Daidoji Yuzan (大道寺友山)

Yuzan DAIDOJI (1639 - 1730) was a samurai and a tactician in the Edo period. Born in Fushimi, Yamashiro Province, Yuzan had the real name of "Shigesuke" and a common name of "Magokuro" which his legitimate family line's descendants also used as their common name for generations. In his later years, he wrote "Budo Shoshinshu" (The Code of the Warrior), "Iwabuchi yawa" (Night Stories of Iwabuchi), "Ochibo shu" (Gleanings), etc. He was the great-grandchild of Masashige DAIDOJI, a senior vassal of the Gohojo clan. In the genealogy of the Daidoji family, the lineage goes down from Naoshige DAIDOJI via Shigehisa DAIDOJI to Shigesuke (Yuzan) DAIDOJI.

In 1639, Yuzan was born as a child of Shigehisa DAIDOJI. Shigehisa was formerly a statesman of the Takada clan, Echigo Province, serving Tadateru MATSUDAIRA, but after the Matsudaira family forfeited the rank of samurai and properties in 1616, he was a masterless samurai. When Yuzan grew up, he went to Edo and learned military science of Koshu school from Kagenori OBATA, Ujinaga HOJO, Soko YAMAGA and others, and established himself as a scholar of military science. Because of Yuzan's extensive knowledge, he was invited as a guest to lecture on military science by some feudal clans including that of Asano-Hiroshima in the Geishu district, Matsudaira-Aizu, Matsudaira-Fukui in the Echizen district. In December 1730, he died in Edo at the age of 92. His book "Budo Shoshinshu" can be said to be a guide on Bushido for young people from the family of the middle or lower ranking samurai, and it says every samurai should bear in mind that he could die tomorrow. The book has many ideas in common with "Hagakure" (The Book of the Samurai) contemporarily written by Tsunetomo YAMAMOTO in the Saga Clan.

Shigetaka DAIDOJI, his son, was employed by the Fukui Clan at a stipend of 300 koku, and Shigetaka's descendants also became statesmen of the Fukui Clan for generations by the name of Magokuro.

Yuzan can be said to have revived the honor of the legitimate family line of Daidoji with his knowledge.

[Original Japanese]