Samurai Archives HOME
Biographical Dictionary HOME

A

ABE Katsuyoshi
Takeda retainer
d.1582
Kaga no kami

Katsuyoshi was a retainer of Takeda Katsuyori who began his career as an aide and ended it as a general. He was one of the few Takeda men to remain loyal to Katsuyori until the end and died just before Katsuyori's last stand at the Temmokuzan in 1582.

ABE (Mikawa)

The Abe mon

The Abe of Mikawa Province claimed Imperial descent and rose to some prominence under Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Abe Masakatsu
Tokugawa retainer
1541-1600
Iyo no kami

Masakatsu was a longtime retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu and had been a fellow hostage of the Imagawa in his youth. In recognition of his services, many of which were in the realm of administration, Masakatsu was granted Ichihara, a 5,000-koku fief in Izu Province, in 1590. In 1594 he had been awarded with the ‘Toyotomi’ surname by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. His son Masatsugu served under Tokugawa Hidetada in the Osaka Castle campaigns (1614, 1615) and in 1620 was given Odawara in Sagami Province.
Son: Masatsugu (1569-1647)

AKADA Shigeyoshi
Oda retainer
1527-1583

Shigeyoshi served the Oda family of Owari and was named one of the 'Seven Spears of Azukizaka' for his heroics in that battle (1542). He followed Oda Nobunaga for many years and after Nobunaga's death in June 1582, became a retainer of Oda Nobuo. He was given Hoshizaka Castle in Ise Province but died the following year.
Son: Shigetaka

Akada Shigetaka
Oda retainer
d.1584
Nagato no kami

Shigetaka was a son of Akada Shigeyoshi. He served Oda Nobuo, a son of Oda Nobunaga. In 1584, on the eve of the Komaki Campaign, Nobuo came to suspect that Shigetaka and a number of other retainers were plotting against him on behalf of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Nobuo summoned Shigetaka and the others to his castle. Shigetaka and his fellows were taken by surprise and killed.

AKAGAWA

The Akagawa mon

The Akakagawa of Aki Province were descended from the Kobayakawa family and came to serve the Môri in the 16th Century.

Akagawa Motoyasu
Môri retainer
d.1567

Motoyasu was a son of Akagawa Fusanobu. He became the head of the Akagawa following the death of his elder brother Narihide in battle around 1523. A notable retainer of Môri Motonari, he was named one of the former's '18 Generals' and became a close retainer of Môri Takamoto, who consulted him on most matters. He was confined after the sudden death of Môri Takamoto in 1563 and later made to commit suicide along with his adopted son Matasaburou. Akagawa Nobuyuki, a nephew, was named as heir to his house. Motoyasu’s part, if any, in Takamoto’s suspicious passing is unclear. Akagawa Nobuyuki, a nephew, was named as heir to his house.
Son: Matasaburou (adopted)

AKAI Naomasa
(Hatano Naomasa)
Hatano retainer
d.1576

Naomasa was a noted retainer of Hatano Hideharu and held Kuroi Castle. He was known as a capable warrior and bitterly resisted Akechi Mitsuhide's attempts to gain a foothold in the Hatano domain. When Kuroi was finally surrounded in 1576 and sure to fall, Naomasa is said to have given into the custody of Wakizaka Yasuharu a rare sable pelt which was a family heirloom. Naomasa then committed suicide. A branch of the Akai eventually became retainers of the Todo house.

AKAI Terukage
Hôjô retainer

Terukage was a son of Akai Teruyasu. He served Hôjô Ujiyasu and Ujimasa. Terukage held Tatebayashi Castle in southeastern Kôzuke Province. He was attacked by Yura Narushige, Tomioka Shigetomo, and others and abandoned Tatebayashi. He fled to Musashi Province and his fate is unknown.

AKAIKE Nagato
Shimazu retainer
Izu no kami

Nagato was a retainer of the Sagara family and held Akaike Castle in the Kuma district of Higo Province. He was a brave warrior who was involved in a number of battles against the Shimazu family.

AKAMATSU

The Akamatsu claimed descent from Minamoto Morifusa (d.1077) of the Murakami-Genji (Minamoto). The Akamatsu became a powerful family in the Muromachi Period and owed their success to the actions of Akamatsu Norimura. At first a supporter of Go-Daigo in the Kemmu Restoration, Norimura had later switched to the Ashikaga side. In 1336 he was awarded the governorship of Harima. By the time of the 3rd Ashikaga shôgun, Yoshimitsu, the Akamatsu were shugo for Harima, Bizen, and Mimasaka as well as one of the four families that provided members of the Bakufu’s samurai-dokoro (Board of retainers). The assassination of Ashikaga Yoshinori in 1441 by Akamatsu Mitsusuke resulted in a damaging response by the Yamana and others, and by the Sengoku Period, their power had waned. They were weakened by rebellions and at length became vassals of the Toyotomi.

