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Chosokabe retainer

Sahyôe served Chosokabe Motochika and served in the campaigns to subdue Awa Province and later at the battle for Fukuda Castle in Iyo. He was killed in the Battle of the Hetsugigawa in Bungo Province fighting the Shimazu (1587).

SASA Magosuke
Oda retainer

Magosuke was a son of Sasa Morimasa and an elder brother of Sasa Narimasa. He distinguished himself at Azukizaka in 1542 and was named one of that battle's 'Seven Spears'. He was killed fighting the forces of Oda Nobuyuki at the Battle of Inabugahara.

Sasa Narimasa
Oda, Toyotomi retainer

Narimasa was a son of Sasa Morimasa and served Nobunaga from his early career in Owari Province. He was present at the Battle of Anegawa in 1570, where he was in the rear guard, and fought at Nagashino (1575). In 1575 he was given Komaru in Echizen Province, where he had recently helped put down rioting ikko, and became a member of the so-called sanninshû (Echizen Triumvir) along with Maeda Toshiie and Fuwa Mitsuharu. He was tasked with helping to fight the Uesugi and their vassals in Etchû Province in 1580. He was officially given the province the following year and immediately conducted a land-survey there, as well as improving the province's poor flood control system. He supported Shibata Katsuie during the Shizugatake Campaign, and the following year threw in his lot with Tokugawa Ieyasu. He clashed with Maeda Toshiie at Kanazawa-Gobô in Kaga Province and attempted to reduce Suemori, Toshiie's forts in Noto Province but failed. When faced with the approach of Hideyoshi himself in 1585, Narimasa surrendered. He lost Etchû (valued around 100,000 koku) but was spared and was given a fief in Higo Province in 1587, along with careful instructions regarding how it should be governed. Narimasa evidently ignored Hideyoshi's injunctions and within a year the Higo samurai were in a state of rebellion. Hideyoshi ordered Narimasa to commit suicide as a result. While in the service of Oda Nobunaga, Narimasa had been considered something of an expert in gunnery tactics and consequently commanded arquebus troops in many of the engagements he fought in. Regarding his suicide, some have speculated that Hideyoshi assigned Narimasa to Higo in the understanding that trouble would arise in that place. This would give Hideyoshi an excuse to dispose of Narimasa - which is at any rate what occurred.
Sons: Nobuharu (d.1588), Nariharu (d.1588)


SATAKE Yoshiaki
Hitachi warlord

The Satake mon

Yoshiaki was the eldest son of Satake Yoshiatsu. He invaded the lands of the Yûki and defeated an allied Yûki-Ashina army. Some time later, he married his daughter ot the young Utsunomiya Hirotsuna, who had been expelled from his domain in Shimotsuke by the Nasu family. Yoshiaki was able to reclaim Hirotsuna's domain and establish the latter there around 1557, in the process increasing the Satake's own domain. The next year he defeated Oda Ujiharu. Following a campaign against the Sôma, Yoshiaki's health began to fail him and he handed over leadership of the family to his eldest son Yoshishige in 1562.
Son: Yoshishige

Satake Yoshishige
Hitachi warlord
Hitachi no suke

Yoshishige was a son of Satake Yoshiaki and assumed control of the family in 1562. He consolidated the Satake's hold over Hitachi Province and fought with such local houses as the Ashina, Oda, Naya, Shirakawa, etc... He expanded into Shimôsa Province, bringing conflict with the Hôjô. In 1571 the Satake and Hôjô faced one another at the Battle of Iwai but after some maneuvering struck a truce and retreated to their own lands. Yoshishige afterwards allied with the Ashina and contributed his strength to their war with the Date. He forced the surrender of Oda Ujiharu in 1583. Yoshishige handed official control of the Satake to his son Yoshinobu in 1589 but remained effectively in command afterwards. He was able to intercede on behalf of Yoshinobu when he was punished by Tokugawa Ieyasu for his indecisive behavior during the Sekigahara Campaign and so the Satake were only made to transfer from Ota Castle to the Akita area of Mutsu Province. Yoshishige afterwards lived in Rokugo Castle. He was known as a tough campaigner and carried the nickname Ôni Yoshishige (Devil Yoshishige). There remain many anecdotes on the life of Yoshishige. For example, it is said he did not use a futon to sleep on. Possibly he began this custom because he was always devoting himself to war, and spent so many nights in the field with his army. He would prepare a mat with a thin blanket only and when, after he moved to Rokugo, his son Yoshinobu sent a futon for him to use, he found himself unable to sleep on the gift and went back to the thin mat.
Sons: Yoshinobu, Yoshihiro (Ashina Morishige), (Iwaki) Sadataka

Satake Yoshinobu
Hitachi warlord

Yoshinobu was the eldest son of Satake Yoshshige and was offically named the head of the Satake in 1589. He joined Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590 and sent troops to assist in the siege of Odawara. Hideyoshoi afterwards confirmed the Satake's holdings in Hitachi and Shimôsa (worth some 545,800 koku). During the Sekigahara Campaign (1600), he at first thought to side with Ishida Mitsunari and assist Uesugi Kagekatsu but in the event effectively did nothing. Owing to his father's intercession, Tokugawa Ieyasu only transferred him to Akita (in Mutsu Province), with an income of 200,000 koku. He fought for the Tokugawa at Osaka Castle (1614, 1615) and there fought hard at the Battle of Imafuku. His private life is said to have been a sad one, as his first wife evidently committed suicide at the age of 24 and his principal concubine also died young due to illness.

SATAKE Yoshihide
Chosokabe retainer

Yoshihide served Chosokabe Motochika and was well-known for his skill with bow and arrow. He was killed in battle at Fukuda in Iyo Province.
Son: Chikanao

Satake Chikanao
Chosokabe retainer

Chikanao was a son of Satake Yoshihide and succeeded his father when the latter was killed in 1581. He accompanied Chosokabe Morichika to Osaka Castle in 1614 and was killed there following summer in the Battle of Yao. His son Nakajirô was captured shortly afterwards and survived the fall of the castle.
Son: Nakajirô (d.1671)


The Satomi family of Awa Province claimed descent from Nitta Yoshishige (d.1202), whose son Yoshitoshi took 'Satomi' as his surname. The Satomi moved from Kôzuke to Awa in the mid-15th Century, and there remained into the Edo Period. They died out in 1622.

Satomi Sanetaka
Lord of Awa

Sanetaka was the second son of Satomi Shigeyoshi (1448-1505) and succeeded his elder brother Yoshimichi (1480-1518). He struggled to solidify his hold over the Satomi clan while expanding his clan's influence. He clashed with Hôjô forces at Kamakura in 1524, opening a long feud between the two houses. He suffered the defection of a number of his retainers and committed suicide in September 1533 when under attack by his nephew Satomi Yoshitoyo.
Son: Yoshitaka

Satomi Yoshitoyo
Satomi retainer

Yoshitoyo was the eldest son of Satomi Yoshimichi and may have hoped to become the new lord once he came of age. In 1533 he rebelled against his uncle Sanetaka and forced him to commit suicide. The following year, Satomi Yoshitaka gathered an army and attacked Yoshitoyo at Inamura Castle. Faced with overwhelming odds, Yoshitoyo committed suicide in May 1534.

