Nihonmatsu Yoshitaka


Nihonmatsu Clan


Mutsu Province

Lifespan:  Tenshō 6 (1578) to 16xx

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Nihonmatsu

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Aizu → Okazaki

Lord:  Ashina Kameōmaru → Ashina Yoshihiro → Uesugi Kagekatsu → Gamō Hideyuki → Gamō Tadasato → Katō Yoshiakira → Katō Akinari → Mizuno Tadayoshi

Father:  Nihonmatsu Yoshitsugu

Mother:  Daughter of Araki Naotsugu

Siblings:  Yoshitsuna, Yoshitaka

Children:  Yoshiharu, Yoshimasa

Nihonmatsu Yoshitaka served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.  He served as the chief retainer of the Mizuno clan.  Yoshitaka was the first member of the family to formally adopt the surname of Nihonmatsu.

In 1578, Yoshitaka was born as the second son of Nihonmatsu Yoshitsugu, the eleventh head of the Nihonmatsu clan and lord of Nihonmatsu Castle in Mutsu Province.  His childhood name was Umeōmaru.

On 10/8 of Tenshō 13 (1585), when Yoshitsugu paid a visit to Miyamori Castle within the territory of Date Terumune, he abducted Terumune and attempted to take him back to Nihonmatsu Castle.  While en route on the Takada Plain, he was chased down by Date Masamune and either died when he and Terumune stabbed one another or was shot and killed along with Terumune and the others in the party.

In 1586, when the Nihonmatsu clan vacated their base at Nihonmatsu Castle, Umeōmaru joined his brother, Kuniōmaru (later known as Nihonmatsu Yoshitsuna) and fled for the protection of the Ashina clan in Aizu. While in Aizu, Kuniōmaru attended his coming-of-age ceremony and adopted the name of Yoshitsuna.

In 1589, Ashina Yoshihiro lost to Masamune at the Battle of Suriagehara, resulting in the decimation of the Ashina clan.  In the wake of the defeat, Umeōmaru and Yoshitsuna accompanied Yoshihiro to seek protection from Yoshihiro’s original family, the Satake clan, in Edosaki in Hitachi Province.  Yoshitsuna, however, quarreled with Yoshihiro and was assassinated by Numasawa Sanemichi upon orders of Yoshihiro,  whereupon Umeōmaru fled from Edosaki to Aizu.  He then attended his coming-of-age ceremony.  First, he adopted the name of Kunitsugu, and, later, was called Yoshitaka.  Members of the Nihonmatsu clan had consistently used the Hatakeyama surname, but Yoshitaka was the first to formally adopt the surname of Nihonmatsu.

After Uesugi Kagekatsu was granted a fief in Aizu, Yoshitaka was invited as a guest and participated in the Battle of Keichō-Dewa.  Following the seizure of the Uesugi’s territory in Aizu, in the early Edo period, Yoshitaka remained in Aizu, becoming a guest of successive lords of the Aizu domain including Gamō Hideyuki and Katō Yoshiakira.  In the third month of 1643, the Aizu Disturbance led to the removal of the Katō clan from their position.  Yoshitaka then led the remainder of his life in seclusion in his hometown but, in 1648, he was called upon by Mizuno Tadayoshi, the lord of the Okazaki domain.  Owing to his advanced age, Yoshitaka declined to enter into their service, but sent two of his sons to serve in his place.  For their service, Tadayoshi granted Yoshitaka’s eldest son, Nihonmatsu Yoshiharu, a fief of 700 koku and Yoshitaka’s second son, Nihonmatsu Yoshimasa, a fief of 300 koku.  He further gave Yoshitaka a stipend equal to the yield of 200 men to support him in his retirement.