Uchida Munetsugu


Uchida Clan


Chikugo Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 9/13 of Keichō 5 (1600)

Name Changes:  Miyaju → 連満 → Munetsugu

Other Names:  Chūzaburō, Chūbei, Chūemon, Kenmotsu

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Uchida (an illegitimate branch of the Sagara clan)

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Chikugo-Yanagawa

Lord:  Tachibana Dōsetsu → Tachibana Muneshige

Father:  Uchida Shigeie

Mother:  Daughter of the Kanoko clan

Siblings:  Munetsugu, Tsurahisa, 頼成

Wife:  Daughter of Tachibana Shigezane (later remarried to Andō Tsuranao)

Uchida Munetsugu served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.  He was a retainer of the Tachibana clan, serving as a chief retainer and diplomat in Fushimi and magistrate for the Tachibana.  Initially, he received one of the characters from the name of Bekki Akitsura (later known as Tachibana Dōsetsu), adopting the name of Tsuramitsu and, later, one of the characters from Ōtomo Yoshimune, adopting the name of Munetsugu.

Although the year is uncertain, Munetsugu received permission from Dōsetsu to inherit a fief of 65 chō from his father, Uchida Shigeie, and the headship of the clan.  The portion of the fief that was increased in the era of his father was divided between his two younger brothers.  On 10/28 of Tenshō 14 (1586), he received a letter from Ōtomo Yoshimune to grant him the use of one of the characters in Yoshimune’s name so he adopted the name of Munetsugu.  At the time, he used the common name of Chūzaburō.

From the ninth to twelfth months of 1587, Munetsugu subdued the Higo Kokujin Uprising.  On 5/27 of Tenshō 16 (1588), Munetsugu participated in the Battle of Kuromon at Yanagawa Castle.

According to registers containing details of retainers from the Bunroku and Keichō eras, Munetsugu had a fief of 1,500 koku.  At the Battle of Byeokjegwan, Munetsugu, together with Totoki Denemon Koremichi served in the vanguard forces of the hatamoto, leading a battalion of arquebusiers and fighting valiantly with spears.  After Koremichi was killed in action, based on Koremichi’s will, Munetsugu assumed the command and role as chief retainer and became a magistrate of the family.

In 1596, Munetsugu became the chief retainer and diplomat for the Tachibana in Fushimi and adopted the name of Chūemon but owing to mismanagement he incurred a reduction to 600 koku for horse feed and ordered confined to the village of Kamachi.  Before long, his fief was restored to its original value.

In 1600, Munetsugu was counted among eleven members of a horo cavalry unit permitted to ride with canopies that deflected arrows or other objects hurled at them in battle.  He then deployed for the Battle of Sekigahara but was killed inside the front gate at Ōtsu Castle, receiving praise for his valor.  Later, Muneshige issued a certificate of commendation dated 9/13 of Keichō 5 (1600) to Munetsugu’s father in honor of Munetsugu.  At the time, Munetsugu was referred with the common name of Kenmotsu.

Munetsugu did not have an heir.  When Tachibana Muneshige became a guest commander of Katō Kiyomasa and went to Higo Province, his father and younger brother did not accompany Muneshige and for a while he moved around in Chikuzen Province.  For a period of time, the Uchida family came to an end.  After Muneshige was reassigned to Yanagawa, Munetsugu’s younger brother, Uchida Tsurahisa, inherited the family name and revived the family with a fief of 150 koku.