Akamatsu Yoshisuke
Harima warlord
d.1576
Dewa no kami

Yoshisuke was a son of Amakamatsu Harumasa. He saw much of the former Akamatsu domain slip out of his hands between 1550 and 1570, though he did capture Akashi Castle in 1554 from Hosokawa Harumoto. He was defeated in 1569 by Kuroda Kanbei and within a few years had been so weakened that he lived in Himeji at the sufferance of his nominal vassals, the Odera (Kuroda's lord).
Son: Norifusa

Akamatsu Norifusa
Tokugawa retainer
d.1600

Norifusa was a son of Akamatsu Yoshisuke. He served Toyotomi Hideyoshi and assisted in the 1585 Invasion of Shikoku. He joined Ishida Misunari's cause in 1600 and committed suicide following the defeat at Sekigahara.

Akamatsu Masanori
Akamatsu retainer
d.1577

Masanori was a son of Akamatsu Masamoto and a cousin of Akamatsu Yoshisuke. He had a reputation as a discerning and proud general. He held Kôzuki Castle in Harima Province and came under attack by the Oda (as led by Hashiba/Toyotomi Hideyoshi) in late 1577. Masanori resisted stoutly but when a relief force sent by the Ukita was defeated and Kôzuki isolated, the Oda army launched an all-out attack. Masanori killed his family before committing suicide and thus died along with some 1,100 of his men.

AKASHI Morishige
(Akashi Teruzumi)
Ukita, Toyotomi retainer
d.1618?
Kamon no suke

Morishige was a son of Akashi Kagechika and at first a retainer of the Ukita. He commanded Ukita Hideie's vanguard at the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) and clashed with troops under Fukushima Masanori and others. Following the defeat at Sekigahara and the subsequent exile of Hideie, Morishige became a ronin and dropped out of sight. In 1614 he reappeared, joining the defenders of Toyotomi Hideyori's Osaka Castle. He survived the fall of Osaka and is said to have died in poverty 3 years later, though his fate is not known for certain. He was a Christian and in this capacity was known as 'John' - for this he figured largely in contemporary European descriptions of the Osaka sieges.

AKAZA Naoyasu
Toyotomi retainer
d.1606
Bingo no kami

Naoyasu was a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and held a fief in Echizen. At the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) he was in the Western Army under the command of Ôtani Yoshitsugu but in the course of the fighting switched sides. Afterwards he entered the service of Maeda Toshinaga. In 1606 he drowned in a river in Etchû Province. He was also known as Akaza Kyûbei.

AKAZAWA Tomotsune
Hosokawa retainer
d.1507

Tomotsune served Hosokawa Masamoto. Supported by the Miyoshi he campaigned against Hatakeyama Yoshihide in Yamato Province but was cornered and killed following the assassination of Masamoto in 1507.

AKECHI

The Akechi mon

The Akechi were related to the Toki family, whom they served until the latter fell to the Saitô; in the 1540's. The Akechi later served Oda Nobunaga and became well-known thanks to Akechi Mitsuhide, the capable Oda general who destroyed his master, Nobunaga, in June 1582. After Mitsuhide was defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the Akechi largely disappeared from history.

Akechi Mitsuyasu
Toki retainer
d.1552

Mitsuyasu was a son of Akechi Yorihisa. He held Akechi Castle in Mino and served the Toki. His daughter was married to Saitô; Dôsan.
Sons: Mitsukuni, Mitsuyasu, Mitsukuni.

Akechi Mitsukuni
Toki retainer
d.1538

Mitsukuni was a son of Akechi Mitsutsugu. He served the Toki family and resided at Akechi Castle, which sat in the southeastern area of Mino Province.
Son: Mitsuhide

Akechi Mitsuyasu
d.1556
Hyôgo no kami

Mitsuyasu was the third son of Akechi Mitsutsugu and a vassal of Saitô Dôsan. When Dôsan was killed by Saitô Yoshitatsu in 1556, Mitsuyasu defied the latter but committed suicide when Akechi Castle was attacked. He was a brother of Akechi Mitsukuni and therefore an uncle of Akechi Mitsuhide.
Son: Hidemitsu

Akechi Mitsuhide
(Koreta Mitsuhide)
Saitô, Oda retainer
1526 - 1582
Hyûga no Kami, Jubyoe no Jô

