Ouchi Teruhiro (大内輝弘)

Teruhiro OUCHI (c. 1520 - January 1, 1569) was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period). He was a son of Takahiro OUCHI, who was the second son of Masahiro OUCHI, the fourteenth head of Ouchi family. He had a son named Takehiro OUCHI.


Although he belonged to the Ouchi clan, he opposed Yoshitaka OUCHI from the outset, and became a guest busho (Japanese military commander) with the Otomo clan which was hostile in spite of the blood relations between the two clans. Although became the 18th head of Ouchi clan, he had no real power, and the Ouchi clan can be viewed as having died out with the death of Yoshinaga OUCHI.

In 1568, when Yoshishige OTOMO fought a battle with Motonari MORI over the hegemony of Buzen region, Otomo's army was in a state of collapse in the face of attacks by Mori's army. On advice from Nagamasu YOSHIOKA, a member of his staff, from September to December of the same year Sorin entrusted his soldiers to Teruhiro who was dependent on the Otomo clan and ordered him to land secretly in Suo Province with the help of the Otomo navy headed by Shigeoki WAKABAYASHI. Although the number of soldiers under Teruhiro's command was small, he defeated Tsuneyoshi ICHIKAWA in a sea battle.

When Teruhiro invaded Suo Province many former vassals of the Ouchi clan were ready to help him because of his family name. With most of Mori's army dispatched to the battlefields of northern Kyushu, the remaining soldiers were forced into a difficult battle. However, the wife of Tsuneyoshi ICHIKAWA, charged with defending Konomine-jo Castle, offered fierce resistance with a small band of soldiers and Teruhiro was stopped at Tsukiyama yakata (a villa of the Ouchi clan in Yamaguchi), and could not fully occupy Yamaguchi.

When Motonari found out about the invasion by Teruhiro, he promptly gave up on attacking north Kyushu and sent his elite troops headed by Motoharu KIKKAWA and Takakage KOBAYAKAWA to Suo. Informed of this, Teruhiro abandoned his efforts in Yamaguchi and made for the coast in an attempt to escape by sea. But he was chased down and caught at Mt. Chausu in Tonomi (currently Hofu City), and ended up committing suicide.

As a result of Teruhiro's invasion of Yamaguchi, Mori's army was forced to withdraw to Honshu (the main island of Japan), which allowed the Otomo clan to recapture Mori's castles in Chikuzen Province and elsewhere in northern Kyushu. Thus, it could be said that Teruhiro OUCHI was sacrificed by Sorin OTOMO.

[Original Japanese]