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Akechi
Akechi-mon
Historical Information
Located at: Kani District, Mino Province
Served:
Crest(s)/Banner(s): Japanese bellflower (pictured)
Talent(s): Warrior clan
Major Figure(s): Akechi Mitsuhide, Akechi Tama

The Akechi clan (明智氏, Akechi-shi or Akechi-uji) was a clan which existed during the Warring States period. Descendants of Mitsuhide's family line are known to exist today primarily due to Garasha's children surviving most of their brethren.

Since Mitsuhide's life is not quite verified, the Akechi clan have a muddled history. It's not known if he was truly related to Mitsutsuna –his predecessor– or if he was truly the leader of his clan's house. As such, there is little to be said of the clan's history prior to Mitsuhide. They are believed to be descendants of the Toki clan within Mino, whose roots are either the Mino-Genji or the Settsu Genji. Most of their family property and descendants were absorbed into other clans in the aftermath of the Battle of Yamazaki. Simultaneously, the clan is believed to have been abolished with Mitsuhide and Mitsuyoshi's deaths.

The Japanese bellflower was believed to have been painted in light-blue paint atop a white banner or vice versa. Within the Heian period, the emblem was thought to be a divine blessing of prosperity. It was also believed to originally be the Japanese morning glory based on the petals' lush shape. Within the flower language, the bellflower means fairness while the morning glory symbolizes love and serenity. It reportedly carried a dignified image of respect and nobility when it was used by clans. After Hideyoshi obliterated Mitsuhide at Yamazaki, however, the emblems and the color scheme instead meant "mark of a traitor". The association with the emblem became so strong it was said to have caused Mizuno Katsunari –who also used it– to change his family code of arms. Later tales of the Edo period said that the colors represented envy.

GenealogyEdit

Other FiguresEdit

  • Mitsutsugu - Allegedly Mitsuhide's grandfather who served Saitō Dōsan. His daughter, Omi no Kata, was said to have been one of the daimyo's wives. Omi no Kata gave birth to Kichō, thereby making her and Mistuhide cousins. However, due to lack of historical evidence, these claims are difficult to verify.
  • Mitsutsuna - also known as Mitsukuni or Mitsutaka. Allegedly Mitsuhide's father. Life and death are completely unknown and argued. According to common folklore, he served Dōsan.
  • Nobutaka - Mitsuhide's younger brother (if he is related to Mitsutsuna).
  • Yasuhide - Mitsuhide's younger brother (if he is related to Mitsutsuna).
  • Mitsuyoshi - argued to be Mitsuhide's eldest son. According to a record left by Jesuits, he was a beautiful youth who composed himself the demeanor of a prince. Didn't participate in his father's campaigns and was left at one of his father's castles. After his father was killed at Yamazaki, the castle he and his brothers were within was surrounded by Hideyoshi's troops. Mitsuyoshi was said to have committed suicide when he was only fourteen years old. Also speculated to have lived as a monk known as Nagoku Bonkei.
  • Sadanori - also known as Tsutsui Sadanori. Often acknowledged as Mitsuhide's second son. Speculated to have been Mitsuhide's adopted child and Tsutsui Junkei's biological son. Died with Mitsuyoshi.
  • Nagoku Bonkei - may or may not be Mitsuhide's third son. Said to have died with Mitsuyoshi.
  • Kitamura Yasuyuki - may or may not be Mitsuhide's third son. He was a six month old infant when his father attacked Honnōji. When Sakamoto Castle was surrounded by Hideyoshi's army, his mother fled with him back to the Kitamura clan. Later was given the title Naichi Maro. Said to have authored the Akechi genealogy during his later life.
  • Otojumaru (Arafuka Mitsunori) - may or may not be Mitsuhide's fourth son. According to the Taikoki, he survived his father's death at Yamazaki by fleeing to Mino. He was adopted by Arafuka clan and lived as a general in their service. He drowned in a river during the Sekigahara campaign. The legitimacy of the story seems unlikely due to his absence in historical texts.
  • Hosokawa Tadataka - grandson due to Garasha's marriage with Hosokawa Tadaoki. Tadataka's wife was Maeda Toshiie's daughter, Chiyo. Desired to keep his wife in the months prior to Sekigahara, but his father was upset over losing Garasha to Chiyo's supporters and denied his son's pleas. Tadataka did not divorce her, but their separation more or less ended friendly ties between the Maeda and Hosokawa clans. He stayed in Kyoto as a poet and artist of the tea ceremony.
  • Hosokawa Okiaki - grandson due to Garasha's marriage with Tadaoki. Political hostage early in life until maturity. Served the Toyotomi and fought during the Osaka campaigns. Captured during battle and then ordered to commit suicide.
  • Hosokawa Tadatoshi - grandson due to Garasha's marriage with Tadaoki. Political hostage early in life due to split with Tadataka and his father. Gained Tokugawa Hidetada's trust and was donned Tadaoki's successor in 1620. Died before his father but his properties were inherited by his eldest son.

