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OISHI Sadahisa
Uesugi retainer

Sadahisa served the Ogigayatsu-Uesugi and built Takiyama Castle. After the Uesugi defeat at Kawagoe in 1545, Oishi was made to accept the authority of the Hôjô. He was murdered and was succeeded by Hôjô Ujimasa's 2nd son Ujiteru. After the fall of the Hôjô, his sons Yoshinaka and Sadakatsu came to work for Okubo Nagayasu.
Son: Yoshinaka, Sadakatsu (adopted)

OKA Toshikatsu
Ukita retainer
Bungo no kami

Toshikatsu served Ukita Naoie of Bizen Province and was in 1549 awarded Narayama Castle. He was one of the original core Ukita retainers and so was present for most of Naoie's battles. He distinguished himself in a clash with Mimura Iechika and against the Môri family in 1569. He went on to serve in the Ukita contingent at Toyotomi Hideyoshi's siege of Takamatsu Castle in 1582 and in 1585 joined the invasion of Shikoku. He accompanied Ukita Hideie to Korea in 1592 but there died of illness.

Aki, Chosokabe retainer

Shôken at first served the Aki of western Tosa but entered into a secret understanding with Chosokabe Motochika (along with fellow Aki retainer Ogawa Shinzaemon) and helped the latter defeat the Aki in 1569.


The Okabe of Suruga Province were descended from the Kudô family of Izu Province. They became retainers of the Imagawa until the fall of that house in 1569, at which point the they became Takeda vassals. When the Takeda fell in turn, the Okabe joined the Tokugawa.

Okabe Masatsuna
Imagawa, Takeda retainer

Masatsuna was a son of Okabe Hisatsuna. He first served Imagawa Ujizane, then joined the Takeda after 1569. He fought in a number of battles with the Takeda, including Mikatagahara (1573) and Takatenjin (1574) but became a ronin after their fall in 1582. Not long afterwards he entered the service of the Tokugawa but died in 1583.
Son: Nagamori

Okabe Motonobu
Imagawa, Takeda retainer

Motonobu was a son of Okabe Hisatsuna and a younger brother of Okabe Masatsuna. He was at first a retainer of Imagawa Ujizane but joined the Takeda after the fall of the Imagawa in 1569. He was installed in Takatenjin Castle in Tôtômi Province and when Takatenjin fell to the Tokugawa in 1581, Motonobu was killed.

Okabe Nagamori
Tokugawa retainer


Nagamori was a son of Okabe Masatsuna. He served Tokugawa Ieyasu and in 1590 received Matsufuji in Shimôsa Province, worth 12,000 koku. He went on to receive a string of fiefs, the last of which was Ôgaki in Mino Province.
Son: Nagakatsu


The Okubo mon

The Okubo were descended from the Utsunomiya family and were for a time known as the Utsu. They were long-time retainers of the Matsudaira family and in the service of Tokugawa Ieyasu achieved much success. A scandal centered around the Okubo that culminated in the 1614 dispossessing of Okubo Tadachika was a nearly fatal blow to that family's position under the Tokugawa.

Okubo Tadakazu
Tokugawa retainer

Tadakazu was a son of Okubo Tadahiro. He served Matsudaira Hirotada and Tokugawa Ieyasu and was active in the latter's struggles against the monto of Mikawa after 1561. While the young Ieyasu was a hostage of the Imagawa, Tadakazu worked effectively to help keep his clan together in his absence.
Sons: Tadayo, Tadasuke, Tadatame (1554-1616), Tadanori (1560-1639)

Okubo Tadayo
Tokugawa retainer

Tadayo was the son of Okubo Tadakazu and served Tokugawa Ieyasu as a general and an advisor. He commanded men at the 1570 Battle of Anegawa and played a notable role in the Battle of Mikatagahara (1573), leading a night raid with Amano Yasukage against the Takeda positions. He occupied an exposed position at Nagshino and took heavy losses fighting with Takeda men under Yamagata Masakage. Tadayo was also one of the commanders in Ieyasu's failed endeavor to chastise Sanada Masayuki in 1585 and that same year was tasked with holding Okazaki Castle (Mikawa Province) following the defection of Ishikawa Kazumasa to the Toyotomi. In 1590 he was given Odawara Castle in Sagami with an income of 45,000 koku.
Sons: Tadachika, (Ishikawa) Tadafusa (1572-1650)

Okubo Tadasuke
Tokugawa retainer

Tadasuke was a younger brother of Okubo Tadayo. He fought in a number of notable battles for Tokugawa Ieyasu (including Mikatagahara and Nagashino) and came to hold Numazu in Suruga Province in 1601.

