Lifespan: 11/1 of Tenbun 19 (1550) to 1/22 of Keichō 17 (1612)
Title: Governor of Sado
Clan: Matsui (descended from the Seiwa-Genji)
Bakufu: Muromachi, Edo
Lord: Ashikaga Yoshiteru → Ashikaga Yoshiaki → Oda Nobunaga → Hosokawa Fujitaka → Hosokawa Tadaoki
Domain: Chief retainer of the Buzen-Nakatsu domain → Chief retainer of the Buzen-Kokura domain
Father: Matsui Masayuki
Mother: Daughter of Arakawa Suminobu
Siblings: Katsuyuki, sister (wife of Tsunoda Fujihide), sister (wife of Hosokawa Terutsune), Yasuyuki, sister (wife of Yoshida Jōshō)
Wife: Daughter of Numata Mitsunaga
Children: Okiyuki, Okinaga, daughter (wife of Yoshida Jōchin), daughter (wife of Nagaoka Shigemasa)
Adopted Children: Mitsuyuki
Matsui Yasuyuki served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.
In 1550, Yasuyuki was born as the second son of Matsui Masayuki, a retainer of the Muromachi bakufu, at Matsui Castle in the environs of Kyōto.
Initially, Yasuyuki served Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the thirteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu. After his lord, Yoshiteru, and his older brother, Matsui Katsuyuki, were killed by the Miyoshi Group of Three in the Eiroku Incident, Yasuyuki operated together with Hosokawa Fujitaka (a retainer of the bakufu later known as Hosokawa Yūsai), later serving as a retainer of Oda Nobunaga.
In 1581, when Hashiba Hideyoshi, a senior retainer of the Oda clan later known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, launched an assault against Tottori Castle, Yasuyuki led naval forces in the battle. In addition to provisioning outlying castles aligned with Hideyoshi, his forces repelled the Mōri Navy while they attempted to transport military supplies to Tottori Castle. He killed Kanoashi Mototada, a retainer of the Mōri clan. With this momentum, his forces attacked Tomari Castle (also known as Kawaguchi Castle) in Hōki Province. He was recognized by Nobunaga for his contributions.
Later, Fujitaka became the lord of Tango Province while Yasuyuki was assigned to Tango-Matsukura Castle. Around this time, Yasuyuki became a retainer of the Hosokawa clan but was a retainer of Fujitaka from the onset.
On 6/2 of Tenshō 10 (1582), Nobunaga died in a coup d’état known as the Honnō Temple Incident. Following this event, after Fujitaka entered the priesthood, Yasuyuki served his son, Matsui Tadaoki. After Tadaoki obeyed Hideyoshi, Yasuyuki served in the Toyama Campaign, the Conquest of Odawara, and the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign on behalf of the Toyotomi. In particular, in the Toyama Campaign, he was active leading the naval forces.
After his lord, Tadaoki, was suspected by Hideyoshi of complicity in a rebellion by Toyotomi Hidetsugu (the kanpaku, or Chief Advisor to the Emperor), Yasuyuki made every effort for the return of loans from Hidetsugu and to respond to demands to tender Tadaoki’s daughter, Ochō, who was married to a relative of Hidetsugu to resolve matters relating to the incident. Out of appreciation for Yasuyuki’s efforts, Tadaoki offered his daughter, Koho (age eleven) as the wife of Yasuyuki’s second son, Shintarō (later known as Matsui Okinaga).
On another occasion, to save Tadaoki from precarious circumstances after he was suspected by Tokugawa Ieyasu of plotting a rebellion, Yasuyuki presented Ieyasu with a special sushi from Kumihama in Tango known as konoshiro gizzard shad, thereby making amends on behalf of Tadaoki. A thank you letter for this present is kept at the Nyoi Temple in the city of Kyōtango in Kyōto-fu.
In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Yasuyuki joined Tadaoki to serve in the Eastern Army. At the time of the main battle, Yasuyuki served along with a bushi named Ariyoshi Tatsuyuki (the chamberlain of Kitsuki Castle in Bungo Province in northern Kyūshū) located in detached territory governed by Tadaoki. Despite receiving orders from Tadaoki to return to Tango, Yasuyuki was not in circumstances permitting his return so he remained in Kitsuki. After blunting an attack from Ōtomo Yoshimune, he converged with Kuroda Josui who came with reinforcements, and prevailed at the Battle of Ishigakibaru. Owing to these contributions, after the battle, he was awarded a fief of 26,000 koku in addition to responsibility for 17,000 koku in the Hayami District of Bungo under the direct jurisdiction of the Edo bakufu.
In 1612, Yasuyuki died at the age of sixty-three. His eldest son and designated heir, Matsui Okiyuki, was killed in action while on deployment in Korea, so his second son, Matsui Okinaga, inherited the headship of the clan.
Yasuyuki was known to have deep knowledge of the tea ceremony. His descendants served as hereditary retainers of the Tokugawa family. Serving as the head of the chief retainers, the Matsui managed 28,000 koku in the Kumamoto domain. As an exception to the rule of one castle per province promulgated by the Edo bakufu in 1615, the family was enfeoffed with Higo-Yatsushiro Castle for generations.