Inoue Yukifusa


Inoue Clan

Chikuzen Province

Inoue Yukifusa

Lifespan:  Tenbun 23 (1554) to 10/22 of Kanei 11 (1634)

Other Names: Kurō-jirō (childhood) → Masakuni → Yukifusa → Hansai-dōhaku (monk’s name); [Common] Yatarō, Kurōemon, Kurōzaemon, Suō-no-kami

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Inoue

Lord:  Kuroda Mototaka → Kuroda Yoshitaka → Kuroda Nagamasa → Kuroda Tadayuki

Father:  Inoue Yukimasa

Siblings:  Yukifusa, Yukimasa (Kawamura Echizen)

Wife:  Daughter of Kushihashi Koresada

Children:  Mochina, Yukiaki, Toshifusa, Kazutoshi, daughter (wife of Tōyama Masafusa), daughter (wife of Kuroda Masayoshi), daughter (wife of Kuroda Masanari)

Inoue Yukifusa served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  As a retainer of the Kuroda clan, he was included among a group of retainers called the Twenty-Four Elite of the Kuroda and, within this group, the Eight Tigers of the Kuroda.

In 1554, Yukifusa was born as the son of Inoue Yukimasa in the Matsubara township in the Shikitō District of Harima Province.

Initially, he was called Masakuni and was a servant to Kuroda Mototaka.  In 1578, when Kuroda Yoshitaka was incarcerated at Arioka Castle by Araki Murashige, Yukifusa, along with Kuriyama Toshiyasu and Mori Tomonobu, covertly entered the castle to check on the well-being of Yoshitaka.  In 1585, upon the dying instructions of Mototaka, Yukifusa was engaged as a senior retainer of Yoshitaka.  During an uprising by kokujin, or provincial landowners, after the Pacification of Kyūshū in 1587, Yukifusa joined Kuroda Nagamasa to assault 姫隈 Castle.  That same year, when Nagamasa attempted to attacked Kii Shigefusa, Yukifusa warned him against the operation but Nagamasa launched an attack.  Yukifusa was compelled to follow although the attack floundered.

In 1588, he was awarded a fief of 6,000 koku.  In 1592, he sailed to the Korean Peninsula for the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign.  In 1598, after returning from Korea, Yukifusa, together with Kuriyama Toshiyasu and Mori Tomonobu, engaged in the construction of the Usa Shrine in Buzen Province.  In 1600, during the Battle of Sekigahara, Yukifusa and Yoshitaka were in Nakatsu and participated in the Battle of Ishigakibaru during which Yoshihiro Muneyuki, a retainer of the Ōtomo clan, died.  After the war, in connection with the transfer of his lord, Nagamasa, to Chikuzen Province, Yukifusa built Kurosaki Castle near Ogura in Chikuzen and was treated on a par with a daimyō with landholdings of 16,000 koku.  Kurosaki Castle was counted among the Six Castles of Chikuzen – six auxiliary castles built on the borders of the province to protect the base of Kuroda Nagamasa at Fukuoka Castle.

In 1607, serving as a messenger of Nagamasa, Yukifusa met Tokugawa Hidetada and Tokugawa Iemitsu (father and son) and, after giving them a horse as a gift, received the title of Governor of Suō.  In 1614, Yukifusa served in the Winter Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka under Nagamasa’s lineal heir, Kuroda Tadayuki.  In 1615, upon the promulgation of a law limiting one castle per province, he destroyed Kurosaki Castle.  In 1623, he transferred landholdings of 13,000 koku to his grandson, Inoue Masatomo, retired, underwent the rites of tonsure, and adopted the monk’s name of Hansai-dōhaku.

In 1633, during the Kuroda Disturbance, Yukifusa combined with Kuriyama Toshiakira expelled Kurahachi Masatoshi, a retainer of the Fukuoka domain and central figure in an internal conflict known as the Kuroda Disturbance.

On 10/22 of Kanei 11 (1634), Yukifusa died at the age of eighty-one.

His son, Inoue Mochina, wed the eldest daughter of Kuroda Nagamasa named Kiku.  Mochina served Tokugawa Hidetada, the second shōgun of the Edo bakufu.  In 1610, he became a hatamoto, or direct retainer of the shōgun, and was invested with the titles of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Governor of Awaji.  Descendants of Yukifusa’s younger brother were engaged as retainers of the Fukuoka domain and returned to Chikuzen Province.


In 1592, owing to missteps by Ōtomo Yoshimune in the Bunroku Campaign on the Korean Peninsula, the Ōtomo were removed from their position as the sengoku daimyō of Bungo Province.  Upon the invitation of Kuroda Josui of Nakatsu in Buzen, Yoshihiro Muneyuki took refuge with the family of Yukifusa.  Later, Muneyuki resided with his uncle, Tachibana Muneshige, the lord of Yanagawa Castle, receiving a fief of 2,000 koku for his service.  In 1600, in the run-up to the Battle of Sekigahara, the Tachibana joined the Western Army and, out of a desire to revive the Ōtomo clan, so did Yoshimune.  To repay his debt of gratitude to the Ōtomo, Muneyuki followed Yoshimune which made him an opponent to Yukifusa despite their prior relationship.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi praised Yoshimune as having unparalleled skill with the spear and he was permitted to keep a pair of red-lacquered spears.  At the Battle of Ishigakibaru, after killing as many as 30 to 40 enemy soldiers including Oda Kurōzaemon, he incurred serious injuries so, to allow Yukifusa credit for killing him, took his own life.