Yukawa Naomitsu


Yukawa Clan

Yukawa Naomitsu

Kii Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to 5/19 of Eiroku 5 (1562)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Junior Assistant Minister of Central Affairs

Clan:  Yukawa (descendants of the Seiwa-Genji Takeda clan of Kai Province)

Bakufu:  Muromachi (hōkōshū, or military organ of the shōgun)

Lord:  Hatakeyama Takamasa

Father:  Yukawa Masaharu

Siblings:  Naomitsu, Tatewaki, Muneyoshi, Harufusa, Yasushige

Children:  Naoharu, Nobuharu, Hiroharu, Harunobu, Kiyokatsu

Yukawa Naomitsu served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Hatakeyama clan and served as the twelfth head of the Yukawa clan.  Naomitsu was the eleventh lord of Kameyama Castle (also known as Kochō Castle) in the Suzuku District of Kii Province.

The Yukawa clan descended from the Seiwa-Genji Takeda clan of Kai Province, owning land in Dōyukawa in a strategic location on the Kumano Road used to visit important shrines deep in the rugged mountains of Kii, including the Kumano Hongū Taisha, the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and the Kumano Nachi Taisha.  In the Nanboku period, Yukawa Mitsuharu established control over a broad area extending from the Muro to Hidaka districts and built Kameyama Castle.

Naomitsu was born as the eldest son of Yukawa Masaharu, the head of the Yukawa group.  Naomitsu built the Komatsubara residence at a key transport location which he used as his primary home.

In 1528, at the Battle of Eguchi in Settsu Province, Naomitsu lost to the army of Miyoshi Nagayoshi, but was able to return to the Komatsubara residence with the support of Shōnyo – the tenth high priest of the Hongan Temple of the Jōdo Shinshū sect and abbot of the Yamashina-Hongan Temple.  During the Tenbun era (1532 to 1555), as an expression of gratitude, he built a temple and had his second son, Nobuharu, enter the priesthood and serve as the abbot.

Originally, Kawachi and Kii were governed by the Hatakeyama clan.  In 1558, however, Hatakeyama Takamasa, the military governor of Kawachi, came into conflict with Yasumi Munefusa so he departed the capital and came to Kii, whereupon he was received by Naomitsu.  In 1559, owing to the support of Nagayoshi and the Yukawa clan, Takamasa made a come back in Kawachi.  Praised for his contributions, Naomitsu was awarded the role as successor to the Hatakeyama nakatsukasa-no-shōyū, or Junior Assistant Minister of Central Affairs, affiliated with the military organ under direct command of the shōgun.  In 1560, Takamasa allowed Munefusa to be restored to his position, inviting an invasion of Kawachi by Nagayoshi.  Takamasa and Munefusa lost Kawachi and went into exile in Kii.  In this event, Naomitsu was subject to orders from the bakufu so he suspended his deployment.

On 3/5 of Eiroku 5 (1562), upon orders of Takamasa who sought to recapture Kawachi, Naomitsu participated by leading the Yukawa group in the Battle of Kumeda, defeating the Miyoshi army led by Miyoshi Jikkyū (the younger brother of Miyoshi Nagayoshi of Kawachi).  Having previously been prevented by the bakufu from participating in battle, he assisted in opposing the Miyoshi owing to their earlier seizure of his landholdings.  On 5/19, at the Battle of Kyōkō Temple, Naomitsu joined the Negoro group (a band of warrior monks based at the Negoro Temple in northern Kii) to intercept the forces of Miyoshi Nagayasu, but, after an army led by Miyoshi Yoshioki (Nagayoshi’s son) joined, Naomitsu’s forces were outnumbered and he was killed in battle.

Naomitsu was succeeded by his eldest son, Yukawa Naoharu.