Lifespan: Unknown to 5/4 of Genki 3 (1572)
Title: Governor of Kaga (honorary)
Lord: Itō Yoshisuke → Itō Yoshimasu
Father: Itō Suketake
Siblings: Brother, Sukeyasu, Sukeaki (Uemon)
Children: Suketsugu (Genshirō)
Adopted Children: Sukeaki
Itō Sukeyasu served as a bushō during the Sengoku period. He was a retainer of the Hyūga-Itō clan.
In 1523, Itō Sukemitsu became the ninth head of the Itō clan in Hyūga Province. Owing to the sudden death of his father, Itō Tadasuke, Sukemitsu inherited the headship at a young age so his maternal grandfather and chief retainer of the clan, Fukunaga Suekaki, and his maternal relatives in the Tosu-Fukunaga clan seized the governing powers of the Hyūga-Itō clan.
In 1533, after the early death from illness of Sukemitsu, his uncle, Itō Suketake revolted, forcing Sukeaki and his three sons to kill themselves and then he occupied Tonokōri Castle. This is known as the Bushū Revolt. In the background, Sukeaki had formerly leveraged the authority of Sukemitsu in an effort to oust and eliminate a significant number of opposition elements. Thereafter, Suketake was defeated by the forces of Aratake Sansei backed by Sukemitsu’s younger brother, Itō Sukekiyo (Yoshisuke) and took his own life. Suketake’s children appear to have been pardoned while Sukeyasu entered into service as a bushō under Yoshisuke. He participated in an attack in Obi, the Battle of Ide-no-o in 1549, and the Battle of Mimida in 1567.
In 1568, with the aim of capturing the Ebino area of Masaki-in for the Itō clan, Sukeyasu deployed as the commander-in-chief to attack Ebino Castle while Shimazu Yoshihiro was absent for an assault against the Hishikari clan. Yoshihiro, however, learned of the plan so remained in a stand-off against the Itō. He then built Okehira Castle and left Sadowara Tōtōmi-no-kami as the chamberlain but could not achieve any result and, after the sudden demise of his lord, Itō Yoshimasu, withdrew. Around 1571, appeared to have defended Uchikoba Castle on Mount Mitsu.
In 1572, Sukeyasu deployed with 3,000 soldiers to attack Kakutō Castle located ahead of Ebino Castle. At the beginning of the battle, a superior number of forces gave the Itö army the upper hand, but, as the exhausted forces pulled back to Kizakibaru, they incurred a pincer attack by a small number of Shimazu forces and then retreated. This is known as the Battle of Kizakibaru. During the retreat, Sukeyasu served in the rear guard of the Itō forces but, after learning that his son, Itō Suketsugu (Genshirō), had been killed in action, he returned to the battlefield to seek revenge against Shimazu Yoshihiro as the commander of the enemy forces. He was then shot on his side by Nikaidō Shirōzaemon (a retainer of Murao Shigeari) and died in battle.
The descendants of Sukeyasu’s younger brother, Itō Sukeaki (who died at the Battle of Kizakibaru), became retainers of the Satsuma domain. Historical records of the Satsuma domain include a genealogy of the descendants of Uemon of the family of Itō Saizō. An individual named Jizaemon (the son of Uemon), after the fall of Sadowara, became a rōnin, or wandering samurai, later serving Ijūin Tadazane and Shimazu Yoshihiro. Jizaemon’s son, Senemon, served as a guard for Shimazu Mitsuhisa, and Itō Saizō was his descendant at the end of the Edo period. In later works, Senemon is identified as Itō Sukemasa. Other descendants include Itō Sukemaro (a navy officer and politician) and Itō Sukeyuki (a navy admiral) from the Meiji period.
In one account, there was one more Itō family in the Satsuma domain founded by Itō Suruga Suketoyo (the adopted son of Heiemon Sukeuji who was, in turn, the second son of Itō Kaga), the eldest son of Kawasaki Sukenaga, but Kaga-no-kami was said to be the son of Rokurō Sukekuni and Kaga-no-kami may have referred to Kaga-no-kami Sukeyasu but it is not certain.