Nyūta Yoshizane


Nyūta Clan


Bungo Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 2 (1533) to Keichō 6 (1601)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Head of the Imperial Cavalry of the Left Division, Governor of Tango

Clan:  Nyūta

Lord:  Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin) → Ōtomo Yoshimune → Shimazu Yoshihisa

Father:  Nyūta Chikazane

Siblings:  Yoshizane, Chikatoshi, Yoshiuji, Hatsu (formal wife of Tachibana Dōsetsu)

Children:  Ujitora, daughter (consort of Ōtomo Sōrin)

Nyūta Yoshizane served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Ōtomo clan and, later, the Shimazu clan.  Yoshizane served as the eleventh head of the Nyūta clan and the lord of the Nyūta manor in the Naoiri District of Bungo Province.

In 1533, Yoshizane was born as the son of Nyūta Chikazane, a senior retainer of the Ōtomo clan and close associate of Ōtomo Yoshiaki.  Yoshizane was born at Kanbara Castle in Nyūta in Bungo.  He had the common name of Jūrō.

In 1550, his father, Chikazane, was killed in the wake of an internal conflict in the Ōtomo clan that culminated in an event known as the Collapse on the Second Floor.  This led to the ruin of the Nyūta clan who had support Ōtomo Yoshiaki in the faction opposed to succession by Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin).  For a while thereafter, Yoshizane became a rōnin, or wandering samurai.  In  1578, the Ōtomo suffered a major defeat to the Shimazu at the Battle of Mimikawa, weakening the clan.  Around 1580, in view of his youth, Yoshishige permitted Yoshizane to return to the service of the Ōtomo clan.  Yoshizane recovered a portion of the Nyūta clan’s former territory, including 350 chō (approximately 350 hectares) in the Wakamiya manor in the Kurate District of Chikuzen Province.  He was, however, treated coldly.   In 1585, Yoshizane aligned with another retainer of the Ōtomo named Shiga Chikanori and, via Niiro Tadamoto, colluded with the Shimazu clan, playing a significant role in causing the betrayal of the Ōtomo by powerful kokujin, or provincial landowners, located in the southern portion of Bungo.  Under another theory, Yoshizane came into conflict with Ōtomo Yoshimune and was attacked by Bekki Munesada, causing him to collude with the Shimazu.

In 1586, Shimazu Yoshihisa launched an invasion of Bungo, triggering the Hōsatsu War.  Yoshizane served as a guide for the Shimazu forces.  In 1587, a request by Yoshishige to Toyotomi Hideyoshi for reinforcements led to a campaign known as the Kyūshū Pacification.  As a result, when the Shimazu army was expelled from Bungo and retreated to Satsuma Province, Yoshizane followed.  Thereafter, he served as a retainer of the Shimazu clan whereupon Yoshihisa granted him landholdings of 30 chō (approximately 30 hectares) in Hyūga Province.

In 1601, Yoshizane died at the age of sixty-nine.

In the ninth month of 1600, his son, Nyūta Ujitora, followed Shimazu Yoshihiro to participate in the Battle of Sekigahara.  Thereafter, he became a member of the Takaoka group.