Akechi Mitsuhide

Akechi was the eldest son of Akechi Mitsukuni. Originally a retainer of the Saitô, he fled Mino Province around the time of the civil war between Saitô Dôsan and Yoshitatsu and is generally thought to have taken up with the Asakura of Echizen. He returned to Mino around 1567 and entered the service of Oda Nobunaga. Despite Mitsuhide's status as an 'outside' retainer, Nobunaga gave him a 100,000-koku fief at Sakamoto in Ômi Province in 1571. He was later moved to Echizen (1574). He was one of the lords who opposed the destruction of the monastic complex on Mt. Hiei, to no avail (1571). He was tasked with land-survey duties during the 1570's, especially in the Yamato region. In 1573 he lent his support to the reduction of the recalcitrant shôgun Ashikaga Yoshiaki at the Uji River and in 1575 joined in the destruction of the rebellious ikko-ikki of Echizen Province. In 1575 Nobunaga granted him the right to adopt the family name 'Koreta'. In 1577 he was assigned with subduing Tamba province, which would be given him in 1580. He clashed with the Hatano clan and during the siege of Yakami Castle, Mitsuhide is said to have promised Hatano Hideharu safe conduct if he surrendered, offering his mother as a hostage in a show of good faith. Nobunaga overturned Mitshude's promises and ordered the execution of Hideharu and his brother. In response, the Hatano men in Yakami Castle murdered Mitsuhide's mother. In 1580 he assisted Hosokawa Fujitaka in the taking of Tajima Province. Mitsuhide went on to aid Toyotomi Hideyoshi in his reduction of Tottori Castle in Inaba Province in 1581. In 1582 Nobunaga ordered Mitsuhide to prepare his troops for duty against the Môri family. Mitsuhide duly gathered his army - and suddenly attacked and killed Nobunaga on 21 June 1582. Akechi troops also destroyed Nobunaga's heir, Nobutada, and his retinue. In the aftermath of the coup, Mitsuhide failed to gain support from local lords despite a favorable reception by the Imperial Court. After sacking Azuchi Castle, he was defeated by Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi at the Battle of Yamazaki. He escaped the battlefield but while attempting to reach Sakamoto Castle he was attacked by villagers at Okurisu and struck down by a bamboo spear. His immediate family was killed at Sakamoto by Akechi Hidemitsu before the castle fell to the Oda.
Mitsuhide was a noted poet and a man of learning. He was generally regarded as an able general. Nobunaga himself gave weight to that judgment in a 1580 letter to Sakuma Nobumori. Nonetheless, and according to tradition, Nobunaga is said to have taken every opportunity to humiliate Mitsuhide, possibly out of jealousy for the latter's poetic skills. On the other hand, Mitsuhide enjoyed, like Hideyoshi, a steady climb through the Oda ranks. The real motivations for Mitsuhide's treachery are still debated, and will likely never be known for sure. He became known as the '13 Day Shôgun', or Juusan-kobu.
Sons: Mitsuyoshi, Sadayori (d.1582)
Daughters: An elder daughter married Oda Nobuzumi, the son of Oda Nobuyuki. His third daughter, most well-known as Gracie, married Hosokawa Tadaoki (see: HOSOKAWA Gracie).

Akechi Hidemitsu
(Akechi Mitsuharu)
Akechi retainer
d.1582
Samanosuke

Hidemitsu was the son of Akechi Mitsuyasu and Akechi Mitsuhide's cousin. He is supposed to have urged Mitsuhide not to betray Oda Nobunaga but in the event led his men to support his cousin. Hidemitsu was unable to arrive in time to help at Yamazaki and was himself defeated at Uchide-hama by Hori Hidemasa. Hidemitsu escaped to Sakamoto Castle, where he killed Mitsuhide's family. Under siege by Hori, he sent out a collection of famous swords before committing suicide. Legend has it that Hidemitsu took it upon himself to bury Nobunaga's head in the wake of the Honnoji attack, but this seems quite far-fetched. A better known incident from this period has Hidemitsu escaping the Hori at Uchide-hama by riding alone across the finger of water at the southern base of Lake Biwa to safety.

Akechi Mitsutada
Akechi retainer
d.1582

Mitsutada was a cousin and retainer of Akechi Mitsuhide, though his exact parentage is a matter of debate. He was given Yakami Castle in Tamba Province after the Hatano were destroyed in 1577. In 1582, in the Akechi attack on Oda Nobunaga in Kyoto, Mitsutada participated in the assault on Nijô (where Nobunaga's heir, Nobutada, was holed up). He was wounded by gunfire in the action and put under medical attention at a nearby temple. He committed suicide when he learned of Mitsuhide's defeat at Yamazaki.

AKITA

The Akita were locally powerful in the Tsugaru district of Mutsu Province and claimed descent from Abe Sadato. They held Akita Castle until being moved to Hitachi in 1602 by the Tokugawa.

Akita Sansue
(Ando Sansue)
Mutsu warlord
d.1659
Akita jô no suke

Sansue was the second son of Ando Yoshisue. He defeated the Onodera in battle in 1588 and clashed with the Nanbu family. He sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) but was unable to assist in the field due to an illness. He was transferred by the Tokugawa to Shisido in Hitachi in 1602 and, in 1632, to Asama in Ise Province.

AKIYAMA

The Akiyama were related to the Takeda of Kai and served them until the downfall of that house in 1582.

