Eguchi Akikiyo


Eguchi Clan


Dewa Province

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

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Eguchi

Lord:  Mogami Yoshiaki

Eguchi Akikiyo served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.  Akikiyo was a retainer of the Mogami clan.  His origins are unknown, but during the Bunroku era (1593 to 1596), he was active around Kyōto serving as a close associate of Mogami Yoshiaki, a daimyō in Dewa Province and the eleventh head of the Mogami clan.

Battle to defend Hataya Castle

In the Battle of Dewa in the Keichō Era (considered the equivalent in the Ōu region of the Battle of Sekigahara) Akikiyo was stationed at Hataya Castle.  When Naoe Kanetsugu, the lead commander for Uesugi Kagekatsu of the western army attacked Mogami Yoshiaki of the eastern army, Hataya Castle was also attacked.   To minimize the number of victims and concentrate his forces in Yamagata Castle, Yoshiaki dispatched a messenger with orders to vacate Hataya Castle and retreat.  Akikiyo, however, said that it would be a dishonor to bushi to abandon a castle in the face of the enemy.  Even though Kanetsugu encouraged surrender, Akikiyo disregarded him and joined with 300 soldiers to violently resist against the Uesugi army.  All of those defending the castle were killed.  Kanetsugu wrote in a letter that he ordered the taking of over 500 heads in a clean sweep, which may have included residents from the area as well.

When Akikiyo committed to fight to the end, he secretly arranged for the women and children from the family to escape from the castle.  The women and children traveled from Hataya on the Kotaki Road and were sheltered at each stop along the way.

Life as a cultural figure

Mogami Yoshiaki was highly skilled at renga, a traditional form of poetic dialogue, and he encouraged studies among his retainers.  Akikiyo participated in renga events hosted by Yoshiaki on many occasions.  When Yoshiaki was on deployment in Nagoya, Akikiyo served as a messenger of his renga phrases.  Other retainers also joined Yoshiaki in renga events, but the only other one who joined on several tens of occasions was Hori Kiun.