Akaza Naoyasu


Akaza Clan


Echizen Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to Keichō 11 (1606)

Rank:  bushō

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

Clan:  Akaza

Lord:  Asakura Yoshikage → Oda Nobunaga → Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Maeda Toshinaga

Father:  Akaza Naonori

Children: Nagahara Takaharu

Akaza Naoyasu served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.

The Akaza name appears in records among the families who served as retainers of the Asakura clan of Echizen Province.  Naoyasu and his father, Naonaori, were likely retainers of the clan.

In the eighth month of 1573, following the decimation of the Asakura by Oda Nobunaga, Naoyasu surrendered to the Oda.  Naoyasu’s name first appears in a writing from Nobunaga by which he was guaranteed the inheritance of territory.  Thereafter, Naoyasu served under Katsurada Nagatoshi (formerly known as Maeba Yoshitsugu), the shugodai, or deputy military governor, of Echizen.  In the eleventh month of 1575, upon written authorization from Nagatoshi, Naoyasu was awarded an increase of 56 koku to his fief, in Hiuchimura in Fuchū, and the holdings were transferred by three deputies in Fuchū known as the Fuchū Group of Three.  At this time, numerous families from Echizen, including the Akaza, the Horie, the Shinkai, the Senpuku, the Kuratani, and the Suwa served as yoriki, or security forces, for Shibata Katsuie and the Fuchū Group of Three, and had relations with the Maeda clan.

In 1582, Naoyasu became head of the clan following the death of his father, Naonori, at the Honnō Temple Incident.  Naoyasu served Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his territory was secured.  In the tenth month of 1589, Naoyasu was granted exclusive commercial rights to make biscuits in the village of Ōgimura in the Nanjō District of Echizen.  In 1590, Naoyasu joined in attacks against Iwatsuki and Oshi castles in Musashi Province as part of the Conquest of Odawara, under the command of Ishida Mitsunari.  He was recognized for his contributions during the campaign by receiving the titles of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), and Governor of Bingo.  His fief was increased by 20,000 koku in the town of Imajō in Echizen, placing him, based on his landholdings, on a par with a daimyō.  However, serving in the role of a yoriki, or security officer, for Kobayakawa Hideyaki and Horio Yoshiharu, Naoyasu did not exercise the independent authority of a daimyō.  Naoyasu built his residence in Imajō and governed the local area, including the construction of lodging along the Hokkoku Road that was being developed according to plans sponsored by Yūki Hideyasu.

In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Naoyasu first served in the Western Army under Ōtani Yoshitsugu.  However, following the lead of Kobayakawa Hideaki, Naoyasu joined Wakizaka Yasuharu, Kutsuki Mototsuna, and Ogawa Suketada to switch sides to the Eastern Army and destroy the division led by Yoshitsugu.  Owing to his failure to make the betrayal known in advance to the leaders of the Eastern Army, following the battle, Tokugawa Ieyasu refused to recognize his contributions and seized his territory.   Moreover, Naoyasu may not have initially participated in the battle.  Thereafter, he resided in Kyōto, became a retainer of Maeda Toshinaga, and headed to Kaga Province.  In Kaga, Naoyasu served as the chamberlain of Mattō Castle with a fief of 7,000 koku.  In 1603, Naoyasu moved upon orders of Toshinaga to the residence on the grounds below the Tōgaku Temple that was built by his ancestor, Akaza Kageaki.  In 1606, Naoyasu was swept away in the muddy current and drowned while attempting to cross on horseback the Daimon River in Etchū Province.