Wada Korenaga

和田惟長

Wada Clan

Bushō

Settsu Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 20 (1551) to 3/15 of Genki 4 (1573) or 4/1 of Kanei 5 (1628)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Ōmi-Wada

Bakufu:  Muromachi

Lord:  Ashikaga Yoshiaki → Oda Nobunaga → (under the theory he lived until 1628, then Onogi clan → Yamaoka clan → Tokugawa clan)

Father:  Wada Koremasa

Wada Korenaga served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was the lord of Takatsuki Castle in the Shimakami District of Settsu Province.

Korenaga was born as the eldest son of Wada Koremasa, a direct retainer of Ashikaga Yoshiaki the fifteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu.

In the eighth month of Genki 2 (1571), Korenaga deployed with his father, Koremasa.  On 8/28, they fought against forces led by Ikeda Tomomasa and Araki Murashige at Kōriyama in Settsu.  Koremasa was killed in action serving with the vanguard forces.  Korenaga had been kept in the rear guard.  Notwithstanding this could have turned into a battle of revenge, Korenaga panicked and fled back home, losing the trust of the commanders.  In the fourth month of 1572, Korenaga deployed with reinforcements for the defense of Katano Castle in Kawachi Province, and fought alongside the forces of Oda Nobunaga as an officer of Ashikaga Yoshiaki.  However, around this time, tensions arose between Yoshiaki and Nobunaga, causing differences of opinion among the retainers as to which side to support.  Perhaps out of suspicion, he killed Wada Koremasu – his uncle and guardian.  He then pledged his loyalty to Nobunaga.

In Genki 4 (1573), he plotted the murder of Takayama Tomoteru and Takayama Ukon (father and son) who were acquiring supporters within the family.  Under the pretext of a meeting, he invited Tomoteru and Ukon to visit, but the plot had already been revealed to them so those accompanying each side engaged in a violent clash.  In this incident, Korenaga was seriously wounded, and so was Ukon, so Korenaga fled to Fushimi.  On 3/11, however, his injuries were deemed fatal and, several days later, he died.

The records of Korenaga’s descendants in the Wada clan (who served as retainers of the Edo bakufu) provide an alternate theory of the remainder of his life.  According to this account, Korenaga miraculously recovered from his serious injuries, but, after serving the Onogi and Yamaoka clans, in the end, he served as a retainer of the bakufu under the Tokugawa clan.  On 4/1 of Kanei 5 (1628), he died at the age of seventy-eight.  Moreover, there is a pledge dated 11/1 of Keichō 16 (1611) signed in the name Wada Denemon-no-jō Korenaga.