Yoshikiyo was the son of Murakami Akikuni and was born at Katsurao Castle in Shinano Province. His mother was a daughter of Shiba Yoshihiro. He succeeded his father when the latter died sometime during the early 1520s. He contested for local power with the Takanashi family of Minochi District and the Unno family of Chiisagata District. In 1541 he joined with the Suwa and Takeda in bringing down Iiyama Castle [飯山城] and forcing Unno Munetsuna and Takanashi Masayori to flee to Echigo and Sanada Yukitaka to flee to Kozuke Province. Shortly thereafter, Takeda Nobutora was exiled from Kai and the Takeda-Suwa-Murakami alliance became nullified. Yoshikiyo extended his power in Shinano and became increasingly at odds with Takeda Shingen, who was expanding into Shinano. In 1548/2/14 the Takeda and Murakami clashed at the Battle of Uedahara in southern Chiisagata District. Yoshikiyo emerged the victor in a clash that claimed a number of senior Takeda retainers and that saw Shingen himself wounded. However, Shingen recovered to defeat Yoshikiyo's ally Ogasawara Nagatoki at the Battle of Shiojiritoge four months later. Yoshikiyo's position afterwards became increasingly more difficult and in 1551 the Takeda captured Toishi Castle. Shingen attacked Katsurao Castle in 1553, took it and then lost it again. When Shingen returned in the 7th month of that year with an army too large for Yoshikiyo to contest, the latter elected to flee north to Echigo. He sought and was granted shelter by Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin). He afterwards put himself at Kenshin's disposal and fought under his banner against Shingen in the Kawanakajima battles. At the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima he fought in the Uesugi vanguard and some accounts, such as the Kitakoshi Gundan [北越軍談], credit him with the defeat and death of Takeda Nobushige. He was given Nechi Castle [根知城] in Echigo Province and died there in the 2nd month of 1573. His son Kunikiyo served the Uesugi as a retainer and in 1582 was able to recover the Murakami's Shinano lands.
Yoshikiyo had been married to the daughter of Ogasawara Nagamune.
- Initial text from Sengoku Biographical Dictionary (Samurai-Archives.com) FWSeal & CEWest, 2005
Murakami Yoshikiyo Japanese Wikipedia