Uda Yoritada


Uda Clan


Ōmi Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 9/17 of Keichō 5 (1600)

Rank:  bushō, daimyō

Title:  Governor of Shimotsuke

Clan:  Bitō → Uda

Lord:  Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Toyotomi Hidenaga → Toyotomi Hideyasu  → Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Ishida Mitsunari

Father:  Bitō Shigeyoshi

Siblings:  Bitō Shigefusa, Bitō Tomonobu (Shigenao), Aoki Kiyokado, Yoritada

Wife:  [Formal]  Uda clan

Children:  Yorishige, Yamanote-dono (formal wife of Sanada Masayuki), Kōgetsuin (formal wife of Ishida Mitsunari), daughter (formal wife of Ishikawa Yoriaki)

Uda Yoritada served as a bushō and daimyō during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.  Yoritada was the chief retainer of Toyotomi Hidenaga and a retainer of the Ishida clan.  His common name was Shimotsuke-no-kami and he adopted the surname of his wife in his latter years.  He primarily used the names of Bitō Jirosaburō and Bitō Shimotsuke-no-kami.

Yoritada is considered a younger brother of Bitō Tomonobu, in which case his father was Bitō Shigeyoshi.  His name, however, does not appear on the family genealogy, so he may have been a nephew or cousin.  In any event, he had a close familial relationship.

Bitō Shigefusa (a sibling of Shigeyoshi) served Mori Yoshinari, a senior retainer of Oda Nobunaga.  According to the authenticated biography of Nobunaga known as the Shinchō-kōki, on 9/19 of Genki 1 (1570), Shigefusa was killed along with Yoshinari at the Siege of Usayama Castle in Sakamoto in Ōmi Province.

According to one theory, the formal wife of Sanada Masayuki, Yamanote-dono, was the eldest daughter of Yoritada, but, owing to alternative theories, this is uncertain.

Bitō Tomonobu served Hashiba Hideyoshi and, as a member of an elite unit of mounted soldiers known as the kiboroshū.  When engaged in battle, these soldiers had yellow capes that would catch wind while riding to deflect arrows or other objects hurled at them.  Over time, Tomonobu gradually acquired more responsibilities while serving Hideyoshi.  Yoritada also waited upon Hideyoshi.

In one account dated 1/12 of Tenshō 5 (1577), Bitō Jirosaburō and Bitō Jinemon Tomonobu donated the same amount of 200 mon to the Hōgon Temple in Ōmi.  The name of Ishikawa Mitsumasa is also seen in reference to this donation.  This individual is believed to have been a brother or other relative of Ishikawa Yoriaki who later became Yoritada’s son-in-law.

Around 1578 or 1579, Yoritada had his daughter, Kōgetsuin, wed Ishida Mitsunari, a senior retainer of Hideyoshi.

In 1585, Yamato Province was added to the fief of Toyotomi Hidenaga.  Yoritada followed him by entering Kōriyama Castle in Yamato.  It is not certain when Yoritada began serving as a retainer to Hidenaga, but, among the band of retainers, he became a chief retainer second only to Tōdō Takatora.

In 1587, during the Subjugation of Kyūshū, Tomonobu committed errors that were met with disapproval by Hideyoshi, resulting in Tomonobu’s removal from his position.  Later, during the Conquest of Odawara, Tomonobu was slayed, after which Yoritada adopted the surname of his wife.

Although the timing is uncertain, his nephew, Bitō Yoritsugu (Tomonobu’s son), wed the fifth daughter of Sanada Masayuki, Chōshūin.

In 1595, following the death of Toyotomi Hideyasu, Yoritada returned to his role as a direct retainer of Hideyoshi whereupon he received a fief of 13,000 koku in Yamato and Kawachi provinces.

In the eighth month of 1598, during the Keichō Campaign on the Korean Peninsula, Hideyoshi made plans for an expedition in response to news that enemy forces were advancing toward Ulsan.  Hideyoshi intended to send Yoritada, along with Mōri Terumoto, Mashita Nagamori, and Tagaya Mitsutsune ahead of him, but then, on 8/18 of Keichō 3 (1598), Hideyoshi died.  After the arrival of news that the Japanese forces had triumphed at the Siege of Ulsan Castle, the plans were canceled and Yoritada remained in Fushimi.

After the death of Hideyoshi, Yoritada resided in the territory of his son-in-law, Ishida Mitsunari.  Yoritsugu became like an adopted son of Mitsunari and assumed the name of Ishida Gyōbu-shōyū.  As a title, the name means Assistant Vice Minister of Justice.

In 1600,  during the Battle of Sekigahara, Yoritada was located, along with Ishida Masatsugu (Mitsunari’s father) and Ishida Masazumi (Mitsunari’s older brother) at Mitsunari’s base at Sawayama Castle in Ōmi Province.  After the defeat of the Western Army at the main battle, on 9/17, the castle was attacked by members of the Eastern Army led by Kobayakawa Hideaki, Tanaka Yoshimasa, Ii Naomasa, Ishikawa Yasumichi, and Wakizaka Yasuharu.  The garrison put-up a stiff defense, so Ii Naomasa made a proposal that if the leaders came out of the castle and committed seppuku, the lives of the soldiers would be spared.  After the members of the Ishida family (including Yoritsugu) took their own lives, Yoritada and his son, Kawachi-no-kami, sacrificed themselves through beheading by Bitō Zenshirō, but the besieging forces did not honor the promise made by Naomasa, continuing a determined assault against the castle until it was toppled.  Zenshirō and other defenders resisted, but were slayed by sword.