Lifespan: Tenbun 14 (1545) to Tenshō 11 (1583)
Title: Governor of Bungo (honorary)
Father: Anekōji Yoshiyori
Siblings: Yoritsuna, Akitsuna, sister (wife of Saitō Nobutoshi)
Mitsuki Akitsuna served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.
Akitsuna was born as the second son of Anekōji Yoshiyori (later known as Anekōji Tsuguyori).
After the Mitsuki-Anekōji brought the Nabeyama clan under their command, Akitsuna was adopted by the Nabeyama, a powerful clan who were gōzoku or wealthy landowners, in Hida Province. Akitsuna was based at the mountain fortress of Nabeyama Castle.
Later, Akitsuna poisoned to death his adoptive father, Nabeyama Yasumuro, and then proceeded to expel Nabeyama Sakon-no-taifu – the natural son of Yasumuro and his wife, Omine-no-kata. By this means, in both name and in substance, the Mitsuki-Anekōji displaced the Nabeyama who had been an influential clan in Hida. Thereafter, Akitsuna was preoccupied with assisting his older brother, Anekōji Yoritsuna, to expand his influence in the province.
Akitsuna became the deputy and guardian of Anekōji Nobutsuna, the eldest son of Yoritsuna (the head of the Mitsuki-Anekōji) and designated heir of the Anekōji family.
In 1583, three months after the Battle of Yōkamachi, Akitsuna was suspected of plotting a rebellion against Yoritsuna by colluding with Hashiba Hideyoshi, whereupon Akitsuna and his wife were slayed by assassins dispatched by Yoritsuna, namely, Arakawa Jinbei and Tsuchikawa Shinzaemon. Around the same time, Yoritsuna’s eldest son, Nobutsuna, was also murdered.
Next, Yoritsuna designated his third son, Anekōji Suetsuna (Nabeyama Mototsuna) to be the successor to the Nabeyama clan. Yoritsuna’s second son, Anekōji Hidetsuna, entered Nabeyama Castle. After Yoritsuna’s retirement, Hidetsuna became his successor and moved to Hida-Matsukura Castle while Suetsuna became the lord of Nabeyama Castle.
Character and anecdotes
There is a story that Akitsuna was an avaricious character and did not get along well with his older brother. Nevertheless, the fact that he was appointed to serve as the guardian of Yoritsuna’s eldest son and designated heir, Nobutsuna, suggests that he was a capable individual and there was mutual trust between the siblings.
After the incident, Nabeyama Toshitaka submitted to Yoritsuna. Meanwhile, after being banished, Nabeyama Sakon-no-taifu submitted to the Kanamori army as a member of a group of rōnin, or wandering samurai, during the Conquest of Hida.
It is said that Akitsuna was killed while reading materials from Yoritsuna that were difficult to decipher. In an effort to read the disorderly writings, he opened and closed the scrolls multiple times and while contemplating the contents with his arms crossed, was assaulted by the two assassins.
Akitsuna’s descendants included an individual named Hirano Seishin.
A memorial tower for Akitsuna and his wife stands at the Unryū Temple.