Akiyama Nobutomo
Takeda retainer
d.1575
Hoki no Kami

Nobutomo served Takeda Shingen and held Takato Castle in Shinano Province for many years. In 1542 he participated in Shingen's campaigns in central Shinano under the command of Komai Masatake and fought at Fukuyo. He captured Iwamura Castle in Mino Province for Shingen in December 1572, taking the place after its keeper, Tôyama Kagetô, died of illness. As part of the victor's spoils, he took Oda Nobunaga's aunt as his wife (she being the widow of the late Kagetô). Also captured at Iwamura was Nobunaga’s small son, Katsunaga, who was sent as a hostage to Kai. Nobutomo resisted the Oda's attempts at recapturing Iwamura until late 1575, when, following the Takeda defeat at Nagashino, Oda Nobutada arrived with a large army and surrounded the fort. With the weakened Takeda unable to send help, Iwamura was brought down. Nobutomo was executed by being crucified by the Nagara River. He is considered one of Shingen's 'twenty-four Generals'.
Sons: Chikahisa (adopted), Masaaki

AKIZUKI

The Akizuki mon

The Akizuki were established in Chikuzen Province around 1190 by Minamoto Yoritomo. They supported the Southern Court during the Nambokucho Period and during the Sengoku Period contested the Ôtomo's advances. Following Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 1587 invasion of Kyushu (which the Akizuki also resisted, albeit briefly) they were confirmed in their fief. The Akizuki were moved to Hyûga in 1590 and remained there into the Edo Period.

Akizuki Fumatane
Chikuzen warlord
1512-1557

Fumatane was the daimyô of the Akizuki house during the mid-16th Century. He became a retainer of Ôuchi Yoshitaka in 1541 but after Yoshitaka's death he became a vassal of the Ôtomo. In 1557, having formed relations with the Môri, he rebelled, only to be attacked by a 20,000-man Ôtomo army commanded by Tachibana Dôsetsu and Usuki Akihaya. He committed suicide along with his eldest son Harutane on 6/8/1557 but his second son Tanezane was taken into the protection of the Môri.
Sons: Harutane (d.1557), Tanezane

Akizuki Tanezane
Chikuzen warlord
1548?-1596

Tanezane was the 2nd son of Akizuki Fumatane, who was killed fighting the Ôtomo in 1557 (along with Tanezane's brother Harutane). At that time Akizuki retainers had spirited Tanezane into the the Môri domain. In 1559 he was established back at Akizuki Castle by Môri Motonari but in 1569 was compelled to submit to the the Ôtomo, who were at that time at the height of their power. When the Ôtomo suffered their crushing defeat at the Battle of Mimigawa in 1569, Tanezane rebelled. He mounted a token resistance to Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invading troops in 1587 but submitted when Ganjaku and Akizuki castles were captured. He was afterwards given Takanabe in Hyûga Province, worth some 20,000 koku (1590). He had by then already taken the tonsure and now retired in favor of his son Tanenaga. He died on 11/16/1596.
Sons: Tanenaga, (Takahashi) Mototane

Akizuki Tanenaga
Toyotomi retainer
1567-1614

Tanenaga was born on 3/17/1567, a son of Akizuki Tanezane. He held a 20,000-koku fief at Takanabe in Hyûga Province. He commanded 1,000 troops in the 1st Korean Campaign (1592-93) and later chose to support Ishida Mitsunari in the Sekigahara Campaign (1600). Thanks to the help of Mizuno Katsushige he was able to keep his lands after Ishida's defeat. He died on 7/19/1614.

AMAKUSA (Echigo)

The Amakusa were a retainer family of the Nagao (Uesugi).

Amakusa Kagemochi
(Amakasu Nagashige)
Uesugi retainer
d.1604
Ômi no Kami

Kagemochi served Uesugi Kenshin and later Uesugi Kagekatsu. He held Masugata Castle in northern Echigo Province. He gained fame at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima (1561) for commanding the rear guard that attempted to hold off a Takeda force under Kosaka Masanobu and Baba Nobufusa while the main Uesugi army attacked Takeda Shingen - a stand that earned him praise from friend and foe. He was later active in the war with the Oda and was still alive when the Uesugi were moved to Aizu after Sekigahara (1600).

AMAKUSA (Kyushu)

The Amakusa were a minor power on Amakusa Island. They rebelled with others against Konishi Yukinaga in 1589 and were put down. Although the name Amakusa is famous thanks to Amakusa Shirô, the spiritual leader of the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637-38, Shirô was not related to the Amakusa family, instead being a son of a certain Masuda Yoshitsugu,

Amakusa Hisatane
d.1590

Hisatane was a local power on Amakusa Island. He embraced Christianity and in contemporary Western accounts, he is ranked somewhat generously as a daimyô. In 1589, along with four others (including fellow Christians Oyano Shigemoto and Sumoto Shigemichi), Hisatane rebelled against his overlord, Konishi Yukinaga. Yukinaga dispatched Ijichi Bundayu with 3,000 men to Amakusa but Bundayu was killed and his army defeated. The following year, Yukinaga, along with Kato Kiyomasa, Arima Harunobu and others, attacked Amakusa and destroyed the rebellion with much slaughter of lives. Hisatane and his fellow rebels were dubbed the 'Amakusa Goninshuu'.

