Fukuzumi Hidekatsu


Fukuzumi Clan

Fukuzumi Hidekatsu

Owari Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 6/2 of Tenshō 10 (1582)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Fukuzumi

Lord:  Oda Nobunaga → Oda Nobutada

Father:  Fukuzumi Sadaie

Wife:   Daughter of Asakura Kagetoshi 

Fukuzumi Hidekatsu served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  Hidekatsu was a retainer of the Oda clan of Owari Province.

During the period while serving as an umamawari, or cavalry

The Fukuzumi clan originated from Fukuzumi in the Yamagata District of Mino Province.  The Fukuzumi were family members of the Akechi from the Toki branch of the Seiwa-Genji clan. Hidekatsu was from the village of Iwatsuka in the Aichi District of Owari Province.  He was the son of Fukuzumi Sadaie.  His wife was the daughter of Asakura Kagetoshi.

In the era of his father, the family moved to Owari and served the Oda clan.  In 1562, Hidekatsu participated in the Battle of Karumi in Nishi-Mino.  During the Eiroku era (1558 to 1570), Hidekatsu was added to the akahoroshū, an elite cavalry unit that displayed red cloaks attached to their armor while riding horses in battle.  Thereafter, he served continuously as a member of the umamawarishū, or cavalry, participating in almost all of the battles for which Nobunaga deployed.

At the Battle of Ōkawachi Castle in the late summer of 1569, Hidekatsu was chosen as one of twenty-four soldiers to provide security on horseback of the fences surrounding the base.  In the fourth month of 1570, Hidekatsu joined in the attack against the Asakura clan.  In the summer of the same year, he participated in a southward deployment, and fought against uprisings in the environs of Moriguchi in Ōsaka.

On 8/13 of 1573, Hidekatsu actively joined in a pursuit of the enemy at the Battle of Tonezaka (also known as the Battle of Ichijōdani Castle) against forces led by Asakura Yoshikage.  In 1574, Hidekatsu, along with Sakuma Nobumori and Mōri Nagahide became magistrates and watchmen at Tamonyama Castle.  In the fifth month of 1575, at the Battle of Nagashino, Hidekatsu joined Sassa Narimasa, Maeda Toshiie, Nonomura Masanari, and Ban Naomasa to serve in charge of the arquebus infantry units.

From the second month in 1577, Hidekatsu participated in the attack of the Saika Group in Kii Province.  The Saika Group had provided vital support to the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple which served as the primary impediment to Nobunaga’s conquest of Japan.  After this battle, Nobunaga did not directly lead the army.  Although Hidekatsu was a member of the umamawari, he began to spend more time managing political affairs instead of deploying to the battlefield.  From this time, more claims documents were issued that before.

During the period while serving as a member of the hōkōshū, or bakufu army

A written declaration from Nobunaga issued to the community below Azuchiyama in the sixth month of 1577 states that when holding gatherings, residents shall notify Hidekatsu and Kimura Takashige.  This demonstrated his role as a magistrate of the castle town.  On 10/5, Hidekatsu was ordered along with Yabe Iesada to administer judgment of the hostages of Matsunaga Hisahide who had betrayed Nobunaga, and directed punishments thereafter.

After a revolt by Araki Murashige, Hidekatsu joined in the Battle of Arioka Castle from the eleventh month of 1578, but rather than engage in battle, he primarily served as a messenger.  In this battle, Hidekatsu was highly praised for his efforts to compel the surrender of Nakagawa Kiyohide, the lord of Ibaraki Castle, along with Furuta Shigenari and Oroshi Yorishige.  After the battle, on 6/20 of 1579, Katsuhide received a crane and a hawk as gifts from Nobunaga.

In the twelfth month of 1580, Hidekatsu was dispatched with Inoko Takanari, Hasegawa Hidekazu, and Nishio Yoshitsugu to the base of Tokugawa Ieyasu for a siege of Takatenjin Castle in Tōtōmi Province.  After inspecting the base for two days, he returned to his home province.  In the third month of 1581, Hidekatsu and Sugaya Nagayori went to Noto Province to attend to provincial matters.  Toward the end of the year, Hidekatsu and Oroshi Yorishige delivered an authorization to Nakagawa Kiyohide for an increase in his territory in the western provinces.

On 1/15 of 1582, Hidekatsu did not participate in the sagichō, an annual festival in celebration of the absence of fires, but, soon thereafter, joined as a member of the mounted cavalry in the Conquest of Kōshū.  Together with Sugaya Naganori, Hori Hidemasa, Hasegawa Hideichi, and Yabe Iesada, Hidekatsu led the cavalry forces and servants on a march to Kai Province.  By the time of their arrival, however, the army commanded by Oda Nobutada had almost completed mopping up the Takeda forces so the battle was over.

The latter years

On 6/2 of 1582, at the time of the Honnō Temple Incident, a coup d’état launched by Akechi Mitsuhide that resulted in the death of Oda Nobunaga, Hidekatsu was located the Myōkaku Temple and serving as a direct retainer of Oda Nobutada.  Rather than go to the Honnō Temple, Hidekatsu obeyed orders from Nobutada and engaged in a fierce battle against forces supporting Mitsuhide at the newly constructed Nijō Palace.  Hidekatsu died in battle along with many other bushō including, among others, Inoko Takanari, Mōri Yoshikatsu, Sugaya Nagayori, Nonomura Masanari, and Murai Sadakatsu.

Three days after the coup d’état, Hashiba Hideyoshi sent a letter to Nakagawa Kiyohide stating that, through the efforts of Fukuzumi Heizaemon (Hidekatsu), Nobunaga and Nobutada escaped to Zeze, and Hidekatsu’s contributions were without equal.  Although this was obvious misinformation, this was convincing to the those in Settsu including Kiyohide was an acquaintence of Hidekatsu.  As a result, these forces joined with Hideyoshi that were a factor in the Battle of Yamazaki.

There was a member of the cavalry under Hideyoshi named Fukuzumi Heibei, considered to be a relative of Hidekatsu but the relationship is not certain.