Miyake Harutada


Miyake Clan


Harima Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 7 (1538) to Tenshō 8 (1580)

Other Names:  Hizen-no-kami, Hizen-Nyūdō

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Miyake

Lord:  Bessho Nagaharu

Miyake Harutada served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.  He served as a chief retainer of the Bessho clan.

In the tenth month of 1577, Oda Nobunaga ordered Hashiba Hideyoshi to deploy for the Invasion of Chūgoku.  Hideyoshi first went to Harima Province and, with the cooperation of the Bessho clan, garnered control of a majority of the gōzoku, or wealthy families, in Harima.  Hideyoshi forcibly pacified Fukuhara and Kōzuki castles in the Sayō District of Harima which had come under the influence of the Mōri clan in addition to Tajima Province which posed a threat to the Hashiba forces from the rear.  He then returned to his home province to announce his achievements.

Later, after returning to Harima, Hideyoshi summoned the lords of various castles in the province to hold a war council at Kakogawa Castle.  This is known as the Kakogawa Deliberation.  For this gathering, Harutada, accompanied by his uncle, Bessho Yoshichika, served as the representatives of their lord, Bessho Nagaharu, the lord of Miki Castle.  Yoshichika was known as having strong opinions and favoring the Mōri.  He looked down upon Hideyoshi who arose from humble beginnings.  At the war council, Yoshichika responded to queries from Hideyoshi with long stories regarding achievements of the Bessho clan over the generations, inviting the disfavor of Hideyoshi.  Resentful of the attitude displayed by Hideyoshi, Yoshichika returned to Miki Castle and convinced Nagaharu to defect from the Oda family.

The break in relations with the Oda led, from 1578 to 1580, to the Siege of Miki.  Hideyoshi launched attacks against Miki Castle as well as auxiliary castles of the Bessho clan including Noguchi, Kanki, Shikata, Takasago, Hashitani, and Gochaku castles.  In 1580, after toppling these castles, Hideyoshi captured Miki Castle.  In exchange for having spared the lives of the soldiers in the garrison, Nagaharu commit seppuku.  In the moments before the fall of the castle, Harutada served as the kaishaku, or assistant appointed to decapitate an individual who is committing seppuku to ameliorate the agony, for Nagaharu and his brother, Bessho Tomoyuki, and then took his own life.  Meanwhile, Yoshichika continued to resist the attackers and was forsaken and killed by other defenders in the castle.