LadiesEdit

  • Chigusahime - Yamagishi Mitsunobu's daughter; Mitsuhide's first wife when she was sixteen-years old. Mitsunobu was fabled to be the younger brother of Mitsuhide's mother and he wanted Mitsuhide to inherit the Yamagishi clan, but his nephew had no particular interest with the proposal. Chigusahime, though born with enchanting beauty and a charming wit, spent a majority of their engagement being thoroughly ignored by her fiancé. The situation did not improve when Mitsuhide spent more time with his other wife, Hirokohime. As Chigusahime was actually in love with Mitsuhide, there is a story in which she forced him in a room and profusely confessed her feelings for him. Though he rejected her, the two were able to eventually reconcile. While she is considered his first wife, it's unknown if the two actually got married.
  • Tsumaki Hiroko - also known as Hirokohime; said to have been Tsumaki Norihiro's daughter, a retainer of the Toki clan. She was engaged to Mitsuhide in 1545 but, since she had scars from smallpox still present on her body, her father was prepared to offer her younger sisters as compensation. However, Mitsuhide refused the offer and gladly took Hirokohime as his wife. Mitsuhide treasured her and is famous for claiming that he needed no concubines with Hirokohime beside him. She valued him in turn and it is generally accepted that they had a harmonious relationship. When Mitsuhide had to start over once they lost their home, she was said to have shaved her black hair in order to restore his name in the court. They had one known child together, Akechi Tama. Though he constantly tried to nurse her back to health, one story of her death states that she passed away due to illness during Mitsuhide's lifetime. Others state that she died in 1582 at Sakamoto Castle or that she survived at least until the Battle of Sekigahara took place.
  • Akechi Mitsutada's wife - Mitsuhide's eldest or second daughter.
  • Akechi Tama (Hosokawa Garasha) - Mitsuhide's third daughter. Also called his second, fourth, or fifth daughter.
  • Ido Haruhide's wife - Mitsuhide's daughter
  • Tsuda Nobusumi's wife - Mitsuhide's daughter
  • Tsutsui Sadatsugu's wife - Mitsuhide's daughter or servant maiden.
  • Ayano - Mitsuhide's daughter, Matsudaira Tadamasa's wife.
  • Mizuno - Mitsuhide's daughter, Imanishi Harufusa's wife.

VassalsEdit

  • Miyage Shigeto - also said to be Mitsuhide's grandson.
  • Akechi Hidemitsu - also said to be Mitsuhide's cousin.
  • Akechi Mitsutada
  • Akechi Mizō
  • Akechi Mitsuchika
  • Akechi Magjurō
  • Akechi Kamon
  • Akechi Hidesada
  • Hida Tatewaki
  • Tsumaki Hirotada
  • Minoura Okura
  • Saitō Toshimitsu
  • Mizō Shigetomo
  • Fujita Yukimasa
  • Yasuda Kunitsugu
  • Yasuda Sakubei
  • Ise Sadaoki
  • Ido Yoshihiro
  • Mizoo Shoubei
  • Atsuji Sadayuki
  • Atsuji Sadahiro
  • Mimaki Kaneaki
  • Omaki Kageshige
  • Ikai Nobuasada
  • Kimura Yoshikiyo
  • Furukawa Kyobei
  • Yamazaki Naganori
  • Matsuda Matsuchika
  • Namikawa Ekiie
  • Isogoya Shinsuke
  • Ikeda Teruie
  • Miyake Toubei
  • Ninagawa Sadaie
  • Ishimori Kurōsaemon
  • Isagoe Hikoshirō
  • Tanaka Morishige
  • Shibata Katsusada
  • Shinji Sakuzaemon
  • Yoshikawa Kyubei
  • Naitō Shigemasa
  • Yamagata Hidemasa
  • Koma Tsunayoshi
  • Yoji

External LinksEdit

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