Nomura Sukekatsu

野村祐勝

Nomura Clan

Chikuzen Province

Nomura Sukekatsu

Lifespan:  Eiroku 3 (1560) to 2/14 of Keichō 2 (1597)

Other Names:  小辰郎, 小作郎 (childhood) → Soga Sukekatsu → Nomura Sukekatsu, Tarōbei (common)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Soga → Nomura

Lord:  Kuroda Yoshitaka → Kuroda Nagamasa

Father:  Soga Kazunobu

Mother:  Daughter of the Itō clan

Siblings:  Tarōbei, Mori Tomonobu, Sukekatsu

Wife: [First (separated)] Daughter of Nomura Iyo-no-kami, [Second (dowager)] Daughter of Yoshida Nagatoshi

Children:  Sukenao

Nomura Sukekatsu served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.  As a retainer of the Kuroda clan, he was included among a group of retainers called the Twenty-Four Elite of the Kuroda.  Sukekatsu was the younger brother of a different mother of Mori Tomonobu.

In 1569, Sukekatsu’s oldest brother, Soga Tarōbei, was killed in action at the Battle of Aoyama-Kawarekeyama.  After his second oldest brother, Mori Tomonobu, inherited the Mori family, Sukekatsu succeeded to the Soga family.  In 1573, Sukekatsu had his first experience in combat at the Battle of Inamino in the Kako District of Harima Province.  In 1575, his wife’s original family, the Nomura, were extinguished so he inherited the family name.

In 1584, during a revolt by the Saika and Negoro groups at Kishiwada, Sukekatsu joined Kuroda Nagamasa and others to fight valiantly, capturing enemy heads.  In 1586, during the Subjugation of Kyūshū by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Sukekatsu joined Kuroda Yoshitaka in an assault on Urutsu Castle in Buzen Province.  Surrounded by muddy rice fields and swampland, the castle was difficult to breach, but after the besieging forces noticed a white dog cross a moat, they followed this route to launch a spirited attack resulting in the fall of the castle.

In 1587, Sukekatsu contributed during an attack on Takarabe Castle.  In 1588, during an assassination of Kii Shigefusa, upon a signal from Nagamasa, he walked out in front of Shigefusa and, after throwing three holders used for offerings at Shigefusa, cut him down with a long sword.  Thereafter, he received a fief of 2,960 koku.  Later, the fief was increased and his descendants served as senior retainers and as chūrō, or elders, of the Fukuoka domain in the Edo period.  Kuroda Nagasada, the second son of a descendant named Nomura Sukeharu, was adopted by the Akizuki clan and served as its lord.

Sukekatsu served valorously in the Bunroku Campaign on the Korean Peninsula.  After returning to Japan, he fell ill and, on 2/14 of Keichō 2 (1597), died in Nakatsu in Buzen Province.  He was thirty-eight years old.