Yoshimoto Imagawa is best known to history for being the loser at the Battle of Okehazama, in 1560. But this is to ignore his early life, which was crowned by military success and considerable political and aesthetic accomplishment.
Yoshimoto was the 3rd son of Ujichika Imagawa. His mother was a daughter of Nobutane Nakamikado. As a youth he was sent to the Zentoku-ji to prepare for a religious life and was named Baigakushoho. In 1526 Ujichika died and his eldest son Ujiteru Imagawa succeeded him. Ujiteru himself died of illness in 1536 and this touched off a struggle for power between his remaining brothers.
Yoshimoto quit the temple and entered the fray. Yoshimoto, aided by Sessai Taigen and supported from afar by Nobutora Takeda of Kai Province emerged the victor with the aid of Ujitsuna Hojo, and moved to consolidate his power with a marriage to Nobutora Takeda's sister in 1537. He also acted as an go-between for the arranged marriage of Nobutora's eldest son, Shingen Takeda to the daughter of court noble Kimiyori Sanjo. To this time, the Imagawa and neighboring Hojo had been allied, with both at odds with the Takeda. Yoshimoto was defeated by Nobuhide Oda at the Battle of Azukizaka in 1542, but still managed to keep control of Mikawa, Totomi and Suruga under his control.
- Yoshimoto is also known as being one of the best archers during the time.
- Yoshimoto Imagawa has several graves; his body itself is buried at Daisei-ji, a temple in the city of Toyokawa in modern Aichi Prefecture.
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