Sakuraba Mitsuyasu


Sakuraba Clan


Mutsu Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 15xx

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Sakuraba (a branch of the Sasaki clan descended from the Uda-Genji)

Lord:  Nanbu Nobuyasu

Children:  Naotsuna, Mitsutada, Kita Nobukage (adopted by Kita Nobuchika)

Sakuraba Mitsuyasu served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Nanbu clan, sengoku daimyō of Mutsu Province.

The Sakuraba were a branch of the Sasaki clan descended from the Uda-Genji.  As a military family, the Sakuraba served as hereditary retainers of the Nanbu family.  His sons included Sakuraba Naotsuna and Kita Nobukage.

The Sakuraba served as hereditary retainers from before the time that Nanbu Mitsuyuki, the first head of the Nanbu, moved from Kai Province to Oushū in the late twelfth century and constructed the first base of the Nanbu at Heragasaki Castle.  Together with the Mikami, the Ogasawara, and the Fukushi clans, the Sakuraba were designated as one of the Four Emperors of the Nanbu.

In the era of Nanbu Yasunobu (a daimyō and the twenty-third head of the Nanbu clan), Mitsuyasu proved his resourcefulness by subduing gōzoku, or wealthy families, in the Hei District which had frequently been engaging in conflict with the Nanbu clan.  The pacification of the Hei District was a major contribution.  As a result, many of the retainers of the Sakuraba family in later eras originated from the Hei District.

In 1565, after being dispatched to Kazuno, Mitsuyasu repelled an attack by Andō Chikasue.  In 1572, he participated in the pacification of Tsugaru by Ishikawa Takanobu.

In his later years, Mitsuyasu governed the Hei District, establishing his base and fief at Sentoku Castle in the village of Sentoku.  He donated land to the Chōkon and Zenshō temples in the local area.  A stone monument to generations of the Sakuraba family stands at the Tamaōzan-Chōkan Temple (Shingon sect) which was one of the temples protected by Mitsuyasu.  It is a designated cultural asset of the City of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture.