Diary of Hosokawa Masakuni
26 May, 1467
My name is Hosokawa Masakuni and I am the Daimyo of the Awa and Awaji Kuni. My relatives rule the rest of the Hosokawa lands which are the most bountiful in Japan.
Unfortunately my cousin Hosokawa Katsumoto is an ambitious clan leader and seeks to unite all of our glorious nation under our families reign as Shogun. He is an ambitious man, an an intricate storyteller, able to guide men into the impossible. Still I believe he is a good man. He has the qualities of a good leader, if only he were more focused on peace...instead our clan is locked into a war that rages all across Shikoku and southern Honshuu. Also I believe he harbors a dislike for my family, as my wife has birthed me many healthy children, including several sons. He has just now come onto his first child, also a son, but far too young to rule should anything happen to Katsumoto.
I believe great tragedy may lay in store if the Hosokawa are not careful, we must be patient and strong. May the Kami guide our clan through these troubled times into an era of peace.
1 March, 1468
Overall things are going well for the Hosokawa. Our Samurai fare well against the Kono, the Yamana, and the Ashikaga. Our front with the Hatakeyama is not going as smoothly I am afraid. The levies of the Izumi Kuni have all been called forth to fight in other fronts and Daimyo Hosokawa Mochihisa is unable to hold them back with his retinue. Other bad news is that of the fate of my men. I sent forth my retinue of 750 men, all ready to fight to defend their homes and bring peace to the Hosokawa, but unfortunately the Kono attacked with much greater force before they could reach our leader Katsumoto's men in their siege of Uma. Uma is now in our hands but I have yet to hear from any survivors of my retinue. I mourn their loss, they died honorably and did not retreat, still their deaths could have served much greater purpose.
I am being grim, not all things in life are so dark. After all the Hosokawa fare well in our other fronts and soon the fighting should stop all together, at least for a time. I am also happy to celebrate the marriages of two of my children. My eldest daughter, Hosokawa Asahi, and my eldest son, Hosokawa Chikamori, have both been married. My daughter to Daimyo Mochihisa of Izumi. While I am worried for her safety, I know Mochihisa would let no harm befall her. He is a good man, young and foolish as he may be, but he cares deeply for her and for this I am thankful. My son Chikamori married the daughter of a breakaway branch of the Shiba clan. Truthfully I do not care what happens to the Shiba clan, I choose her for Chikamori as she is an intelligent woman and will bear good sons. Chikamori is kind hearted but he is a bit naive, his wife is a great match as even this early has shown to be insightful towards others and has helped my son stand strong when speaking to other Daimyo. My other children have not yet been paired but my courtiers do their best in finding healthy matches. I do not care for clan affiliation as much as most, it is more the health and characteristics of their potential spouse that I seek. Strong marriages lead to strong children, children who will grow up smart and noble. They are the ones who will inherit our titles and bear our names for all of time to remember. I wish for peace but I must do all that I can to ensure our enemies our defeated for the sake of those who follow in our footsteps.
10 January, 1470
This year has started grim. The Kono clan's army is in my Demese, besieging my vassals province of Katsuura. There are hardly any levy soldiers left to man the village's walls, all of them having been summoned by Katsumoto for his war up north. The Hosokawa are in a bad position right now. The Onin war is proceeding poorly for us, our lands in the northwest having been taken by the Yamana and Takeda families, while our border with the Kono on the west is constantly tugging back and forth along that same area. Kono regiments are making incursions more frequently into our lands. While no province has yet been lost it will not be long before our strongholds begin to fall. Katsuomoto must return from the northeast as soon as possible! Our armies are busy chasing fleeing bands of minor clan samurai when they need to be here stopping the bands roaming our lands. My retinue is unable to do more than wait for the inevitable massacre the Kono will bring to Kaifu. I must lead them as I am their lord, I only hope my sons are able to avoid the Kono and prevent them from progressing any further should something happen to me. Kami watch over the Hosokawa.
2 August, 1471
It has been a few months since I was forced to flee Kaifu. I could not force the rest of my men to die for a hopeless cause, we inflicted what casualties we could. Now I must wait and pray that Katsumoto returns from the northeast to crush the Kono army before the men holding Kaifu falter. I have also learned recently that my third son, Hosokawa Akinao has been killed on the walls of Kaifu's castle. He was a brave soldier and would have made a good Koukujin one day, I can only mourn in the privacy of my tent as there is no time for a proper funeral. Kaifu is besieged as me and my men are caught up in fighting a small Kono army in Miyoshi. My men fight honorably, the enemy falls at a rate twice that of our own, still they are too numerous and my men too demoralized to hold them off for much longer. My children have married into the families of other Hosokawa Daimyo. Between our bonds as a clan and our bonds as a family I believe they will send whatever forces they can to assist me.
