Nasa Nihon-no-suke


Nasa Clan


Tajima Province

Nasa Nihon-no-suke served as a bushō and leader of pirates along the coastline of Tajima Province in the Chūgoku Region.  Based in the Nasa Valley of the Kinosaki District of Tajima, the Nasa clan originated from the Kusakabe clan.  Nihon-no-suke was a direct descendant of the Nasa clan of Tajima, operating from Tsuiyama in Kinosaki. Nihon-no-suke conducted his activities in a domain ruled by the Yamana clan along the coastline of the Sanin Region.  Owing to his opposition to the Oda and their attempt to make inroads in the western provinces, he was likened to a member of a seafaring pirate gang.

During the Tenshō era (1573-93), the Oda expanded their influence in the Chūgoku Region, and Nobunaga prohibited acts of piracy.  Nihon-no-suke, together with Enya Takakiyo, who was called a mountain pirate based at Ashiya Castle in Tajima, pledged support to the Mōri.  However, without attempting to resist the overwhelming force of the Oda, in 1581, he fled Tajima and joined the Mōri army under the command of Kikkawa Tsuneie in a confrontation against Hashiba Hideyoshi at Tottori Castle in Inaba Province.

Nihon-no-suke built Maruyama Castle to the north of Tottori Castle, and together with Takakiyo based at Kariganeyama Castle, took charge of the supply lines to Tottori Castle.  Hideyoshi responded by having Miyabe Keijun lead a unit to attack and cut the supply lines from Maruyama and Kareiganeyama to Tottori, leading to a hellish scene of starvation at Tottori.  In autumn of the same year, the Mōri sent additional supplies by boat, but Nihon-no-suke’s naval boats were attacked and sunk by Hosokawa Fujitaka, an Oda ally, at the mouth of the Sendai River. 

The following month, the survivors in Tottori were reduced to eating human flesh, whereupon Tsuneie offered to surrender to Hideyoshi on the condition that he be allowed to sacrifice himself in exchange for having the lives of his men spared.   While Hideyoshi respected Tsuneie’s courage and planned to spare him, he scorned the actions of Takakiyo and Nihon-no-suke as those of pirates and resolutely insisted that each of them commit seppuku.   Takakiyo and Nihon-no-suke then committed seppuku in their quarters prior to Tsuneie taking his own life.  Memorial towers for Takakiyo and Nihon-no-suke stand at the western base of Maruyama Castle.