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yaesu (八重洲)

The eastern entrance into Tokyo Station, located in the center of the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Yamagata-jou (山形城)

Also known as: Ka-jou (霞城), Kichiji-jou (吉字城)

A castle located in the City of Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture. Designated a historical landmark.

Built in 1357, the castle became the chief of Mogami Yoshiaki's castles when he was rewarded land for his service in the Battle of Sekigahara.

Yamagata-ken (山形県)

A prefecture located in the Northeast region of Japan which is encircled by mountains and the Sea of Japan. Its capital is the city of Yamagata.

Yamagata-shi (山形市)

Lit.: "Mountain-shaped", the City of Yamagata is the capital of Yamagata Prefecture, founded in 1889.

Yamamoto (山本)

Shiohara Kouzou's secretary and an eyewitness to his death. He is described as a tall man in his thirties, courteous, friendly, and concerned about Nagi.

Yamanashi-ken (山梨県)

A prefecture in the central region of Honshu, formerly known as Kai and ruled by Takeda Shingen during the Sengoku Period. Also contains a city of the same name.

Yamato-Koizumi-eki (大和小泉駅)

An above-ground JR West railway station located in Yamato-Kooriyama, Nara. In 2005 it served around 8500 people per day.

Yamato-Kooriyama-shi (大和郡山市)

A city located in Nara Prefecture, founded in 1954, with a population of around 95,000.

Yamato-no-kuni (大和国)

An ancient province of Japan situated on Honshuu which is present-day Nara Prefecture.

Yamayoshi Kagenaga (山吉景長)
1565? - 1611

Vassal of the Uesugi Clan, became head of the Yamayoshi Clan in September of 1577, at the death of his brother Yamayoshi Toyomori at the age of 13 with his uncle as his guardian. According to Uesugi Clan customs, a clan's land is seized until its head reaches adulthood at the age of 15, whereupon it is returned, but taking into account the long service of the Yamayoshi Clan, only half of the Yamayoshi land was seized, and Kagenaga was transferred from Sanjou Castle to Koba Castle.

The year after he entered Koba Castle, Kenshin died and the Otate no Ran began. He held Koba Castle in Uesugi Kagekatsu's name.

He also supported Kagekatsu in the Shibata Shigeie Rebellion and thereafter fought in many of Kagekatsu's wars, including Toyotomi Hideyoshi's assault against Odawara Castle and the Imjin War.

Yamazaki Hidenori (山崎秀仙)
? - 1581

Also known as: Yamazaki Shuusen

A Confucian Scholar who served the Uesugi Clan by invitation of Uesugi Kenshin, also an administrator under of the Shogunate. He taught the Nine Confucian Classics and other works of Chinese sages in the Uesugi Clan and also served in the role of communicator/negotiator with commanders both within and outside of the Uesugi Clan.

He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death. After the war, he opposed the conference of honors upon those Yasuda Akimoto had lured to Kagekatsu's side with promise of reward and pressured Kagekatsu against it. He was killed by one of these commanders, Mouri Hidehiro. His death ended his line.

Yamazaki no Tatakai (山崎の戦い)
1582

A battle fought between Toyotomi Hideyoshi/Oda Nobutaka and Akechi Mitsuhide 13 days after Mitsuhide's forces killed Oda Nobunaga at Honnou Temple. Mitsuhide's troops were out-numbered 2 to 1 in the battle, and most of them fled. Mitsuhide retreated, but was killed en route to Sakamoto Castle at Ogurusu Village.

Yami Sengoku (闇戦国)

Lit.: "Dark Sengoku", the civil war still being fought by the spirits of the warlords of the Sengoku period in modern-day Japan.

Yanase Ichirou (柳瀬一郎)

Head of the Yanase family, a merchant house dealing in silk threads in Nagasaki. Son of Yanase Taizou.

Yanase Riho (柳瀬里穂)

Granddaughter of the Yanase family, a merchant house dealing in silk threads in Nagasaki. She takes Naoe to the Uragami Cathedral to consult with the abbe there about the Maria Kwannon statue.

Yanase Taizou (柳瀬泰造)

Patriarch of the Yanase family, a merchant house dealing in silk threads in Nagasaki. Father of Yanase Ichirou. He speaks with Naoe about the history of the weeping Kwannon statue.

yasha (夜叉)

Also known as: Yakṣa

Warriors of Bishamonten, who are minor deities sometimes depicted as harmless guardians and nature spirits and sometimes as human-devouring demons.

Yasha-shuu (夜叉衆)

The five kanshousha at the head of the Meikai Uesugi Army ordered by Uesugi Kenshin to hunt for the onshou who are disrupting the peace of modern-era Japan in a battle which has lasted four hundred years. Led by Uesugi Kagetora, with Naoe Nobutsuna, Kakizaki Haruie, Yasuda Nagahide, and Irobe Katsunaga. The name "Yasha" refers to soldiers in the army of Bishamonten, called "Yaksha".

