Akashi Yukikatsu

明石行雄

Akashi Clan

Bushō

Bizen Province

Lifespan:  Unknown

Rank:  bushō

Titles:   Junior Fifth Rank (Lower); Governor of Iyo

Clan:  Akashi

Lord:  Uragami → Ukita

Father:  Akashi Genzaburō Kagenori (?)

Siblings:  Yukikatsu, Kageyuki, Ukon

Children:   Takenori, daughter (wife of Iga Iehisa), daughter (wife of Naramura Harumasa)

Akashi Yukikatsu served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was the lord of Hogi Castle in Bizen Province.

During the era while a retainer of the Uragami

Yukikatsu originated from the Bizen-Akashi clan who served as retainers of the Uragami from the era of Uragami Norimune.  His father may have been named Genzaburō Kagenori but it cannot be confirmed.

Owing to a split between two brothers, Uragami Masamune and Uragami Munekage, during the Tenbun era (1532- to 1555), Yukikatsu became a trusted ally of Munekage and thereafter served as a senior retainer for Munekage.  In 1567, at the Battle of Myōzenji, Yukikatsu rushed to the battle to support Ukita Naoie on behalf of the Uragami and contributed to their victory against the Mimura clan.

On 6/1 of 1568, Yukikatsu participated, along with Ōtawara Chōji, Hattori Hisaie, Hikasa Yorifusa, Okamoto Ujihide, and Nobuhara Kageyoshi, to mediate a border dispute between the Katakami and Urainbe of Bizen.  In the tenth month of 1569, Yukikatsu, along with Ujihide and others, supported an effort by Miura Sadahiro to recapture Katsuyama Castle in Mimasaka Province that had earlier been taken by the Mōri, and attacked the castle chamberlain, Kagawa Hirokage.

From 1574, the conflict between Uragami Munekage and Ukita Naoie intensified.  Yukikatsu supported Munekage at the Battle of Tenjinyama, and after the situation deteriorated, he initially joined Munekage to wage battle from Tenjinyama Castle; however, once he concluded that he could not longer resist the attack, Yukikatsu abandoned Munekage, whereupon he set fire to the castle and sheltered in one section with the intent of having the castle fall.  These acts of betrayal are further substantiated in records from the Mōri.

 During the era while a retainer of Ukita Naoie

After the demise of the Uragami clan, Yukikatsu was permitted to maintain the same territory as while serving the Uragami, but he was not welcome as a guest commander among the elders of the Ukita clan.  In 1578, at the Second Battle of Kōzuki Castle, Yukikatsu deployed to Hachimanyama Castle in western Harima to serve as a rear guard for the forces attacking Kōzuki.  At this time, although Yukikatsu was suspected of engaging in subversive acts such as secretly colluding with Takenaka Shigeharu, a retainer of Hashiba Hideyoshi who had come to the aid of the defenders of Kōzuki, he did not actually conduct acts affecting the battle that favored the attackers.

In 1579, when Ukita Naoie betrayed the Mōri to collude with Oda Nobunaga, Yukikatsu was assigned to lead renovations of Shiroishi Castle near the border of Bizen and Mimasaka provinces to prepare for war against the Mōri.  In the third month of 1580, he participated in the siege of Taka Castle occupied by Takeuchi Tameyoshi who had betrayed the Ukita in favor of the Mōri.  During this engagement, forces led by Yukikatsu positioned on Mount Warabio were subject to a nighttime attack by castle defenders, resulting in the death of Hirao Danshōtada and others.  Despite this setback, the Ukita succeeded in capturing the castle and ousting Tameyoshi.  After toppling Taka Castle, Yukikatsu moved in the autumn of that same year to Sasabuki Castle to engage in renovations.

In 1582, at the Battle of Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle, Yukikatsu obeyed the eldest son of Naoie, Ukita Hachirō (later known as Ukita Hideie), and received praise for his contributions under the command of Hashiba Hideyoshi.

During the era while a retainer of Ukita Hideie

In 1583, Hashiba Hideyoshi and the Mōri clan engaged in discussions to determine the border between the respective territories of the Ukita and the Mōri.  Iga Iehisa, Yukikatsu’s son-in-law and lord of Kokura Castle, was discontent with the location of his castle being included in the Ukita territory, showing indications that he was preparing for a fight.  Yukikatsu then took on the role to persuade Iehisa to vacate his castle and retreat to the Mōri domain.  In 1586, Yukikatsu was granted the title of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Governor of Iyo.  Thereafter, he signed his name as Akashi Iyo-no-kami Yukikatsu.

On 9/8 of 1586, Yukikatsu served as a messenger of Ukita Hideie by paying a visit to the residence of Mōri Terumoto who had traveled to the capital of Kyōto and invited Terumoto to visit the residence of the Ukita.  In 1594, Yukikatsu was concerned about the well-being of an orphan named Saibōshimaru, the child of his son-in-law, Iga Iehisa.  He sent a letter to Yamaguchi Munenaga, an elder of Iehisa’s former lord, Kobayakawa Hideaki, requesting to let him know if he can be of help.  He added that he could not pay a visit owing to his poor legs so that he would like him to ask his eldest son, Takenori (Kamon-no-suke), to support.  This was evidence that Yukikatsu was aging and that responsibility for the Akashi clan was moving to the next generation.  A letter dated in 1594 was the final letter left by Yukikatsu.

There is a letter from an individual named Naganobu inquiring whether Yukikatsu would deploy in Hideyoshi’s second campaign on the Korean Peninsula known as the Keichō no eki that began in 1597.  It can therefore be surmised that Yukikatsu lived until this time, but his date of death is unknown.