Glossary by alpha

Search glossary

Ucchan Nanchan (ウッチャンナンチャン)

A famous Japanese comedy duo formed in 1985 of the team of Uchimura Teruyoshi (Ucchan) and Nanbara Kiyotaka (Nanchan).

uchikake (打ち掛け)

A long robe/garment worn over a kimono.

Ueda-shi (上田市)

A city located in Nagano Prefecture founded on May 1, 1919. It merged with the towns of Maruko and Sanada and the village of Takeshi to become the new city of Ueda on March 6, 2006.

Uegusa Souuemon (植草総右衛門)

Also known as: Ernando Torabas (エルナンド・トラバス)

An ancestor of the Yanase merchant house in Nagasaki who was originally a Jesuit missionary. He gives up Christianity due to persecution by the Tokugawa Shogunate. He asks a potter whom he had baptized to make for him a Maria Kwannon, which he gives before his death to Mikami, a Japanese priest. After his death the statue miraculously begins to weep his tears of remorse at forsaking his religion.

Ueno Kouen (上野公園)

Also Known as: Ueno Onshi Kouen (上野恩賜公園)

Ueno Park is a large public park located in Tokyo near Ueno Station. It is famous for its many museums, including the Tokyo National Museum, the Orient Museum, the National Science Museum, the Shitamachi Museum, the National Museum for Western Art and the Tokyo Metropolitan Fine Art Gallery.

Ueno-mura (上野村)

A village located in Gunma Prefecture, founded on April 1, 1889 at the start of Japan's municipal system.

Ueshima (植島)

Possessed by: Mogami Yoshiaki

Second-in-command of a powerful political faction (the Hirabayashi Group) within the ruling party of the House of Representatives of the Japanese National Diet. Ueshima was involved in a graft case and made a deal with Mogami Yoshiaki to kill the bribe suspects and keep the truth from coming to light. In return, he agreed to allow Mogami Yoshiaki to use his body as spirit vessel.

Uesugi Doumanmaru (上杉道満丸)
1571 - April 13, 1579

Doumanmaru was the eldest son of Uesugi Kagetora. His mother was the niece of Uesugi Kenshin, Seienin.

The Otate no Ran, the war for succession to the Uesugi Clan between his father and his uncle Uesugi Kagekatsu started when Doumanmaru was still a young child. When his father lost the battle for the Otate, Doumanmaru went with Uesugi Norimasa (who could be called his great-grandfather) into Kagekatsu's camp to offer Kagetora's surrender and sue for peace. However, he and Norimasa were both killed by Kagekatsu's troops (some say it was deliberate, others that it was an accident in the chaos).

Uesugi Kagekatsu (上杉景勝)
Jan. 8, 1556 - Apr. 19, 1623

Also called: Nagao Kiheiji (長尾喜平次), Nagao Akikage (長尾顕景), Nagao Kagekatsu (長尾景勝)

Historically: One of Uesugi Kenshin's nephews, he was adopted by Kenshin and named Kenshin's heir along with Uesugi Kagetora. Following Kenshin's death in 1578, he provoked the feud against Kagetora in the Otate no ran for succession. His forces won over those of Kagetora in 1579, and he forced Kagetora to commit suicide. He lost the Uesugi's western holdings to Oda Nobunaga, and later submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, under whom he rose to prominence to become a member of the council of five regents appointed by Hideyoshi to protect the Toyotomi rule.

As a general under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Kagekatsu received the 1.2 million-koku fief of Aizu in addition to his 550,000-koku fief of Echigo. After Toyotmi's death, Kagekatsu was one of the first daimyo to plan revolt against Tokugawa Ieyasu with the building of a new castle in Aizu and the accumulation of troops, and could be said to have least partly begun the Battle of Sekigahara. He refused a summons from Tokugawa to go to the capital to explain himself, and attacked with a 50,000 army, which were held back by Mogami Yoshiaki and Date Masamune. Kagekatsu was defeated early at the siege of his castle at Shiroishi and declared his allegiance to Tokugawa.

Afterwards, Kagekatsu was given the 300,000-koku Yonezawa-han in the Northeast.

Uesugi Kagenobu (上杉景信)
? - 1578

Also known as: Nagao Kagenobu (長尾景信), Koshin no Juurou (古志の十郎), Uesugi Juurou Kagenobu (上杉十郎景信)

Uesugi Kagenobu was the son of Nagao Fusakage of the Echigo-Nagao Clan and was the head of the Koshin-Nagao family. He raised the standard of revolt against the Uesugi Clan around the late 1520s or early 1530s, which was around when he succeeded his father as head of the family.

When Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) came into power, he became Kenshin's vassal along with others such as Nagao Masakage and Sanbonji Sadanaga. In 1561, when Kenshin became Kantou Kanrei and took the Uesugi name, Kagenobu also changed his surname to Uesugi. He participated in Kenshin's wars of subjugation of the Kantou and against the Takeda Clan.

There were a few skirmishes and some antagonism between himself and Nagao Masakage/his son Uesugi Kagekatsu of the Ueda-Nagao family, who had the same level of authority within the clan, so in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death, he supported Uesugi Kagetora. He died in battle against Murakami Kunikiyo on July 15th.

Uesugi Kagetora (上杉景虎)
1552? 1554? - Apr. 19, 1579

Also known as: possibly Houjou Ujihide (北条氏秀), Houjou Saburou (北条三郎), Saburou Kagetora (三郎景虎)

Historically: Uesugi Kagetora was the seventh son (sixth to survive to adulthood) of Houjou Ujiyasu, younger brother of Houjou Ujimasa, Houjou Ujiteru, Houjou Ujikuni, Houjou Ujinori, Houjou Ujitada, and older brother of Houjou Ujimitsu. His mother was the sister-in-law of Tooyama Yasumitsu, a vassal of the Houjou Clan (other sources say Zuikeiin, Ujiyasu's principle wife). It's likely that he and Houjou Ujihide were two different people and that Ujihide was the son of Houjou Tsunashige and living in Edo while Saburou was living in Echigo, so most historians refer to him as Houjou Saburou when describing his early life.

As a child, he was sent into the priesthood at Souun Temple in Hakone, then sent as hostage to Takeda Shingen of the Takeda Clan in the three-way alliance between Houjou, Takeda, and Imagawa formed in 1554 (though this last point is now in dispute, as it is told only in the Records of Ancient Battles of the Eight Kanto Provinces and recorded in none of the Takeda Clan records.)

He was adopted by his uncle Houjou Genan in 1569 and married Genan's daughter.

When the Houjou and Uesugi clans formed an alliance in 1569, Saburou was sent to Uesugi Kenshin in an exchange of hostages with Kakizaki Haruie. (At first, the hostage was set to be Houjou Ujimasa's third son Kunimasumaru, but Ujimasa could not bring himself to send off his son, who was then still a baby.) Saburou was sent to the Uesugi clan in early 1570. Kenshin, who never married, developed a liking for the handsome and intelligent Saburou. He married his niece Seienin, the daughter of Nagao Masakage and older sister of Nagao Akikage (Uesugi Kagekatsu) to Saburou, gave him the name Kagetora (a name that had once belonged to Kenshin himself), and adopted him into the Uesugi Clan.

When Kenshin died suddenly in 1578 without naming an heir, Kagetora and Kagekatsu, similarly adopted by Kenshin, fought for succession to the position of clan head (the Otate no Ran). Though Kagetora held the early advantage with the backing of Uesugi vassals such as Uesugi Kagenobu, Honjou Hidetsuna, Kitajou Takahiro, and the Houjou Clan, the tide of the battle turned with Takeda Katsuyori's betrayal to Kagekatsu's side.

When the Otate fell in 1579, Kagetora attempted to escape to Odawara Castle, but was betrayed at Samegao Castle by Horie Munechika and committed suicide. His wife committed suicide along with him (though there are also accounts that she remained behind at the Otate and committed suicide there when her brother Kagekatsu refused Kagetora's surrender.) His oldest son Doumanmaru died at the hands of Kagekatsu's troops along with Uesugi Norimasa, and the rest of his children were believed to have died along with their parents.

In Mirage of Blaze: He was born to Houjou Ujiyasu and Zuikeiin as their eighth (seventh to survive to adulthood) and youngest son. After his death in the Otate no Ran, he was charged by Uesugi Kenshin to become kanshousha in order to ensure that the peace of Japan is not disrupted by the onshou as the leader of the Yasha-shuu and the commander of the Meikai Uesugi Army.

Uesugi Kenshin (上杉謙信)
Feb. 18, 1530 - Apr. 19, 1578

Also called: Nagao Kagetora (長尾景虎), Uesugi Masatora (上杉政虎), Uesugi Terutora (上杉輝虎)
Title: Kantou Kanrei (関東管領)

Historically: Fourth son of the noted warrior Nagao Tamekage, Kenshin wrested control of the Nagao clan from his brother Nagao Harukage and fought for control of Echigo Province. He accepted the name Uesugi Masatora when he gave refuge to his nominal lord, Uesugi Norimasa, and at his urging campaigned to push the Houjou out of the Kantou Region.

