Minamoto no Yoshikiyo (Yada no Hangandai) (源義清 (矢田判官代))

MINAMOTO no Yoshikiyo was a Busho (Japanese military commander) who lived during the end of the Heian period. He was the eldest child born out of wedlock of MINAMOTO no Yoshiyasu, the patriarch of the Ashikaga clan. He was commonly called Yada no Hangandai (assistant officer serving an administrative organization called Innocho) but also referred to as Yoshikiyo ASHIKAGA and Yoshikiyo YADA. He was the patriarch of the Hosokawa and Niki clans.

Biography

Yoshikiyo's brother was Yoshinaga ASHIKAGA and his younger paternal half-brothers were Yoshikane ASHIKAGA and Yoshifusa ASHIKAGA. Since he was the eldest son but born out of wedlock, Yoshikiyo gave his home in the Ashikagasho district to his younger paternal half-brother, Yoshikane, and served for Imperial Princess Muneko at Heian-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Kyoto). In 1180 when Prince Mochihito was raising an army, Yoshikiyo mobilized together with MINAMOTO no Yorimasa, and after Yorimasa was defeated he joined the troops under the command of MINAMOTO no Yoshinaka. When the Taira family fled the capital in 1183, Yoshikiyo's troops surrounded Kyoto along with MINAMOTO no Yukiie and Yukitsuna TADA, and after making a battle formation from Tanbaji (Tanba road) to Mt. Oe, they tracked down the Taira family from the west of the city and entered Kyoto with Yoshinaka's army in July.

During October of the same year, in order to hunt down and kill the Taira clan in Saikai (provinces on the western seacoast), Yoshikiyo left Kyoto leading troops as the supreme commander of Yoshinaka's army with Yukihiro UNNO. On January 8, 1184, Yoshikiyo fought against the Taira clan's army, consisting of a main force led by TAIRA no Tomomori and TAIRA no Shigehira, and a rearguard troop led by TAIRA no Michimori and TAIRA no Noritsune in the Mizushima region, Bicchu Province (the present Tamashima region, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture).

Yoshikiyo suffered a crushing defeat as supreme commander by the Taira clan's army who were accustomed to fighting on ships, and along with Yukihiro UNNO, his younger paternal half-brother Yoshinaga and many others, he was killed in a fierce battle from a barrage of falling arrows (the battle at Mizushima).