Sasaki Hideyoshi (佐々木秀義)

Hideyoshi SASAKI was a Japanese military commander in the late Heian period. He was a father of the Sasaki four brothers, who fought for MINAMOTO no Yoritomo in raising his army.

Biography

He possessed Sasakinosho (Sasaki's estate) in Gamo District, Omi Province; his aunt married FUJIWARA no Hidehira, and he himself took a daughter of MINAMOTO no Tameyoshi to his wife. This shows that the Sasaki clan was a dominant samurai at that time.

In the Hogen War in which Cloistered Emperor Sutoku fought with Emperor Goshirakawa, Hideyoshi fought under MINAMOTO no Yoshitomo on the Emperor's side, and won the battle.

In the Heiji War of 1159, he also fought under Yoshitomo, following Akugenta (by-name) MINAMOTO no Yoshihira, Yoshitomo's eldest son; however, the Yoshitomo's side was defeated, and he fled to Oshu, asking Hidehira, his aunt's husband, for help. On the way, Shigekuni SHIBUYA kept him at the Sagami Province to give him shelter; he married Shibuya's daughter, having children including Yoshikiyo (fifth son), and remained in Shibuyanosho (Shibuya's estate) for 20 years.

When MINAMOTO no Yoritomo raised an army against the Taira clan in the Izu Province in 1180, he heard an alleged plot to topple Yoritomo from Kagechika OBA, a retainer of the Ise-Heishi (Taira clan); he sent his son Sadatsuna to inform Yoritomo of the impending danger. He made Sadatsuna, Tsunetaka, Moritsuna, and Takatsuna join the forces of Yoritomo; for this reason, he was approved of his right to have an inherited estate and returned to Sasakinosho.

In Mikka Heishi no ran (the three-day rebellion of the Taira clan) in July 1184 (Heian period), he set out to subdue the rebellion with his youngest son Yoshikiyo. In Ueno village, Koga District, he fought against the survivors of the Heike clan of the Iga and Ise Provinces led by TAIRA no Ietsugu and TAIRA no Nobukane respectively; he defeated more than 90 people, but died at the battle. Age at death: 73. He was posthumously appointed Kokushi (Provincial Governor) in consideration of his distinguished services.