Okubo Tadachika
Tokugawa retainer
Sagami no kami

Tadachika was the son of Okubo Tadayo and served Tokugawa Ieyasu. He fought at Anegawa, Mikatagahara, and the Komaki Campaign, serving as the commander of Ieyasu's bodyguard in the last. He afterwards served as a guardian for Tokugawa Hidetada. He inherited Odawara in Sagami Province from his late father in 1593 and by 1603 was an important councilor for the Tokugawa house. He later fell out of favor, incurring the suspicion of Ieyasu and shôgun Tokugawa Hidetada, a situation worsened by a feud between Tadachika and Honda Masanobu. Tadachika was at length censored by the Tokugawa and while he was dispatched on an anti-Christian mission lost his lands in February 1614. His grandson Tadatomo was given back Odawara in 1687.
Son: Tadatsune (1580-1611)

Okubo Nagayasu
(Okubo Chôan)
Takeda, Tokugawa retainer
Iwami no kami

Nagayasu was reputedly the son of a sarugaku player for the Takeda clan and himself a minor administrator for the Takeda who was adopted by Okubo Tadachika (from whom he adopted his surname) and became the commissioner of mines for Tokugawa Ieyasu after 1590. In this role he proved most useful to Ieyasu, though he was suspected of fraudulent activities. He was given a 30,000-koku fief at Hachijo (Musashi Province) and in 1606 was made daikan of Izu, handling tax collection and finances in general for that province. Such was his importance, he was nicknamed Tenka no Sôdaikan, or 'Great Administrator of the Realm'. He became involved in a bitter feud with Honda Masazumi that worsened the fortunes of the Okubo in general. After his death in April 1613, Nagayasu's illegal activities came to light and his family was harshly punished.

OKUDAIRA Sadayoshi
Tokugawa retainer

The Okudaira mon

Sadayoshi was a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu and held Tsukude Castle in Mikawa Province. He served at the Battle of Anegawa in 1570. He was forced to join Takeda Shingen along with his son Sadamasa, but following Shingen's death returned to the Tokugawa.
Son: Sadamasa

Okudaira Sadamasa
(Okudaira Nobumasa)
Tokugawa retainer
Mimasaka no kami

Sadamasa was the son of Okudaira Sadayoshi. He served Tokugawa Ieyasu and took two heads at the Battle of Anegawa. Along with his father he was briefly forced to join Takeda Shingen around 1572 but following Shingen's death returned to the Tokugawa, abandoning Tsukude Castle. As a result of Sadamasa's turn-coating, Takeda Katsuyori ordered the former's family seized and crucified. Sadamasa held Nagashino Castle for the Tokugawa in 1575, and resisted the Takeda attempts to bring it down in June of that year, a campaign that culminated in the Battle of Nagashino. He later married Tokugawa Ieyasu's daughter and in 1590 was given a 30,000-koku fief at Miyazaki in Kôzuke Province. One of his own daughters married Okubo Tadatsune.
Son: Iemasa (1577-1614)

OKUMA Tomohide
Nagao, Takeda retainer
Bizen no kami

Tomohide was a son of Okuma Bizen no kami Masahide. He served Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) in the latter's efforts to take control of Echigo from his elder brother Harukage. He became a noted Nagao retainer but rebelled in 1556. He escaped Echigo Province and took up service with Takeda Shingen. He commanded troops under Yamagata Masakage and was later killed in 1582 near Temmokuzan by Oda troops.
Sons: Nagahide

(Okunomiya Kurando)
Chosokabe retainer

Masaie served the Chosokabe family of Tosa Province and was tasked with helping to defend the border with Awa. He joined the Chosokabe campaign to Bungo Province in 1586 (at the behest of Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and was killed in the fighting with the Shimazu at the Hetsugigawa.