Satomi Yoshitaka
Lord of Awa

Yoshitaka was the eldest son of Satomi Sanetaka. He had been away when his father was suddenly attacked and forced to commit suicide by Yoshitoyo, and immediately set about planning revenge. He gathered loyal retainers and sent a message to the Hôjô of Sagami Province asking for their assistance. in 1534 Yoshitaka's forces descended on Inamura Castle and compelled Yoshitoyo to kill himself. Not long afterwards, relations between Yoshitaka and the Hôjô soured. He allied in turn with Ashikaga Yoshiaki (of the koga-kubo Ashikaga line) but the two were defeated at Konodai Castle in 1538 by Hôjô Ujitsuna. Yoshitaka recovered from his damaging defeat at Konodai and was able to turn back an attempt by Hôjô Ujitsuna to penetrate Awa in 1540. He took advantage of a civil war within the neighboring Takeda clan to strengthen his positon on the Boso Peninsula and in January 1553 took Shiizu Castle and forced Takeda Nobumasa to commit suicide. In 1560 his domain was attacked by the Hôjô and he called for the support of Uesugi Kenshin, who responded by leading an attack into the Kanto. He died on the 6th day of the 1st month of 1574.
Sons: Yoshihiro, Yoshiyori, Takamoto, Takamasa, Tadahiro

Satomi Yoshihiro
Lord of Awa

Yoshihiro was the eldest son of Satomi Yoshitaka. He participated in the Uesugi encirclement of Odawara in 1561 and later met defeat at the 2nd Battle of Konodai. He afterwards allied with Takeda Shingen and battled with the Hôjô and Ota at Mifunedai (Mifuneyama) in 1567. He later sent troops by sea to Izu Province to assist the Takeda's operations against the Hôjô in 1570. He died (evidently as the result of a stomach ulcer) without a son and so his younger brother Yoshiyori succeeded him.

Satomi Yoshiyori
Lord of Awa

Yoshiyori was the third son of Satomi Yoshitaka and succeeded his elder brother Yoshihiro in 1578. His succession was disputed by Masaki Noritoki and the two clashed in 1580, though Noritoki would be assassinated the following year. His reasonably uneventful rule from Tateyama Castle ended with his death in 1587.
Son: Yoshiyasu

Satomi Yoshiyasu
Lord of Awa

Yoshiyasu was a son of Satomi Yoshiyori He submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi and assisted him in the Odawara Campaign, thus being present for the downfall of the Satomi's longtime enemy, the Hôjô. Afterwards he was made to give up his holdings in Kazusa and Shimôsa but was confirmed in Awa, with an income of some 92,000 koku. He joined Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Sekigahara Campaign and had his holdings increased to 120,000 koku.
Son: Tadayoshi (Awa no kami; 1593-1622)

Poet of linked verse

Shôkyû was regarded as the leading master of linked verse (renga) after the death of Tani Sôbuko in 1545. He accepted the famous Jôha as a pupil around 1544 and on his death bed, entrusted Jôha with the leadership of the Satomura school of renga and the care of his son Shôshitsu.
Son: Shôshitsu

Satomura Jôha 1524-1602

Jôha was the younger son of a temple servant at the Ichijôin in Nara Province who died when Jôha was 12. After a period of monastic life, Jôha became a priest though he elected to devote himself to poetry and traveled with noted renga composer Shûkei to Kyoto in 1542. He trained under Satomura Shôkyu and assumed the Satomura name after the death of the latter in 1552, as well as becoming a foster father to Shôkyu's son Shôshitsu. As head of the Satomura school of renga, Jôha's fame gradually increased and he gained both Miyoshi Chokei and Matsunaga Hisahide as patrons and later became a teacher for Chokei's son Yoshioki. He gained the favor of Oda Nobunaga in 1568 when the latter entered Kyoto and over the next ten years composed verse with such great names as Akechi Mitsuhide and Hosokawa Fujitaka. When Akechi killed Nobunaga in 1582, Jôha managed to spirit the crown prince out of Nijô and harm's way, which held him in good stead when Hideyoshi questioned him afterwards (he had been involved in a provocative linked-verse session with Mitsuhide only days before Nobunaga's death). He became active in politics under Hideyoshi and a companion of Toyotomi Hidetsugu, an association that led to his banishment to Miidera when Hidetsugu was ordered to commit suicide in 1595. Jôha was allowed to return to Kyoto in the fall of 1596 and was soon forgiven by Hideyoshi. While enjoying the reputation of being Japan's last true renga master and a discerning critic, Jôha's reputation suffered from what some saw as opportunism and ambition in his character. His most notable works included the Renga shihôshô (Book of the Supreme Treasure of Renga) and his own journal, which detailed a trip he took to view Mt. Fuji in 1567.

