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土岐一族 | The Toki Clan
birth and death 1563-1600
Flamboyant local daimyo of the early Sengoku period who ruled the whole of Mino
For over two centuries, from the period of the Northern and Southern Courts to the Sengoku age, this family controlled all Mino region. They were a powerful and colourful line. From the 14th century they held the position of shugo (local ruler validated by the shogunate) of Ise, and wealded great power under the Ashikaga.
Toki Yorisada was a poet of note and his verses appear in several court-sponsored anthologies.
The family were Zen Buddhists and founded several temples. Important was the third generation head, Yoriyasu, who established the Shoho-ji to the north of their castle at Kawade. This vast temple compound became the main focus of Zen in Mino. The family took in many learned monks then fleeing the Onin War (1367-77) which wreaked havoc on Kyoto, and held poetry sessions and gatherings devoted to classical literature with them. They also welcomed travelling poets and scholarly people, and made Mino a centre of cultural activity. The family also produced painters of renown. Mino under the Toki was a place where the traditional aristocratic arts fused with new trends stemming from Zen to create a vibrant warrior culture.
After the Onin War, the Toki who were shugo, and the shugo deputy family called the Saito came into conflict. As this grew more intense, the Toki gradually lost power. Since shugo resided in Kyoto, leaving deputies in the regions, their control was unstable, and this period sees a tendency for the deputies to supplant the shugo; once the Sengoku Period begins, there is a wholesale demise of shugo power in the face of new their deputies, turned 'sengoku daimyo'.
The last Toki shugo was Yoriaki. He became embroiled with his Saito deputies, and with the newly risen Nagai family, until Saito Dozan eradicated his line.