Yamanaka Yukimori

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Portrait of Yamanaka Yukimori, 1886

Yamanaka Yukimori (山中 幸盛, September 20, 1545 – August 20, 1578), also known as Yamanaka Shikanosuke (山中 鹿の介) or Shikasuke (鹿の介), was a Japanese samurai of the Sengoku period. He served the Amako clan of Izumo Province.[1]

In art, his portraits conventionally show a crescent moon on the front of his helmet;[2] he was born under a harvest moon.[3] The crescent moon ornament he wore on his helmet was a token of good luck.[4]


Yukimori supported the cause of Amago Katsuhisa (1553–1578),[1] including the Siege of Kōzuki Castle.[citation needed] He even tried to get help from the Oda clan. Unfortunately, Oda Nobunaga only used him so the Oda army could march deeper into the Mōri clan's lands. Akechi Mitsuhide and Hashiba Hideyoshi wanted to give him reinforcements, but Nobunaga refused. Therefore, those two generals were forced into concentrating on laying siege to the Mōri and Ukita castles rather than helping Yukimori.

Eventually, Yukimori surrendered and his master Katsuhisa committed suicide. Kikkawa Motoharu awarded him with a small castle in Suo. When on the way to the castle, Yukimori was assassinated by the soldiers of Mōri clan.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Yamanaka Shikanosuke" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1044.
  2. ^ Baird, Merrily C. (2001). Symbols of Japan: Thematic Motifs in Art and Design, p. 33; excerpt, "The crescent moon, in particular, was believed to have protective powers, and it appeared as a frontispiece element on the helmets of a number of warriors, including Yamanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori"
  3. ^ Turnbull, Stephen R. (2008). The Samurai swordsman : master of war, p. 63.
  4. ^ Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), Tsuki hyakushi by Taiso Yoshitoshi (1839-1892); retrieved 2013-5-6.

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