Kodama Motoyoshi


Kodama Clan


Aki Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 11/19 of Tenshō 13 (1586)

Other Names:  Motozane → Motoyoshi, [Common] Kojirō, Saburōemon, Jisan

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Aki-Kodama

Lord:  Mōri Motonari → Mōri Takamoto → Mōri Terumoto

Father:  Kodama Naritada

Mother:  Daughter of Kuba Katanao

Siblings:  Motoyoshi, Okata Motonobu, Harutane, Naitō Motomori, sister (wife of Awaya Motonobu)

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Arifuku Motosada, [Second] Daughter of Yuhara Harutsuna

Children:  Motokane, Kagetada, Mototsugu, Ninomaru-dono, daughter (wife of Masuda Kageyoshi)

Kodama Motoyoshi served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Mōri clan.

Motoyoshi was born as the lineal heir to Kodama Naritada, a bushō and senior magistrate for the Mōri.

In 1553, Mōri Takamoto served in the honorary role to place an eboshi, or black-lacquered hat, upon Motoyoshi at his coming-of-age ceremony.  In 1562, following the death from illness of his father, Naritada, Motoyoshi inherited the headship of the Kodama clan.  At the same time, Motoyoshi succeeded his father as one of the members of a group known as the Five Magistrates – a governance system formed in the era of Mōri Takamoto for the Mōri clan.  Motoyoshi continued in this role until 1584.

In 1565, Motoyoshi served under the direction of Mōri Terumoto at the Siege of Gassantoda Castle.  In 1570, he participated in the Battle of Fubeyama against the Amago Revival Army led by Yamanaka Yukimori.  After the intensification of conflicts with the Oda clan, he proceeded to Harima Province and, in 1578, Motoyoshi joined the Siege of Kōzuki Castle.  In 1584, he was sent as a messenger to the Kōno clan in Iyo Province.

On 11/19 of Tenshō 13, Motoyoshi died.  Terumoto deeply regretted the loss of Motoyoshi.  The day after, he sent a letter to Awaya Mototane requesting him to console the bereaved family.


While in his youth, Mōri Terumoto was playing in front of his family residence when a beautiful young lady passed by who caught his eye.  This was one of Motoyoshi’s daughters named Kanehime.  (She was called Ninomaru-dono because she resided in the ninomaru, or outer citadel, of Hiroshima Castle and was later known as Seitaiin.)  Thereafter, Terumoto frequently visited Motoyoshi’s residence.  Motoyoshi was not pleased with Terumoto’s actions and, when she was thirteen, he arranged for her to wed a retainer of the Mōri named Sugi Motonobu

In 1586, during the Conquest of Kyūshū, Motonobu deployed to Chikuzen Province under the command of Kobayakawa Takakage.  At this time, although Kanehime was married to Motonobu, Terumoto did not give-up on her and, instead, ordered retainers including Sugiyama Motozumi (Tosa-no-kami), Sugiyama Narizumi (Seibei) (father and son) and Sase Motoyoshi to snatch her as his consort.  On 3/1 of Tenshō 17 (1589), notwithstanding that Terumoto was his lord, Motonobu departed with the intention of appealing directly to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Ōsaka.  Aware of the potentially grave implications for the family, and despite the pitiable outcome, Takakage ordered Murakami Kagechika to track him down and, on 3/6, Kagechika killed Motonobu at Funagakure in Ōshima in the waters off Nogami-no-shō (Tokuyama).