Yasuda Akimoto (安田顕元)
? - 1580

Head of the Echigo Yasuda Clan, son of Yasuda Kagemoto. He served as a vassal of the Uesugi clan and was given Iiyama Castle in Shinano by Uesugi Kenshin for merits in the Battle of Kawanakajima. The "aki", or "existing" character in his name was also bestowed on him by Kenshin.

In 1578 during the war for succession after Kenshin's death, he and his younger brother Yasuda Yoshimoto both supported Uesugi Kagekatsu, while his relatives Kitajou Takahiro and Kitajou Kagehiro (the Kitajou Clan and Yasuda Clan were both descended from the Mouri Clan) supported Uesugi Kagetora. He wrote: "Those who abandon Lord Kagekatsu, our rightful lord, and run to everyone's Kagetora are not descended from true warriors." It is said that Kagekatsu wept tears of joy upon reading his declaration.

He worked to persuade others such as Shibata Shigeie and Ijimino Nobumune to join Kagekatsu's side. In March of 1579, when Kagetora surrendered the castle and headed for the Kantou, he convinced Horie Munechika, master of Samegao Castle, to switch to Kagekatsu's side. Kagetora was cornered and committed suicide, and Kagekatsu won as a result.

It is also said that Akimoto took pity on Uesugi Norimasa's corpse, which was left unburied after his death, and gave it a proper burial.

In order to persuade Shibata Shigeie, Ijimino Nobumune, and other commanders to join Kagekatsu, Akimoto had promised reward such as castles and territory for merit during the war, a promise backed by Kagekatsu. However, he was opposed by other commanders such as Yamazaki Hidenori and Naoe Nobutsuna, who disagreed because these commanders had not joined Kagekatsu at the beginning of the war. Unable to keep his promise, Akimoto committed seppuku.

He was succeeded by his brother Yoshimoto.

Yasuda Nagahide (安田長秀)
1516 - May 8, 1582? 1585? 1592?

Title: Jibu Shousuke (治部少輔)

Historically: Master of Yasuda Castle. The Yasuda family had served the Nagao Clan from the time of Nagao Tamekage (late 1400s). Nagahide supported Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) in the coup d'etat against Nagao Harukage, so was a close aide of Kenshin from early on. He fought in many of Kenshin's wars against Takeda Shingen, Oda Nobunaga, and Houjou Ujiyasu.

He received a commendation for bravery at the 4th battle of Kawanakajima along with six other commanders, including Irobe Katsunaga.

He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death. He died in 1582 of illness in the midst of Shibata Shigeie's rebellion. (Other accounts mention 1585, 1592.)

Though he shared the same family name as Yasuda Kagemoto and Yasuda Akimoto, also vassals of the Uesugi Clan, he was descended from a different family.

In Mirage of Blaze: he was summoned by Uesugi Kenshin to become one of the Yasha-shuu and is second in power only to Uesugi Kagetora.

Yayoi-jidai (弥生時代,)

The period of Japanese history from 400 B.C. to 250 A.D. which followed the Jomon Period, characterized by new styles of pottery and the extensive cultivation of rice paddy fields.

Yazaki Tooru (矢崎徹)

One of Takaya's classmates who thinks Takaya is joking about not remembering Chiaki and gives him a lecture on friendship. He is a member of the Soccer Club.

He sits directly in front of Takaya in class. His family owns a tofu shop with a history going back to the Edo Period.

Yobashira-jinja (四柱神社)

Lit.: "Four Pillars Shrine"; a Shinto shrine located in Matsumoto, built in 1872, dedicated to the four gods Amenominakanushinokami, Takamimusubi, Kamimusubi, and Amaterasu Oomikami.

Yoita-jou (与板城)

A formidable mountain castle held by the Naoe Clan, vassals of the Uesugi Clan. It was an important base for Uesugi Kenshin's expeditions to the Kantou Region and to Ecchuu.

Yokohama Baystars

A professional baseball team in Japan's Central League, founded in 1950 and located in Yokohama. Their ballpark is the Yokohama Stadium.

Yokohama-shi (横浜市)

The City of Yokohama is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second-largest city in Japan after Tokyo. It is also a major port and commercial hub and historically one of the first cities to be opened to foreigners during the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Yokomori (横森)

A student at Fukashi Junior High School one year older than Takaya, who fawns over Mitsui and resents the fact that Takaya was allowed to join his gang while he was not. Friends with Ichinose.

Yomiuri Giants (読売ジャイアンツ)

A professional baseball team in the Japanese Central League based in Bunkyou, Tokyo. It was founded in 1934, the oldest among the current professional teams, and owned by the Yomiuri Group. They are the richest team and have won more pennants and Japan Series than any other team in both leagues. Their main rival is the Hanshin Tigers. Their ballpark is the Tokyo Dome.