AMAKO
(Amago)

The Amako mon; the Amako mon is sometimes depicted at an angle, thus forming a diamond

Amako family tree

The Amako were descended from Takahisa, a grandson of Rokkaku Takauji. Takahisa is said to have taken the name 'Amako' since he had been raised by a nun (ama (nun), ko (son). He took Tomita Castle in Izumo Province for the Kyôgoku shugo and his descendants were powerful in Izumo from the 14th Century until the mid-16th Century. From their headquarters at Gassan-Toda Castle, the Amako challenged, with mixed results, the Ôuchi and, later, the Môri. They were destroyed as daimyô by Môri Motonari in 1566 and disappeared as a military force with the suicide of Amako Katsuhisa in 1578.

Amako Tsunehisa
Lord of Izumo
1458-1541
Iyo no kami, Mimbu-shôsuke

Tsunehisa was the eldest son of Amako Kiyosada (d.1487). He was expelled along with his father from Gassan-Toda in 1484 and was forced to wander until he could gather enough strength to retake the castle. In 1486 Tsunehisa, assisted by Yamanaka Katsushige, led a handful of men in a daring attack on Gassan-Toda and retook it. Later, while Ôuchi Yoshioki, the most powerful lord in the region, was focused on affairs in Kyoto, Tsunehisa expanded Amako control over Izumo and into Iwami, Bingo, Hoki, and Aki provinces. He attacked the Ôuchi's Aki holdings in 1522 and in the process accepted the defection of Môri Motonari to his side. He was unable to bring down Kanayama Castle and later withdrew from Aki. In 1524 Tsunehisa entered Bingo and made a bid for another Kanayama Castle. Here again his efforts went without decisive result. Many of his efforts were directed towards consolidating an Amako position in Aki and Iwami, though he was only partially successful in either. He built the Kitsugi Grand Shrine in Izumo during the 1530's and made Gassan-Toda into one of the Chugoku region's most formidable castles. He lost his eldest son Masahisa in battle with the Ôuchi in 1518 and later suffered the rebellion of another son, Okihisa, in 1532. As heir he chose Akihisa (Haruhisa), his grandson through the late Masahisa. He retired in 1537 but continued to play an important role in the Amako until his death.
Sons: Masahisa (d.1518), Okihisa, Kunihisa

Amako Hisayuki
Amako retainer
d.1541
Shimotsuke no kami

Hisayuki was the second son of Amako Kiyosada and a younger brother of Amako Tsunehisa. He helped Tsunehisa retake Gassan-Toda Castle in 1486 and was afterwards a loyal and trustworthy follower. He fell out of favor with Tsunehisa's successor, Haruhisa, and endured being called a coward by the latter for advocating caution in all endeavors. He bore up to this humiliation and served Haruhisa in the attempt to take the Môri's Koriyama Castle in 1540. He was killed in battle in the 1st month of the following year.
Son: Akiyuki

Amako Kunihisa
Amako retainer
1492?-1554
Kii no kami

Kunihisa was a son of Amako Tsunehisa and was known in his youth as Magoshirô. He was a principle Amako general while Tsunehisa was alive, leading a force that came to be nicknamed the 'Shinju army' (after the area where Kunihisa's lands were located). He fought under his father in campaigns in Aki and Bingo provinces during the 1520's and alongside Amako Haruhisa at Koriyama in 1540. He defeated a Môri army in 1544 but lost his second son, Toyohisa, at the battle of Hashizugawa in 1546. Despite his many services, Kunihisa came to be distrusted by Haruhisa, his nephew and the daimyô after Tsunehisa's death. For reasons unclear, Kunihisa was executed at Gassan-Toda by Haruhisa on the suspicion of treason in December 1554, along with his eldest son Masahisa and two grandsons. His death is often represented as a contributing factor in the eventual fall of the Amako. Kunihisa had been married to the daughter of Amako retainer Tako Tadashige. He was a grandfather of Amako Katsushige.
Sons: Masahisa (d.1554), Toyohisa (d.1546)

Amako Okihisa
Amako retainer
1497-1534
Daisuke

Okihisa was the third son of Amako Tsunehisa and was at first called Genshirô. He was named the head of the Enya family and later distinguished himself in battle. However, he was displeased with a grant of land he received from his father and at length rebelled over the matter in 1532. When his revolt made no progress, he fled Izumo Province and then committed suicide.

