Satake Yoshinobu (佐竹 義宣?, August 17, 1570 – March 5, 1633) was a Japanese daimyo of the Azuchi-Momoyama period through early Edo period. The eldest son of Satake Yoshishige, he was the first generation lord of the Kubota Domain. His court title was Ukyō-dayū.
Early in Yoshinobu's lifetime, the Satake family was threatened from the north by Date Masamune and from the south by Hōjō Ujinao; however, because he quickly pledged allegiance to Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Siege of Odawara, he was able to retain his landholdings. Under Hideyoshi's banner, he was counted as being among the six greatest generals of the Toyotomi clan, together with Tokugawa Ieyasu, Maeda Toshiie, Shimazu Yoshihiro, Mōri Terumoto, and Uesugi Kagekatsu. After the siege of Odawara was concluded, Yoshinobu was able to extend control over the whole of Hitachi Province, and soon held over 540,000 koku of land as his private fief.
Yoshinobu enjoyed good relations with Ishida Mitsunari, and joined the western army during the Battle of Sekigahara; for this he was punished by Ieyasu, who reduced his landholdings to 180,000 koku and had him transferred to the Kubota Domain, in Dewa Province. Though his choice of alliance ended up as a disaster, it is thought he had no choice at all. The Satake clan of Kantō region was indeed a mighty, prestigious and ancient clan, with Seiwa Genji roots and ancestors such as the hero Hachimantarō Minamoto no Yoshiie. Many of the nearby feudal domains and smaller samurai families were Satake cousins or sub-branches. With its rich domain and tremendous military power and influence, the Satake clan was just in the wrong neighborhood. For Ieyasu, there was the terrible possibility of a near future where Yoshinobu (or his offspring) were the head of a military alliance against the Pax Tokugawa, claiming the title of Shogun for themselves or at the very least, being in a state of cold war with the Tokugawa. That is why Satake had ultimately no choice, but to ally himself with Ishida.
After his previous defeat, the prospects were clear enough for Yoshinobu to betray the Toyotomi, courting the Shogunate by taking part in the Siege of Osaka, fighting Toyotomi commanders such as Kimura Shigenari and Gotō Matabei.
- Saga, pp. 16-17.
- Saga, Jun'ichi (1987). Memories of Silk and Straw: A Self-Portrait of Small-Town Japan. New York: Kodansha International.
|First Lord of Kubota