Five Brothers of the Yokota

横田五兄弟

Yokota Clan

Shimotsuke Province

The Five Brothers of the Yokota refers to five sons of Yokota Tsunamura, a bushi and member of the Utsunomiya clan of Shimotsuke Province during the Sengoku period.

Tsunamura had six sons – Kōyui, Yuinori, Yoinori, Yoshishige, Shigemichi, and Tsunahisa.

On 9/17 of Tenbun 18 (1549), five of his sons fought and died in the Battle of Kitsuregawa-Sōtomezaka.  This conflict was waged between the Nasu clan led by Nasu Takasuke and the Utsunomiya clan led by Utsunomiya Hisatsuna.  The Nasu had 300 troops compared to between 2,000 and 2,500 Utsunomiya forces.  An ambush set by the Nasu wreaked havoc on the Utsunomiya army, during which Michikawa Tadachika, a retainer of the Kasama clan who were members of the Utsunomiya family, led a unit of soldiers to cut-through the enemy, but he died.  Meanwhile, five of the Yokota brothers commanded a group of 200 soldiers to stop the Nasu army, fighting valiantly.  These forces successfully pushed back the Nasu troops but all five of the Yokota brothers were killed in action.  Later, when Utsunomiya Hisatsuna came to the front lines, he was struck by an arrow shot by a retainer of the Nasu named Ayugase Sanemitsu and died on the battlefield.  The battle resulted in a major defeat for the Utsunomiya and a devastating loss for the Yokota clan.

Thereafter, the Yokota clan was inherited by Yokota Tsunahisa, the youngest and only surviving son of Tsunamura.