Amako Haruhisa
(Amako Akihisa)
Lord of Izumo
1514?-1562
Minbu shôyu

Haruhisa was a son of Amako Masahisa, who was killed in 1518. He was known first as Akihisa, then became Haruhisa with the blessing of shôgun Ashikaga Yoshiharu in 1541. He assumed control of the Amako in 1537 when his grandfather Tsunehisa retired and retook the silver mines of Iwami Province from the Ôuchi, afterwards expanding Amako influence eastward. He marched as far as Harima Province in 1538 and fought the Akamatsu at Ojio and Akashi Castles. Determined to finally eliminate the Môri of Aki Province, he gathered an army of some 30,000 men and attacked Koriyama Castle in 1540. Despite outnumbering the Môri at least 3 to 1, he failed to bring the castle down and retreated when attacked by both Môri Motonari and an Ôuchi relief force. Nonetheless, Haruhisa was able to resist the Ôuchi's efforts to bring down Gassan-Toda in 1542-43. In the aftermath of that Ôuchi defeat, Haruhisa was free to consolidate his possessions to the east of Izumo. He grew suspicious of his uncle Kunihisa and the latter's circle of friends and family and in 1554 ordered the deaths of Kunihisa and his sons. Thereafter the Amako began to decline in power as Môri Motonari's strength grew. After his sudden death in March 1562, Haruhisa was succeeded by his son Yoshihisa.
Sons: Yoshihisa, Tomohisa, Hidehisa

Amako Yoshihisa
Lord of Izumo
1536 - 1610

Yoshihisa was the second son of Amako Haruhisa and succeeded his father in 1562. He attempted to resist the growing power of the Môri but was unable to expel the latter when they began an invasion of Izumo in 1563. He lost Shiga Castle but managed to hold off an initial assault on Gassan-Toda in 1564. The Môri besieged Gassan-Toda in 1565. Yoshihisa lost the confidence of his men when he executed one of his chief retainers, Uyama Hisanobu, on erroneous charges of treason. Faced with starvation, Yoshihisa surrendered in the 1st month of 1566 and was placed under confinement in Aki Province with his younger brothers (Tomohisa and Hidehisa) for the following 16 years. He was eventually allowed an income of some 570 koku and moved to Nagato Province, where his income was increased to around 1,300 koku. He at length became a monk and died at the age of 74.

Amako Katsuhisa
Amako loyalist
1553?-1578

Katsuhisa was the youngest son of Amako Masahisa and a grandson of Amako Kunihisa. His father, grandfather, and two elder brothers were executed on the orders of Amako Haruhisa in1554. Katsuhisa, then a baby, was spirited away and at length became a monk living in Kyoto. When the Amako fell to the Môri in 1566, Yamanaka Shikanosuke approached Katsuhisa and convinced him to lead an effort to restore their clan. Katsuhisa fought for some time alongside Yamanaka in the Izumo-Bitchû area but was unable to make any lasting gains against the Môri. Defeated in Izumo at Nunobeyama in 1570, Katsuhisa and his supporters attempted a further penetration of the province in 1573. This endeavor also ended without success. Katsuhisa next allied with Oda Nobunaga, who by 1577 was at war with the Môri and pressing westward. Supported by Oda forces, Katsuhisa's men took Kozuki Castle in Harima (1578), which they intended to use as a base for further attacks on the Môri. Soon afterwards, however, a large Môri army arrived and surrounded Kokuzi. When Katsuhisa learned that Nobunaga was unable (or unwilling) to send a relief force, he committed suicide in exchange for the lives of his men. The Amako thereafter disappeared from the political map.

AMANO Takashige
Môri retainer
1503-1584
Nakatsukasa

Takashige was an important retainer of Môri Motonari and was present for the conquest of Izumo Province between 1564-66. He afterwards assisted Kikkawa Motoharu in his fight with Amako adherants under Amako Katsuhisa in Izumo Province and later at Kozuki Castle in Harima Province (1578).

AMANO Kagetsura
(Amano Koshirô)
Imagawa, Takeda, Hôjô retainer

Kagetsura was a son of Amano Hidefuji and served the Imagawa of Suruga Province. He distinguished himself in battle in Mikawa Province in 1547 and was afterwards given Inui Castle in Tôtômi Province. He went on to serve the Takeda when the Imagawa fell in 1569. When the Takeda were destroyed in 1582, Kagetsura fled and took up with Hôjô Ujinao, whom he assisted in battles with the Satake.

AMANO Yasukage
(Amano Saburobei)
Tokugawa retainer
1537-1613

Yasukage served Tokugawa Ieyasu from childhood and in 1565 was named one of Mikawa's san-bugyô, or Three Commissioners (along with Honda Shigetsugu and Koriki Kiyonaga). A veteran of the Battle of Anegawa (1570), he assisted Okubo Tadayo in a well-known night raid on the Takeda army following the Battle of Mikatagahara (1572). He was made a commissioner (bugyô) in Edo following the Tokugawa move to the Kanto (1590) and was later given a 10,000-koku fief in Suruga Province at Kôkokuji.