He adopted the name "Kenshin" when he became a Buddhist monk and a devotee of Bishamonten. The standard his army carried onto the battlefield bore the character 毘 ("bi") for Eight-Sword Bishamonten. He battled Takeda Shingen five times at Kawanakajima, as well as the Houjou and Ashina clans and Oda Nobunaga, whom he defeated despited being outnumbered. However, Kenshin died soon after the battle. He named his two adopted sons, Uesugi Kagetora and Uesugi Kagekatsu, his heirs, hoping that they would divide the Uesugi lands peacefully between them after his death.

In Mirage of Blaze: He became a god of war after his death, ascending from Nin Dou to Ten Dou, and established the Meikai Uesugi Army to ensure that the peace of Japan is not disrupted by the onshou. He named Kagetora as its commander.

Uesugi Norimasa (上杉憲政)
1523 - 1579

Title: Kantou Kanrei
Also known as: Fujiwara-no-Norimasa (藤原憲政)

Son of Uesugi Norifusa, he was only three when his father died. His adopted brother, Uesugi Norihiro, succeeded his father as head of the clan. When his brother was banished in 1531, Norimasa inherited the title of Kantou Kanrei.

From 1541 to 1552, he battled both the Houjou and Takeda Clans. He suffered several defeats, and fled to Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) in 1552, leaving his son and heir behind (who was later captured and executed.)

In 1557, he adopted Nagao Kagetora and in 1561 passed the title of Kantou Kanrei to him as well as the Uesugi family name and inheritance.

He later supported Uesugi Kagetora in the Otate no Ran. But as the Kagetora faction was hard-pressed due to Takeda Katsuyori's defection, he took Kagetora's son and heir with him to negotiate with the Kagekatsu faction. However, both were killed by an assassin at Kagekatsu's camp.

His sons were killed as well in the Otate no Ran, so ironically, it would be Uesugi Kenshin's son, Uesugi Kagekatsu, who would sever the bloodline of the Uesugi house.

Uesugi Norishige (上杉憲重)
? - 1579?

Son of Uesugi Norimasa, born after his father escaped into Echigo while under pressure from the Late Houjou Clan. His adopted brother Uesugi Kenshin inherited the position of head of the Sannai-Uesugi family.

In the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death, he backed Uesugi Kagetora along with his father, but may also have been killed enroute to negotiating peace with Uesugi Kagekatsu. There are also sources that imply that his life was spared.

Uesugi Tomosada (上杉朝定)
1525 - May 19, 1546

Uesugi Tomosada was a daimyo of Musashi and the last clan head of the Ougigayatsu branch of the Uesugi Clan. Born in 1525, he succeeded his father Uesugi Tomooki as head of the Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan upon his father's death in April of 1537.

In order to hold his own against the mighty Houjou Clan, he built a castle (Jindaiji Castle) at Jindai Temple. However, taking advantage of Tomosada's youth, Houjou Ujitsuna attacked and successfully took Kawagoe Castle in July. Tomosada took flight and later made Matsuyama Castle his main stronghold.

In 1541, he reconciled with his long-time enemy Uesugi Norimasa to deal with a common enemy, Houjou Ujiyasu. In 1545, with the cooperation of Imagawa Yoshimoto of Suruga, they along with Ashikaga Haruuji attacked Kawagoe Castle with 80,000 troops (the Battle of Kawagoe Castle). Tomosada died in battle, ending the Ougigayatsu-Uesugi line.

Ulrike (ウルリーケ)

Race: Mazoku

un ( 吽)

The last letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, pronounced with the mouth closed. Represents omega, ending, and exhalation.

un ()
Uozu Shiritsu Oomachi Shougakkou (魚津市立大町小学校)

A private elementary school located in Uozu City which stands on the former site of Uozu Castle. It was established in 1873 as Uozu's first junior high school with Choukyou Temple as its temporary base. The new school buildings were built in 1879 at its current location. It became an elementary school in 1883.

The campus holds several monuments, including a stone monument from the ruins of Uozu Castle and one containing a tanka poem composed by Kenshin and erected in December, 1940.

Uozu-jou (魚津城)

Also known as: 小津城, 小戸城

A branch of Matsukura Castle, built in 1335 by the Shiina Clan, the castle was taken over by the Uesugi Clan during the Sengoku. It then became a strategic castle for the Uesugi for control of Ecchuu, and Kawada Nagachika served as its chamberlain for many years. In 1582, the castle was surrounded by Oda troops led by Shibata Katsuie, Sassa Narimasa, Maeda Toshiie, and Sakuma Morimasa. A fierce battle and siege ensued, (the Battle of Uozu Castle), and the castle finally fell when 13 of Uesugi's commanders committed ritual suicide. However, the Oda army immediately withdrew after hearing of the death of Oda Nobunaga at Honnou Temple. In 1583, Sassa Narimasa again laid siege to the castle, and Suda Mitsuchika surrendered to him, ending Uesugi control of the castle.

