Provinces, asking them to stand fast, and to send supplies and reinforcements. The fortress' supplies were nearly exhausted, and their outposts were nearly all destroyed by 1580. Nobunaga ordered the Abbot to evacuate the fortress, and to leave Osaka. Kōsa deliberated with his allies, particularly the Mōri, and then left for Kii Province, hoping to raise reinforcements. He left his son in charge of the fortress, who surrendered after an Imperial Messenger arrived with an official request from the Emperor that he do so. The fortress mysteriously burned down after the monks left it.

Despite this incredible defeat, Kōsa remained devoted to the Ikko sect, and to the idea of regaining a central cathedral fortress for the sect. He began to enlist the help of Ikko sectarians to aid Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in order to gain Hideyoshi's favor. In 1583, Kōsa sent Ikko warriors to harass Hideyoshi's enemy Shibata Katsuie, and in 1587 he sent messengers to Kyushu, asking Ikko leaders there to act as guides for Hideyoshi's army in Satsuma Province. In 1589, Hideyoshi granted Kōsa his wish for a new Hongan-ji. The site was the shrine to the patriarch Shinran, in Kyoto; it was moved in 1591, and is now known as the Nishi Hongan-ji.

In popular culture

In fiction, Kōsa usually appears with the name Honganji

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.