Toki Yoriaki


Toki Clan

Shugo Daimyō

Mino Province

Lifespan:  Bunki 2 (1502) to 12/4 of Tenshō 10 (1582)

Rank:  shugo daimyō

Title:  Master of the Eastern Capital Office, Governor of Mino

Clan:  Toki

Bakufu:  Muromachi – Military Governor of Mino

Father:  Toki Masafusa

Siblings:  Yoritake, Yoriaki, Haruyori, Umedo Mitsutaka, Ibi Mitsuchika, Washizu Mitsuatsu, Yorimitsu, Yoritaka, Mitsutake, sister (formal wife of Kagami Morimasa and mother of Kagami Motomine and Kagami Masayasu)

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Rokkaku Sadayori, [Consort] Miyoshino

Children:  Yorihide, Yoritsugu, Yorimune, Yorimoto

Toki Yoriaki served as a shugo daimyō in Mino Province during the Sengoku period.  Yoriaki was the head of the Toki clan and came into conflict with his older brother, Toki Yoritake, and Yoritake’s son and heir, Toki Yorizumi.  After a period of turmoil in Mino and the surrounding provinces, Yoriaki became the head of the clan and the shugo, or military governor, of Mino.  Later, however, he was ousted by a senior retainer named Saitō Dōsan.

In 1502, Yoriaki was born as the second son of Toki Masafusa.  Following the death in battle of Saitō Toshikuni, the Saitō family serving as senior retainers of the Toki were in decline while the Nagai family (an illegitimate branch of the Saitō) were rising in prominence, causing instability within the Saitō family.

In addition to the problems besetting the Saitō, dark clouds hung over the Toki family as well.  Yoriaki’s father, Masafusa, cherished Yoriaki (his second son) and contemplated removing Yoritake (his first son) from the line of succession.  Nagai Nagahiro (the vice-deputy military governor) and Nagai Shinzaemon-no-jō (the father of Saitō Dōsan) were caught-up in Yoriaki’s faction.  Meanwhile, Yoritake received support from Saitō Toshinaga, resulting in rival factions.  This family conflict led, in 1517, to armed clashes in which Yoritake’s faction prevailed.

In 1518, when the two sides engaged in battle again, Yoriaki received support from Saitō Hikoshirō, the former deputy military governor, enabling Yoriaki to overcome Yoritake, banish him to Echizen Province and sweep-up the opposition forces.  In 1519, Yoritake’s faction, with backing from Asakura Takakage, invaded Mino and defeated Yoriaki.  After Yoritake took away from Yoriaki the position of military governor of Mino, the conflict was temporarily settled.

Nevertheless, seeking to recapture his political authority, in 1525, Yoriaki raised arms again and occupied the seat of the military governor of Mino known as the Fukumitsu House.  In 1530, he expelled his older brother, Yoritake, to Echizen again and adopted the title of Nōshū taishu, or governor-general of Mino.  In substance, this meant he reclaimed his position as the military governor of the province.  Thereafter, individuals backing him including Saitō Nagahiro and Nagai Shinzaemon-no-jō, died in succession.  In an effort to maintain his power, Yoriaki then relied upon Shinzaemon-no-jō’s son, Nagai Norihide (later known as Saitō Dōsan).

In the sixth month of 1535, Yoriaki held a Buddhist ceremony marking the sixteenth anniversary of the death of his father and declared the legitimacy of his governance in the province.  Yoritake’s successor, Yorizumi (Yoriaki’s nephew), garnered support from the Asakura clan (maternal relatives of the Toki) and the Rokkaku clan.  This intensified the conflict with Yoriaki, spreading battles across the province.  In 7/1 of Tenbun 4 (1535), the new seat of the military governor known as the Edahiro House was swept away in floods by the Nagara River so Yoriaki moved to the foothills of Mount Inaba.  On 6/22 of the same year, through the intermediation of Ashikaga Yoshiharu (the twelfth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu), Yoriaki was invested with the title of shuri-no-daibu, or Master of the Office of Palace Repairs.  In 1536, he was appointed, with permission of the Imperial Court, as Governor of Mino, thereby formally assuming the seat of military governor of the province.

Around this time, Yoriaki established a political alliance with his former foes, the Rokkaku, by marrying the daughter of Rokkaku Sadayori.  Yoriaki succeeded in ending the conflict in Mino and, in 1539, he reconciled with Yorizumi.  In 1541, Saitō Dōsan, a senior retainer, poisoned to death Yoriaki’s younger brother, Toki Yorimitsu.  Thereafter, Yoriaki’s relationship with Dōsan soured and gradually headed toward conflict.

In 1542, owing to an attack by Dōsan, Ōga Castle held by Yorizumi was toppled and he moved to Sagiyama Castle.  That same year, Yoriaki and his son, Yoritsugu, were expelled by Dōsan to Owari Province.

Yoriaki, backed by Oda Nobuhide of Owari, and Yorizumi, protected by Asakura Takakage of Echizen, combined forces in an effort to reclaim the position of military governor of Mino.  In 1546, however, Dōsan and Takakage settled on the condition that Yoriaki retire from his position as the military governor so Yoriaki handed-over the position to Yorizumi.  In 1548, Nobuhide and Dōsan reconciled so Yoriaki lost his patron.  Around 1552, Yoriaki was expelled again by Dōsan.  Owing to the connection of his wife as the daughter of Rokkaku Sadayori, Yoriaki lodged with the Rokkaku of Ōmi Province and then with his younger brother, Toki Haruyori, in Hitachi Province.  At this time, he transferred the family genealogy and heirlooms to Haruyori.  Next, he turned to Toki Tameyori, a family member based on Kazusa Province.  Later, he sought refuge with the Takeda clan of Kai Province.  He then fell ill and lost his eyesight.

During the Conquest of Kōshū by Oda Nobunaga (Nobuhide’s son) who had become a major power, Yoriaki was located under the protection of the Takeda clan.  Through the offices of Inaba Yoshimichi (Ittetsu), a former retainer of Yoriaki then under the command of Oda Nobunaga, Yoriaki was allowed to return to Mino.  Approximately one-half year later, on 12/4 of Tenshō 10 (1582), Yoriaki died.  He was eighty-one years old.


Known as a cultured individual, several paintings remain from Yoriaki.  In particular, he was skillful at painting images of hawks.  His paintings of hawks (known as “taka”) gave rise to the phrase “Toki no taka” and are highly valued works.  Other artists from the family under the names of Toki Toyokage and Toki Tōbun also skillful at painting depictions of hawks are surmised to be the same person.  Yoriaki’s grandson, Toki Yoritaka (the son of Toku Yoritsugu) was also skillful at painting these images, and later served Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Yoshinao as a member of otogishū, or close associates of their lord.

In 1528, Yoriaki transferred a beloved concubine named Miyoshino to serve as a consort of Saitō Dōsan.  In 1529, she bore Saitō Yoshitatsu, the son of Dōsan who became the lord of Inabayama Castle.  Owing to the timing of his birth and the fact that Dōsan later disowned him, there is a theory that Yoshitatsu was the natural son of Yoriaki.  This, however, is also said to have been a fabrication from the Edo period.

One of his children, Toki Daien「大圓」founded the Tōkō Temple of the Shinshū-Ōtani branch of the Jōdo-Shinshū sect in the village of Hiroishi in the Hoi District of Mikawa Province to worship his ancestors.  In 1609, he moved to the town of Kanda-Hatago and, owing to the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657, moved to Asakusa.  Toki Zenmaro, a classical poet of waka and tanka from the late nineteenth century was a descendant of Daien.