Akana Mitsukiyo


Akana Clan


Izumo Province

Lifespan:  Meiō 2 (1493) to 7/27 of Tenbun 11 (1542)

Rank:  bushō

Titles:  Governor of Bitchū

Clan:  Akana

Lord:  Amago Tsunehisa

Father:  Akana Hisakiyo

Siblings:  Mitsukiyo, Sadakiyo, Kiyoyuki, Tokikiyo 

Children:  Akikiyo, Sadakiyo, Morikiyo, Yukikiyo

Akana Mitsukiyo served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  Mitsukiyo was a retainer of the Amago clan.  His father was Akana Hisakiyo and grandfather was Akana Yukikiyo.  Sawa Takahide was a member of the same family.

The Akana (kokujin, or a provincial family of influence) of Izumo were originally members of the Sawa clan, kokujin in Iwami.  During the Sengoku period, the Akana served an important role for the Amago and were based in Akana Castle (Setoyama Castle) in Izumo which was one of the ten auxiliary castles in Izumo built to protect the main base of the Amago at Gassantoda Castle.  These ten castles were known as the Amago jikki or Ten Banners of the Amago.

Following the retirement of Hisakiyo in 1515, Mitsukiyo became the head of the clan.  Mitsukiyo then served Amago Tsunehisa and  obtained recognition for the rights to his territory.

At the First Battle of Gassantoda Castle launched by Ōuchi Yoshitaka from the second month of 1542, Mitsukiyo received at Setoyama Castle reinforcements totaling 1,000 mounted soldiers led by Tanaka Saburō-saemon from Gassantoda Castle.  The forces einfrced their defenses, including with a dam in the Akana River to flood the Akana Basin.  After the Ōuchi army came to attack Setoyama Castle, the defenders counterattacked against the large contingent, killing Kumagai Naotsugu, who was fighting under the command of Mōri Motonari.  Despite valiant efforts, Mitsukiyo was killed while directing the battle after being shot in the throat by an arrow from forces under Sue Takafusa allied with the Ōuchi.  Mitsukiyo’s death undermined the resistance of the defenders who then surrendered the castle.

Mitsukiyo’s eldest son, Akikiyo, and his second son, Sadakiyo, submitted to the Ōuchi, but after the Amago clan recovered its power, Hisakiyo came out of retirement and, together with Akana Morikiyo, served the Amago while the Akana family was split between allies and enemies.  In 1543, Akihisa was killed in Chikuzen Province and Sadakiyo killed himself owing to personal anguish from being on the side of the Ōuchi while his family home was aligned with the Amago.  Amago Haruhisa recognized the valiant efforts of Mitsukiyo in attempting to defend Setoyama, but after the death of Haruhisa, Morikiyo cut ties with the weakened Amago clan and surrendered to Mōri Motonari.