The Ômori of Sagami Province were originally from Suruga Province. They claimed descent from Fujiwara Michiie and were established by Ômori Yoriie. Uesugi Zenshu gave them Odawara Castle in the 15th Century and by the opening of the 16th Century they were important retainers of the Uesugi. They lost Odawara to Hôjô Sôun and afterwards became Hôjô vassals.

Ômori Fujiyori
Sagami warlord

Fujiyori was the son of Ômori Ujiyori and was an important retainer in Sagami Province for the Ogigayatsu-Uesugi. His father died in 1594 and afterwards Hôjô Sôun of Ise Province made friendly representations and won the young Fujiyori's trust. In 1495 Sôun proposed a joint-hunting expedition and used this as a cover to begin moving his army into Sagami. The Ômori were caught by surprise and Odawara fell easily to the Hôjô. Fujiyori is usually described as being murdered in the process but some sources state that he fled to his Okazaki Castle and afterwards became a Hôjô vassal.

Omura Sumitada
Hizen warlord
Tango no kami

The Omura mon

Sumitada was a younger son of Arima Haruzumi and was adopted by Omura Sumisaki. He held Aonogi Castle. He suffered a series of rebellions among his kinsmen (including Goto Takaaki and Saigo Sumitaka) and the advances of outside lords, prompting him to seek the assistance of the Portuguese. In 1562 he had already become the first daimyô to be baptized and in 1580 he officially ceded the port of Nagasaki to the foreigners. Sumitada made this remarkable move for a number of reasons, in particular a desire to keep the port out of the hands of the Ryûzôji and so maintain the valuable income Nagasaki generated. Despite this desperate and unpopular bid, he was forced to submit to the Ryûzoji the same year. He was not present at the Battle of Okinawadate (where Ryûzoji Takanobu was killed,1584) owing to tardiness in departing for the front and so avoided that disaster. His Christian name was Dom Bartolomeu.
Son: Yoshiaki

Omura Yoshiaki
Hizen warlord

Yoshiaki was a son of Omura Sumitada. He commanded troops in the 1st Korean Campaign and elected to remain neutral during the Sekigahara Campaign. As a result he was ordered to retire in favor of his son Suminobu. Like his father he was a Christian and was known in this as Dom Sancho.
Son: Suminobu

Wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Kita no mandokoro

Ône was the daughter of Sugihara Sadatoshi and married Hideyoshi around 1561. She proved a trusted confidante to her husband and many letters written to her by Hideyoshi survive. She was given the title Kita no mandokoro after Hideyoshi assumed the post of Kampaku in 1585. Her husband died in 1598 and she afterwards became nun, retiring to the Kôdaiji in Kyoto (where the tombs of Hideyoshi, his mother, and, later, Toyotomi Hideyori came to rest) in 1601. Despite their over 30-year relationship, she produced no children with Hideyoshi.

ONIWA Yoshinao
Date retainer

The Oniwa (Moniwa) mon

Yoshinao served Date Masamune, though at one time he had entered the priesthood and was known in that capacity as Satsuki. He fought at the Battle of Hitadori (1585) and was given a baton of command by Masamune. Though he could wear no armor due to his advance age, he is said to have fought furiously in the battle and taken many heads. Unfortunately, a yellow cap he was wearing attracted the attention of the enemy and he was at length cut down. His actions helped enable Masamune to retreat from the action and earned him much posthumous praise. The man who had killed him, Kobuta Jyuro, was later captured by the Date but was spared by Yoshinao's son, Tsunamoto.
Son: (Moniwa) Tsunamoto (1549-1640)

ONO Harunaga
Toyotomi retainer

Harunaga was a Toyotomi retainer who served in the Sekigahara Campaign on the Tokugawa side under Fukushima Masanori. He became one of the noted defenders of Osaka Castle during the two campaigns there in 1614 and 1615. He was killed during the climactic Battle of Tennôji in June 1615.

