Yoshitaka Kuroda (1/2)The best tactician in the Sengoku period

Yoshitaka Kuroda

Yoshitaka Kuroda

Article category
Yoshitaka Kuroda (1546-1604)
place of birth
Shiga Prefecture
Related castles
Nakatsu Castle

Nakatsu Castle

fukuoka castle

fukuoka castle

During the Sengoku period, there were many different types of military commanders, including those who excelled in martial arts such as spears, bows, and guns, those who excelled in internal affairs and castle building, and those who won battles with their wits rather than fighting. Among them, Yoshitaka Kuroda served Toyotomi Hideyoshi as a highly resourceful staff officer and demonstrated his ingenuity to the extent that he could be said to have elevated him to become a ruler of Japan. He is also popular, having played the leading role in the 2014 taiga drama "Gunshi Kanbei". This time we will introduce the life of Yoshitaka Kuroda, who is famous as a military tactician.

Origin, birth and youth of the Kuroda clan

Mr. Kuroda is said to have come from Kuroda Village, Ika District, Omi Province (present-day Kuroda, Kinomoto Town, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture) at the foot of Mt. Shizugatake, but this is not certain.

During the era of Yoshitaka's grandfather, Shigetaka Kuroda, it entered Harima Province from Fukuoka Village, Oku District, Bizen Province, and was the lord of Tatsuno Castle, Masahide Akamatsu, and later the shugo and senior vassal, Harumasa Akamatsu, and centered around Gochiku Castle (today's eastern part of Himeji City). He served Norioto Kodera, a father and son in political office, who were feudal lords during the Sengoku period and had power in the Harima Plain.

Mr. Kodera highly praised Mr. Kuroda. In 1545, Shigetaka was appointed as the ruler of Himeji Castle, and Shigetaka's son, Yokitaka Kuroda (Yokotaka's father), married an adopted daughter of a political official and gave her the surname Kodera.

On November 29, 1546, Yoshitaka was born in Himeji, Harima Province, as the eldest son of Kuroda Moritaka. His childhood name was Mankichi. In the 2nd year of Eiroku (1559), he lost his mother and indulged in literature, and then in the 4th year of Eiroku (1561), he became a close apprentice to the government of Kodera.

His first battle was in 1562, when he and his father subjugated the local clans. From this year, he began to call himself ``Kodera Kanbei''. Around the 10th year of Eiroku (1567), Yoshitaka inherited the position of head of the family and chief retainer from his father, Moritaka, took as his legal wife Teru, the daughter of Isada Kushihashi, who was the niece of Masayuki Kodera, and became the lord of Himeji Castle. Masu. He also forms an alliance with his cousin Norimi Akashi.

In the 12th year of Eiroku (1569), Hisatsuna Tatehara, Yukimori Yamanaka, and others from the remnants of the Amago clan, which had been destroyed by Motonari Mori who had expanded his influence in San'in and Sanyo three years earlier, supported Katsuhisa Amago, and Yutoyo Yamana of Tajima Province. Supported by Munekage Urakami and others, he launched a movement to rebuild Izumo Province (invasion of Unshu by the Amago Restoration Army), following Motonari, who was at war with Sorin Otomo at Tarahama. Motonari requested relief from Yoshiaki.

In August, 20,000 soldiers led by Hideyoshi Kinoshita (later Hideyoshi Hashiba (Toyotomi)) were sent to Yutoyo. In addition, Akamatsu Masahide, who had formed a friendship with Yoshiaki, attacked Himeji Castle with 3,000 soldiers, leading to a crisis.

The political office was attacked by Katsumasa Ikeda and Yasuharu Bessho, Munekage was defected by Naoie Ukita, and although Yoshitaka only had 300 soldiers, he launched a surprise attack and fought twice, fighting against Michiaki Miki. With the help of reinforcements, they were successfully repulsed (Battle of Aoyama and Dokiyama).

Masahide was attacked by Munekage Urakami and surrendered. After this, the Miyoshi Sanninshu temporarily rebuilt their power, Nobunaga's encirclement network was set up, and the relationship between Yoshiaki and Nobunaga deteriorated.

In 1575, Yoshitaka, who highly valued Nobunaga's talent, advised his lord, Kodera Masashiki, to submit him to the Oda clan, which had defeated Takeda Katsuyori at the Battle of Nagashino. In July, through the mediation of Hideyoshi Hashiba, he had an audience with Nobunaga at Gifu Castle, where Nobunaga gave him the famous sword ``Hasekiri Hasebe.''

