Omura Yuko (大村由己)

Yuko OMURA (ca. 1536 - 1596) was a scholar and writer from the Warring States period to the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He came from Miki City, Harima Province. His pseudonym was Mochusai Baian. He was formerly registered as a monk, but return to secular life to serve Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI as a story teller. He was known as a writer of the biography of Hideyoshi "Tenshoki."

Biography

Yuko OMURA was formerly a monk Raionbo in Seiryuzan Chouraku-ji Temple (branch temple of Kongo-ji Temple in Mikiomura). When he was young, Yuko learned the Chinese classics under a monk Ninjoshugyo at Sokoku-ji Temple and practiced waka poetry composition under various waka poets, and grown to be known for his profound learning. It is said that he became a secretary to Hideyoshi when Hideyoshi ruled the whole area of Omura during the Siege of Miki. Yuko attended the council of war held by Hideyoshi in Himeji-jo Castle in 1582 on the way back to Kyoto from the chugoku region in haste, which means that Yuko had established the status of attendant to Hideyoshi by the time. In the same year 1582, he became an administrator of the Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine.

He attended Hideyoshi who strived for unifying the whole country, writing books including the Hideyoshi's war chronicle "Tenshoki." All of his books specifically emphasize greatness of Hideyoshi, which suggests that Yuko played a role of spokesman for Hideyoshi to announce legitimacy of the Toyotomi administration.

He followed the army of Hideyoshi to Nagoya in Hizen Province in the War of Bunroku. In those days, Hideyoshi was interested in Noh play so passionately that he could not be satisfied with playing the existing noh plays, and ordered Yuko to write a new Noh plays to show his great achievements to the later generations. "Yoshino Hanami," "Koya Sankei," "Akechiuchi," and "Shibatauchi" are the new Noh plays that Yuko wrote by setting Hideyoshi to the leading roles. "Akechiuchi" was played by Hideyoshi himself on May 5, 1594 in Osaka-jo Castle and on May 31 in the same year in the Imperial Palace, which shows how Hideyoshi loved this program among others.

Yuko displayed his various abilities in Noh chanting, composing of waka poetry, linked verse, popular linked verse, satirical poem, and so forth other than writing the war chronicle and new Noh plays. It is known that he had friendship with contemporary intellectuals including Seika FUJIWARA, Tokitsugu YAMASHINA, and Joha SATOMURA. He had profound knowledge of ancient Japanese writing such that he wrote a book on the ancient writing "Baian Kohitsuden."

In 1596, he died in Osaka. He was 61 years old.

"Tenshoki"

A war chronicle of Hideyoshi in Tensho era from the Siege of Miki in 1580 to the battle of Odawara in 1590. It is also known by the title "Hideyoshi Gunki." It had great influence on war chronicles on Hideyoshi written later including "Taikoki" by Hoan OZE.. "Tenshoki" was the most important work of Yuko.
It consists of various volumes including "Harimabesshoki" and "Koretotaijiki" shown below:

"Harimabesshoki"
This volume mainly describes the Siege of Miki. It is told that Yuko recited this volume to Kennyo in Hongan-ji Temple who was placed under house arrest then and Kennyo's son Kyonyo in 1585 in Kaizuka City.

"Koretotaijiki"
This volume describes the period from the Honnoji Incident to the Nobunaga's funeral. This volume was completed in 1582. This is also known by the title of "Koretomuhonki."

"Shibatataijiki"
This volume describes the Battle of shizugatake and circumstances before and after the battle, Hideyoshi's construction of Osaka-jo Castle, etc. This volume was completed in 1583.

"Kanpakuninkanki"
This volume asserts the legitimacy of Hideyoshi's position as regent. This volume contains lots of suspicious descriptions such as a grandfather of Hideyoshi was the nobility called Hagi Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) and Hideyoshi's mother worked at the Imperial Court; for this reason, historians of later generations put less importance on this volume. This volume was completed in 1585.

"Jurakugyokoki"
This volume is a record of the five days from May 9, 1588 when Emperor Goyozei visited Hideyoshi's palace Jurakudai (also known as Jurakutei). This volume was completed in 1588.

"Kinpu no Ki"
This volume is a record of the day July 2, 1589 when Hideyoshi presented gold and silver to feudal lords. This volume has been lost.