Bekki Akikata

戸次鑑方

Bekki Clan

Bushō

Bungo Province

Lifespan:  15xx to Eiroku 10 (1567)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Bekki

Lord:  Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin)

Father: Bekki Chikaie

Adoptive Mother:  Yōkō-in (mother of Bekki Akitsura – later named Tachibana Dōsetsu)

Siblings:  Bekki Akitsura (half brother, later known as Tachibana Dōsetsu), Bekki Chikayuki (younger half brother of different mother)

Children:  Bekki Shigetsura

Bekki Akikata served as a bushō and retainer of the Ōtomo clan, daimyō of Bungo Province in the northeast portion of Kyūshū.  The Bekki were branch of the Ōtomo clan.

Akikata was the third son of Bekki Chikaie, a retainer of the Ōtomo.  According to another source, he may have been the younger brother of Tawara Chikakata.  Akikata received one of the characters in his name from Ōtomo Yoshiaki, a sengoku daimyō and twentieth head of the Ōtomo clan.  His half brother (having a different mother), Bekki Akitsura, also received one of the characters in his name from Yoshiaki.  Akikata joined with Akitsura in numerous battles. Akitsura later renamed as Tachibana Dōsetsu and became the sengoku daimyō of Bungo Province.

In 1550, Akikata received commendations from Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin) for his contributions in the Nikai kuzure no hen, or Collapse on the Second Floor, an internal conflict within the Ōtomo clan.  In 1556, Akikata joined with Tawara Chikahiro in an attack against an ally of the Mōri named Sugi Shigeyoshi, a deputy military governor, and lord of Matsuyama Castle in Buzen Province.  In 1567, Akikata deployed with his older brother to Chikuzen Province with the aim of defeating Akizuki Tanezane who had joined with the Mōri in an effort to expand their territory.  After the Akizuki army clashed violently with the Ōtomo, Akikata withdrew owing to a disadvantageous situation.  On the night of the withdrawal, Tanezane exploited a lack of vigilance by the Ōtomo to launch a nighttime attack, known as the Battle of Yasumimatsu.  In the ensuing chaos, Akikata, along with other family members including Bekki Chikashige and Bekki Chikamune, were killed by Tanezane.  Certain historical accounts regard this clash as a victory for the Ōtomo, but owing to the death or injury of many members of the Bekki clan, it may, in fact, have been a loss for the Ōtomo.  After this battle, Tanezane continued to pursue the Ōtomo to Chikugo Province, killing more along the way.  Yoshishige later sent a message of condolences to Akitsura on account of the losses.