Akashi Norizane

明石則実

Akashi Clan

Daimyō

Harima Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to Bunroku 4 (1595)

Rank:  bushō; daimyō

Title:  Captain of the Imperial Guards of the Left Division

Clan:  Akashi

Lord:  Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Father:  Akashi Sadayuki (?)

Akashi Norizane served as a bushō and daimyō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.

Norizane and his cousin, Kuroda Yoshitaka, associated with Toyotomi Hideyoshi after Hideyoshi became the lord of Himeji Castle in Harima Province.

In the fourth month of 1583, Norizane participated in the Battle of Shizugatake.  In the third month of 1585, during the Conquest of Kishū, Norizane contributed to an attack against Ōta Castle in Kii Province and received a fief of 10,000 koku.  Next, he joined in the Conquest of Shikoku.  In 1586, Norizane succeeded Bitō Tomonobu as the lord of Toyooka Castle in the Kinosaki District of Tajima Province with a territory of 22,000 koku.  Akashi was also conferred with the title of Captain of the Imperial Guards of the Left Division.  Meanwhile, Tomonobu was assigned to Utazu in Sanuki Province with a territory of 50,000 koku.

In 1587, at the Kyūshū Pacification, Norizane led a battalion of 800 men.  In 1588, Norizane accompanied Hideyoshi (after Hideyoshi was conferred the title of kanpaku, or Chief Advisor to the Emperor), in an ox carriage during an imperial visit to the Jurakutei, a walled palace compound constructed by Hideyoshi in 1586 that was comprised of administrative quarters and residences in Kyōto.  The compound was destroyed beginning in the eighth month of 1595 following an incident between Hideyoshi and his adopted son, Hidetsugu, who had assumed residence there in the twelfth month of 1591.

Norizane participated in the Conquest of Odawara as a member of Hideyoshi’s cavalry.

In 1592, Norizane was assigned to lead a battalion of 800 soldiers in the Bunroku Expedition, crossing the Sea of Japan to the Korean Peninsula.  Norizane was in charge of protecting key routes in Gyeongsang, one of the eight provinces in Korea located in the southeast portion of the peninsula, headed from Daegu and other locations in Pusan to Seoul.  However, after the Bunroku Expedition, Norizane was ordered to commit seppuku for being complicit in the Hidetsugu Incident.