Murakami Motoyoshi

村上元吉

Murakami Clan

Bushō

Iyo Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 22 (1553) to 9/18 of Keichō 5 (1600)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Director of the Bureau of Palace Maintenance

Clan:  Noshima-Murakami

Lord:  Mōri Terumoto

Father:  Murakami Takeyoshi

Mother:  Second daughter of Murakami Michiyasu

Wife:  [Formal] Adopted daughter of Kobayakawa Takakage

Siblings:  Motoyoshi, Kagechika

Children:  Mototake

Murakami Motoyoshi served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  Motoyoshi was the head of the Murakami navy based in Noshima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea.  He was referred to under the name of Shōyū-tarō, and received one the characters in his name from Mōri Motonari.

Born in 1553, Motoyoshi was the eldest son of Murakami Takeyoshi, the commander of the Murakami navy based in Noshima. His mother was the daughter of Murakami Michiyasu.

In 1576, at the First Battle of Kizugawaguchi, Motoyoshi led the Murakami navy to crush the Oda navy, but did not likely participate in the Second Battle of Kizugawaguchi.

In 1582, Motoyoshi succeeded his father as head of the Noshima-Murakami branch of the clan.  Meanwhile, Hashiba Hideyoshi lured Kurushima Michifusa and Tokui Michiyuki (brothers) of the Kurushima branch of the Murakami to betray the Noshima branch in favor of the Oda.  In the spring of that same year, Motoyoshi joined in the effort to launch an attack to eliminate Kurushima Michifusa and Tokui Michiyuki.

In the summer of 1582, Oda Nobunaga was the victim of a dramatic coup d’état launched by one of his senior commanders, Akechi Mitsuhide.  After the demise of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi emerged as his successor to continue the plan to unify the country under his command.  During the Invasion of Shikoku in 1586, Motoyoshi, along with his father (Murakami Takeyoshi) and younger brother (Murakami Kagechika) did not cooperate with Toyotomi Hideyoshi, so were slated for elimination.  That same year, Motoyoshi responded to a request from a Jesuit missionary from Portugal named Gaspar Coelho and offered him protection to traverse the Seto Inland Sea under the banner of the Murakami navy.

As Hideyoshi progressed in his campaign to govern the nation, in 1588, he issued a rule to ban piracy, prohibiting acts of piracy on the Seto Inland Sea.  Later, Motoyoshi and Takeyoshi were accused of violating the rule against piracy, and taken to Kafuri in Chikuzen Province in Kyūshū.  From 1592, the men participated in the transport of soldiers to the Korean Peninsula in a plan aimed at conquering the peninsula known as the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign.

In 1598, after the demise of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Mōri Terumoto arranged for the transfer of Motoyoshi and his father, Takeyoshi, to Takehara in Aki Province, whereupon he granted them a fief of 4,700 koku.  In a letter dated in the autumn of 1599 sent by Motoyoshi to a retainer of the Mōri named Katada Motoyoshi, he offers congratulations for the coming-of-age ceremony of Terumoto.

In a preliminary skirmish leading up to the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Motoyoshi attacked the domain of Hachisuka Iemasa and toppled Inoyama Castle in Awa Province.  In the autumn, after landing on Gogoshima, Mochiyoshi assaulted the base of Katō Yoshiakira at Masaki Castle in Iyo Province.  He then landed and set-up a camp in Mitsuhama in Iyo, however, over the course of that evening and into the next morning, the Murakami forces were attacked by Tsukuda Kazunari (a retainer of Yoshiakira) and Mochiyoshi died in fighting, known as the Nighttime Attack on Mitsuhama.