Oishi Nobukiyo (大石信清)

Nobukiyo OISHI (1677 - March 20, 1703) was one of 47 samurai of Ako Roshi (lordless samurai of the Ako Domain). He was umamawariyaku (bodyguard of a general) earning 150 goku (crop yields) in the Ako Domain. His childhood name was Hachisaburo. He was commonly called Genzo at first, Sezaemon later.

He was born the second son of Nobuzumi OISHI. His mother was Toyama no Tsubone, a younger sister of Sadamori ODA (a vassal of the Konoe family). His older brother was Nobuoki (or Nobuoki) OISHI. Nobukiyo was a grandson of Nobukoto OISHI, a younger brother of Yoshikatsu OISHI, who was a great-grandfather of Yoshio OISHI, that is, Nobukiyo belonged to a branch family of the Oishi clan. On December 24, 1689, his father died in Osaka, and thereby Nobutoyo, the first son, inherited 300 goku, and Nobukiyo, the second son, 150 goku. Around 1700, Nobukiyo changed his common name from Genzo to Sezaemon. Moreover, he became a disciple of Muga OKUMURA together with Yoshio OISHI (common name Kuranosuke), the family head of the main family of OISHI, to learn the Togun-ryu school of swordmen.

On March 14, 1701, when Asano Takumi no Kami, his lord, injured Kira Kozukenosuke, Nobukiyo stayed in Edo because he was accompanying the lord of the domain for Sankin-kotai (alternate-year residence in Edo). On the night of March 14, he left Edo for Ako as the second envoy with Souemon HARA. After the Ako-jo Castle's surrender, Nobukiyo lived in Nara City and Kyoto City with Nobutoyo, his older brother, but then disowned Nobutoyo because the brother withdrew from the alliance as he had failed to show enough allegiance when Oishi returned his written oath to judge his loyalty. On September 19, Nobukiyo went to Edo together with Chikara OISHI, Kyudayu MASE, etc. After arriving at Edo, he changed his name to 'Gonroku ODA' adopting the family name of the mother's side and lived in a house rented from Chuzaemon YOSHIDA in 6 chome, Kojimachi, but soon moved to another rented place of Koyamaya in 3 chome, Ishimachi, owned by Kuranosuke OISHI. It seems that he was really short of money in Edo and was in debt to Mujin OISHI, his uncle. Mujin even made Nobukiyo's outfit for the raid.

Nobukiyo belonged to the back gate unit in the raid on Kira-tei Residence. After they completed the raid successfully, he was kept by the Hosokawa clan in the Kumamoto Domain, and on February 4, 1703, he committed hara-kiri and died of being beheaded by Chikasada YOSHIDA, a vassal of the Hosokawa family. He was 27 years old. He was buried in Sengaku-ji Temple in Takanawa, the same burial place as Asano Takumi No Kami, his lord. His posthumous Buddhist name was Tokantokuken-shinji. He had no wife and no child, but Ryojo OISHI, a son of Nobukiyo's cousin, Yoshimaro OISHI, was adopted, and Ryojo's descendants have kept the family name of Sezaemon Nobukiyo until today.

Before committing hara-kiri, Nobukiyo left Mujin OISHI some articles such as his outfit for the raid, which was inherited by Mujin's descendants, the Oishi family in Tsugaru, and is now enshrined in the Oishi-jinja Shrine, where people can see it.

[Original Japanese]