ONO Tadaaki
(Mikogami Tenzen)
Tokugawa retainer

Tadaaki was a noted swordsman and instructor who was given the rank of karita bugyô (or, Commissioner for rice fields) during the Tokugawa attack on Ueda in 1600. During the siege he fought and killed a defender of the Sanada garrison in single combat, an action for which he was reprimanded.

ONODERA Terumichi
Dewa warlord
Tôtômi no kami

Terumichi was the son of Onodera Izu no kami Masumichi (d.1546). In his youth, Terumichi had been sent to Kyoto to serve Ashikaga Yoshiteru as a page and from the latter received the 'Teru' in his name. He returned to Dewa Province and proved a capable leader.
Sons: Yoshimichi, Yasumichi (d.1641), Nobumichi (?-?)

Onodera Yoshimichi
(Onoji Yoshimichi, Onodera Jûro)
Dewa warlord
Tôtômi no kami

Yoshimichi was the second son of Onodera Terumichi, a minor daimyô of Dewa Province. A long time rival of the Mogami, he held Ômori Castle in Dewa's Ogachi district. In 1594 his old foe Mogami Yoshikaira is said to have deceived him into punishing one of his chief retainers and this damaged the unity of the Onodera retainer band. He resisted attempts by Ôtani Yoshitsugu to conduct land surveys in his domain and as a result was besieged at Ômori in 1599, holding out until winter forced Ôtani to retreat. During the Sekigahara Campaign he lent his support to Uesugi Kagekatsu and was afterwards deprived of his lands and exiled to the Chugoku region (1601).


The Ôsaki of Mutsu Province were locally powerful from the middle of the 14th Century. They suffered a long period of internal strife starting in 1536 and were forced to call on Date Tanemune for assistance. Afterwards the Ôsaki came under Date influence.

OSAFUNA Sadachika
Ukita retainer
Etchû no kami

Sadachika was a noted retainer of Ukita Naoie from the early days of the latter and led troops for him in all of his campaigns. After the Ukita submitted to Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi and the Oda in 1579, Sadachika assisted at the Siege of Takamatsu in 1582 and later in the Shikoku Campaign. He was murdered in 1588.

ÔTA Gyûichi
Oda, Toyotomi retainer, author
Izu no kami

Gyûichi served Oda Nobunaga and composed a well-known biography of the latter, the Shinchô-kô ki.

ÔTA Sukemasa
Musashi warlord
Mino no kami, Minbu-daisuke

The Ota mon

Sukemasa was the lord of Iwatsuki Castle in Musashi and a vassal of the Uesugi. He came to accept the authority of the Hôjô but later rebelled and came to rely on the Satomi, with whom he was defeated at Konodai in 1564. He then took up with Satake Yoshishige.
Son: Yasusuke

ÔTA Kazuyoshi
(Ôta Masanobu, Ota Munetaka)
Toyotomi retainer
Hida no kami

Kazuyoshi was a son of Ôta Munekiyo and was at first a retainer of Hashiba Hidenaga. When Hidenaga died in 1591, Kazuyoshi became a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was given a fief in Bungo Province worth 60,000 koku. He was badly wounded in the Siege of Ulsan in the 2nd Korean Campaign and upon his return to Japan was forced to remain in his home recuperating. He gave his support to Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara and following the Tokugawa victory lost his domain. He afterwards shaved his head and assumed the name Sôzen.

