Kitsuregawa Yoriuji (喜連川頼氏)

Yoriuji KITSUREGAWA (1580 - July 22, 1630) was the first lord of the Kitsuregawa Domain in Shimotsuke Province.

He was the second son of Yorizumi ASHIKAGA who was the second son of Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA of Oyumi gosho Palace. His mother was a daughter of Harutsuna SANO. He was the younger brother of the first head of the Kitsuregawa family, Kunitomo ASHIKAGA. His lawful wife was Ujihime ASHIKAGA, the daughter of the Kogakubo Yoshiuji ASHIKAGA. They had two children, Yoshichika KITSUREGAWA (eldest son), and a daughter, a wife of Toshiki SHIMADA. He held the official rank of Samanokami (Captain of the Left Division of Samaryo). His posthumous Buddhist name was 涼山蔭公大樹院.

In 1593, because his older brother, Kunitomo Ashikaga, took ill and perished in Aki Province while enroute to Kyushu during the Bunroku campaign, Kunitomo's lawful wife, Ujihime Ashikaga, was remarried to Yoriuji, whereupon he succeeded the Kitsuregawa clan which was the descendants of the Ashikaga clan. In 1600, although Yoriuji did not go to fight at the Battle of Sekigahara, in consideration of the fact that he sent representatives to Ieyasu TOKUGAWA in congratulations on his victory after the war, he received an increase to his stipend equivalent to 1,000 koku, and founded the domain of Kitsuregawa.

Though the lands under his administration in Kitsuregawa amounted to no more than 5,000 koku, in light of the great achievements of the noble family of the Ashikaga from which he was descended, he was accorded the status of a Daimyo family (feudal lord family) of the fourth rank or higher by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, who founded of the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), and provided with a stipend equivalent to 100,000 koku or more.