Kume Yoshihiro


Kume Clan


Awa Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to Tenbun 22 (1553)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Aki

Clan:  Kume

Lord:  Hosokawa clan

Wife:  Daughter of Hosokawa Yukimochi (younger sister of Hosokawa Mochitaka)

Children:  Yoshimasa, daughter (wife of Miyoshi Jikkyū)

Kume Yoshihiro served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Hosokawa clan and served as the lord of Shibahara Castle in Awa Province.  He had a stipend of 300 kan.

The Shōzui Incident

Hosokawa Mochitaka served as the head of the Awa-Hosokawa family and military governor of Awa and Sanuki provinces based in Shōzui Castle in Awa.  On 6/17 of Tenbun 22 (1553), Mochitaka was cornered by Miyoshi Jikkyū and killed himself at the Kenshō Temple near the castle.  This is known as the Shōzui Incident.  There are assorted theories for the killing.  Under one theory, Jikkyū discovered a plot by Mochitaka to oppose Miyoshi Nagayoshi by supporting Ashikaga Yoshihide (Yoshitsuna’s son) in a march to the capital.  Under another view, Mochitaka was threatened by Jikkyū’s growing power in Awa and sought to assassinate him, which plot was leaked to Jikkyū.  Finally, Jikkyū may have learned that Mochitaka was supporting a revival by Hosokawa Harumoto.  Nevertheless, there are many uncertainties as to the circumstances surrounding a sudden confrontation between Mochitaka and Jikkyū given his neutrality during the peak of fighting between Nagayoshi and Harumoto.

Yoshihiro’s plans for revenge

As a retainer of the Hosokawa, Yoshihiro became upset with the killing of Mochitaka, and sought revenge against Jikkyū.  Yoshihiro was married to Mochitaka’s younger sister.  Meanwhile, his daughter was the wife of Jikkyū, the younger brother of Nagayoshi.  Once a dispute arose between Mochitaka and Jikkyū, Yoshihiro sided with Mochitaka.

According to one account, after Yoshihiro decided to avenge the death of Mochitaka, he devised a plan with the assistance of lords from nearby castles with whom he was on friendly terms, including Ogura Shigenobu (Kuramoto Castle), Sano Tango-no-kami (Hiraaki) (Sanozuka Castle), Noda Kuranosuke (Nodayama Castle), and Niki Takamasa (Ei Castle).  The next day, when Ogura Shigenobu visited Shōzui Castle, Jikkyū was guarded only be several tens of troops.  After Shigenobu informed Yoshihiro of the situation, Yoshihiro gathered more than 2,000 forces at Shibahara Castle.  Meanwhile, Jikkyū learned of these developments and assembled his own contingent of 2,000 troops including residents of the village at Shōzui Castle.

Noting that Jikkyū’s younger sister was the wife of Ogasawara Narisuke of Ichinomiya Castle in Awa, Yoshihiro sought to capture her as a hostage, so he intentionally ignored Shōzui Castle located near Shibahara Castle and launched a nighttime assault on Ichinomiya Castle.  After being rescued by a retainer named Kimura Higo-no-kami, Narisuke fled, but the attacking forces broke down the main gate and the castle fell, while Narisuke’s wife and daughter were taken hostage.

Defeat at the Battle of Yariba

Based on accounts of the Miyoshi family, soon thereafter, Noguchi Norimori from Awaji Island in the eastern portion of the Seto Inland Sea, brought 1,000 soldiers to converge with the Miyoshi.  In addition, Jikkyū summoned reinforcements from the upper districts including the Miyoshi and Mima districts, sending 2,000 troops to the Nakatomi River.  Meanwhile, the Kume forces traversed the river and set-up a camp at the Kuroda Yariba.

Therefore, Jikkyū concluded that the Kume had gathered only a small number of soldiers so he crossed the river and advanced to the Kuroda Yariba.  In this conflict, Noda Kuranosuke and Noguchi Norimori were killed in action while all of those on the side of the Kume were killed.  According to one account, there were 3,000 soldiers on the Miyoshi side and 600 solders on the Kume side.  The Kume forces were surrounded and, including Yoshihiro, annihilated.  This is known as the Battle of Yariba.