OTANI Yoshitsugu
Toyotomi retainer

The Otani mon

Yoshitsugu's origins are unclear but one theory holds that Yoshitsugu's family were former retainers of the Ôtomo family of Bungo Province. He was recommended to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (possibly by the young Ishida Mitsunari) around 1574 and quickly rose through the ranks. He attacked Takigawa Kazumasu in the 1583 Shizugatake Campaign and afterwards, following Hideyoshi's defeat of Shibata Katsuie, was given Tsuruga in Echizen Province. He assisted in the logistical aspects of Hideyoshi's 1587 invasion of Kyushu and was present for the siege of Odawara Castle in 1590. He was later dispatched to the northern provinces as a land survey officer, though his activities during the 1590's are otherwise obscure, possibly due to a worsening case of leprosy he was suffering from by this point. While in the north he was forced to deal with the resistance of Onodera Yasumichi in 1599, whose castle of Ômori Yoshitsugu besieged. In 1600 he at first thought of joining Tokugawa Ieyasu's side in the coming war but was convinced by Ishida Mitsunari to follow the latter instead. Though suffering from now-advanced leprosy, he joined the 'western' forces on the battlefield at Sekigahara and directed his troops from within a palanquin. After the defection of Kobayakawa Hideaki to Tokugawa Ieyasu's side, he ordered a retainer to cut off his head and spirit it away. His daughter was married to Sanada Yukimura.


The Ôtomo mon

The Ôtomo family tree

The Ôtomo of Bungo Province represented one of the oldest of Japan's clans. They were founded by the adopted son of Nakahara Chikayoshi, Ôtomo Yoshinao. He was a loyal follower of Minamoto Yoritomo and in 1193 was established on Kyushu and given responsibility for Bungo and Buzen. The height of the Ôtomo's power came during the reign of Ôtomo Yoshishige (Sôun), who by 1568 had extended the influence of his family over Bungo, Buzen, northern Hyûga, Chikuzen, and Chikugo. Defeats at the hands of the Ryûzôji in 1570 (Imai) and the Shimazu in 1578 (Mimigawa), combined with internal dissension, weakened the Ôtomo and they were on the verge of being destroyed by the Shimazu when Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Kyushu in 1587. Although this preserved the Ôtomo domain for a time, it was lost owing to cowardice on the part of Sôrin's heir in the Korean invasion.

Ôtomo Yoshiaki
(Ôtomo Yoshinori)
Lord of Bungo

Yoshinori was a son of Ôtomo Yoshinaga and was married to a daughter of &Ocircuchi Yoshioki. He worked to secure Ôtomo influence over Bungo and clashed with the Ôuchi and Shôni. He inherited a troubled retainer band and had to contend with his independent-minded brother, Yoshitake. He indicated that he wished to name a younger son as his heir. This prompted a group of retainers who supported his eldest son, Yoshishige, to conspire against him. In February of 1550 those retainers, led by Irida Chikazane, attacked Yoshiaki's residence, mortally wounding Yoshiaki and killing his son, Shioichimaru and Shioichimaru's mother.
Sons: Yoshishige, Shioichimaru (d.1550),(Ôuchi) Yoshinaga, Chikasada

Ôtomo Yoshitake
see Kikuchi Yoshitake

Ôtomo Yoshishige
(Ôtomo Sôrin, Sambisai Sôrin, Ôtomo Yoshizumi, Ôtomo Soteki, Ôtomo Gensai)
Lord of Bungo
Saemon no kami

