Lifespan: 15xx to Tenshō 14 (1586)
Title: Senior Assistant Minister of Central Affairs
Lord: Hatakeyama Takamasa
Father: Yukawa Naomitsu
Siblings: Naoharu, Nobuharu, Hiroharu, Harunobu, Kiyokatsu
Children: Mitsuharu, daughter (wife of Tamaki Naokazu)
Yukawa Naoharu served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods. He was a retainer of the Hatakeyama clan. Naoharu served as the thirteenth head of the Yukawa clan and as the twelfth lord of Kameyama Castle in Kii Province.
Naoharu was born as the son of Yukawa Naomitsu, the leader of the Yukawa group.
On 5/19 of Eiroku 5 (1562), at the Battle of Kyōkō Temple, under the command of Hatakeyama Takamasa (the military governor of Kii Province), Naoharu joined Naomitsu (his father), Tamaki Naokazu (his brother-in-law), members of the Saika and Negoro groups (arquebus-wielding warrior monks based in Kii Province), and others to fight against Miyoshi Nagayoshi, but lost. During this battle, Naomitsu was killed in action so Naoheru succeeded him as head of the family with Naoharu’s uncle, Yukawa Muneyoshi, serving as his guardian.
In the seventh month of 1562, he issued a written pledge to leaders of the Saika and Negoro groups for continuing cooperation.
In 1568, after Oda Nobunaga marched upon Kyōto and came into conflict with Kennyo (the eleventh high priest of the Hongan Temple), Naoharu joined the Saika group by allying with the Hongan Temple in opposition to Nobunaga. On 6/2 of Tenshō 10 (1582), Nobunaga died in a coup d’état known as the Honno Temple Incident. Afterwards, Naoharu opposed Hashiba Hideyoshi and, in 1585, Naoharu was targeted in the Conquest of Kishū. Naoharu advocated for continuing resistance, and many dogō, or small-scale landowners, responded to his call. Tamaki Naokazu, his brother-in-law and lord of Tedori Castle, aligned with Hideyoshi so, in the third month, Naoharu attacked him and toppled the castle. At the end of the fourth month, Naoharu launched a counteroffensive so Hideyoshi reassigned some of the soldiers engaged in the Conquest of Shikoku to operations in Kii Province.
Sengoku Hidehisa and Nakamura Kazuuji advanced to the environs of Kameyama Castle so Naoharu set fire to the castle and took refuge in the mountains. On 9/24, at the Battle of Enokitōge, Naoharu suffered a defeat and hid in the mountains again. At the end of the same month, however, he launched another attack, imposing significant harm on Hideyoshi’s forces led by Kuwayama Shigeharu, Sugiwaka Mushin, and Uda Yoritada. This caused Hideyoshi to yield and enter into a settlement with Naoharu, whereupon Naoharu received recognition of his rights to his territories.
In 1586, however, he suddenly died. There are assorted theories as to the cause of his death, including illness as well as possible poisoning when he met Hashiba Hidenaga at Kōriyama Castle in Yamato after Hidenaga’s appointment as the new lord of Kii.
His son, Tanba-no-kami Mitsuharu served Hidenaga and received a fief of 3,000 koku. After the demise of Hidenaga, he served the Asano clan. Later, together with Asano Nagaakira, he moved to Aki Province and served as a magistrate in Itsukushima.