Nitta Yoshioki (新田義興)

Yoshioki NITTA was a busho (Japanese military commander) of the period of Northern and Southern Courts. He was the second son of Yoshisada NITTA and his birth mother was a daughter of Tokinobu AMANO (also referred to as Negi (Shinto priest) Tokinobu), who was the Shinshu (Shinto priest) of Ichinomiya (shrine with the highest ranking in the area) Nukisaki Jinja Shrine of Kozuke Province. His older paternal half-brother was Yoshiaki NITTA and younger paternal half-brother was Yoshimune NITTA. His childhood name was Tokujumaru.

Career

Akiie KITABATAKE of Oshu (Northern Honshu, the region encompassing Mutsu and Dewa Provinces) travelled west in 1337. He responded by mobilizing an army in Kozuke Province and joined the Oshu army of Akiie KITABATAKE. He underwent genpuku (coming of age ceremony) in audience by Emperor Godaiba at Yoshino. It is believed that he hid in Echigo Province after his father Yoshisada died in a battle.

When the Kanno Disturbance occurred, he mobilized an army with Tokiyuki HOJO in Kozuke Province in order to retrieve Kamakura. When the Shoei Itto (temporal unification of the Northern and Southern courts) became abolished, he mobilized an army with his younger brother Yoshimune and his male cousin, Yoshiharu WAKIYA, under the order of Imperial Prince Muneyoshi in 1352. They temporarily occupied Kamakura, but were chased away from Kamakura after a counter attack by Takauji (ASHIKAGA). A half year after Takauji passed away, in 1358, Yoshitoki and his 13 servants were murdered premeditatedly at Yaguchi no Watashi (Yaguchi Ferry) of Tama-gawa River by Takesawa, who was the Ukyo no Suke (Assistant Master of the Western Capital Offices), and Edo clan members sent by Motouji ASHIKAGA, who was a child of Takauji and was the Kamakura kubo (Governor general of the Kanto region), and Kunikiyo HATAKEYAMA, who was the Kanto Kanrei (a shogunal deputy for the Kanto region). His dying age was 28.

There is a description in the classics "Taiheiki" (The Record of the Great Peace) that a murderer 某 EDO (江戸某) had died in madness by the vengeful spirit of Yoshioki after his death so that local residents worshipped Yoshitoki as a god in order to calm his spirit. He was later worshipped as Nitta Daimyo-jin (great god). The 'Shinrei Yaguchi no Watashi' (The Yaguchi Ferry and the Magic Arrows) of kabuki (traditional drama performed by male actors) deals with this incident. Nitta' in the name of Musashi Nitta Station on the Tokyu Tamagawa Line is derived from Nitta-jinja Shrine that worships Nitta Daimyo-jin (the Great God).