Yoshishige was the eldest son of Ôtomo Yoshiaki and became daimyô in 1550 following the murder of his father Yoshinori. Although he has long been suspected of having a role in the murder, his first act was to destroy the conspirators. His uncle Kikuchi Yoshitake declared his independence around the same time and so Yoshishige was compelled to march against him and destroy him in 1554. In 1557 he invaded Chikuzen, forcing the Akizuki into submission. He sent a younger brother to act as heir to the Oûchi house, and thus became an enemy of Môri Motonari, who displaced the Oûchi in 1557. The Ôtomo and Môri fought a see-saw battle for Moji Castle, in northern Buzen Province, between 1559 and 1561. In 1562 Yoshishige entered into an alliance with the Amako and pressed his war with the Môri. That same year, he changed his name to Sambisai Sôrin, the name by which (as Ôtomo Sôrin) he is best known. He made peace with the Môri through the intercession of the shôgun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, and arranged for the marriage of his daughter to Môri Terumoto-though peace did not last out the decade. He ordered an attack on the Kôno of Iyo Province (allies of the Môri) in 1565 but made no headway. Although he was able to expand his influence throughout much of northern Kyushu, his army was defeated by Ryûzôji of Hizen in Iyama in 1570 and he was unable to prevent that clan from becoming powerful in its own right. He gave his support to an abortive effort by Ichijô Kanesada to restore himself in Tosa in 1576. Earlier, back in 1551, Yoshishige had entertained Francis Xavier and written an introductory letter to the King of Portugal, which he dispatched with a delegation to the governor of Goa. Afterwards accommodating to his foreign guests, he was finally baptized in 1578 as Dom Francisco and instituted pro-Christian policies that alienated members of his retainer band. In 1577 the encroaching Shimazu of Satsuma Province forced Itô Yoshisuke to flee his lands in southern Hyûga and request assistance from the Ôtomo. Yoshishige and his son Yoshimune (officially daimyô since 1576) responded by leading an army drawn from the provinces of Bungo, Buzen, Chikuzen, Chikugo, Hyûga, and Higo against the Shimazu. This great host, whose vanguard was commanded by Tawara Chikakata, was soundly defeated at the Battle of Mimigawa and Yoshishige, who was at the time at Tsuchimochi along with Yoshimune, was forced to flee back to Bungo. The Ôtomo and Shimazu made peace shortly afterwards, but this only allowed the latter to consolidate their gains and defeat the Ryûzôji. By 1585 the Shimazu were at the borders of Bungo and in May 1586 Sôrin personally traveled to Osaka to request assistance from Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi replied by sending a massive army the next year that defeated the Shimazu. Yoshishige died on 11 June 1587 at Usuki, his personal residence.
Sons: Yoshimune, Chikaie, Chikamori

Ôtomo Chikasada
Ôtomo retainer

Chikasada was a younger brother of Ôtomo Sôrin. He was tasked at various points with leading Sôrin's army on campaigns in Buzen, Chikugo, and elsewhere. In 1570 he was given 60,000 men to destroy the Ryûzôji of Hizen Province but was himself killed and his army defeated at the Battle of Iyama in September of that year.

Ôtomo Yoshimune
Lord of Bungo

Yoshimune officially succeeded his father Yoshishige in 1576 and authorized the campaign aimed at driving the Shimazu from Hyûga Province. After the Ôtomo army was defeated at Mimigawa (1578), Yoshimune was occupied with keeping increasingly rebellious vassals in line. Taking advantage of the death of Ryûzôji Takanobu at the hands of the Shimazu, Yoshimune sent an army into Ryûzôji territory, though he accomplished little. When the Shimazu invaded Bungo and Toyotomi Hideyoshi sent an expeditionary force to Funai (led by Chosokabe Motochika and Sengoku Hidehisa), Yoshimune, against Chosokabe's advice, insisted on taking the field to relieve Toshimitsu Castle, then under attack by the Shimazu. The result of this ill-concieved adventure was the January 1587 Battle of Hetsugigawa, where Yoshimune and his allies were soundly defeated. Yoshimune fled back to Funai, which he soon had to abandon to the Shimazu. After Hideyoshi's main army descended on Kyushu and drove the Shimazu back to southern Kyushu, Yoshimune was confirmed as daimyô of Bungo. He led 6,000 men to Korea as part of Kuroda Nagamasa's division but displayed cowardice in the fighting around Pyong'yang: learning of a sizable Chinese force moving into the area, Yoshimune disregarded Konishi Yukinaga's call for aid and retreated. This incurred Hideyoshi's wrath and the Ôtomo domain was forfeited. Yoshimune sided with Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign and was exiled afterwards. He died on 2 September 1605, the last lord of the Ôtomo family. Yoshimune had been baptized in 1574 as Constantinho but was not as sympathetic to the missionaries as his father had been.
Son: Yoshinobu (d.1639)

Ôtomo Chikaie
(Tawara Chikaie)
Ôtomo retainer

Chikaie was the 2nd son of Ôtomo Yoshishige (Sôrin). Owing to his bad nature, he was sent into the priesthood. After he had mended his behavior, he was allowed to return to secular life. In 1575 he was baptized and in 1579 he was adopted as heir into the Tawara family. Around 1586 he feuded with his brother Yoshimune and was accused of colluding with the Shimazu. After Toyotomi Hideyoshi's armies had driven back the Shimazu, Hideyoshi wanted to execute Chikaie but was convinced by Sôrin to instead deprive him of his domain.

