Abe no Sadato (安倍貞任)

ABE no Sadato was a Japanese military commander lived during the mid Heian Period. He was born as the second son of ABE no Yoritoki, the leader of the Abe clan, which was a local ruling family of fushu (Ezo people from Northeastern provinces who subjugated themselves to the Imperial Court) in Okuroku County. Sadato was also called ABE no Kuriyagawa jiro Sadato. One of his brother-in-law was FUJIWARA no Tsunekiyo who was married to Sadato's younger sister.


The Imperial Court of Heian-kyo sent MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi and MINAMOTO no Yoshiie in 1051 to antagonize the Abe clan which had a semi-autonomous power in the region, which triggered the 12 years of war in various places of the Tohoku region where the Abe clan fought very hard (Zen kunen no eki [the Early Nine Years' War]). When the quarters of FUJIWARA no Mitsusada located by the Akuto-gawa River was attacked in 1056 under the truce accord with the Kokufu side (ancient provincial office), Yoriyoshi demanded the handover of Sadato who was determined to be the ringleader of the attack, but the Abe clan refused to it, resulting in the resumption of the war.

The Abe clan won the Battle of Koromogawa in 1056 cooperated by FUJIWARA no Tsunekiyo, the husband of Sadato's younger sister. Although his father, Yoritoki, died in the battle field in 1057, the clan beat the Yoriyoshi army in November through the Kawasaki no saku (stockades of Kawasaki). However, when the Kokufu side built an alliance with the Dewa Kiyohara clan in 1062, the Abe clan was pushed into an inferior position, leading to the beheading of Sadato after being lost in the Battle of Kuriyagawa in September. The head of Sadato was nailed on a log and sent to the Imperial Court (in later years, the head of FUJIWARA no Yasuhira was also sent by MINAMOTO no Yoritomo to the Court following the example of this. The head of Yasuhira stored in Chuson-ji Temple of Hiraizumi still shows a trace of nailing).

According to an anecdote, Sadato exchanged Mondoka (poetries in the form of question and answer) with MINAMOTO no Yoshiie during the Battle of Koromogawa.


The Ando clan (later, the Akita clan), the local ruling family of the Tsugaru region, designated themselves as descendants of ABE no Takaboshi, a son of Sadato.