Murakami Yoshiteru (村上義光)

Yoshiteru MURAKAMI (year of birth unknown - April 15, 1333) was a Japanese military commander in the late Kamakura period. His common name was Hikoshiro. He was a son of Nobuyasu MURAKAMI. He was known as a loyal subject of Imperial Prince Otonomiya Moriyoshi.

According to "Taiheiki" (The Record of Great Peace), he served Imperial Prince Moriyoshi who fled the Hannya-ji Temple in Nara to Kumano, after the Genko Incident. Along the way, Imperial Prince and his subjects encountered Shoji IMOSE from a local clan which served their enemy, and they begged him to pass them through.

Then Shoji IMOSE replied, 'Give me one or two distinguished subjects instead of allowing you to pass, so I can do my duty to the shogunate.'

Sokuyu AKAMATSU stepped forward for the Imperial Prince.

Scrificing one's life in an emergency of his master; this is what a proper subject is supposed to do.'
I, Sokuyu, wouldn't care if I were to passed into the hands of enemy for the Imperial Prince.'

However, Saburo HIRAGA suggested as follows:
Not a single competent subject can be missed now for the sake of the Imperial Highness.'
If we pretend that we relinquished the Imperial standard and escaped safely after a fierce fight, we can save Shoji IMOSE's face as well.'

Accepting his suggestion, they relinquished their valuable Imperial standard to Shoji IMOSE and managed to overcome this difficult situation.

Belatedly, Yoshiteru also encountered Shoji IMOSE and found the Imperial standard flying there.

Yoshiteru got very angry and said, 'How dare someone like you have done such things to the Imperial Prince !'
And he succeeded to retrieve the Imperial standard.

When Mt. Yoshino was fallen by Sadafuji NIKAIDO's massive force, he shouted in order to let the Imperial Prince Moriyoshi escape safely, 'I am Ippon Hyobukyo (Imperial Prince of the first rank, Minister for Military Affairs), Imperial Prince Moriyoshi, the second son of Emperor Godaigo who was the 95th generation from Emperor Jinmu, the descendant of Amaterasu Omikami (the Sun Goddess). Look at how I am going to kill myself now in order not to be overthrown by rebellious subjects and settle my grudge in the afterworld, and follow what I've done when you have to commit seppuku after using up your fortune of war.'
Arrogating himself to be Imperial Prince, he committed seppuku in place of him.

On that occasion, his son, Yoshitaka, tried to kill himself with Yoshiteru, but Yoshiteru stopped this and told him to protect the Imperial Prince. After that, Yoshitaka worked hard to let Imperial Prince escape safely, but he was injured all over, exhausted, and committed seppuku.
(There is a heroic anecdote about him that he pulled his gut off and threw it to the enemy even after committing seppuku.)

[Original Japanese]