Yamana Ujiyuki (山名氏之)

Ujiyuki YAMANA (dates of birth and death unknown) was a Shugo (military governor) of Hoki Province who lived during the Muromachi period. His father was Moroyoshi YAMANA, his elder brother was Yoshiyuki YAMANA, his younger brothers were Tokihiro YAMANA and Mitsuyuki YAMANA, and his son was Hiroyuki YAMANA. His common name was Jiro OKI, and his official rank was Uma no kami (Captain of the Right Division of Bureau of Horses), Daizen no daibu (Master of the Palace Table). In this article, '氏之(Ujiyuki),' is used to express his name. Please refer to the details about the kanji-character, which are to be discussed later.

Ujiyuki, who was born as Moroyoshi YAMANA's second son, inherited the position of Shugo of Hoki and Oki Provinces in 1389, since his elder brother did not succeed to the family estate. After Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA stepped in the Yamana clan's succession dispute and gave a command for putting down Ujiyuki and Tokihiro in 1390, Ujiyuki was attacked and ruined by Mitsuyuki YAMANA in his home ground, Hoki Province, and fled to Bingo Province. In the following year, 1391, Ujiyuki and others came back to Kyoto secretly, and was allowed by Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA when they met at Kinkaku-ji temple; Ujiyuki became Shugo of Hoki Province again when Mitsuyuki YAMANA was defeated at the Meitoku War. Ujiyuki assumed the post on February 23, 1393, and worked as a Shugo in Hoki Province for about 30 years until the end of Oei era (the beginning of the 15th century). Many of the documents issued during that period still remain; these documents show that Ujiyuki ruled counties of Hoki Province by appointing a member of the Sasaki clan, Kiyotaka TAHARA, and so forth, to be Shugodai (a junior deputy of Shugo). Ujiyuki, in his late years, called himself 'Gensan,' his posthumous Buddhist name, and it is thought that he passed away after his final donation of 'Zaichotonariato, Kume County, Hoki Province' to Joko-ji Temple, Kume County on October 23, 1424. It has become clear that Ujiyuki did not give the family estate to his son, Hiroyuki YAMANA, but directly to his grandson, Noriyuki YAMANA.

Regarding the ways to write 'Ujiyuki'
Other Kanji characters, '氏幸,' were often used instead of '氏之'; however, '氏之' was mainly used in the documents and letters.
For example, "Sanpo-in Temple Documents" in 1397 contains the description that 'Ujiyuki (氏之) YAMANA's letters of enforce,' and in later years of "Kogen-in Temple Documents" which is thought to have been completed in 1549, contains 'Representatives of the Yamana clan, Hakushu (Hoki Province),' in which Ujiyuki's name was written as 'Daizen no daibu, Ujiyuki (氏之).'
Considering the fact that the descendants of Ujiyuki of the Yamana clan of Hoki Province used the letter '之,' as Toshiji (one of two kanji characters adopted by members of the same family), it seems that '氏之' was the original way.