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Mōri Terumoto (毛利 輝元, February 4, 1553 – June 2, 1625) was a Japanese daimyo. The son of Mōri Takamoto, and grandson and successor of the great warlord Mōri Motonari, he fought against Toyotomi Hideyoshi but was eventually overcome. He participated in the Kyūshū campaign (1587) on Hideyoshi's side and built Hiroshima Castle, thus essentially founding Hiroshima.
Terumoto was a member of the council of Five Elders appointed by Hideyoshi. At the height of his power in late 16th century, Terumoto controlled 1.2 million koku. This means he could mobilize more than 120,000 men to a battle. He sided against Tokugawa Ieyasu but was not present at the Battle of Sekigahara. Terumoto was in Osaka Castle defending Toyotomi Hideyori at the time and surrendered to Ieyasu soon after Sekigahara. Ieyasu reduced Terumoto's domains, leaving him only Nagato and Suō Provinces, worth 369,000 koku in total.
He is believed to have been a below-average general on and off the battlefield, having lacked motivation and will. He made little impact in these final years of the Sengoku period, as he often had his subordinates and lesser members of the clan fight instead. It is believed that if he had fought at Sekigahara or brought Hideyori to the battlefield, Ieyasu would have been defeated. However, he managed his domain well and successfully held the Mōri clan together even when his domain was reduced to a third.
He was succeeded by Mōri Hidenari.
He was known as a great patron of Hagi ware pottery.
It is also said that Terumoto had a concubine that acted as an assassin.
|1st (Mōri) lord of Chōshū