Yufu Korenobu


Yufu Clan


Bungo Province

Lifespan:  Daiei 7 (1527) (?) to 6/24 of Keichō 17 (1612)

Name Changes:  Kumawakamaru (childhood) → Korenobu → 雪下 (monk’s name)

Common Names: Genbei, Hachirō, Magojūrō, Gengobei-no-jō, Gengozaemon, Magoroku

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Mimasaka, Governor of Kazusa

Clan:  Yufu

Domain:  Mutsu-Tanagura

Lord:  Ōtomo clan → Tachibana Dōsetsu → Tachibana Muneshige

Father:  Yufu Koretaka

Mother:  Daughter of Tachibanauji Akimasa

Siblings:  碁晨, Korenobu

Wife:  Myōun (daughter of Yufu Korekatsu) 

Children:  Koresada, Koretsugu, Korenori, daughter (wife of Tajiri 宗仙)

Yufu Korenobu served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  Korenobu served as a chief retainer of the Tachibana clan and was the head of the Four Guardian Kings of the Tachibana, the others being Andō Ietada, Totoki Tsuresada, and Takano Taizen.  He was in the fifth seat of chief retainers of Tachibana Dōsetsu and, in the Edo period, a senior retainer of Tachibana Muneshige in the Tanagura domain based at Akadate Castle in Mutsu Province.

Korenobu was born as the second son of Yufu Koretaka.  Originally, Korenobu served as a retainer of the Ōtomo clan and as the lord of Yufuin Castle in the Hayami District of Bungo Province, but after joining with Bekki Akitsura (Tachibana Dōsetsu), transferred headship of the clan to his older brother, Yufu 碁晨, and spent the remainder of his life serving the Tachibana clan.  He is described to have been naturally gifted, intelligent, and of dauntless character.

As a senior retainer of Tachibana Dōsetsu, Korenobu participated in 65 battles and sustained a similar number of wounds.  Serving on the front line with a lance, charging the enemy as a member of the cavalry, or as the first to take an enemy head, Korenobu always fought with valor.  He received seventeen written commendations.  Korenobu and Ono Shigeyuki (whom he recommended to Dōsetsu) each commanded a wing of the Tachibana forces.

In 1546, during the first rebellion by Akizuki Fumitane, Korenobu followed Bekki Akitsura under orders from Ōtomo Yoshiaki and, together with Saeki Korenori, Usuki Akisumi, Yoshihiro Akimasa and other commanders, deployed to Koshosan Castle in Chikuzen.  On 7/19, Korenobu and Andō Tsurayoshi received written commendations for contributions serving in the vanguard.

On 11/20 of Tenbun 23 (1554), upon orders of Ōtomo Yoshishige, Korenobu followed Akitsura and, together with Andō Ietada, Andō Tsuratada, and Ono Nobuyuki, set-up an ambush at Kihara in Bungo and forced Kikuchi Yoshitake (who was being escorted to the Sagara clan) to take his own life.

In 1556, Korenobu joined a deployment by his lord, Akitsura, in response to a rebellion by Obara Akimoto, Honjō Shinzaemon-no-jō Munetsuna, Nakamura Shinbei Naganao (Shigenobu), and Kaku Kii-no-kami Koreshige.  This is known as the Confrontation of Surnames.  On 5/19, Korenobu, together with Takano Taizen, Takano Kurōbei, Adachi Sakyō, and Andō Iesada were presented by Akitsura with written commendations for their exemplary service.

In 1557, Akizuki Fumitane colluded with Mōri Motonari and launched another rebellion.  On 7/11, Korenobu received commendations for his military service in the vanguard.  On 8/23, he contributed to the suppression of Tsukushi Korekado.

On 7/13 of Eiroku 5 (1562), at the Battle of Yanaura against the Mōri clan in Ōzato in Buzen Province, Korenobu served in the first line to attack the enemy with spears.  His swift riding and impressive cavalry skills surprised allies and enemies alike.

In the fifth month of 1565, at a battle below the cliffs of Mount Tachibana, he killed Yasu Zusho-no-suke, a ferocious bushō under the command of Tachibana Akikoto, inspiring allied forces.  Korenobu was appointed to an administrative role in Hakata and demonstrated his political acumen.

Korenobu fought valiantly in numerous battles including, on 7/7 of Eiroku 10 (1567) against Takahashi Akitane at Hōman Castle and 九嶺, on 8/14 against Akizuki Tanezane at the Battle of Uryūno, from 9/3 to 9/4 at the Battle of Yasumimatsu, in the seventh month of 1568 at the Second Subjugation of Tachibana Akikoto, in the eighth month against Harada Takatane at the First Battle of Ikinomatsubara, and in the fifth month of 1569, against the Mōri army at the Battle of Tatarahama.

In 1578, after the Battle of Mimikawa, when clans from Chikuzen including the Munakata, the Asō, and the Harada launched a rebellion, Tachibana Dōsetsu and Takahashi Jōun took action to suppress them.  After further battles from the end of 1578 to 1582 against Akizuki Tanezane, Tsukushi Hirokado and others who had encroached on Chikuzen, Yufu Korenobu, Totoki Tsuresada, Andō Ietada, and Takano Taizen were collectively called the Four Guardian Kings of the Tachibana.

In 1584, after the death of Ryūzōji Takanobu at the Battle of Okitanawate, amidst increasing pressure from the Shimazu, Tachibana Dōsetsu, together with Takahashi Jōun and Kutami Akiyasu fought to restore their governance of Chikugo.  For this series of battles in Chikugo, Korenobu, together with Ono Shigeyuki among others, served valorously as a general of corps under the high command of Dōsetsu.  After the demise of Dōsetsu, Korenobu served Tachibana Muneshige as the next head of the Tachibana family.  He achieved distinguished service resisting the Shimazu army during the defense of Tachibanayama Castle and by attacks on Takatorii Castle.  Later, when Muneshige became a daimyō in Yanagawa, Korenobu received a stipend of 3,500 koku and became the lord of Sakemi Castle.

In the ninth month of 1587, Korenobu served in the campaign to suppress an uprising by kokujin in Higo Province.  Together with another veteran named Totoki Koreyoshi, Korenobu was assigned to the vanguard division.  Riding a swift horse, he broke-through the enemy forces and again contributed on the front line of an assault on Ōtaguro Castle.

When, in his last will, Tachibana Dōsetsu, ordered his retainers to bury him on a battlefield wearing his helmet, Korenobu calmed those who were intending to martyr themselves and assisted with plans for a burial without incident.  After the demise of Dōsetsu, Korenobu supported Dōsetsu’s adopted son and successor, Tachibana Muneshige.  In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Muneshige joined the Western Army so was later removed from his position.  At this time, Korenobu accompanied his lord to Edo.  In 1603, Muneshige was selected by Tokugawa Ieyasu to serve as the head of the Mutsu-Tanagura domain with a fief of 10,000 koku.  While Muneshige was attending to the shōgun in Edo, Korenobu and his son, Yufu Koretsugu, managed the affairs of the domain.  Korenobu died at Oushū-Akadate Castle.  He was eighty-six years old.