Kuki-Yoshitaka.jpg

Kuki Yoshitaka entered the world in Shima, along the southern coast of Mie Prefecture, in 1542. Hailing from a family that once held mastery over two castles, Yoshitaka faced adversity early on. At the tender age of nine, his father's demise plunged the family into hardship, resulting in the loss of their territories and a life on the run.

When Oda Nobunaga launched an invasion into the neighboring Ise province, targeting Kitabatake Tomonori and the Kitabatake clan in 1569, Kuki pledged loyalty to Nobunaga. He played a pivotal role by providing naval support for the annexation of Mie. Kuki showcased his maritime prowess during the naval blockade of the Nagashima Ikko-Ikki uprising, aiding Nobunaga in overcoming the militant followers of the Hongan-ji Temple.

In the Battle of Kizugawaguchi in 1576, where Kuki faced superior naval forces from the Mori clan, his ships were set ablaze at sea. Enraged by the defeat, Nobunaga tasked Kuki Yoshitaka with devising a strategy to conquer the Mori fleet. In response, Yoshitaka created what is believed to be the world's first ironclad warships in 1578. Deploying six of these formidable vessels, accompanied by a fleet of smaller ships, Kuki confronted a Mori armada comprising 600 vessels.

The ensuing Second Battle of Kizugawaguchi resulted in victory for Yoshitaka, earning him additional territories and a promotion to daimyo status.

In 1582, Kuki Yoshitaka served Nobunaga's son, Nobukatsu, during the tumultuous Honno-ji Incident orchestrated by Akechi Mitsuhide. Two years later, he aligned with former Oda clan statesman Takigawa Kazumasu in the service of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, participating in the Battle of Komaki Nagakute against the Tokugawa. Remaining a loyal vassal of the Toyotomi clan, he received the Toshi-gun in the Toba region, where he constructed Toba Castle in 1585.

As the Battle of Sekigahara unfolded in 1600, Yoshitaka sided with the Toyotomi loyalists of the Western forces led by Ishida Mitsunari. However, strategically, his son Moritaka fought for the Eastern side with the Tokugawa clan. This tactical move aimed to secure the family name's preservation, ensuring a family member's presence among the victors. Following the defeat of the Western forces, Yoshitaka abandoned Toba Castle and retreated to Toshijima, the largest island off Toba's coast.

Simultaneously, his son Moritaka sought clemency for his father from Tokugawa Ieyasu, securing an amnesty. Unfortunately, news of the pardon reached Yoshitaka on Toshijima after he had already performed seppuku.

He passed away at the age of 58, in close proximity to the foundation of his cherished naval fleet. Per his wishes, his head rests atop a hill overlooking Toba Castle, while his body finds its final resting place at the hill's base.

 


See also 

  • Yasuke

    Yasuke.jpg

    Yasuke, an African page, arrived in Japan in 1579 as the attendant of the Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano. Before the arrival of the Englishman William Adams, it is thought that Yasuke was possibly the inaugural non-Japanese samurai, arriving about twenty years earlier.

    Read more …

  • Yamanami Keisuke

    Yamanami-Keisuke.jpg

    Yamanami Keisuke, the second in command of the Shinsengumi, a special police force during the late Edo period, shocked many when he performed seppuku on March 20, 1865, at the age of 32.

    Read more …

  • Yamamoto Kansuke

     Yamamoto-Kansuke.jpg

    Yamamoto Kansuke, renowned as a samurai strategist and one of Takeda Shingen's esteemed 24 Generals, hailed from the Mikawa region, known for breeding formidable warriors. Despite physical challenges—blindness in one eye, lameness in one leg, and a malformed hand—Kansuke embarked on a warrior's pilgrimage in his twenties. Traveling across the land, he honed his skills in strategy, tactics, castle construction, and warfare, engaging in various swordsmanship schools and forms.

    Read more …

  • Yamaga Soko

    Yamaga-Soko.jpg

    Yamaga Soko was a multifaceted figure in Japanese history, renowned as a strategist, philosopher, and scholar. Later in life, he became a ronin, leaving a significant mark on the understanding of the Tokugawa period samurai.

    Read more …

  • William Adams - Miura Anjin

    William-Adams---Miura-Anjin.jpg

    William Adams, also known as Miura Anjin, holds the distinction of being one of the few non-Japanese individuals granted samurai status. Born in Gillingham, Kent, England in 1564, Adams embarked on a remarkable journey that led him to become an influential figure in Japanese history.

    Read more …

  • Wakisaka Yasuharu

    Wakisaka-Yasuharu.jpg

    Wakisaka Yasuharu held the position of daimyo over Awaji Island before ruling over Ozu in Iyo Province. His significance in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 cannot be overstated.

    Read more …

  • Ukita Hideie

    Ukita-Hideie.jpg

    Ukita Hideie was born as the second son of Ukita Naoie, the ruler of Okayama Castle. Tragically, Hideie's father passed away when he was just nine years old, thrusting him into the responsibilities of leading the castle, clan, and domain. Prior to his father's demise, the Ukita clan had aligned with Oda Nobunaga. After Nobunaga's assassination during the Honno-ji Incident, Hideie remained loyal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, whose ties were further solidified through marriage.

    Read more …

  • Uesugi Kenshin

    Uesugi-Kenshin.jpg

    Uesugi Kenshin stands out as one of the most formidable daimyo of the Sengoku period, presenting the sole substantial challenge to Oda Nobunaga's quest for dominance.

    Read more …

 

futer.jpg

Contact: samuraiwr22@gmail.com