Hanabusa Motohide


Hanabusa Clan


Bizen Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 18 (1549) to 2/11 of Genna 3 (1617)

Rank:  bushō; lord of Kōjinyama Castle

Lord:  Ukita Naoie → Ukita Hideie → Tokugawa Ieyasu

Clan:  Hanabusa

Father:  Hanabusa Motokatsu

Siblings:  Motozumi, Motohide, Katsumoto

Wife:  Daughter of Nukata Mikawa-no-kami

Children:  Motonori, Sakakibara Motonao

Hanabusa Motohide served as a bushō from the Sengoku to earlier Edo periods.  Motohide was a retainer of the Ukita clan of Bizen Province and served as lord of Kōjinyama Castle in Mimasaka Province.

Motohide was born in 1549 as the son of Hanabusa Motokatsu, a sengoku daimyō and retainer of the Ukita clan of Bizen.  The Hanabusa clan may have descended from the Sewa-Genji clan but it is not certain.  A courageous warrior skilled in the military arts, he deployed for numerous battles for the Ukita beginning in 1567 as the commander of a troop of foot soldiers.  In 1569, Motohide clashed with Hoida Motokiyo, the fourth son of Mōri Motonari, in respect to Bitchū Province.  In 1570, he built Kōjinyama Castle and was assigned governance of Mimasaka Province.  From 1577, Motohide engaged in battle against the Akamatsu and Uragami clans.  In 1579, upon orders from his lord, Ukita Naoie, he attacked and decimated Gotō Katsumoto at Mitsuboshi Castle in Mimasaka.

Thereafter, the Ukita clan became subordinate to the allied forces of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  In 1590, Motohide participated in the Odawara seibatsu, or the Conquest of Odawara, on behalf of the Toyotomi clan.  Motohide took no concern of what others thought and admonished those around him.   During the Conquest of Odawara, he indulged in artistic pursuits including drama and performances at Ishigaki Castle near Odawara in Sagami Province, which served as a base for the campaign.  After failing to engage in any attacks on an enemy castle, he was reproached by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the castle entrance and told to dismount from his horse.  Motohide responded without hesitation that there is no need to dismount for a cowardly general.  Just as he was about to be slayed, his lord, Ukita Hideie, intervened and instead he gained favor with Hideyoshi, even receiving an increase in his stipend.  In 1595, Motohide admonished Hideie for depending upon Osafune Tsunanao for which he as almost killed.  On this occasion, he was saved owing to mediation by Hideyoshi, and through the offices of Tokugawa Ieyasu, was assigned to Satake Yoshinobu in Hitachi Province.  This incident may have been an indirect cause for the Ukita sōdō, or Ukita Disturbance, that occurred in 1599.

In 1600, Motohide participated in the Battle of Sekigahara for the eastern army under Tokugawa Ieyasu.  He was awarded a fief of 8,000 koku and designated the elevated status of a hatamoto-yoriai, or senior advisor of the Edo bakufu.  In 1614, an aged Motohide joined in the Siege of Ōsaka, giving orders while riding about in a palanquin.  Each year, he sent twenty sacks of rice to Ukita Hideie, his former lord, after Hideie was exiled to Hachijōjima, an island off of the Izu Peninsula.  Motohide died in 1617, and was succeeded by his son, Sakakibara Motonao, who adopted the Sakakibara surname and served for the Edo bakufu as a commissioner in Nagasaki.