SEKI Morinobu
Kitabatake, Oda, Toyotomi retainer

Morinobu held Kameyama Castle in Ise Province. He was initially a vassal of Kitabatake Tomonori until the latter was forced to submit to Oda Nobunaga after 1569. He was afterwards a retainer of Oda Nobutaka though he supported Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Shizugatake Campaign (1583).

(Sekiguchi Chikanaga)
Imagawa retainer

Ujihiro held Mochibune Castle in Suruga Province and was a brother-in-law of Imagawa Yoshimoto. His daughter married the future Tokugawa Ieyasu and when Ieyasu broke his pact with the Imagawa, Imagawa Ujizane ordered Ujihiro to commit suicide. He had been present at Ieyasu's coming of age ceremony in 1556.

SENGOKU Hidehisa
Toyotomi retainer
Echizen no kami

Hidehisa served Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In 1581 he captured Awaji Island and in 1584 was dispatched to Shikoku to check any possible moves by Chosokabe Motochika, who was nominally part of the anti-Hideyoshi union that included Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hidehisa was defeated by Motochika at Hikita in Awa Province and forced to retreat. After Hideyoshi's invasion of Shikoku in 1585, Hidehisa was granted a 100,000-koku fief in Sanuki Province. Later, he was dispatched to Kyushu along with Chosokabe Motochika to bolster the defense of the Ôtomo capital of Funai against the Shimazu. Once at Funai, Hidehisa and Ôtomo Yoshimune disregarded Hideyoshi's orders to stand fast, instead marching out to relieve Toshimitsu Castle. When they encountered the Shimazu army, they attacked despite Chosokabe's objections and were defeated at the Hetsugigawa. For this Hideyoshi stripped him of his domain and he went to live at Mt. Koya. Hideyoshi was later prevailed upon to give him a 50,000-koku fief at Komoro in Shinano Province and supported the Tokugawa in the Sekigahara Campaign. Hidehisa had earlier earned fame for his capture of the famous bandit Ishikawa Gôemon. He died on 13 June 1614.
Son: Tadamasa

SENOUE Nobuyasu
(Senoue Kageyasu, Senoue Matashirô)
Date retainer
Settsu no kami, Nakatsukasa

Nobuyasu at first served Date Terumune and held Sasao Castle. Something of an expert on defensive tactics, he was active in Terumune's war with the Sôma clan and afterwards served Date Masamune.

(Taigen Sessai)
Imagawa retainer

Sessai was a younger son of Imagawa Yoshitada and an uncle to Imagawa Yoshimoto. He was a Buddhist monk who had served as the abbot of the Myôshinji in Kyoto before returning to Suruga Province and taking up the abbot's position at the Rinzaiji. Sessai was a capable military commander and Yoshimoto came to rely upon him as his chief general and strategist. He defeated the Oda at Azukizaka in 1548 and forced the Oda to return Anjo Castle in 1549.


The Shiba were descended from the Minamoto and during the Muromachi period were an influential shugo family that included Owari and Echizen Provinces among their holdings. They failed to make the transition to sengoku-daimyô and lost Echizen to the Asakura in the 1470s. By 1550 they were represented by Shiba Yoshimune of Owari Province, a figurehead behind which one branch of the Oda family ruled. When Yoshimune was killed in 1554, the Shiba effectively came to an end.

Shiba Yoshimune
Owari warlord

Yoshimune was the nominal shugo of Owari and resided at Kiyosu Castle. He was used as a figurehead by Oda Nobutomo but secretly communicated with Oda Nobunaga, Nobutomo's rival and the head of the other branch of the Oda. He informed Nobunaga of an assassination plot but was afterwards discovered and put to death by Nobutomo.
Son: Yoshikane (d.1572)

SHIBATA (Echigo)

The Shibata of Echigo Province were descended from Sasaki Moritsuna, a supporter of Minamoto Yoritomo and a son of Sasaki Hideyoshi (1112-1184). They later became retainers of the Nagao and served Uesugi Kenshin. They attempted to break away from the Uesugi after 1578 and when Shibata Shigeie died in 1587, the Shibata became extinct. The Shibata of Echigo were related to the Shibata of Owari Province, with whom they shared a common mon or a variation on it.

