Letter from Daihōji Yoshiuji to Governor Ayukawa of Yamashiro Province

A designated cultural property of Sakata City

18 April, circa 1569 (Eiroku 12–Genki 1)

Donated by the Homma family

Also known as Mutō Yoshiuji, Daihōji Yoshiuji (1551–83) was a feudal lord and the 17th head of the Daihōji clan, who ruled over the Shōnai district of Dewa Province. The letter here is addressed to the governor residing in the Yuri district of Ayukawa, located in the Senboku region (present-day Akita Prefecture). As he himself is still in young, writes Yoshiuji, he wishes to entrust everything to his trusted retainer, Tosabayashi Zentō.

The Eiroku era (1558–70) saw much confusion in the Shōnai area, with the Mogami clan in Yamagata, the Date clan in Yonezawa, and the Uesugi clan in Echigo. With the backing of the Uesugi clan, Yoshiuji seized Shōnai. However, he was assassinated at Oura Castle in 1583 by Tōzenji Yoshinaga (also known as Maemori Kurōdo), a senior vassal of the Daihōji clan who had taken sides with Mogami Yoshiaki.