Sawaki Yoshiyuki


Sawaki Clan


Owari Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 12/22 of Genki 3 (1573)

Other Names:  Toshiyuki, Tōhachirō

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Maeda → Sawaki

Lord:  Oda Nobunaga → Tokugawa Ieyasu

Father:  Maeda Toshiharu

Adoptive Father:  Sawaki Tōemon 

Mother:  Chōrei-in

Siblings:  Maeda Toshihisa, Maeda Toshikuro, Maeda Yasukatsu, Maeda Toshiie, sister (wife of Teranishi Kyūbei), Yoshiyuki, Maeda Hidetsugu, Chōkyūin (wife of Maeda Gensuke, later, wife of Takatomi Sadayoshi)

Wife:  Taikyoku

Children:  Hisayoshi (Sakuemon), daughter (wife of Horie Kyūzaemon), Enchi-in (wife of Shinohara Kazutaka)

Sawaki Yoshiyuki served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was the younger brother of Maeda Toshiie and a member of the group of bushi acting as servants for Oda Nobunaga.

Yoshiyuki was born as the fifth son of Maeda Toshiharu, a dogō, or small-scale landowner, in Arako in the Kaitō District of Owari Province.  He was later adopted by Sawaki Tōemon.

In 1558, he participated in the Battle of Ukino, and, despite incurring injuries, succeeded in killing a formidable archer on the enemy side known as Hayashi Yashichirō.

In the early Eiroku era (1558 to 1570), he became a member of the elite cavalry known as the akahoroshū who rode with red capes that filled with air to deflect arrows or other objects hurled at them in battle.  However, according to the authenticated biography of Nobunaga known as the Shinchō-kōki, around the time of the Battle of Okehazama, he is listed among the group of servants, and it was likely after this time.

In the fifth month of 1560, Yoshiyuki joined Iwamuro Shigeyasu, Hasegawa Kyōsuke, Yamaguchi Hida-no-kami, and Katō Yasaburō on a rapid pre-dawn deployment with their lord, Nobunaga, for the Battle of Okehazama.

In 1569, at the Siege of Ōkawachi Castle in Ise Province, Yoshiyuki, Hida-no-kami, and others served as members of the group of hatamoto responsible for defending the main base and managing limited construction work.  Thereafter, along with Kyōsuke, Hida-no-kami, and Yasaburō, he incurred the ire of Nobunaga and absconded from the Oda.  They turned themselves over to the remit of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

In the twelfth month of 1572, Yoshiyuki served in the Battle of Mikata-ga-hara, and together with the others in his group, was killed in action.

His second daughter was raised by the wife of Maeda Toshii named Matsu.  After growing up, she became the formal wife of Shinohara Kazutaka.  Her portrait kept at the Myōhō Temple in Kanazawa serves as a representative illustration of a woman from the Sengoku period.  His son, Hisayoshi, served Maeda Toshitsugu (Yoshiyuki’s wife was Toshitsugu’s nursing mother) and became a retainer of the Toyama domain.