Sessai Choro

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Sessai Choro (雪斎長老?) (died 1557), also known as Taigen Sessai, was a Japanese abbot and mountain ascetic (see yamabushi). He was the uncle of Imagawa Yoshimoto, and served him as military advisor and as commander of Imagawa's forces, despite his lack of any formal battle training or experience.

Sessai aided his nephew in consolidating the Imagawa territories, and in a number of political maneuvers which gained Imagawa influence over the Matsudaira family. By 1548 he had secured a young Tokugawa Ieyasu (a member of the Matsudaira family) as a hostage. However, Imagawa soon came into conflict with the Oda clan, and faced defeat at the 1542 battle of Azukizaka. After this, he left Sessai in command of his armies.

In 1545, Imagawa secured a treaty and alliance between his family and those of the Hōjō and Uesugi. At some point after this, Sessai began to advise Tokugawa Ieyasu, though the extent of his role in Tokugawa's military exploits is unclear, and unlikely to be great.

Sessai died in 1557 due to complications from gout.


  • West, C.E. and F.W. Seal (2004). "Imagawa Yoshimoto." Samurai Archives. Accessed 7 July 2005.