Ōno Harufusa


Ōno Clan


Owari Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 16xx

Other Names:  Masaharu, Shume, Shumeshu

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Ōno

Lord:  Toyotomi Hideyori

Father:  Ōno Sadanaga

Mother:  Ōkurakyō-no-tsubone

Siblings:  Harunaga, Harufusa, Harutane, Haruzumi

Children:  Momosuke (Sōetsu), Nagai Kanbei  

Ōno Harufusa served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Toyotomi clan.  He is counted among the Ōsaka Group of Seven – key figures on the side of the Toyotomi during the Siege of Ōsaka by the Edo bakufu army.

Harufusa was born as the son of Ōno Sadanaga (Sado-no-kami).

The Ōno clan originated from the village of Ōno in the Haguri District of Owari Province.  The Ōno clan served as officials of the Iwashimizu Shrine.  After losing his position as a priest, Ōno Harusada (Iga-no-kami) moved to Mino Province, and, upon orders of Oda Nobunaga, he constructed Ōno Castle in Mino and resided there.  Harusada was Harufusa’s grandfather and the father of Sadanaga.  Sadanaga’s younger brother, Ōno Haruhisa, inherited Ōno Castle.  According to one source, Mōri Katsunaga from the same township in the Haguri District of Owari was a relative.

From an early age, Harufusa served Toyotomi Hideyori as one of his attendants.  There are records indicating that he had a high-ranking income of 5,000 koku, but according to an authenticated source, the fief was 1,300 koku.  Harufusa learned the tea ceremony from Furuta Oribe (Shigenari).  On one occasion, he was invited as the guest of honor at a tea ceremony held by Oribe.  Those attending included Okamura Dodo-no-suke (a bushi and retainer of the Toyotomi), and wealthy merchants from Kyōto such as Hariya Muneharu, Ōmojiya Sōmi, Hasegawa Michishige, and Ōmojiya Sōi.

Siege of Ōsaka

In 1614, during the Winter Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka, Harufusa served as a central figure with overall command of the operations and defense of the west side of the castle in the direction of Senba.

Amidst a stalemate, in the twelfth month, Harufusa joined Ban Naoyuki (Danemon) and Nagaoka Koresue to orchestrate a nighttime attack against a battalion led by Nakamura Shigekatsu, killing Shigekatsu and scores of soldiers in his battalion.  This is known as the Nighttime Attack at Honmachibashi.

As the siege persisted, however, a faction emerged to advocate for a settlement.  As the leader of the faction in favor of continuing to resist, he came into conflict with his older brother, Ōno Harunaga.  Finally, under the direction of Harunaga and Oda Nagamasu, a settlement was reached with the Tokugawa.  Thereafter, Harunaga was attacked inside the castle and sustained serious injuries, and it was said that Harufusa incited the attack.

In the fourth month of 1615, the settlement with the Tokugawa family unraveled, triggering the Summer Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka.  On 4/27 of Keichō 20 (1615), in a bid to capture Kōriyama Castle in Yamato Province, Harufusa led over 2,000 troops, traversed the Kuragari Pass and attacked the nearly empty castle.  He drove out Tsutsui Sadayoshi (a daimyō) and burned down the area below the castle.  On 4/28, Harufusa joined Makishima Akimitsu and others to set fires in Sumiyoshi and Sakai and fight against the Tokugawa naval forces including Mukai Tadakatsu and Kuki Moritaka.  On 4/29, aimed for Wakayama Castle from which to attack Asano Nagaakira of Kii Province.  At the same time, his plan called for inciting riots in Kii and Izumi provinces to occur in concert with the invasion of Kii by the Toyotomi army.  While Harufusa intended to carry out his actions in parallel with the riots, clashes broke out between the vanguard of the Toyotomi including Ban Naoyuki  and the Asano forces so he rushed to the battlefield in Kashii.  Prior to arriving, however, the battalion led by Naoyuki had been decimated and the Asano forces had already withdrawn so he returned to Ōsaka.

On 5/7, the Toyotomi forces departed from Ōsaka Castle for a final showdown against the Edo bakufu army.  Harufusa served as the commander in charge of the Okayama entrance, encamped with a division of 4,600 troops.  Upon the outbreak of hostilities, his division attacked the Maeda division serving as the vanguard of the Tokugawa forces.  Once the Itō and Tōdō divisions moved in to support the Maeda, Harufusa took advantage of the chaos to charge some of the hatamoto under the command of Tokugawa Hidetada, resulting in a melee.  Gradually, however, Hidetada’s forces mounted a counterattack and the tide turned against Harufusa’s division.  Harufusa then led his defeated troops back to the castle.  Later, after the Edo bakufu army set fire to the castle, he fled from the Tamatsukuri entrance.

Unknown whereabouts

After his retreat to Ōsaka Castle, there are various theories concerning the whereabouts of Harufusa, including : (i) he fled to Kyōto where he was apprehended and beheaded.  Under another, (ii) he did not flee and instead was burned to death in the castle, (iii) he backed Hideyori’s son, Toyotomi Kunimatsu (who was seven years old), and fled, but, while traveling on the Nara Road, was killed by locals in Uji to the south of Kyōto, or (iv) he fled to Himeji in Harima Province and was sheltered by Uchida Kageyu, a retainer of the Ikeda family.  His actual whereabouts are uncertain.

In 1649, an investigation of Harufusa was conducted by Itakura Shigemune, the Kyōto shoshidai, or head of security in Kyōto, for the Edo bakufu.

The background of this inquiry is as follows:  After monks from the Seigan Temple in Minoura in Ōmi Province were ousted for their own lapses, out of resentment, they made the groundless appeal to Nagai Naokiyo, the lord of the Takatsuki domain, that a monk at the Seigan Temple named Chikara was the son-in-law of Harufusa, gave protection to his brother-in-law, Momosuke (Harufusa’s eldest son and heir), and plotted an attack against the bakufu.  Momosuke was then apprehended and, after interrogation by Itakura Shigemune, upon orders of the bakufu, was executed.  There was no confirmation of the status of Harufusa.  Meanwhile, Baba Toshishige, a magistrate from Nagasaki, apprehended one of Harufusa’s sons named Nagai Kanbei, sent him to Kyōto, and, after questioning, had him executed.