Nakano Yoshitoki


Nakano Clan


Dewa Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 19 (155) (?) to Tenshō 2 (1574)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Mogami → Nakano

Father:  Mogami Yoshimori

Mother:  Eihoni (?)

Siblings:  Mogami Yoshiaki, Yoshitoki, Nagatori Yoshiyasu, Tateoka Akinao

Children:  Bitchū-no-kami

Nakano Yoshitoki served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He first appears in a historical record of Dewa from 1792, so there is a possibility that he is a fictious character.

In 1550, Yoshitoki was born as the second son of Mogami Yoshimori, the tenth head of the Mogami clan of Dewa Province.  His mother may have been Eihoni, but it is uncertain.  Yoshimori adored Yoshitoki, and began to treat coldly his eldest son and designated heir, Yoshiaki.  Later, Yoshimori removed Yoshiaki from the line of succession and attempted to transfer headship of the clan to Yoshitoki.  As a result, Yoshiaki had a gradual falling out with Yoshimori and Yoshitoki.  Initially, almost all of the senior retainers sided with Yoshimori and Yoshitoki, but, following mediation by a senior retainer named Ujiie Sadanao, in 1570, Yoshimori retired and Yoshiaki inherited the clan.

After taking over as the head of the Mogami, Yoshiaki conducted purges and exercised harsh rule over his family members and retainers.  Meanwhile, Sadanao died and, once again, Yoshimori advocated for Yoshitoki, reigniting the internal dispute.  Divisions among the band of retainers and the deployment of forces by Date Terumune (a sengoku daimyō and sixteenth head of the Date clan) on behalf of Yoshimori triggered the Tenshō Mogami Conflict.  Battles persisted across the Mogami territory in Dewa for most of Tenshō 2 (1574), including an attack by Yoshiaki against Nakano Castle.  Soldiers from the castle clashed with Yoshiaki’s forces at Emata.  After the conflict, Yoshimori returned to his retirement while Yoshiaki compelled Yoshitoki to take his own life.


Stories about a blood feud between siblings of the Mogami appear only in materials from the Taishō period (1912 to 1926).   References to Nakano-dono in letters from the Sengoku period do not refer to Yoshitoki, but, rather, to Yoshimori who originated from the Nakano clan, an illegitimate branch of the Mogami.