Fujisawa Yorichika

藤沢頼親

Fujisawa Clan

Bushō

Shinano Province

Lifespan: 15xx to Tenshō 10 (1582)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Fujisawa

Lord:  Kai-Takeda clan (Anayama Nobutomo) → Miyoshi Nagayoshi

Father:  Fujisawa Takachika

Siblings:  Yorichika, Gonjirō

Wife:  Daughter of Ogasawara Nagamune (younger sister of Ogasawara Nagatoki)

Children:  Yorihiro

Fujisawa Yorichika served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  Yorichika was the lord of Fukuyo Castle in Shinano Province.  The Fujisawa were a branch of the Miwa-Suwa clan of the head family of the Grand Shrine of Suwa.  Yorichika was the son of Fujisawa Takachika.  Fukuyo Castle was also known as Minowa Castle, so Yorichika was also known as Minowa Jirō.

During the Tenbun era (1532 to 1555), invasions by the Kai-Takeda clan into Shinano Province intensified.  In 1541, Takeda Harunobu (Shingen) became head of the clan.  In the summer of 1542, Shingen joined Takatō Yoritsugu of Nara (from a branch of the Suwa clan) to invade the Suwa District in Shinano.  At the Battle of Kuwabara Castle, the Suwa proposed a settlement, whereupon Suwa Yorishige (a sengoku daimyō and the nineteenth head of the main branch of the Suwa clan) was taken away to Kōfu and compelled to take his own life while the Takeda took control of the Suwa territory.

The Takeda and Yoritsugu disagreed over governance of the Suwa territory, whereupon Yoritsugu summoned Yorichika of Fukuyo Castle and a group known as the haruchikashū from the Kamiina District to oppose the Takeda.  Meanwhile, the Takeda backed Suwa Yorishige’s orphan, Toraō, and summoned families in Suwa to their side.  On 9/25 of 1542, at the Battle of Miyagawa, the Takeda defeated Yoritsugu and killed his younger brother, Takatō Yorimune.  On 9/26, Komai Kōhakusai, a senior retainer of Shingen, invaded Kamiina and surrounded Fukuyo Castle.  On 9/28, Yorichika surrendered to the Takeda and went to Kōfu to serve the Takeda.

In 1545, Yorichika was lured away from the Takeda by Yoritsugu, and was then attacked again Fukuyo Castle.  Yorichika joined with his brother-in-law, Ogasawara Nagatoki (the military governor of Shinano from the Chikuma District) to resist, but, in the fourth month of 1546, Takeda forces who attacked Takatō Castle at the Battle of Takatō proceeded to surround Fukuyo Castle.  On 6/10, a settlement was reached.  Upon the counsel of members of the Takeda including Anayama Nobutomo, Oyamada Nobuari, and Katsunuma Nobutomo, Yorichika tendered his younger brother, Gonjirō, as a hostage and surrendered.  Yorichika submitted a written pledge at the Ikushima-Tarushima Shrine and was assigned to the command of Anayama Nobutomo.  Thereafter, his relationship with the Takeda was through the Anayama clan.  In 1549, Yorichika took advantage of the loss by the Takeda at the Battle of Uedahara to join with the Ogasawara in opposition to the Takeda, but, through the offices of Nobutomo, surrendered again to the Takeda.

In 1555, Yorichika traveled with members of the Ogasawara to Kyōto to serve Miyoshi Nagayoshi.  After the demise of Nagayoshi, Yorichika returned to his former territory in Minowa to build and reside in Tanaka Castle.  In 1582, after the successive deaths of Takeda Katsuyori and Oda Nobunaga, Yorichika aimed to affiliate with Hōjō Ujinao in the Tenshō-Jingo Conflict, but was attacked by Hoshina Masanao (who served Tokugawa Ieyasu) and killed himself, along with his son, Fujisawa Yorihiro, in Tanaka Castle.