Nakayama Nobuyoshi (中山信吉)

Nobuyoshi NAKAYAMA (1577 - February 5, 1642) was a Tsukegaro (Karo [chief retainer] assigned directly by the shogun when the sons of the Tokugawa became daimyo) of the Mito domain.


In 1577, Nobuyoshi NAKAYAMA was born as the second son of Ienori (Kageyu) NAKAYAMA, a vassal of the Odawara Hojo clan. The Nakayama clan was one of Musashi-shichito Parties (seven parties of samurai in Musashi Province) who had the base in Iruma County, Musashi Province (the neighborhood of present-day Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture). When the Hojo clan conquered Musashi Province, the Nakayama clan was organized into the group of the vassals.

In 1590, Ienori was killed in the offensive and defensive battle at Hachioji-jo Castle during the conquest and siege of Odawara, but after the war, Nobuyoshi and his older brother Terumori were employed by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, and Nobuyoshi served at the post of a page (1,500 koku [of rice; 1 koku is approx. 180.39 liters]). Both his father and he were masters of Japanese equestrianism of the Hachijo school.

In 1607, when Ieyasu's eleventh son Yorifusa was put in Shimotsuma with 100,000 koku, Nobuyoshi was specifically ordered to attend Yorifusa and appointed as a Karo (chiefretainer; of 6,500 koku). In 1609, because Yorifusa was made to change the territory to Mito, Nobuyoshi had his stipend increased to 15,000 koku. In 1616, he was appointed as Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), Bizen no kami (Governor of Bizen Province), and in 1621, he had his stipend increased to 20,000 koku. In the next year, 1622, he constructed the residence in Matsuoka, Hitachi Province (present-day Takahagi City, Ibaraki Prefecture).

Considering that Nobuyoshi captured robbers in Fushimi-jo Castle or that he rescued Yorifusa when a great fire broke out in Sunpu-jo Castle, it is speculated that Nobuyoshi's honest nature and personality had gained Ieyasu's hearty confidence. Besides, it has been said that Nobuyoshi recommended Mitsukuni to Shogun Hidetada as a successor of the lord of the Mito Domain.

He died in 1642. His age at death was 65.