Kuroda Naoyuki

黒田直之

Kuroda Clan

Kuroda Naoyuki

Harima Province

Lifespan:  3/18 of Eiroku 7 (1564) to 2/3 of Keichō 14 (1609)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Assistant Director of the Bureau of Records

Clan:  Kuroda

Lord:  Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Toyotomi Hidenaga → Kuroda Yoshitaka

Father:  Kuroda Mototaka

Mother:  Daughter of the Mori clan

Siblings:  Yoshitaka, Toshitaka, Toshinori, Naoyuki

Wife:  Daughter of Yuri Narishige (baptismal name of Maria)

Children:  Naomoto (Pablo), Masanao, Shichirō

Kuroda Naoyuki 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.  He had the common name of Ichibei.

On 3/18 of Eiroku 7 (1564), Naoyuki was born as the fourth son of Kuroda Mototaka in Himeji in Harima Province.  Kuroda Yoshitaka (Josui) was an older brother of a different mother.

From 1577, Naoyuki served Toyotomi Hideyoshi and, next, similar to his older brother, Kuroda Toshinori, associated with Toyotomi Hidenaga.  In 1586, as Yoshitaka deployed for the Pacification of Kyūshū, Naoyuki returned to the Kuroda family.  During the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign, Naoyuki served as a general of troops deployed to the Korean Peninsula.  He served meritoriously in battle against the Korean army.  Upon his return, he received a fief of 4,556 koku.

In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Naoyuki joined his brother, Yoshitaka, in battle.  After the war, during an assault against Tomiku Castle, he retreated in the face of a counterattack.  During an assault on Kurume Castle in Chikugo Province, Naoyuki was assigned to take-over the castle following the battle.  After his nephew, Kuroda Nagamasa, became the lord of the Fukuoka domain in Chikuzen, Naoyuki received a fief of 12,000 koku and became the chamberlain of Akizuki Castle.

In 1609, Naoyuki experienced deteriorating health and died in Ōsaka where he sought convalescence at the age of forty-six.  On the day prior to his death, Naoyuki received the holy communion.

Similar to his brother, Yoshitaka, Naoyuki was an ardent Christian, adopting the baptismal name of Miguel.  After the Battle of Sekigahara, Naoyuki sheltered another Christian who had become a wandering samurai named Akashi Takenori.  By working through Fukushima Masanori, Naoyuki received permission to rebuild a church below Hiroshima Castle, which he pursued with his own funding.