Ôtomo Chikamori
Ôtomo retainer

Chikamori was the 3rd son of Ôtomo Yoshishige (Sôrin). He was baptized as a Christian in 1580 and was adopted by Tawara Chikakata the following year. He was present for the 1587 Battle of Hetsugigawa and led troops in the 1st Korean Campaign. After his elder brother Yoshimune was deprived of his domain Chikamori became a retainer of Hosokawa Tadaoki and gave up Christianity.


The Ôuchi of Suo and Nagato were established by Ôuchi Morifusa around 1180. They defeated the local Ashikaga appointed-shûgo in Suo and Nagato in the 1350's and were named as shûgo of those provinces in 1363. As their power increased, they developed a vital monopoly on foreign trade. During the opening decades of the Sengoku Period, the Ôuchi, whose capital was at Yamaguchi in Suo, expanded into northern Kyushu and brought Iwami and Aki under their influence, which they held against the advances of the Amako family. Following a failed effort to reduce the Amako's Gassan-Toda Castle, Ôuchi Yoshitaka's hold over his retainers began to wane and in 1551 he was overthrown by Sue Harukata, who replaced him with a puppet. The Ôuchi were finally destroyed by the Môri in 1557, although certain elements held out for some years. Their house code, the Ôuchi-shi okitegaki, compiled around 1492, is one of the earliest examples of this sort of document.

Ôuchi Masahiro
Lord of Suo, Nagato, and Iwami

Masahiro was the son of Ôuchi Norihiro and was at first known as Taro. He fought in Kyoto during the Ônin War in support of the Yamana. He afterwards returned to the Western provinces and expanded and consolidated the Ôuchi influence there. He took advantage of the political situation to increase the Ôuchi's domination of trade with China.
Sons: Yoshioki, Takahiro

Ôuchi Yoshioki
Lord of Suo, Nagato, and Iwami
Sakyô-daibu, kanrei (1508-1518)

Yoshioki was the eldest son of Ôuchi Masahiro and ruled from Yamaguchi in Suo Province. He worked to increase the power of the Ôuchi and came into conflict with the Ôtomo of Bungo (Kyushu) and the rising Amako of Izumo. In 1508 Yoshioki took up the cause of the deposed shôgun, Ashikaga Yoshitane, and marched on Kyoto, for which he was named kanrei. In 1511 he marched with Hosokawa Takakuni to defeat Hosokawa Masataka and Hosokawa Sumimoto at Funaokayama north of Kyoto. With the assistance of the Rokkaku he returned some semblance of order to the capital, but was forced to return to Yamaguchi in 1518, both to thwart the ambitions of the Amako and to avoid an embarrassing financial scandal brought about by his own generosity. He clashed with Amako Tsunehisa, and the two became known as great rivals, fighting campaigns in Aki and Iwami Provinces. Yoshioki married a daughter to Ôtomo Yoshiaki, and she would produce a future head of the Ôuchi, Yoshinaga. He died of illness on 29 January 1529.
Sons: Yoshitaka, Hirooki

Ôuchi Yoshitaka
Lord of Suo and Nagato
Suo no suke, Iyo no suke

Yoshitaka was the eldest son of Ôuchi Yoshioki and his mother was the daughter of Naitô Hironori. He became daimyô following the death of his father in 1528 and worked to solidify Ôuchi influence over northern Kyushu during the 1530's. He also moved to cement his family's domination of the overseas trade, and it was partially to this end that he entertained Francis Xavier in 1550 (two years after the end of the 'official' China trade). He sent Sue Harukata to lift the Amako's siege of Koriyama in 1540, and personally led an army into the Amako domain in 1542. This campaign foundered at the walls of Gassan-Toda Castle and ended in a bitter defeat for the Ôuchi and their allies the Môri. This reverse prompted Yoshitaka to largely withdraw from military affairs, leaving them in the hands of the Naitô and Sue. He devoted himself instead to cultural pursuits and further spared little expense to turn Yamaguchi into a 'western' Kyoto. His retainers grew dissatisfied with his activities and in 1551 Sue Takafusa (Harukata) rebelled, forcing Yoshitaka to flee to a temple in Nagato, where, abandoned by most of his retainers, he committed suicide along with his young son Yoshihiro.
Son: Yoshihiro (1545-1551)

