Araki Ujitsuna

荒木氏綱

Araki Clan

Bushō

Tanba Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 15xx

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Yamashiro

Clan:  Araki

Lord:  Hatano Hideharu

Father:  Araki Ujiyoshi

Children:  Ujikiyo, Takakane

Araki Ujitsuna served as a bushō and retainer of the influential Hatano clan of Tanba Province during the Sengoku and early Azuchi-Momoyama period.  Ujitsuna was lord of Araki Castle in the Taki District of Tanba.

Ujitsuna was known as a fearsome warrior.  When Akechi Mitsuhide, a senior retainer of Oda Nobunaga, invaded Tanba, he helped repel the Oda army on multiple occasions.  In 1579, Hatano Hideharu, the head of the clan, was captured by the Oda army, taken to Nobunaga’s base in Azuchi Castle, and executed nearby.  Thereafter, Ujitsuna surrendered to Mitsuhide.  Recognizing Ujitsuna’s capabilities as a bushō, Mitsuhide offered to have him serve in his army, but Ujitsuna declined on the basis he was ill of health, and had his eldest son, Araki Ujikiyo, serve instead. 

Regarding his demise, there is a theory that Ujitsuna and his son died in battle in Seta while serving on behalf of the Akechi during the coup d’état against Nobunaga at the Honnō Temple on 6/2 of 1582.  Based on another theory, through the offices of Akechi Hidemitsu, Ujitsuna took refuge in Sakamoto Castle but escaped.  It is also possible that he survived beyond 1582, but the circumstances and timing of his death are uncertain. 

In the Edo period, Ujitsuna’s great-great grandchild, the eldest son of Araki Takamura, a senior retainer of the Miharu domain of Mutsu Province, became the adopted son of Akita Terusue, succeeding Terusue as the fourth head of the Miharu domain and assuming the name of Akita Yorisue.