Indō Yoriyasu


Indō Clan


Higo Province

Lifespan:   Daiei 1 (1521) to 11/7 of Keichō 11 (1606)

Other Names:  Kumatokumaru (childhood), Denshin (monk’s name), Kyūsu (monk’s name), 軍七 (common)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Mimasaka

Clan:  Indō

Lord:  Sagara Yoshihi → Sagara Tadafusa → Sagara Yorifusa

Father:  Indō Shigeyasu

Wife:  Myōkeini

Children:  Yorimori, daughter

Indō Yoriyasu served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Sagara clan, a sengoku daimyō family based in southern Higo Province

In 1521, Yoriyasu was born as the son of Indō Shigeyasu, a retainer of the Sagara clan.

In 1524, the Indō family joined in a rebelllion by Sagara Nagasada against Sagara Nagamasa, the fourteenth head of the Sagara.  As a consequence of this action, in 1530, a majority of the family members including Indō Nagahiro were murdered.  At the time, Kumatokumaru (Yoriyasu’s childhood name) was only ten years old so his life was spared by entering into the priesthood.  He adopted the monk’s name of Denshin and, in 1545, joined with Sagara Haruyori to seek revenge by fighting against the main branch of the Sagara clan, but fled in defeat and, later, went to various locations for religious training.

In 1556, he was permitted to return to service and, as a retainer of the Sagara, served as the lord of the manor for Kamimura.  In 1559, he served meritoriously at the Battle of Usonobaru, and, in the third month of 1577, he replaced Fukami Shimōsa-no-kami Yorinobe as the lord of Minamata Castle in Higo.  In 1581, he defended the castle against an assault by the Shimazu army.  At this time, Yoriyasu was said to have exchanged renga, or linked-verse poetry, with Niiro Tadamoto, a commander in the opposing army.  The messages were attached to arrows shot in the direction of one another.

Thereafter, the Sagara surrendered to the Shimazu and after his lord, Sagara Yoshihi, was killed in action at the Battle of Hibiki-no-hara, Yoriyasu gathered laborers from Toyofuku and had them build a mausoleum in the location where soldiers were killed in battle.  After the death of Yoshihi, Yoriyasu supported Sagara Yorifusa and strove for the survival of the main branch of the family.  Together with Yorifusa, Yoriyasu participated in the invasion of Bungo Province by the Shimazu.  When the Sagara, under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, regained their independence, Yoriyasu, and his lineal heir, Indō Yorimori, served as magistrates for Yorifusa.  When Yorifusa crossed the sea to Korea for the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign, Yoriyasu remained behind to guard their territory.  During the Umekita Uprising in the sixth month of 1592, Yoriyasu convinced retainers who sympathized with the ringleader of the uprising, Umekita Kunikane, the need to obey Hideyoshi as a means to protect the family and dispatched troops to suppress the uprising.

In 1606, Yoriyasu died of illness and was buried on Mount Tomi-ga-o.  A total of seven retainers martyred themselves.  Almost all of them switched sides from the camp of Niiro Tadamoto during the assault on Minamata Castle and, after changing their names, became retainers of Yoriyasu.