Yamana Clan

Yamana Clan

The Yamana (Japanese 山名氏 Yamana-shi) were a family of the Japanese sword nobility (Buke), descended from Minamoto no Yoshishige (源 義重) and through him from the (Seiwa Genji).

Under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, they lost their rank as provincial governors around 1580.

Known members of the family Yamana 

  • Yoshinori (義範) was a son of Yoshishige. He was the first to take the name Yamana.
  • Tokiuiji (時氏; † 1372) was an 8th generation descendant of Yoshinori. He sided with Shōgun Ashikaga Takauji, participating in the Battle of Takanoshita in Suruga Province in 1340 and the campaign in Kyūshū in 1336.He sent En'ya Takasada (塩谷高貞) to his death in Izumo Province and became Bettō of the Samurai-dokoro and governor of Inaba and Hōki Province. When sent by Takauji to rescue Hosokawa Akiuji (細川 顕氏; † 1352), who had been defeated by Kusunoki Masaura (楠木 正行; 1326-1348), he was completely defeated at the Battle of Urino (Settsu Province) in 1347, receiving seven wounds. From 1352, he supported the Southern Dynasty and fought against the Ashikaga. In 1362, he conquered the provinces of Mimasaka, Bizen, Bitchū, Inaba and Tamba. However, he subsequently renewed his ties with the Northern Dynasty and Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiakira ceded his five provinces to him. He then shaved his head and took the name Dōjō. - Tokiuji had 11 sons.
  • Moroyoshi (師義; † 1376) was Tokiuji's eldest son. He participated in his father's battles at the age of 14. Shōgun Ashikaga Takauji promised him the small province of Wakasa, but died before it could be officially given to him. After the victory at Hachiman in 1352, he renewed his request but was refused by Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiakira. Angered, he returned to Hōki and in 1352 implored his father to join the Southern Dynasty. The following year he defeated Yoshiakira at Kyōto, but was then defeated himself in 1355. After conquering the provinces of Mimasaka, Bizen, and other provinces, he rejoined the Ashikaga and became Bettō of the Samurai-dokoro. He later shaved his head and called himself Dōkō.
  • Yoshimasa (義理) was the second son of Tokiuji. He conquered the provinces of Izumi and Kii in the name of the Ashikaga. Then he got into dispute with Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and attacked in. He was defeated, however, with his younger brother Ujikiyo losing his life. He surrendered and was forced to shave his head. He took the name Sōkō and retired to the temple Kōkoku-ji.
  • Ujikiyo (氏清) was the fourth son of Tokiuji. He was governor of Tamba province, then Izumi province. He opposed the Ashikaga, but was defeated and killed by Ishshiki Akinori (一色詮範; † 1406).
  • Ujiyuki (氏幸) was a son of Moroyoshi. He revolted against Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1390, but was defeated. He submitted, and two years later, when the Yamana provinces were divided, he was given the province of Hōki.
  • Mitsuyuki (満幸; † 1395) was another son of Moroyoshi. In 1384 he became governor of Izumo and Tamba provinces. He was ordered, along with Ujikiyo, to suppress the rebellion of his brother Ujiyuki and nephew Tokihiro in 1390. Some time later, Ukiyuki ceded his provinces to him, so that he possessed Hōki and Oki in addition to his previous provinces. At that time, Yamana owned 11 provinces, which was 1/6 of the whole country. Therefore, people called them lords of one-sixth (六分の一殿, Rokubun-no-ichi dono). This was too much power for Shōgun Yoshimitsu, so he decided to do something about it. Mitsuyuki provided a reason when he tried to appropriate domains in Izumo Province that belonged to the former emperors. Yoshimitsu recalled his minister Hosokawa Yoriyuki (細川 頼之; 1329-1392) from exile and prepared a campaign against the Yamana. Mitsuyuki did not wait to be attacked, but marched into Kyōto with his father-in-law. But Yoshimitsu, supported, by Isshiki Akinori, Hatakeyma Motokuni (畠山基國; 1352-1406) and others defeated them. Ukikiyo was killed, Mitsukuni escaped to Kyūshū. The Yamana's vast possessions were divided in 1392, leaving only the provinces of Tajima and Hōki to them. Three years later Mitsuyuki was assassinated.
  • Tokihiro (時; † 1435), Tokiyoshi's son and Mitsuyuki's nephew, received Tajima province in 1592. When he rebelled the following year, he was deposed, his province was confiscated, and he was ordered to shave his head, that is, to renounce worldly things.
  • Mochitoyo (持豊) or Sōzen (宗全; 1404-1473) was Tokihiro's son. He inherited the Yamana provinces, which at the time consisted of Tajima, Inaba, and Hōki. In 1441 he participated in he conquest of Bug Shirahata, which sealed the demise of the Akamatsu. He received the province of Harima in return. Then he shaved his head and called himself Sōzen: by this name he is known above all. Then, when he had angered Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, he retired to Tajima, and in 1454 sent his son Noritoyo to Kyōto in his place. When Akamatsu Norinao (赤松則尚; 1425-1455) invaded Harima the following year, he defeated Sōzen and killed him, then marched against Kyōto. When the Hosokawa clan divided, Sōzen sided with Hosokawa Yoshinari. He equally supported the right of Yoshihisa, son of the Shōgun, against Yoshimi. His rival Hosokawa Katsumoto supported Yoshimi, with the great Daimyō split into two sides: The resulting Ōnin War broke out in 1467 and dragged on for over ten years. Sōsen died two months before his rival Katsumoto did. The outcome of the war was not clear; there were no victors.
  • Koretoyo (是豊), Sōzen's son, defeated Hosokawa Yoshinari at Kintaiji in Kawachi province in 1462. During the Ōnin War, he left his father and joined the side of his brother-in-law Hosokawa Katsumoto.
  • Masatoyo (政豊), a grandson of Sōsen, participated in the campaign of Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshihisa against Rokkaku Takayori (六角高頼; 1462-1520) in Ōmi Province in 1487.
  • Toyokuni (豊國; 1548-1626), descendant of Masatoyo, was governor of Inaba Province and resided at Tottori Castle. He refused for a long time to recognize Toyotomi Hideyoshi's authority, but finally had to do so in 1590. Hideyoshi gave him two territories of Inaba, but Toyokuni divided them among his retainers. He himself preferred to roam the country until his death.
  • During the Tokugawa shogunate, Toyokuni's descendants remained in Muraoka (Inaba). After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the head of the house was given the title of Baron.


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