Wakisaka Yasuharu

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Wakisaka Yasuharu
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Wakisaka".

Wakisaka Yasuharu (脇坂 安治?) (1554 – September 26, 1626), sometimes referred to as Wakizaka Yasuharu, was a daimyo (feudal lord) of Awaji Island who fought under a number of warlords over the course of Japan's Sengoku period.

Wakisaka originally served under Akechi Mitsuhide, a vassal of Oda Nobunaga. In 1581, he was one of several who led Nobunaga's troops in the Siege of Hijiyama. The following year, Akechi betrayed Oda Nobunaga and took his power and lands, but was defeated two weeks later at the Battle of Yamazaki.

Wakisaka then joined the victor, Hashiba Hideyoshi, who had become a conspicuous figure as a retainer of Oda Nobunaga. Following the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583, Wakisaka came to be known as one of the shichi-hon-yari (七本槍), or Seven Spears of Shizugatake. These Seven would be among Hideyoshi's most trusted generals, especially in naval combat. Wakisaka was granted the fief of Awaji Island, worth 30,000 koku, in 1585. He was then made commander of part of Hideyoshi's fleet, taking part in Hideyoshi's 1587 campaigns in Kyūshū, the 1590 Siege of Odawara, and the invasions of Korea, which took place from 1592 to 1598.

Wakisaka led 1500 soldiers and landed on a Korean peninsula.[1] He participated in the army and navy in various places in a Korean peninsula. His reward in this war is an increase of the territory of 3000 Koku.

During the disastrous invasion of Korea, Yasuharu met continuous defeat at the hands of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin and the Joseon Navy, most notably at the Battle of Hansando, where he lost his entire fleet and almost 10,000 soldiers[citation needed]. He met Admiral Yi again at many other battles including the Battle of Myeongnyang, where his force of 133 warships and 200 smaller ships was routed by Yi's fleet of 13 ships, and the Battle of Noryang[citation needed]. He lost all of his future encounters with Admiral Yi.[citation needed]

In 1600, Wakisaka was going to side with Tokugawa Ieyasu, but was compelled to oppose him, siding with Ishida Mitsunari, because Mitsunari raised Wakisaka's army when he stayed in Osaka. On October 21, during the decisive battle of Sekigahara, Wakisaka switched sides along with Kobayakawa Hideaki. He defeated Otani Yoshitsugu's force, and contributed to the Tokugawa victory. After the battle, Tokugawa allowed Wakisaka to continue governing his domain of Awaji.

In succeeding years, he was given another fief, at Ozu, Iyo Province, worth 53,000 koku. His son, Wakisaka Yasumoto, succeeded to the house after his death.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 『天正記』第七巻所収「ちやうせん国御進発の人数つもり
  • Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co.