AMARI Torayasu
Takeda retainer
d.1548
Bizen no Kami

Torayasu was a noted retainer of Takeda Nobutora and Takeda Shingen and reknowned for his bravery. He was killed at the Battle of Uedahara (1548) while fighting under Itagaki Nobutaka.
Son: Masatada

Amari Masatada
(Amari Haruyoshi)
Takeda retainer
1533?-1564
Saemon no jô

Masatada was the eldest son of Amari Torayasu and served Takeda Shingen. He fought at Kikyôgahara (1549), where the Ogasawara suffered a defeat at the Takeda's hands, and at the battles of 4th Kawanakajima (1561), Usuigatoge, and Matsuyama (1563). He was killed in a riding accident in 1564. He is probably best known for an incident involving one of his wounded retainers. When the man's bleeding did not stop, Masatada advised him to drink horse feces and water to help clotting (a folk remedy). When the wounded man was hesitant to do so, Masatada himself consumed some of the concoction for him. Encouraged, his retainer drank from the same cup and reportedly recovered.

ANAYAMA

The Anayama were descended from Takeda Nobutake, whose fifth son Yoshitake was given Anayama in Kai Province in the mid-14th Century. The Anayama afterwards split into two branches, both of which served the Takeda into the 16th Century. The fall of the Takeda in 1582 also marked the virtual extinction of the Anayama.

Anayama Nobutomo
Takeda retainer
1506?-1560
Izu no kami

Nobutomo was a son of Anayama Nobutsuna. He served Takeda Nobutora and was married to a daughter of the latter. When Nobutora was exiled from Kai in 1541, Nobutomo went on to serve Takeda Shingen. He held Shimoyama in Kai Province.
Son: Nobukimi

Anayama Nobukimi
(Anayama Beisetsu)
Takeda retainer
1541-1582
Genba no Kami, Seamon no Daibu

Anayama Nobukimi

Anayama was the son of Anayama Nobutomo. His mother was a daughter of Takeda Nobutora. Nobukimi became Takeda Shingen's brother-in-law (despite already being his nephew) and saw service in many Takeda campaigns. He was present at the battles of 4th Kawanakajima (1561), Mikatagahara (1573), and Nagashino (1575). In each case, he commanded sizable contingents, although he is not generally considered to have been an exceptional general (though he is sometimes said to have acted as a gunnery expert of sorts for Shingen during his career). In 1582 he betrayed Takeda Katsuyori and joined Tokugawa Ieyasu. His reasons for doing so are unclear, although some sort of dispute with Katsuyori is usually cited. One theory is that Nobukimi had nursed a grudge against Katsuyori ever since Takeda Yoshinobu was ordered to commit suicide in 1567. Nobukimi had been close to Yoshinobu and blamed Katsuyori for his fall. He accompanied Ieyasu on a visit to the Oda domain later that year. This trip coincided with the rebellion of Akechi Mitsuhide. Owing to health problems (reportedly piles), Nobukimi was unable to ride and thus had to attempt a different escape route from the capital region. He was ambushed somewhere near the Uji River and killed, possibly by former Takeda retainers.
Son: Nobuharu (1572-1587)

ANDO Morinari
Saitô, Oda retainer
d.1582?
Iga no Kami

Morinari at first served the Saitô of Mino Province and was known as one of the 'Mino Triumvirs' (along with Inaba Ittetsu and Ujiie Bokuzen). He abandoned Saitô Tatsuoki for Oda Nobunaga around 1566 and went on to serve at the Battle of Anegawa (1570). He was dismissed from Nobunaga's service following the fall of the Ishiyama Honganji in 1580. Morinari attempted to reclaim his lands in Mino when Nobunaga was killed in 1582 but was defeated and reportedly forced to commit suicide by Inaba Ittetsu.

ANDO (Mikawa)

The Ando of Mikawa Province claimed descent from Abe Nakamaro (701?-770?) and the Fujiwara. Ando Ieshige came to served Matsudaira Hirotada (the father of Tokugawa Ieyasu) and was killed in the fighting for Anjô in 1540.

Ando Shigenobu
Tokugawa retainer
1558 - 1622
Tsushima no kami

Shigenobu was a son of Ando Shigeyoshi. He served Tokugawa Ieyasu loyally and fought in a number of his battles, including Mikatagahara (1572). He rose to become one of the chief councilors of the Tokugawa house in the early Edo period. He was given Takashi in Kôzuke in 1612.

Ando Naotsugu
Tokugawa retainer
1564-1635

Naotsugu was a younger son of Ando Shigeyoshi. Though a child, he was present at the Battle of Anegawa (1570) as a page for Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was active in the fighting with the Takeda in 1574 in Tôtômi Province. He fought at the Battle of Nagakute (1584) and became known as a brave warrior. He was later made a daimyô at Tanabe in Kii Province (worth 28,000-koku).

