Rokkaku Yoshisato (六角義郷)

Yoshisato ROKKAKU was a busho (Japanese military commander) from the Sengoku period (period of warring states) (Japan) to the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was a grandchild of Yoshisane (or Yoshizane) ROKKAKU and the first son of Yoshihide ROKKAKU (according to another theory, the first son of Ujitsuna ROKKAKU and a brother of Yoshihide). His mother was Chiyogimi, a daughter of Nobuhiro ODA. According to the "Shuinjo (Shogunate license to trade) of Nobunaga ODA to Genbanosuke SAITO as of January 11, 1575," his mother was 'a daughter of Inuyama no Ise no kami (Governor of Inuyama, Ise Province)' and there is a possibility that she was from the Oda clan of Shugodai (deputy of Shugo, provincial constable). His another name was Yoshiyasu. His childhood name was Tatsutakemaru (龍武丸). His official rank was Omi no kami (Governor of Omi Province), Sahyoe no suke (Assistant Captain of the Left Division of Middle Palace Guards) and jiju (a chamberlain). Later, he became a priest named Gengan NYUDO (入道台岩).

According to general historical science, it is thought that Sadayori ROKKAKU, a brother of Ujitsuna, succeeded the family estate and that his descendants later succeeded the estate in later times. The following description is based on the hearsay that the family estate of the Rokkaku clan was succeeded by the descendants of Ujitsuna.


He was born as a son of Yoshihide ROKKAKU in the Omi Province. In his childhood, he was temporarily adopted as a son by Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA and called Wakayakata. It is said that Nobunaga ODA thought to make him or a son of Yoshiaki become Ashikaga Shogun at one time. When Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI called hatagashira (head of armed groups) of the Omi Province on September 1, 1584, he was called from the Minoura-jo Castle and served Hideyoshi (according to another theory, it was Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI who called him). In the following year, 1585, he was given 10,000 koku (of rice) (a unit of volume: rice 1-koku is 180.39 liter, lumber 1-koku is 0.278 cubic meter) and revived the Rokkaku clan. Since his father Yoshihide was Sangi (councilor), he was assigned to be jiju and shosho (major general) and also was given the surname of Toyotomi in 1586 by Hideyoshi's effort ("Ryakumyo Dodai" (the Appointment List of Bureaucrats Ranked Fourth and Fifth)). After that, he joined an army as junichimon (associate family) of the Toyotomi clan in the Kyushu Conquest by leading 400 troops with Nobuhide ODA (jiju) and others, and also joined an army in the Odawara Conquest, where he was invited to a tea ceremony ("The Tennojiya Kaiki" (Record of chanoyu gatherings compiled by three generations of the Tennojiya mercantile house)). In the Bunroku War, he also joined the first army under the direct control of Hideyoshi and stayed at the Hizen-Nagoya-jo Castle as 'orusuzaijinshu' (troops staying in Japan) with Hidetsuna HACHIMANYAMA, his brother who had become his adopted son ("Taikoki" (Chronicle of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI)).

He was rapidly promoted to Daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) of the Yawata-jo Castle with 120,000 koku and was given preferential treatment, which might have been affected by his connection with Hideyoshi and Hidetsugu and the fact that his mother was a daughter of Nobuhiro ODA. He received treatment almost equal to that of the Oda clan, such as being assigned to jiju and promoted in the official rank at the same time as Nobuhide and Hidenobu ODA, and being placed on a higher seat at the time of a visit to Jurakudai (Hideyoshi's residence and office in Kyoto) by the Emperor Goyozei on April 1588.

He was treated as a person who was close to or a vassal (Yoriki, lower-ranked Samurai) of Hidetsugu, which might be caused from the common point of 'the Omi Province,' a territory of Hidetsugu. It could be said that by achieving a stable position for the next generation of government, the revival of the Rokkaku clan was well on its way.

In the Hidetsugu Incident of 1595, he was implicated and punished, deprived of his fief because he fathered a daughter of Gon no suke NAMAZUE, his vassal, Hidetsugu's concubine on the advice of a vassal who had served Hidetsugu as kinju (attendant). Since he was young, he was not captured and instead permitted to live anywhere he wished by Hideyoshi.

