Amago Hisayuki


Amago Clan

Deputy Military Governor

Izumo Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to 1/13 of Tenbun 10 (1541)

Rank:  Deputy Military Governor

Title:  Governor of Shimotsuke

Bakufu:  Muromachi

Clan:  Amago

Lord:  Amago Tsunehisa → Amago Haruhisa

Father:  Amago Kiyosada

Siblings:  Tsunehisa, Genshirō (Bingo-no-kami), Hisayuki

Children:  Genshirō, Tsunesada (Akiyuki)

Amago Hisayuki served as a shugodai, or deputy military governor, of Izumo Province.  He was the son of Amago Kiyosada.  The Amago originated from the Sasaki clan and were a cadet family of the Kyōgyoku.

In 1531, Hisayuki’s eldest son died at an early age.  After the death of Hisayuki in battle, his second son, Akiyuki, became heir to the clan.

In 1540, confrontations with the Ōuchi clan intensified, leading Amago Akihisa, head of the clan, to form an alliance with the Ōtomo from Bingo Province to increase the pressure on Ōuchi Yoshitaka.  Mōri Motonari, a powerful kokujin in Aki Province, betrayed the Amago in favor of the Ōuchi, posing Akihisa with an unexpected challenge. Following an appeal from the Takeda of Aki, Hisayuki joined an expedition against the Mōri which led to the Siege of Yoshida-Kōriyama from 1540 to 1541.

During the early stages of the conflict, the Amago held an advantage over the Ōuchi, but the majority of the forces were not under their direct command, causing confusion in directing operations.  As the battle persisted, mounting losses compounded difficulties in securing the supply lines.  In the first month of 1541, at the Battle of Miyazaki-Nagao, Sue Harukata, an ally of the Ōuchi, launched a surprise attack against the main base of the Amago during which Hisayuki was killed.  Hisayuki was succeeded by his second son, Jirō-shirō Akiyuki.

Origin of the name “Coward from Yashū (Shimotsuke)”

Following the retirement of Amago Tsunehisa, his grandson, Amago Akihisa (later known as Haruhisa) succeeded him as head of the Amago clan.  Akihisa became upset after Mōri Motonari abandoned the Amago in favor of the Ōuchi clan.  In the eleventh month of 1539, he decided to launch an expedition the following year to the main base of the Mōri clan at Yoshida-Kōriyama Castle in Aki Province.  Hisayuki, along with Tsunehisa, opposed the reckless plan, but Akihisa refused to heed their advice, and ridiculed Hisayuki as the Coward from Yashū (based on Hisayuki’s title of Governor of Shimotsuke with Yashū being another name for Shimotsuke Province).

Nevertheless, Hisayuki reluctantly participated in the first expedition but, after the route was blocked by Shishido Motoyoshi, he withdrew.  Thereafter, Hisayuki joined a second expedition during the fall and winter months during which the forces laid siege to Yoshida-Kōriyama Castle.  However, the situation on the battlefield was unfavorable for the Amago, with reinforcements from the Ōuchi arriving in support of the Mōri, making the situation dire for the Amago.

At the battle that unfolded on 1/13, the Ōuchi forces made a fierce attack near Akihisa’s position, whereupon Hisayuki led 500 soldiers on a charge into the enemy forces and, after killing several twenty or more men, was struck in the head by an arrow launched by a retainer of the Mōri named Nakahara Zenzaemon, fell from his horse, and died valiantly in battle.

The foregoing account is according to a military chronicle.  However, it may be considered a dramatization by the Mōri.