ANDO Chikasue
Mutsu warlord

Chikasue was a Mutsu Province daimyô in the mid-16th Century. He defeated the Asari of Hinai and unified the two branches of the Ando family, the Hiyama and Minato, and ruled from Hiyama Castle.

ANEGAKOJI

The Anegakoji were descended from the Fujiwara and ruled Hida Province from the 1300's. In 1585 they were destroyed by the forces of Toyotomi Hideyoshi for supporting Sasa Narimasa. The Anegakoji were in fact led by men of Mitsugi clan blood by the mid-Sengoku Period.

Anegakoji Yoshiyori
(Mitsugi Yoshiyori, Anegakoji Uhyôe)
Lord of Hida
1520?-1571
Hida no kami

Yoshiyori was the son of Mitsugi Naoyori and assumed control of the Anegakoji family in 1562. Soon afterwards he was forced to cope with Takeda excursions into Hida Province from Shinano Province and in 1564 agreed to a peace treaty with Takeda Shingen. He resided at Matsukura Castle.
Son: Koretsuna

Anegakoji Koretsuna
(Anegakoji Yoshitsuna, Anegakoji Zeamon)
Lord of Hida
1540-1587
Yamato no kami

Koretsuna was the son of Anegakoji (Mitsugi) Yoshiyori and resided at Takayama Castle in Hida Province. He was an ally of Oda Nobunaga, with whom he had a number of audiences. He defeated the Ema clan in 1582 and secured control of all Hida. Around this time Koretsuna came to believe that his eldest son Nobutsuna and a younger brother were plotting against him and ordered the deaths of both. In 1584-1585 he supported Sasa Narimasa when the latter defied Toyotomi Hideyoshi and as a result was attacked by Toyotomi forces under Kanamori Nagachika. He surrendered and afterwards retired to Kyoto, while his second son Hidetsuna committed suicide.
Sons: Nobutsuna, Hidetsuna

ANEMORI Yayoi
Asai retainer

Yayoi served all three generations of the Asai daimyô house of Ômi Province - Sukemasa, Hisamasa, and Nagamasa. He held Anemori Castle and fought in a number of battles, though his fate is unclear - it is thought that he died in the early years of Asai Nagamasa's rule.

ANJIRO
Interpreter

Anjiro was from Satsuma Province, from whence he fled to Goa after committing a murder. There he met St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) and returned to Japan with him as an interpreter. His (at times inaccurate) description of Japan - and in particular her native religions - was of considerable interest to the missionaries at Goa and was much studied. Unfortunately for Frois, Anjiro’s poor skills as a interpreter proved a hindrance in Japan itself.

ANKOKUJI Ekei
Môri retainer
d.1600

Ekei was from the Takeda family of Aki Province and became a monk at a young age. He was noticed by Môri Motonari, who called him his 'little monk' and showed him great favor. He acted as the chief diplomat for the Môri and in 1582 negotiated the truce between the Môri and the Oda (as represented by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the secret knowledge that Oda Nobunaga had been killed days before in Kyoto). Ekei had in fact first met Hideyoshi in 1573 and the two became close associates, aided by a shared love of the tea ceremony. After Hideyoshi's conquest of Shikoku in 1585, Ekei was granted a fief in Iyo Province and became a regular at Hideyoshi's Osaka Castle. Following Hideyoshi's death he urged Môri Terumoto to support Ishida Mitsunari in the Sekigahara Campaign (1600). Ekei himself, though no soldier (he was the head priest of the Ankoku-ji in Aki Province), commanded 1,800 men at Sekigahara but saw little fighting. After Mitsunari's defeat he was captured and executed on Tokugawa Ieyasu's orders in Kyoto along with Ishida and Konishi Yukinaga.

ANZAI Sanemoto
Satomi retainer
d.1564?

Sanemoto was a retainer of Satomi Yoshihiro. When Yoshihiro's horse was shot out from under him at the 2nd Battle of Konodai (1564), Sanemoto gave him his own mount. While Yoshihiro was making his retreat, Sanemoto shouted out that he was the Satomi general Yoshihiro and threw himself into the enemy - where he was presumably killed.

AOCHI Shigetsuna
Oda retainer
d.1570
Suruga no kami

Shigetsuna was the second son of Gamô Sadahide and the adopted son of Aochi Nagatsuna (who resided in the Kurita District of Ômi Province). He submitted to Oda Nobunaga along with his brother Gamô Katahide around 1569. The following year Shigetsuna accompanied the Oda army in a campaign against the Asakura of Echizen. At the time Asai Nagamasa elected to break his alliance with the Oda and come to the aid of the Asakura. The Oda army was forced to retreat and Aochi was killed fighting in the rear guard.

copyright 2005 F. W. Seal