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Yuki no Kata

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Yuki no kata and her husband defending Anōtsu castle.

Yuki no Kata (ゆきの方) or Oyuki (おゆき), was one of the many women who fought during the Warring States period. She was the wife of Tomita Nobutaka, an officer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Her birth and death are not recorded. Portrayed in current records as beautiful and highly skilled warrior, she defended the Anōtsu castle in the Battle of Sekigahara.[1]

Battle of Anōtsu castle[edit]

She and Nobutaka sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Eastern Army as Japan prepared for the Sekigahara campaign. Unfortunately for the couple, that meant their castle was right along the Western Army's path towards Ieyasu. To make matters worse, Nobutaka and his forces were summoned away to aid Ieyasu in punishing Uesugi Kagekatsu as Ishida Mitsunari prepared to attack the western roads towards Edo, Ieyasu's stronghold.

Upon learning of Mitsunari's movements, Nobutaka rushed back to protect Yuki no Kata and his castle, but was delayed by Kuki Yoshitaka.He arrived in time before the western forces led by Mōri Terumoto, Chōsokabe Morichika, and Nabeshima Katsushige reached Anōtsu. Armed with only 1,700 troops, Yuki no Kata and their allies defended themselves against the western alliance force of 30,000; the battle officially began on October 1, 1600. In the heat of combat, Nobutaka was cut off from his allies in pursuit of an injured enemy officer. To save her husband, Yuki no Kata drove some of the opposing soldiers away using a naginata. So great was her attack that the enemy mistook her for a samurai, only one with a face far too fair. Having saved Nobutaka, their forces withdrew back into the castle for the night when negotiations began. Terumoto allowed the defenders to flee at night out of respect for their bravery against such overwhelming odds.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (2012-01-20). Samurai Women 1184–1877. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781780963334.