Inui Kazunobu (和信) (乾和信)

Kazunobu (和信) INUI (1544 - January 18, 1586) was samurai of the late Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was a retainer to Katsutoyo YAMAUCHI. He was conferred the surname YAMAUCHI and changed his name to Hikosaku YAMAUCHI. His Karoku (hereditary stipend) was worth 1300 koku. His wife was Katsutoyo YAMAUCHI's adopted daughter (Satouji ANDO's real daughter).
His Kamon (family crest) was 'The Chinese bellflower with a circle.'
He was Kazumitsu INUI's older brother.


He was born in Mino Province as a legitimate heir of Kazunobu (和宣) INUI. It was recorded that Kazunobu (和信) 'had long been known by Lord Katsutoyo (since before 1578),' and was formally employed in 1578 when Katsutoyo YAMAUCHI launched an attack against Nagaharu BESSHO, a lord of Miki-jo Castle in Harima Province. Although he distinguished himself in this battle, he was wounded; Katsutoyo took off his paper Jinbaori (sleeveless campaign jacket worn over armor) and gave it to Kazunobu (和信) out of concern. Afterwards, he continued to gain Katsutoyo's trust, and married Katsutoyo's adopted daughter (Satouji ANDO's biological daughter, and Katsutoyo's niece) with permission to use the family name YAMAGUCHI. When Katsutoyo's command was reassigned to the territory of Nagahama, Omi Province in 1585, he was given a fief of 1,300 koku and became the Karo (chief retainer). However, at the time of Tensho great earthquake in November of the same year, he and his wife died together, while trying to save Yone, Katsutoyo's daughter. Died at the age of 42.


The Inui family was a branch of the Toki family of Mino Province, one of Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan). The origin of the surname is that Shigeyori hisaemon TOKI, a descendant of Yorisada TOKI's forth son Doken, was based in Higashino village, Ikeda County, Mino Province; in the northwest (inui) of Inabayama Castle: the castle where the Toki family usually resided.


Kazunobu (和信) had two children, but they were raised by Kenshoin (Katsutoyo YAMAUCHI's lawful wife) because they were very young when their parents sacrificed themselves. Therefore, the family estate was inherited by his younger brother Kazumitsu INUI.

Kazunobu (和信) was granted Henki (granting subordinates the use of a character from the superior's real name) by Katsutoyo (一豊) with the letter '一 (pronounced "Katsu")' for his two children. However, he was too awed to use the letter '一' and named his sons Katsumasu (勝益) and Katsuji (勝次) with the letter '勝 (pronounced "Katsu")' instead, which has the same pronunciation.

[Original Japanese]