Madarame Hiromoto


Madarame Clan


Mutsu Province

Lifespan:  15xx to Tenshō 4 (1576) (?)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Shinano

Clan:  Madarame

Lord:  Yūki Yoshitsuna → Yūki Harutsuna → Yūki Yoshichika

Siblings:  Hirotsuna, Hiromoto

Children:  Mototsune

Madarame Hiromoto served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Shirakawa-Yūki clan and served as the lord of Higashidate Castle in Mutsu Province.

The Madarame are deemed to have been descendants of the Tachibana-Ason, scions of Tachibana no Moroe, a noble and member of the Imperial family during the Nara period in the eighth century.

Hiromoto, along with his older brother, Madarame Hirotsuna, was known as an intrepid bushō, participating in battles against the Satake clan of Hitachi Province.  Hiromoto defended Higashidate Castle located in the border area between Mutsu and Hitachi provinces but, in 1541, was attacked by Satake Yoshiatsu and retreated to Shirakawa in southern Mutsu.

In 1544, his lord, Yūki Yoshitsuna, donated a copper bell to the Rokuōsan-Saishō Temple on the grounds of the Kashima Shrine.  This bell exists to this day and is a significant historical artifact.  It is the only copper bell from the Middle Ages in the city of Shirakawa and one of only a few in Fukushima Prefecture.  The inscription on the bell has the names of Yoshitsuna and Harutsuna along with magistrates (Hiromoto and Wachi Naoyori), in addition to family members including Minami 恵綱, Nikogaya Atsutsuna, and the craftsman of the bell, Hayama Kiyotsugu.

On 4/27 of Tenshō 4 (1576), Hiromoto served under the command of Satō Tadahide to assault Akadate Castle in Mutsu.  After a valiant fight, the besieging forces succeeded in recapturing the castle earlier occupied by the Satake.  Later, however, Hiromoto and Hirotsuna were murdered by Yūki Yoshichika (Komine Yoshichika) upon suspicion of colluding with the Satake.  After the capture of Akadate Castle, Hiromoto returned to the Satake the young daughter of a retainer of the Satake named Shibue Ujimitsu.  Yoshichika became suspicious after the Satake, as a means to express their thanks to Hiromoto, avoided cutting down the green rice paddies only on the landholdings of the Madarame.

After the demise of the family of his lord, Hiromoto’s son, Madarame Mototsune, served Date Masamune.  His descendants became guest bushō of the Wakuya-Shirakawa clan in Mutsu.