Jinbō Ujiharu


Jinbō Clan


Etchū Province

Lifespan:  Daiei 8 (1528) to 8/5 of Bunroku 1 (1592)

Other Names:  Sōgorō (common), Aki-no-kami

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Jinbō

Lord:  Jinbō Nagamoto → Uesugi Kenshin → Oda Nobunaga → Sassa Narimasa → Tokugawa Ieyasu

Father:  Jinbō Ujishige

Siblings:  Ujiharu, sister (wife of Chō Tsuratatsu)

Wife:  [Formal] Jinbō-Inaba fujin (daughter of Oda Nobuhide and older sister of Oda Nobunaga)

Children:  Ujioki, Ujinaga

Jinbō Ujiharu served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  His original surname was Koremune.  Ujiharu served as the lord of Etchū-Moriyama Castle and Furukokufu Castle.  His formal wife, Jinbō-Inaba fujin was the older sister of Oda Nobunaga.  Later, she separated from Ujiharu and wed Inaba Sadamichi, a daimyō.

In 1528, Ujiharu was born as the son of Jinbō Ujishige, a member of an illegitimate branch of the Jinbō clan that served as the deputy military governors of Etchū Province.  According to genealogical records, he originated from the Noto-Hatakeyama clan and was adopted by the Jinbō clan.  Although the familial connection to Jinbō Nagamoto is uncertain, Ujiharu had an antagonistic relationship with him.  Ujiharu collaborated with the Nukui clan who were retainers of the Noto-Hatakeyama and the Etchū Ikkō-ikki.  Owing to Ujiharu’s opposition to the Echigo-Uesugi clan, Nagamoto seized his fief.  After the demise of Nagamoto, Ujiharu aimed to cultivate friendly relations with Oda Nobunaga but, after the Oda and Uesugi severed ties, Ujiharu was attacked by Uesugi Kenshin and surrendered, after which he temporarily submitted to the Uesugi.

Following the sudden death of Kenshin, Ujiharu re-established relations with Nobunaga and, together with Jinbō Nagazumi (Nagamoto’s son) and Chō Tsuratatsu (known as Kōonji after the name of his temple) from Noto, cooperated in the campaign by the Oda to pacify Etchū and Noto provinces.  In the eighth month of 1578, Kōonji gathered 500 men and recaptured Anamizu Castle.  Kōonji joined with Ujiharu and Ajisaka Nagazane (a retainer of the Uesugi and the lord of Nanao Castle) to oppose the Yusa clan, engaging in a series of battles against the rival Yusa in Noto and Etchū provinces.

After Sassa Narimasa, a retainer of the Oda clan and a daimyō, entered Etchū, Ujiharu served him meritoriously.  Ujiharu’s eldest son and designated heir, Ujioki, became a son-in-law of Narimasa and family member.

In 1584, after the outbreak of the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute, Narimasa aligned with Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobukatsu in opposition to Maeda Toshiie on the side of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  In the ninth month of that same year, at the Siege of Suemori Castle against the Maeda clan, Ujiharu and his son were in charge of blocking the rear guard of the Maeda army but failed and were defeated.  Thereafter, Ujiharu was betrayed by Kikuchi Takekatsu of Ao Castle so he deployed for the purpose of attacking him but retainers took advantage of his absence from Moriyama Castle to launch a rebellion, killing his father, Ujishige, who had remained to watch the base.  The rebels then took the castle by force.  Ujiharu quickly returned with his army to suppress the rebellion, but after deploying a second time to attack Ao Castle, he was repelled by reinforcements led by Murai Nagayori.

Later, Narimasa surrendered to Hideyoshi and three districts in Etchū were confiscated.  After serving valorously during the Subjugation of Kyūshū, Narimasa was granted control over Higo Province so Ujiharu followed him.  Nevertheless, soon after Narimasa entered Higo, kokujin, or provincial landowners, launched riots.  Ujiharu led a valiant defense of Kumamoto Castle but Narimasa was given responsibility for the outbreak of the riots and compelled to commit seppuku.

After the Sassa clan was removed from their position, Ujiharu became a rōnin, or wandering samurai.  In 1589, he served Tokugawa Ieyasu and was awarded a fief of 2,000 koku in the Katori District of Shimōsa Province.

In the fourth month of 1592, when Ieyasu departed to Nagoya Castle, Ujiharu guarded Edo in lieu of Naitō Nobunari.

Ujiharu died on 8/5 of Bunroku 1 (1592) at the age of sixty-five.

His grave is at the Hōou Temple in Inō in the city of Narita in Chiba Prefecture.  His descendants continued to serve as hatamoto, or direct retainers of the shōgun family, in the Edo period.