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Konishi Yukinaga (Japanese 小 西 行長, c. 1555 – November 6, 1600) – samurai commander of medieval Japan of the . One of the famous Japanese Christians. Division commander in the Korean expeditions Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1592-1598. Executed after being defeated at the Battle of Sekigahara for refusing to commit seppuku.Biographyearly yearsVery little is known about the first half of Konishi Yukinagi’s life. It is believed that he came from a merchant family who traded in medicines in the city of Sakai. According to the Jesuit reports of the 16th century, Yukinaga was born in 1555 (1 year of the Koji era) in the capital of Kyoto, where his father, Konishi Ryusa, moved from Sakai. It was probably in the capital that young Yukinaga first became acquainted with Christianity. There he perfectly learned the of using the kenjutsu sword.Yukinagi’s father was in charge of the commercial affairs of one of the generals of the Oda clan, Hashiba Hideyoshi, the future „unifier of Japan." The latter was friendly to the young Konishi. This acquaintance played a decisive role in Yukinagi’s career.In the 1570s, Konishi Yukinaga was hired as an adjutant of Ukita Naoie, the owner of the Bizen and Mimasaka provinces (now Okayama Prefecture), who was in vassalage to the Mori clan. When the clan entered the war against Oda Nobunaga in the late 1570s, Ukita went over to the latter’s side. Thanks to his young and talented diplomat Yukinaga, after successfully negotiating with the commander-in-chief of Oda’s forces, Hashiba Hideyoshi, Ukita managed to avoid the redistribution of his lands and occupy a high position among Nobunaga’s vassals.After the death of Ukita Naoe in 1581 (9th year of the Tensho era), Yukinaga left his suzerain house and was readily accepted into the service of Hashiba Hideyoshi.In the service of HideyoshiIn 1581, the new owner assigned Konishi Sensei control of the important port of Murotsu in Harima Province (now Hyogo Prefecture) and appointed him overseers of the maritime communications between Harima and Sakai City. A year later, Hideyoshi handed him over the leadership of the strategically important Azuki Island, making Yukinaga responsible for the transportation and communications of the eastern Inland Sea. In 1583, Konishi Sensei was appointed „overseer of the ships" (舟 奉行), that is, the head of Hideyoshi’s fleet.In the early 1580s, Yukinaga became close to Ukon Takayama, the leader of Japanese Christians in the Kinki region, and under his influence adopted the new faith. At baptism, he received the name „Augustino" (Augustine).In 1585, Konishi Sensei, as the commander-in-chief of Hideyoshi’s naval forces, took part in the destruction of the Saiga and Nengoro Buddhist rebels in Kii province. He directed the shelling of enemy fortifications from ships.In 1588, for suppressing riots in the Higo province, Yukinaga received from the suzerain three southern counties of this province, centered in the castle of Usa, whose annual income was 120 thousand koku. The northern lands went to General Kato Kiyomasa, a relative of Hideyoshi, who sought to unite Higo under his command and because of this clashed with Konishi. The confrontation between Yukinaga and Kiyomasa acquired a religious connotation, since the former was a Christian, and the latter was an adherent of the most fanatical Nichiren Buddhist school. Both rivals differed in the way they govern their territories. Konishi Yukinaga favored the peaceful rule of the province, promoted the development of domestic and foreign trade, and was engaged in the development of cities. In contrast to this, Kato Kiyomasa was a supporter of the „militaristic mode of management", imposed high military duties on the population, kept a large army unnecessarily and fortified his lands with hard-to-reach castles.Probably in the late 1580s, Yukinaga married the daughter of the ruler of Tsushima, So Yoshitoshi. Under the influence of Konishi, his wife and father-in-law converted to Christianity. In baptism they received the names „Justa" and „Dario".War in koreaWith the beginning of Hideyoshi’s Korean expedition in 1592 (1 year of the Bunkoku era), Konishi Sensei arrived at the front with a samurai detachment of 7,000 men. By order of the overlord, he was entrusted with the vanguard 1st division, numbering 18,700 soldiers. To encourage Yukinaga to feats, Hideyoshi granted him the right to use the surname Toyotomi. This was very honorable, since Konishi Sensei was equated with close relatives of Hideyoshi himself, the ruler of Japan. In order to stimulate Yukinagi’s active actions on the front line, Hideyoshi appointed his main opponent, Kato Kiyomasu, the commander of the second vanguard division. During all military operations in Korea, these two generals tried to surpass each other.In the war, Yukinaga proved to be a gifted commander. On May 25, 1592, his troops were the first to take the Korean city of Busan, and in June – the capital of Korea, Seoul. The victories of Konishi’s Hideyoshi so much that he promised to give him a third of the lands of the as a reward.After the fall of Seoul, Yukinagi’s First Division moved north and captured Pyongyang at the end of July. In August, under its walls, Konishi shattered the first Chinese contingent, which appeared to help the Koreans. However, with the beginning of 1593, the 150,000-strong Chinese army under the command of Li Rusun forced Yukinaga to leave the city and retreat to Seoul.On February 27, 1593, at the Battle of Pekchegwan, the Japanese repulsed the combined Sino-Korean army and stopped its advance to the south of the peninsula. However, the samurai did not have the strength to continue the conquest of Korea – the lack of reinforcements and the activities of the Korean partisans in the rear affected. The Korean navy seized the initiative at sea and cut off the Japanese connection with their homeland. The expeditionary forces found themselves isolated in enemy territory, without the support of the local population and provisions. In such a situation, the morale of the samurai troops fell.To save the army from starvation and extermination, Konishi Yukinaga in