Mogami Yoshiaki (最上 義光, February 1, 1546 – February 26, 1614) was a daimyō of the Yamagata Domain in Dewa Province, in the late Sengoku and early Edo periods. Known as "Fox of Dewa".[1]

Mogami Yoshiaki
最上 義光
Mogami Yoshiaki
Head of Mogami clan
In office
Preceded byMogami Yoshimori
Succeeded byMogami Yoshitoshi
Daimyō of Yamagata Domain
In office
Succeeded byTorii Tadamasa
Personal details

February 1, 1546
Yamagata Domain
DiedFebruary 26, 1614(1614-02-26) (aged 68)
Yamagata Castle
RelationsMogami Yoshimori (father)
Yoshihime (sister)
Date Terumune (brother in law)
Date Masamune (nephew)
Nickname"Fox of Dewa"
Military service
Allegiance Mogami clan
Toyotomi clan
Eastern Army
Tokugawa shogunate
Unit Mogami clan
CommandsYamagata domain
Battles/warsDewa campaign (1580-1586)
Battle of Jugorihara (1588)
Siege of Odawara (1590)
Kunohe Rebellion (1591)
Siege of Shiroishi (1600)
Siege of Hasedō (1600)

Biography edit

Mogami Yoshiaki was the first son of Mogami Yoshimori, of the Mogami clan, his birth name is Hakujumaru and succeeded his father as daimyō of Yamagata.[1] In 1564, When Yoshihime (Date Masamune mother), who was his sister, married Date Terumune, the Mogami clan became allied with the Date clan.

In 1571, Mogami Yoshiaki officially became the head of the Mogami clan.[2] During this time, Yoshihime wrote information about the Date clan to Yoshiaki, her and Yoshiaki's actions made the Date clan distrust the Mogami family. Yoshiaki fought against the Date clan twice in different years, 1574 and 1578, in both battles Yoshihime advanced to the middle of the battlefield to create a peace treaty.[3]

In 1580, he get help from Satomi Minbu. Allowing him to successfully take over the Kaminoyama Castle. so Kaminoyama Mitsukane committed suicide.

In 1581, he has expanded its power to Murayama District and took over Oguni Castle. Yoshiaki also attacked Sakenobe Castle and forced Sakenobe Hidetsuna to surrender. Later, Hidetsuna became Yoshiaki's chief vassal.[2]

In 1583, he expanded the Semboku areas, and threatened Yoshiuji Daihoji. Daihōji has announced a battle with the Mogami clan. As a result, Daihōji was defeated and committed suicide.

In 1584, Yoshiaki then attacked Sagae clan and Sagae Takamoto committed suicide. Yoshiaki then attacked Tendō Yorizumi who was the son of Tendō Yorisada. Later, Yorizumi fled to the territory of Kokubun Morishige, causing the Tendō clan to collapse.

In 1586, Yoshiaki fight against Onodera Yoshimichi. Yoshiaki's eldest son, Mogami Yoshiyasu and Tateoka Mitsushige succeeded in defeating the Onodera reinforcements.

In 1588, Yoshiaki had a conflict with Uesugi Kagekatsu. Kagekatsu expanded the Mogami territory enormously in the Shōnai who sought aid from Honjō Shigenaga and defeated Mogami at the Battle of Jugorihara.

In 1590, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi came to power, Mogami submitted to his rule, as a result, he was given about 200,000 koku by Toyotomi Hideyoshi after the Siege of Odawara and participated in attacking Kunohe Rebellion. But, later, Yoshiaki became a supporter of Tokugawa Ieyasu following Hideyoshi's death. He was known to hate the Toyotomi because Hideyoshi ordered the execution of Yoshiaki's teenage daughter, Komahime, when purging his nephew Toyotomi Hidetsugu, to whom Yoshiaki's daughter was engaged. Hideyoshi refused to spare the life of Yoshiaki's 13- or 14-year-old daughter, who had only just arrived in Kyoto to become Hidetsugu's concubine and had not yet even met her husband-to-be.

In 1600, he battled Uesugi Kagekatsu, an enemy of Tokugawa's, alongside Date Masamune (his nephew), another lord of the far north. Mogami and Date supported Ieyasu at the famous Sekigahara campaign,[4] he aided in Date's siege of Shiroishi, and was then attacked in his own home castle of Hataya, Kaminoyama and Hasedō. After which Mogami's domain was expanded to 570,000 koku in return for his loyal service.[1] This made the Yamagata domain the fifth largest in Japan at the time, excluding the land held by Tokugawa.

Death edit

He died from illness at Yamagata Castle in 1614 at the age of 68.[5] Yamagata maintains the Mogami Yoshiaki Historical Museum, just outside the rebuilt Great Eastern Gate of Yamagata Castle, which displays his helmet, battle command baton and other implements he actually used.

Legacy edit

Mogami Yoshiaki laid out and built the castle town, which became the foundation of modern-day Yamagata City. He controlled the "Three Difficult Places" on the Mogami River, making navigation safer from the Sea of Japan to the inland, and bringing the culture of Kyōto and Ōsaka to Yamagata. His dam building projects at Kitadaseki, Inabazeki and other places, and other irrigation control measures helped develop rice cultivation in the Shōnai plain.

Notable vassals edit

Sources edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "朝日日本歴史人物事典「最上義光」の解説". kotobank. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sakenobe Hidetsuna" (in Japanese). Mogami Yoshiaki Historical Museum official. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  3. ^ 泉秀樹 (2003-05-21). 戦国なるほど人物事典: 100人のエピソードで歴史の流れがよくわかる (in Japanese). PHP研究所. ISBN 9784569579450.
  4. ^ "関ヶ原合戦と最上義光". Mogami Yoshiaki Museum. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Mogami Yoshiaki". Mogami Yoshiaki Museum. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
Preceded by
First Daimyō of Yamagata
Succeeded by