Ujiie Morimune


Ujiie Clan


Dewa Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 3 (1534) to between Bunroku 2 (1593) and Bunroku 4 (1595)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Owari-no-kami (informal)

Clan:  Ujiie

Lord:  Mogami Yoshimori → Mogami Yoshiaki

Father:  Ujiie Sadanao

Children:  Akimune

Adopted Children:  Akiuji

Ujiie Morimune served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Mogami clan.

The Ujiie clan were the descendants of Ujiie 道誠 who served as a guardian of Shiba Kaneyori, the founder of the Mogami clan.

Morimune was born as the son of Ujiie Sadanao, a chief retainer of the Mogami clan.  He received one of the characters from the name of his lord, Mogami Yoshimori, and adopted the name of Morimune.

Morimune was a skilled strategist.  Morimune was deeply trusted by Mogami Yoshiaki, the successor to Yoshimori.  During a succession struggle known as the Tenshō Mogami Conflict, in 1574, Morimune led negotiations for a settlement with the Date clan and made significant contributions enabling Yoshiaki to succeed to the headship of the Mogami clan.  He proposed many plans including to subjugate the Tendō and Shirotori clans and pulled Nobesawa Mitsunobe away from the Tendō to ally with the Mogami.

In 1581, Morimune demonstrated his skills during an effort to capture Sakenobe Castle defended by Sakenobe Hidetsuna.  Rather than launch a military assault, he lured a senior retainer of Hidetsuna named Niwazuki Hirotsuna to his side, and then had Hirotsuna convince Hidetsuna not to fight.  As a result, Morimune captured the castle without minimal resistance.

During the Oushū Retribution, Morimune guarded Yamagata Castle on behalf of Yoshiaki while Yoshiaki was away on travel to Kyōto.  In relation to rights to the Kamiura District in Senboku, Morimune served as an intermediary between Yoshiaki and Sakenobe Hidetsuna and Sagae Akitoshi who resided in this district.

In the second month of 1593, Yoshiaki and Morimune were stationed in Nagoya in Kyūshū during the Bunroku Campaign on the Korean Peninsula ordered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  At this time, a master of renga, or linked-verse poetry, named Satomura Jōha (who had contacts with Yoshiaki) held a renga event in Kyōto.  For this event, Jōha received the first 17-syllable verse of a renga poem from Yoshiaki and the second verse from Morimune.

Morimune died between 1593 and 1595.  His eldest son and designated heir, Ujiie Akimune, was killed in action at the Battle of Jūgorigahara in 1588.  As a result, a cousin of Morimune named Narusawa Akiuji, the son of Narusawa Michitada, inherited the headship of the clan.  He then adopted the name of Ujiie Akiuji.  Similar to Morimune, Akiuji also used the informal title of Owari-no-kami (Governor of Owari) so these individuals are confused in some historical records.  There is a lack of detail concerning Morimune’s contributions in his latter years.