Higashine Yorikage


Higashine Clan


Dewa Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 5/10 of Tenshō 9 (1581)

Other Names:  Jirō-saburō, Sakamoto Yorikage

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Tendō → Higashine

Father:  Tendō Yorisada

Adoptive Father:  Higashine 頼息

Mother:  Daughter of Kokubun Moriuji

Siblings:  Sister (consort of Mogami Yoshiaki), Tendō Yorizumi, Yorikage, sister (formal wife of Akiu Naomori)

Higashine Yorikage served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a member of the Tendō clan.  Yorikage was the seventh head of the Higashine clan and the lord of Higashine Castle in Dewa Province.

Yorikage was born as the second son of Tendō Yorisada.  He became the adopted heir of Higashine 頼息 and adopted the surname of Higashine.

Nobesawa Mitsunobe, the most influential retainer of Yorikage’s older brother, Tendō Yorizumi, was lured by Mogami Yoshiaki to separate from the Tendō clan.  Thereafter, powerful kokujin, or provincial landowners, known as the Eight Shields of the Tendō (or, later, the Eight Shields of the Mogami) switched their allegiance from the Tendō to the Mogami.  Yorikage, however, did not follow them and, instead, endeavored to resist the Mogami.  On 5/10 of Tenshō 9 (1581), Yorikage was betrayed by a retainer named Satomi Genemon and, together with several tens of his subordinates, met an untimely death.


Surviving descendants settled in a location which is currently near the Sakamoto Shrine in the village of Sawauchi in the Waga District of Iwate Prefecture.  Thereafter, the family moved near Higashine in Rokugo in the Senboku District of Akita Prefecture.  The family adopted the surname of Sakamoto, the original surname of the first head of the Higashine clan, Higashine Yoritaka.  Among the descendants, Sakamoto Riichirō became a pioneer of the Senboku District of Akita by serving as a representative in the House of Peers in the early twentieth century.