In January 1576, Hideharu Hatano of Tanba Province attacked Mitsuhide Akechi, who was attacking Naomasa Akai (Battle of Kuroi Castle), and defected from Nobunaga. In February, Yoshiaki fled to Tomonoura in the territory of Terumoto Mori (Motonari's legitimate grandson). In April, the peace between Nobunaga and Hongan-ji Temple broke down. In July, Ura Munekatsu, a naval general under Terumoto's uncle Takakage Kobayakawa, defeated Nobunaga's navy (First Battle of Kizugawaguchi).

In October 1577, he sent his eldest son Shojumaru (later Kuroda Nagamasa) to Nobunaga as a hostage.
After Nobunaga defeated Hide Matsunaga at the Battle of Shigiyama Castle, he sent Hideyoshi to Harima. Yoshitaka moved his family to Kokufuyama Castle in Shikahigashi District, located southwest of Himeji Castle across Ichikawa, his father's retirement castle, and offered the main castle of Himeji Castle, which was his castle, to Hideyoshi, and he himself lived in Ninomaru and served as a staff officer. It will become like this. Yoshitaka followed Hideyoshi's main force in the attack on Kozuki Castle, and served as the vanguard along with Shigeharu Takenaka and others in the attack on Sayo Castle.

From Oda to Toyotomi vassal

In March 1578, Nagaharu Bessho drew in most of the surrounding powerful clans and rebelled (Miki Gassen), and the Mori clan responded. In April, when Naoie Ukita's army of 7,000 men and soldiers from the Saigashu attacked Akei Castle in Beppu from the sea, Yoshitaka rescued them and repelled them with 1,000 soldiers. However, in July, Hideyoshi's main force, following Nobunaga's instructions, abandoned Kozuki Castle, leaving behind the remaining retainers of Amago, and retreated to Mt. Shosha.

In September, Yoshitaka succeeded in arranging Naoie Ukita, but Murashige Araki, who was a senior vassal of the Oda family and was in charge of Settsu Province, rebelled against Nobunaga and imprisoned himself in Arioka Castle ( Battle of Arioka Castle). At this time, his master Kodera Masayuki also tried to respond to Murashige, so Yoshitaka entered Arioka Castle to try to get Murashige to change his mind, but without success, he was imprisoned instead.

On October 19, 1579, Arioka Castle, with only the main keep remaining, was surrendered, and Yoshitaka was rescued by Toshiyasu Kuriyama.
In the 10th year of Tensho (1582), when Hideyoshi captured Bicchu Takamatsu Castle, which was defended by Muneharu Shimizu, a military commander of the Mori clan, he built a huge embankment and attacked the castle with water, but he was unable to effectively stop the water. In response, Yoshitaka is said to have succeeded in his plan to load sandbags onto the ship, drill a hole in the bottom, and sink the ship.

During the siege of Takamatsu Castle, the Honnoji Incident occurred in Kyoto, and Nobunaga committed suicide. There is a well-known anecdote that when Yoshitaka learned of the incident, he advised Hideyoshi to make peace with Terumoto Mori and defeat Mitsuhide, thereby successfully bringing China back.

In the Battle of Yamazaki, they set up on Mt. Tenno and engaged in a battle with Akechi's army, which was trying to drive down Kiyohide Nakagawa's troops at the foot of the mountain.

In the 13th year of Tensho (1585), he joined Ukita Hideie's army that invaded from Sanuki Province as a military commander during the Shikoku invasion, and as the vanguard, he captured various castles. It is said that he defeated the strategies of the enemy general Motochika Chosokabe against Ueda Castle, identifying it as a decoy and detouring to Awa Province. Around this time, Yoshitaka converted to Christianity at the urging of Ukon Takayama and Ujisato Gamo, and was given the baptismal name ``Simeon.''

Battle of Sekigahara from the lord of Bungo Province

After the pacification of Kyushu, in July 1587, six districts in Buzen Province, including Umagatake Castle (half of Usa District was ruled by Yoshi Otomo), were given approximately 120,000 koku, and the land of Nakatsu Castle. We have started building a castle.

The article by Yoshitaka Kuroda continues

Tomoyo Hazuki
Writer(Writer)I have loved history and geography since my student days, and have enjoyed visiting historical sites, temples and shrines, and researching ancient documents. He is especially strong in medieval Japanese history and European history in world history, and has read a wide range of things, including primary sources and historical entertainment novels. There are so many favorite military commanders and castles that I can't name them, but I especially like Hisashi Matsunaga and Mitsuhide Akechi, and when it comes to castles, I like Hikone Castle and Fushimi Castle. Once you start talking about the lives of warlords and the history of castles, there's a side of you that can't stop talking about them.
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