最上義光歴史館/Profile of Mogami Yoshiaki

最上義光歴史館
Profile of Mogami Yoshiaki
Profile of Mogami Yoshiaki

【Birthplace】
Born in Yamagata Castle

【Birthday】
Tenbun 15 (1546) (Year of the Horse)

【Blood type】   
!? (But we know his nephew Date Masamune was type B)

【Occupation】     
Lord of Yamagata Castle (much like being the Governor of Yamagata Prefecture today)

【Official rank】    
Jyushii Konoe-no-shōshō

【Family crest】    
Two horizontal lines in a circle "Bamboo and Two Sparrows" and others

【Hobbies】    
Martial arts, calligraphy, reading (apparently he loved old, classic books)

【Favorite food】   
shiobiki (grilled salted salmon)

【Academic specialty】  
Japanese language (He was very good at renga linked verse)

【Nickname】   
"The Tiger General" (which related to his official rank of general)

【Wife】   
Legal wife: Ōsaki
Secondary wives: Tendō, Shimizu and others

【Father】   
Mogami Yoshimori (Tenth Lord of the Mogami family)

【Mother】    
!? (Not clearly identified)

【Siblings】    
Younger brothers Yoshiyasu and Yoshihisa, younger sister Yoshihime (Mother of Date Masamune)

【Children】    
Boys: Yoshiyasu, Iechika, Ujimitsu, Akishige, Akihiro, Akitaka
Girls: Matsuohime, Komahime, Takehime, Kikuhime

【Forebears】    
Shiba Kaneyori (First Lord of the Mogami Family)

【Ancestors】    
The Seiwa Emperor (Seiwa Genji)

【Died】   
January 18, 1614 (age 69)


Mogami Yoshiaki was the 11th lord of the Mogami clan. Born in January of 1546, little is known about his physical appearance, but an ancient document refers to him as “over 180 cm in height, with a fair complexion and keen and piercing eyes which distinguish him from the ordinary samurai.”

When a still-youthful Yoshiaki succeeded his father as head of the Mogami clan, there was no unified rule over the Yamagata area. Yoshiaki addressed this situation by conquering the other lords of the area and consolidating control over the region with himself as the supreme military and political ruler.

In the year 1600, a great battle took place in the Yamagata region. A large enemy army attempted to invade Yoshiaki’s domain, and as these enemy soldiers outnumbered Yoshiaki’s own force by more than two to one, their victory seemed virtually assured. However, using the geographical terrain of the region to its advantage, Yoshiaki’s army fought and defeated the invading force, protecting the Yamagata domain and making Yoshiaki a hero in the eyes of his subjects.
Yoshiaki is known for his many significant accomplishments. In addition to safeguarding the peace of the region, he brought stability to the lives of inhabitants through the measures he implemented in a wide range of areas including agriculture, manufacture, transport, commerce, religion, and culture. His crowing achievements were the reconstruction of Yamagata Castle into a large and imposing fortress and the establishment of the surrounding castle town. This castle town would in time become Yamagata city, the capital of Yamagata prefecture, and would serve as a model for the modern layout of the city as it exists today.

Yoshiaki died of illness on January 18, 1614 at the age of 69, a relatively advanced age for an era in which life expectancy for warriors was said to be around 50. Greatly beloved by his underlings, Yoshiaki was followed in death by four grieving retainers who committed ritual suicide to join their master. Yoshiaki continues to be remembered for his many accomplishments, and is referred to as the “Tiger General”in honor of his great legacy.

2012/04/29 13:00 (C) 最上義光歴史館
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