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Masashige Kusunoki Edit Profile

楠木正成

Military

Masashige Kusunoki was a military leader of the period of the Northern and Southern Courts.

Background

Masashige Kusunoki was born in 1294 in Kawachi. Nothing is known for certain of his background or date of birth, though it would appear that he conducted some kind of business in the province of Kawachi.

Career

In 1331 he participated in the coup d’état carried out by Emperor Godaigo against the Kamakura shogunate, engaging in battle with the shogunal armies.

In 1333, when the shogunate was overthrown and Emperor Godaigo assumed personal direction of the government, Masashige was appointed shugo (constable) and put in charge of the province of Kawachi and other areas. When Ashikaga Takauji revolted in 1335, Masashige and others attacked him and forced him to flee to Kyushu. Masashige then attempted to persuade Emperor Godaigo to make peace with Takauji, but the emperor would not heed this advice.

The following year Takauji returned from Kyushu at the head of a large force. Masashige engaged him in battle at Minatogawa in the province of Settsu but was defeated and committed suicide.