28 March, 1472
Goods news at last, Katsumoto is finally returning from the northeast so that we may eliminate the Kono and the newly invading Ouchi. Combined patrols by the local lords' retinues have allowed us to halt further raids by the Kono into most of our lands. Our combined force has not been great enough for us to yet oppose the army that continues to besiege Kaifu and they are almost out of time. Still Katsumoto is near and with the armies back from the northeast the Hosokawa can finally force the Kono into submission and bring peace to Shikoku. Of course forcing the other clans into a truce will not be as easy, they are numerous with vast amounts of land separating their constantly probing forces. Our only saving grace is that of the ever expanding Akamatsu clan. They have no interest in fighting us as we have none in them, instead we share a mutual border mostly untouched by the battles raging across the rest of Japan. This small relief as well as the distraction the Akamatsu clan presents may allow us to end these wars sooner rather than later. The Akamatsu will be vital in maintaining peace in the years to follow.
3 January, 1474
The Onin war seems to be reaching its peak. The Kono have gathered their remaining levies to make one last push against us. Our armies size has dwindled but many areas have fresh soldiers ready to join the fight. If Katsumoto acts wisely the Hosokawa could unite Shikoku as well as push back the Hatakeyama who have become the largest threat to our power, almost completely conquering the Izumi Kuni as well as preparing to invade my Kuni of Awaji. My retinue stands ready to defend the Hosokawa lands from invasion and my people work relentlessly to improve the fortifications of our villages. Soon the Onin war will end and the Hosokawa will find their rightful place in the struggle for control of the Shogunate, be that place good or bad.
30 April, 1476
Hosokawa Katsumoto is dead! The clan leader was found dead last night and while we have not been informed of the cause of his passing we must continue moving forward. I have been elected as the new Clan leader by the vast majority of our remaining Daimyo and Kokujin. Katsumoto's sons are still far too young to rule, especially during a time like this. I now have the power I need to try and end the Onin War. Sadly my earlier prediction was right. The Onin War is indeed reaching its end, but not in the state I would have hoped. Most of the surviving clans are fighting only half the number of opponents they were before...however the Hosokawa are not among those fortunate. We are still locked in war with every clan that joined in at the start of the Onin War. On top of that the Isshiki have declared war on us, deciding to attack while we are barely holding our own against our numerous enemies. I want peace, I do not care for control of Japan as many others do. They wish to be Shogunate, I wish for somebody, anybody to take the reign of Shogunate and end this fighting. As long as they avoid an insufferable rule and prevent further fighting I will gladly support their reign.
1 February, 1478
Life is gradually becoming tougher for the Hosokawa. As we beat our enemies back new ones fill their space, eager for bloodshed. We simply do not have enough men to crush their assaults, all we can do is sit and wait for opportune moments to rout their armies. I have most of our remaining levies that have been called into service on our border with the Kono. I am hoping that if we crush then once and for all we will have more breathing room to hold off our enemies to the northeast. The Ouchi clan is powerful but it takes times for their troops to reach us and other than the occasional raid they have not troubled us too much. Still should they decide to send their full force to bear against us the Hosokawa are doomed as an independent clan. My sons are growing up strong and noble, my youngest I have recently named my heir. He is only 19 but he is married to a good woman from a clan far to the east. Her natural ability has help influenced him and I can tell he will be the greatest leader the Hosokawa family has ever seen... should there be a reign for him to inherit. I worry for my eldest son, his lands up in the northeast are under constant siege and I hear the Isshiki hoards have started decimating the nearby villages. I have sent a message asking for him and his family to flee here but I have yet to hear a reply. Luckily the rest of my family reside more or less safely in Kaifu, one of the greatest strongholds in Japan, the Kami have been gracious to prevent any other hostile forces from progressing that far.
12 July, 1478
The Hosokawa's hold in Honshuu is doomed, nothing short of a miracle could prevent the loss of our remaining castles there. My army has been chasing what Kono forces remain for some time now across our border but they constantly evade our attacks. We outnumber them almost 3-1, a victory is almost ensured with our strength and prowess. However the Ouchi have also sent an expedition to conquer Hosokawa land. An army, roughly 3300 men strong, marches for the province of Tosa. My plan is to crush what remains of the Kono's hold on Shikoku and force their armies to disperse as they are too cowardly to face us head on, even from a fortified position. I will first meet with the Ouchi army heading for Tosa. If we can crush their invading force, the Kono will fall in do time. However if the Ouchi go unchecked or worst victorious, they will encroch further into our lands as will the Kono, picking at the scraps. The upcoming battle will change the face of Japan forever.