Ukita Okiie

宇喜多興家

Ukita Clan

Bushō

Bizen Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to Tenbun 5 (1536) (or Tenbun 9 (1540))

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Ukita

Father:  Ukita Yoshiie

Siblings:  Okiie, Shirō

Wife:  Daughter of Abe Zenjō, servant of Abe Jōzen, or both

Children:  Naoie, Tadaie, Haruie, daughter (wife of Iga Hisataka), daughter (wife of Maki Kuninobu)

Ukita Okiie served as a bushō and retainer of the Uragami clan in Bizen Province.  Okiie further served as the lord of Toishi Castle.

Okiie was born as the eldest lineal son of Ukita Yoshiie.  In 1524, Yoshiie assigned the role as head of the clan to Okiie, upon which Yoshiie retired and continued to reside in Toishi Castle.

Yoshiie had bad relations with another retainer of the Uragami named Shimamura Morizane, lord of Takatori Castle in the Naganuma manor on a ridge.  In 1534, Morizane joined with Ukita Kunisada to launch a surprise attack against Yoshiie at Toishi Castle, causing Yoshiie to kill himself.  Meanwhile, Okiie fled for safety together with his young son, Ukita Naoie, initially to Tomo-no-ura in Bingo Province.

Despite having succeeded Yoshiie as head of the clan, the act of turning over Toishi Castle without resistance and fleeing gave rise to the view that Okiie was feeble-minded, but there is also a view that he pretended to be so in an effort to protect the young Naoie and the reputation of the Ukita clan.  Thereafter, the castle came under the control of Kunisada.  Under another account, Morizane may have first become lord of Toishi Castle while Kunisada took over at a later date.

After fleeing, Okiie was protected by a wealthy merchant named Abe Zenjō from Fukuoka in Bizen, and wed Yoshisada’s daughter, who bore two sons, Tadaie and Haruie.  According to another account, Okiie was feeble-minded, was raised by Abe Jōzen, became a herdsman, and married a servant who bore three children: Naoie, Tadaie, and Haruie.

Okiie died of illness in 1536, although under an alternate theory he may have died in 1540.  There is a view that he was called feeble-minded by his retainers, and, owing to the stress, killed himself. To avoid inviting conflict between his eldest heir, Naoie, and his retainers, his formal wife, consorts, and senior retainers said that he died of illness to hide the fact that he took his own life.  Naoie, however, is said to have seen-through this cover and known that Okiie killed himself.

Decades later, in 1559, Naoie succeeded in recapturing Toishi Castle.