ÔUCHI Yoshinaga
(Ôtomo Haruhide)
Lord of Suo and Nagato

Yoshinaga was a younger brother of Ôtomo Sôrin and the son of one of Ôuchi Yoshioki's daughters. He was at first known as Haruhide, the 'haru' being presented by the shôgun Ashikaga Yoshiharu. His name was later changed to Yoshinaga, in this case being awarded 'yoshi' from shôgun Ashikaga Yoshiteru. He was to be adopted into the Ôuchi family and in 1544 was presented to Ôuchi Yoshikata. The following year, however, Yoshikata's son Yoshihiro was born and so the planned adoption was called off. When Oûchi Yoshitaka was overthrown in 1551, Sôrin and Sue Harukata agreed to make Yoshinaga the new lord of the Oûchi, though he acted as a puppet to Sue. Following Môri Motonari's victory at Miyajima in 1555 and death of Sue, Yoshinaga's position was steadily weakened until he was forced to commit suicide as Motonari marched against Yamaguchi in 1557.

Ôuchi Teruhiro
Ôuchi retainer

Teruhiro was a son of Ôuchi Takahiro and a cousin of Ôuchi Yoshitaka. When the Ôuchi were brought down by the Môri in 1557, Teruhiro fled and continued to resist their rule, eventually aided in this by Amako loyalist Yamanaka Yukimori. In 1570 Teruhiro and Yamanaka attacked Izumo while the Môri were preoccupied with events on Kyushu. Môri Motonari's son Kikkawa Motoharu destroyed Teruhiro at Chausuyama in December of 1569.

ÔURA Tamenobu
See Tsugaru Tamenobu

ÔYAMA Takatomo
Yûki, Uesugi vassal

Takatomo was a younger son of Yûki Masatomo and became heir to the Ôyama family of Shimotsuke Province. He clashed with the Nasu family and later submitted to the advances of Uesugi Kenshin and became an ally of the latter. Takatomo's second son Harutomo was adopted by the former's brother Masakatsu.
Sons: Hidetsuna, (Yûki) Harutomo

OYAMADA Nobushige
Takeda retainer
Sahyô no jô, Echizen no kami

Nobushige was the son of Oyamada Nobunari (d.1552). He served Takeda Shingen and fought in a number of his battles and held Iwadono Castle in Kai Province. Although a distinguished general under Takeda Shingen, Nobushige abandoned Takeda Katsuyori in 1582 when the latter was pressed by an invasion by Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was criticized by Oda Nobunaga for his treachery and so Horio Yoshiharu was sent to see to his execution.

OYAMADA Masatatsu
Takeda retainer
Bitchû no kami

Masatatsu began a branch of the Oyamada separate from that of Nobushige. He was said to have been a expert of defensive warfare but was killed in battle with the Murakami in 1552.
Sons: Masayuki, Masasada (d.1582)

OYAMADA Masayuki
Takeda retainer
Bitchû no kami

Masayuki was the son of Oyamada Masatatsu. He served Takeda Shingen and fought in many of his battles, becoming one of his senior retainers. In 1582 he defended Takatô Castle in Shinano Province against the Oda along with his younger brother Masatada and Nishina Morinobu and was killed.

OYAMADA Yorisada
Date retainer
Chikuzen no kami

Yorisada was a retainer of Date Masamune who was reknowned as a great warrior. He served in the rear guard at the Battle of Nakaniida against the Ôsaki clan and when the fighting turned against the Date, Yorisada fought gallantly until he was killed.

copyright 2005 F. W. Seal