Yonezawa-jou (米沢城)

One of the strongholds of the Date Clan during the Sengoku and the birthplace of Date Masamune. It became the residence of Uesugi Kagekatsu and later generations of the Uesugi Clan as well as governmental seat of Yonezawa-han in the Edo Period. Located in Yamagata Prefecture.

Yoshie Kagesuke (吉江景資)
1527 - 1582

Son of Yoshie Munenobu and trusted vassal of Uesugi Kenshin. He served as keeper of Kasugayama Castle when Kenshin was absent during his battles. He also fought in many of Kenshin's wars.

He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death along with his son Nakajou Kageyasu and his father Yoshie Munenobu. He committed suicide at Uozu Castle along with his father and two eldest sons when it fell to Oda Nobunaga in 1582.

Yoshie Munenobu (吉江宗信)
1505 - 1582

He served the Shugo-Uesugi, Nagao, and Nagao-Uesugi Clans and was a trusted vassal of Uesugi Kenshin who participated in many of his battles. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death along with his son Yoshie Kagesuke and grandson Nakajou Kageyasu.

He committed suicide at Uozu Castle along with his son and grandsons when it fell to Oda Nobunaga in 1582.

Yoshie Nobukage (吉江信景)
1537 - 1582

Also known as: Yoshie Sukekata (吉江資堅)

Head of the Yoshie Clan, a vassal of Uesugi Kenshin and a close aide to him in his later years. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran. He died in 1582 in the Battle of Uozu Castle along with twelve other Uesugi commanders.

Yoshigyuu (吉牛)

An affectionate name for the beef bowl (gyuudon) served at Yoshinoya (吉野家), one of Japan's largest fast-food chains specializing in gyuudon. A typical order might include Omori (large size) beef bowl, raw egg (mixed with soy sauce and poured on top), a scoop of shoga (red-pickled ginger) and a dash of spice. A bowl starts at 280 yen, and orders are served on the spot.

Yoshihime (義姫)
1547? 1548? - 1623

Also known as: Ohigashi-no-Kata (お東の方), nickname—Demon Princess of the Ouu (奥羽の鬼姫), Hoshunin (保春院).

Mother of Date Masamune, daughter of Mogami Yoshimori and younger sister of Mogami Yoshiaki, Yoshihime was born in Yamagata Castle in Dewa. She was given in marriage at the age of 19 to Date Terumune and bore him two sons, Date Masamune and Date Kojirou. She hated her first-born, Masamune, due to his one-eyed state, and favored his younger brother Kojirou. There was additional tension between them due to Yoshihime leaking information to her relatives in the Mogami Clan even while they were fighting with the Date Clan. In 1585, upon Terumune's death, she decided to have Masamune killed to allow Kojirou to become head of the Date clan.

In 1590, when Masamune was participating in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign against Odawara Castle, Yoshihime personally brought Masamune a meal laced with poison. Though Masamune consumed the poison, he was able to counteract it with the antidote. He then had Kojirou commit seppuku. Afterwards, Yoshihime returned to the Mogami Clan.

In 1614, upon Mogami Yoshiaki's death, internal strife split the Mogami Clan. In 1622, Yoshihime could no longer sustain her status in the Mogami Clan, and asked Masamune to return, which he allowed. She went to live in Sendai Castle and died there a year later at the age of 76.

It was thought from the contents of the letters and poems mother and son exchanged that Yoshihime was reconciliated with Masamune in her latter years.

Yoshikane (吉兼)

Takaya's teacher for Modern Japanese for Year 2 at Jouhoku High.

Yoshikawa (吉川)

The new Math teacher at Takaya's school whom Yuzuru claims Takaya bullies and drives to truancy. He retaliates by assigning Takaya extra work when Takaya misses class.

Yoshiwara (吉原)

A famous red-light district of the Edo Period located in Edo (present-day Tokyo) established in 1617 by the Tokugawa shogunate. As a result of its efforts to build up the town and samurai residences around Edo Castle, the shogunate displaced many townspeople, residences, and businesses, among them many brothels. These brothels petitioned the government for a red-light district where they could be consolidated. At first the shogunate ignored the petitions, but after many appeals, it officially recognized the petition led by Shouji Jin'emon (owner of Nishida-ya Brothel) in 1612, which promised to:

- disallow stays of consecutive nights
- investigate and return kidnapped girls
- report criminals

Yoshiwara was originally established near Nihonbashi. Later, after the Meireki fire of 1657, it was rebuilt north of Asakusa on the outskirts of the city.

yukata (浴衣)

A casual version of the kimono which is made of light-weight cotton and worn in summer and after bathing (the characters literally mean "bath clothes").