The clan began when Ise Shinkurō, a high ranking officer in the shogunate, began to conquer lands and build up his power at the beginning of the 16th century.
His son wanted his lineage to have a more illustrious name, and chose Hōjō, after the line of regents of the Kamakura shogunate, to which his wife also belonged. So he became Hōjō Ujitsuna, and his father, Ise Shinkurō, was posthumously renamed Hōjō Sōun.
The Late Hōjō, sometimes known as the Odawara Hōjō after their home castle of Odawara in Sagami Province, were not related to the earlier Hōjō clan. Their power rivaled that of the Tokugawa clan, but eventually Toyotomi Hideyoshi eradicated the power of the Hōjō in the Siege of Odawara (1590), banishing Hōjō Ujinao and his wife Toku Hime (a daughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu) to Mount Kōya, where Ujinao died in 1591.
The heads of the Late Hōjō clan were