Ukita Kunisada


Ukita Clan


Bizen Province

Lifespan: 15xx to Kōji 2 (1556) (?)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Yamato

Clan:  Ukita

Lord:  Uragami Masamune

Father:  Ukita Hisaie

Siblings:  Yoshiie, Sōin, Kunisada

Ukita Kunisada served as a bushō and retainer of the Uragami clan of Bizen Province during the Sengoku period.

Capture of Toishi Castle

Kunisada did not get along well with Ukita Yoshiie, his older half-brother who was born to a different mother than Kunisada.  In 1534, Kunisada joined with Shimamura Morizane, a retainer of the Uragami, to attack Yoshiie at Toishi Castle.  Built in the 1480’s by the Uragami, Toishi Castle was a mountain fortress that served as a strategic base for the clan.  Kunisada’s father, Ukita Hisaie, became the castle chamberlain.  At the time of the attack, Yoshiie was in retirement, having assigned the role of lord of the castle to his son, Ukita Okiie, in 1524.  Okiie had a six-year-old son, Ukita Naoie.  Yoshiie killed himself, while Okiie fled with Naoie and was left to wander.  Kunisada took Yoshiie’s place as lord of the castle.  According to some accounts, Morizane first became lord of the castle and Kunisada followed as lord thereafter.

Divisions within the Uragami 

In 1551, Kunisada’s lord, Uragami Masamune, had a confrontation with his younger brother, Uragami Munekage, regarding how to respond to an invasion into Bizen by Amago Haruhisa.  This caused divisions within the Uragami family.  Kunisada sided with Masamune, while Ukita Naoie, the grandson of Yoshiie, aligned with Munekage.  Munekage ordered Naoie to attack Toshii castle in an effort to capture it.  Thereafter, Kunisada frequently clashed with Naoie.  The defenders, including retainers such as Baba Motoie, valiantly repelled numerous attacks, but, in 1556, the castle was finally toppled and Kunisada perished.  Naoie moved from Otogo Castle to Shinjōyama Castle to continue efforts to counter the forces under the Amago and Uragami Masamune.

In 1559, Ukita Haruie, the younger brother of Naoie, became lord of Toishi Castle.