June 1593 began negotiations with the Chinese command for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The samurai retreated from Seoul to the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. Chinese envoys were sent to Japan to work out the terms of peace. They were received by Ishida Mitsunari, one of Hideyoshi’s most talented advisers, who, like Konishi, understood the perniciousness of continuing the war. Despite the disastrous position of the samurai troops at sea, the Japanese ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi made exaggerated demands on China and Korea. His passions were fueled by Konishi’s longtime opponent, Kato Kiyomasa, who sent two captive Korean princes to Japan as proof of a „victorious war." Seeing that the negotiation process could come to a standstill due to Hideyoshi’s unwillingness to perceive the real state of affairs in Korea, Yukinaga and Mitsunari decided to make peace secretly, behind the back of their overlord.In 1594, Konishi Yukinagi’s vassal, Naito Tadayasu, was sent to Beijing to sign the peace. He was imprisoned on Chinese terms. The Japanese were to immediately withdraw their troops from Korea. As a concession, the Chinese emperor gave Toyotomi Hideyoshi the label of a vassal „king of Japan." In 1596, the text of the treaty and the letter of the Ming Emperor arrived with an embassy in Japan. Hideyoshi graciously accepted them, but when he learned that the peace had been signed in spite of his demands, he became very angry, expelled the ambassadors and ordered the execution of Konishi Yukinaga as responsible for the .In response to the „impudent offers" of the Chinese, Hideyoshi ordered to resume the conquest of Korea. Since there were few capable commanders who had valuable combat experience and knew Korea, he pardoned Yukinaga and appointed him commander of the 2nd Vanguard Division, "General of the Left Army," a total of 14,700 men.The new expedition was also successful at the beginning. The Japanese conquered the Kyosan province in May 1597 and built their own fortifications. Subsequently, they conquered the main stronghold of the Korean partisans in the Jeolla province, in obtaining which the Yukinagi samurai especially distinguished themselves. However, in the fall, the Japanese were counterattacked by the Sino-Korean combined forces, which pushed the enemy back to the southern coast of the peninsula. The samurai were forced to go over to positional defense. As the Korean navy regained supremacy at sea, the Japanese were cut off from their homeland. The Sino-Korean army incessantly attacked the coastal castles, the last fortifications of the samurai. Konishi Senseon Castle was held and twice successfully repelled assaults from the dominant enemy.On September 18, 1598, the ruler of Japan Toyotomi Hideyoshi died. His powers were taken over by a council of five elders, who decided to evacuate Japanese troops from Korea and end the war. The samurai began to retreat, but the Korean fleet became a hindrance to them. On December 16, at the Battle of Noryang Bay, he sank more than half of the enemy ships that were returning to Japan. The retreats were threatened with complete destruction, if not for the ships of Konishi Yukinagi and Shimazu Yoshihiro, who, despite the heavy losses, were able to sink the Korean flagship during the battle. The latter stopped pursuing, and the samurai expeditionary army returned home.Battle of SekigaharaIn 1600, a conflict broke out between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari over the presidency of the Toyotomi family after Hideyoshi’s death. The first headed the so-called „Eastern coalition", which included mainly the rulers of Eastern Japan, and the second – „Western", which was joined by most of the samurai in the west of the country. Yukinaga joined Isis’ Western Coalition. Jesuit priests advised Konishi to join the Tokugawa, but he refused.In the decisive battle at Sekigahara on October 21, 1600, Konishi Sensei commanded 6 thousand soldiers (according to other versions – 4 thousand) of the „Western Coalition". His positions were to the left of Ukita Hideie’s forces, on the front line. At eight o’clock in the morning, he was attacked by four units of the army of the „Eastern Coalition" under the command of Terazawa Hirotaki (2400), Furuta Shigekatsu (1200), Kanamori Nagatiki (1140) and Oda Nagamasu (450). Yukinaga skillfully repelled all enemy attacks, inflicting significant losses on the advancing arquebus fire. When the enemy was about to flee, an urgent message was received that General of the „Western Coalition" Kobayakawa Hideaki had betrayed her and went over to the side of the enemy. His forces hit the left flank of Ukita Hideie’s army, defeated it and swooped down on Konishi’s position. Despite desperate attempts to resist the onslaught of the enemy on both sides, Yukinaga’s small army was soon destroyed. Konishi Sensei himself retreated from the battlefield to Mount Ibukiyama in the province of Omi. Not wanting to endure the bitterness of defeat, but not being able to commit seppuku because of his Christian beliefs, he voluntarily surrendered to the victors.On November 6, 1600 in Kyoto, Konishi Sensei and Ishida Mitsunari were beheaded. According to the Jesuit legend, during the execution, while praying, he held in his hands the images of Christ and the Virgin Mary, which were sent to him by the Queen of Portugal. Although Yukinaga was a little cool about Christianity after the decree on the expulsion of missionaries from Japan (1588), the Church believes that he fulfilled his calling, because it was because of Christian motives that he refused to lay hands on himself.Yukinaga’s 12-year-old eldest son was also executed. It is believed that Konishi Sensei had another son who escaped repression and entered the service of the Kuroda clan, one of the Christian samurai clans on the island of Kyushu. However, later, by order of the shogunate, he was expelled from Japan to Macau and killed by the hands of an assassin. Yukinagi’s wife was imprisoned in a monastery in Nagasaki, where she died in 1605. The straight line of the Konishi family was interrupted.

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