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Ouchi Yoshitaka

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  • Birth: 1507
  • Death: 1551
  • Titles: Suo no suke, Iyo no suke
  • Distinction: Lord of Suo and Nagato
  • Sons: Yoshihiro (1545-1551)


Yoshitaka was the eldest son of Ôuchi Yoshioki and his mother was the daughter of Naitô Hironori. He became daimyô following the death of his father in 1528 and worked to solidify Ôuchi influence over northern Kyushu during the 1530's. He also moved to cement his family's domination of the overseas trade, and it was partially to this end that he entertained Francis Xavier in 1550 (two years after the end of the 'official' China trade). He sent Sue Harukata to lift the Amako's siege of Koriyama in 1540, and personally led an army into the Amako domain in 1542. This campaign foundered at the walls of Gassan-Toda Castle and ended in a bitter defeat for the Ôuchi and their allies the Môri. This reverse prompted Yoshitaka to largely withdraw from military affairs, leaving them in the hands of the Naitô and Sue. He devoted himself instead to cultural pursuits and further spared little expense to turn Yamaguchi into a 'western' Kyoto. His retainers grew dissatisfied with his activities and in 1551 Sue Takafusa (Harukata) rebelled, forcing Yoshitaka to flee to a temple in Nagato, where, abandoned by most of his retainers, he committed suicide along with his young son Yoshihiro.

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