Many vassals of the Rokkaku clan who were promoted with him were direct attendants of Hidetsugu, among whom Daizen KUMAGAI and Hitachi no suke KIMURA who committed Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment) in the Hidetsugu incident were most well-known.

When Hideyoshi died, he was given Daikanemitsu no tachi (a name of long sword) as a memento, which originally his grandfather Yoshihide had given to Hideyoshi with imina ji (a word of posthumous name), and the aristocrats of that time wondered the rum coincidence.

At the time of the Battle of Sekigahara, he was asked to join an army by Mitsunari ISHIDA on the condition that 'if you join an army as a general of the front side of the north provinces, I will make realize the revival of the Rokkaku family and approve it as a main domain' as well as to later give him all troops in the Omi Province, but he refused. As a result, since there was no appropriate person, the Western Camp could not dispatch its troops to this area.
Nagamori MASHITA got very angry and advised Mitsunari to defeat Yoshisato, but Mitsumari did not accuse him because 'if I defeat Yoshisato, public opinion in the Omi Province will be affected.'
This is an episode which indicates a part of the strategy used by Mitsunari as well as show that he ruled the Mino Province by making an ally of Hidenobu ODA. After the War, Nobusato was called by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, but rejected to serve him because he avoided criticizm as if he had held secret communication with the Eastern Camp and had not joined the Western Camp.
It is said that Ieyasu highly appreciated this and said that 'he is a good warrior in this age.'

After that, he did not contribute in any notable fashion as a warrior, but served Hideyori TOYOTOMI and deepened exchanges with Takamori SASAKI, who was the second son of Yoshikata ROKKAKU and a vassal of Hideyori, as part of the aristocracy. In 1610 he was given 5,000 koku of the land of the Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei after asking Ieyasu.

Ujitsuna ROKKAKU, his son between a daughter of Nobunaga ODA, died early (he was also regarded as Hidetsuna HACHIMANYAMA, his brother and later his adopted son), and Ujisato ROKKAKU, the youngest son between a daughter of Hidenobu ODA, succeeded the family estate in his later years, 1621. He died in 1623. It is said that he was forty-seven years old.
(If he was supposed to die at the age of forty-seven, he should had been born in 1577, which conflicts with the fact his father Yoshihide died in 1569.)

His waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables) and portrait in Giretsu Hyakuninisshu (heroism 100 poems by 100 famous poets) are featured.

The Rokkaku Clan and the Toyotomi Clan

Although it recieves less attention, the Toyotomi clan and the Rokkaku clan (legitimate family) had many relationships (even a genealogical tree exists which shows the Toyotomi clan originated from the Sasaki clan in the Omi Province). The Rokkaku clan of the lineage of Sadayori also served Hideyoshi. A story on the origin of the imina ji "Hide" of Hideyoshi shows their relationship.

There is a theory that Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI served Yoshihide ROKKAKU, who was Yoshisato's father (or brother), changed his name to Hideyoshi during a period of wandering, and was given Kataimina (a part of the name of a noble person). In the volume seventeenth of "Gogenbukan" (book of heraldry of the Rokkaku clan), there is a description that Hideyoshi, who was still of low status, served Yoshihide at the Kannonji-jo Castle and was given his Kataimina. In the volume eighteenth there is a description that Hideyoshi recounted this episode himself.

Besides, Yoshisato fathered a daughter between Asai Tosa no Kami, his Karo (chief retainer), and a daughter of Gon no suke NAMAZUE (possibly a lord of the Namazue-jo Castle), his vassal, the concubines of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI, and a daughter of Asai Tosa no Kami who delivered TOYOTOMI no Tsuchimaru, a child born out of wedlock. It shows the fact that the Rokkaku clan, the great family who had ruled the Omi Province (Hidetsugu's territory) for a long time, still held great power there and hoped to restore the family estate by aggressively promoting marriages between Hidetsugu. Another theory says that after Hidetsugu's death by Hideyoshi, Yoshisato guarded and fostered a bereaved child of Shigekore KIMURA who was implicated in Hidetsugu and ordered to commit Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment) as his vassal. This bereaved child was later Shigenari KIMURA, a vassal of Hideyori TOYOTOMI.