Inadome Sukenao (稲富祐直)

Sukenao INADOME (1552 - March 20, 1611) was a firearms expert who lived from Sengoku period (period of Warring States) period into the early Edo period. He was the founder of the Inadome school of gunnery. His Buddhist names were Ichimu and Risai. Another name he went by was Naoie. He was the son of Naohide INADOME, and the grandson of Sukehide INADOME. He was governor of Iga Province. Naoshige INADOME was his younger brother. He was the lord of Yuminoki castle.

Because he was taught gunnery techniques by his grandfather Sukehide, he was surpassingly skilled in gunnery and it is said that he made further advances beyond his grandfather's technique, thereby founding the Inadome school of gunnery.

He initially served the Isshiki clan, but upon their annihilation in 1582, he began serving Tadaoki HOSOKAWA. It is said that during the Keicho military campaign, he holed himself up in Ulsan Waesong (a Japanese castle in Korea) and played an active role from there.

In 1600, when the battle of Sekigahara broke out, Sukenao was at the Osaka mansion of the Hosokawa clan, serving as the bodyguard to Gracia HOSOKAWA, Tadaoki's wife; when Gracia became embroiled in Mitsunari ISHIDA's hostage strategy and committed suicide, it is said that Sukenao was aided by his gunnery pupils and managed to flee the mansion. For this reason, after the battle Sukenao earned the hatred of Tadaoki, who had lost his beloved wife Gracia, and for a time it seemed certain Tadaoki would kill him, but Ieyasu TOKUGAWA greatly valued his skills and expertise at gunnery so his life was spared. Thereafter, it is said Sukenao served both Tadayoshi MATSUDAIRA and Yoshinao TOKUGAWA.

Later he took the tonsure and became a monk, under the Buddhist name of first Ichimu and then Risai. His pupils included Naomasa II and Yoshinaga ASANO. Yet Sukenao came under criticism by Kiyomasa KATO, who accused him of being a turncoat who had sold his family's honor.

During battle he wore two overlapping suits of armor, which led to his nickname, Niryo gusoku (Double-collared armor; note that this has no connection to the Ichiryo gusoku of the Chosokabe family).

Sukenao had no children, so he adopted Hideaki INADOME, the son of his elder sister, and made him his heir, but because Hideaki died sometime during the Shoho era (1644 - 1648). Hideaki's younger brother Hidetaka INADOME succeeded him as heir to the Inadome clan.

[Original Japanese]