After Narimasa, the castle passed into the hands of the Maeda Clan, but was destroyed under the "One Province One Castle" decree of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Oomachi Elementary School as well as a courthouse now stand on the former site of the castle, of which very few traces remain.

Uozu-jou no Tatakai (魚津城の戦い)
March - June, 1582

The Battle of Uozu Castle was fought in 1582 between vassals of Uesugi Kagekatsu with 4000 soldiers and that of Oda Nobunaga with more than 10,000 soldiers. The Oda forces, led by Shibata Katsuie, Sassa Narimasa, Maeda Toshiie, and Sakuma Morimasa, fresh from successfully taking Toyama Castle, besieged Uozu Castle around March 11 (March 3, 1582).

The castle commanders immediately beseeched Kagekatsu for help, but Kagekatsu's reinforcements, already depleted by the Otate no Ran, were delayed by the betrayal of Shibata Shigeie and the Oda troops remaining in Kai and Shinano after their subjugation of the Takeda.

The Oda forces weakened the castle with numerous fierce attacks. Kagekatsu personally led an army from Kasugayama Castle on May 4 (May 25, 1582). Two days later, the Oda forces occupied the outer citadel of the castle. On May 19 (June 9, 1582) the Uesugi army arrived on Uozu Castle's east bank and set up camp at Tenjin Hill. However, they could not break through Oda's besieging army, and were forced to withdraw on May 27 (June 7, 1582) when it appeared that Kasugayama Castle itself may come under attack.

Abandoned by Kagekatsu after a 3-month long siege and running out of provisions, the 13 commanders of Uesugi, Sanbonji Kagenaga, Yoshie Munenobu, Yoshie Kagesuke, Yoshie Nobukage, Ishiguchi Hiromune, Nakajou Kageyasu, Takenomata Yoshitsuna, Terashima Nagasuke, Tadenuma Yasushige, Abe Masayoshi (sp?), Wakabayashi Ienaga (sp?), Kameda Choujou (sp?), and Fujimaru Katsutoshi wrote their names on wooden tablets and committed seppuku on June 3 (June 22, 1582). Thus the castle fell to Oda.

The Oda army prepared to march on to Echigo, but news of the death of Oda Nobunaga on June 21, the day before the end of the siege, caused confusion and panic within the army, and it retreated.

<small>Note: Japanese dates given in this entry are based on the lunar calendar; Gregorian Calendar dates in () were calculated using <a href="http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/geschichte-japans/nengo_calc.htm">NengoCalc</a>.</small>

Uozu-shi (魚津市)

A coastal city located in Toyama Prefecture, founded in 1952. Its population was around 46,000 in 2005. In the Sengoku Era, the area was controlled by the Uesugi Clan with Uozu Castle as their stronghold.

Uozu is known for three mysterious phenomena: 1) the mirage, which occurs from April to June, during which faraway objects such as ships or the opposite shoreline seem to grow vertically or hang upside-down above them, 2) the firefly squid, which rise to the surface to spawn from the end of March to June and glow with a bluish white light, and 3) the buried forest, a conifer forest buried 2000 years ago such that only their trunks were preserved.

Uragami (浦上)

Also pronounced "Urakami"; located in the northern part of Nagasaki City, it was a stronghold for Christian believers who refused to give up their faith even during the Edo period when Christianity was banned by the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Uragami-tenshudou (浦上天主堂)

Also known as: Urakami Cathedral

The original Catholic cathedral was built in 1925 in the City of Nagasaki by the faithful of Uragami, who had secretly practiced Christianity for two hundred years during the ban on Christianity by the Shogunate. After the Prohibition was lifted, they built this cathedral of red bricks, then the largest cathedral in the Orient. All but a wall of the cathedral was destroyed by the atomic bomb dropped over Nagasaki. The current cathedral was rebuilt in 1959.

Uraki-mon (裏鬼門)

Lit.: "back demon gate"

The southwest corner or direction. According to Onmyoudou, northeast is the unlucky direction from which demons enter (Ki-mon, or demon gate). Its opposing corner, the uraki-mon, is also said to be unlucky.

Utsunomiya-shi (宇都宮市)

The capital of Tochigi Prefecture.

Uwajima-han (宇和島藩)

A fiefdom founded by Date Hidemune in 1614 in Iyo Province.