Shibata Naganori
Uesugi retainer

Kagenori was a son of Shibata Tsunasada and rose to become an important retainer of Uesugi Kenshin. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in his bid to succeed Kenshin and assisted in peace talks between the Uesugi and Takeda. He died of natural causes in 1579 and was succeeded by his younger brother Shigeie.

Shibata Shigeie
Uesugi retainer
Inaba no kami

Shigeie was a younger son of Shibata Tsunasada and succeeded his brother Naganori. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Ôtate no ran (1578-79) but was afterwards dissatisfied with his reward and communicated with Oda Nobunaga. Kagekatsu was not immediately able to move against him owing to the pressing requirements of the ongoing war with the Oda. In the aftermath of Nobunaga's death in June 1582 Kagekatsu was able to turn his attentions on the Shibata but poor morale among the Uesugi army and the Shibata's knowledge of the terrain in their domain thwarted his efforts to subdue them. Kagekatsu made another attempt in the summer of the 1585 but when this too came to nothing, he went to Toyotomi Hideyoshi for assistance. Hideyoshi duly detached a force under the command of Kimura Yoshikiyo to reinforce the Uesugi army. Kagekatsu's army attacked Shibata Castle in October while endeavoring to reduce its subsidiary castles. In November Shigie was finally forced to commit suicide.


The Shibata mon

The Shibata of Owari Province were related to the Shibata of Echigo but their history prior to the Sengoku Period is obscure. They became well known owing to the exploits of Shibata Katsuie, a senior retainer of Oda Nobunaga. After Katsuie committed suicide in 1583, they faded from history.

Shibata Katsuie
(Shibata Gonroku)
Oda retainer
Shuri no Suke

Katsuie was a son of Shibata Katsuyoshi and was born sometime between 1522 and 1530. He served Oda Nobunaga throughout the latter's career. He assisted Nobunaga in capture of Kiyosu in 1554 but in 1556 allied with Oda Nobuyuki, Nobunaga's younger brother and rival. Although peace was made between the two brothers, Nobuyuki returned to conspiring the next year and, according to one version of events, Katsuie this time went to Nobunaga and revealed his plans. Nobuyuki was at any rate killed and Katsuie pardoned. A letter from Shibata Katsuie to Shibata Katsutoyo in which Katsuie states his intentions to launch a campaign against year Katsuie was pardoned and served Nobunaga loyally afterwards. Katsuie was a very capable soldier and one of the most formidable of Nobunaga's generals. He aided in Nobunaga's unification of Owari and was present for the Battle of Okehazama, afterwards following his lord in campaigns against the Saitô of Mino Province. Following Nobunaga's march on Kyoto Katsuie commanded an army that defeated the forces of the Miyoshi and Matsunaga at Sakai in 1568. He afterwards held Chokoji in southern Ômi, thus holding open the road from Mino to Kyoto. Chokoji was attacked by the Rokkaku in early 1570, and Katsuie defended the castle heroically, at length driving off the numerically superior attackers. He commanded a rank of men at Anegawa in 1570, and was one of the principle commanders in Nobunaga's 1571 attempt to bring down the Nagashima ikko stronghold, an action in which he was badly wounded. When the Asai were destroyed in 1573, Nobunaga's sister and widow of late Asai Nagamasa, O-ichi, was given to Katsuie in marriage. After recovering, he led troops against the rebellious ikko of Echizen Province in 1574, and fought at Nagashino. He was given Kita no Sho in Echizen and carried out Japan's first 'sword hunt' (katanagari), disarming the general population to eliminate the possibility of further ikko uprisings. After 1576, with the help of Meada Toshiie and Sasa Narimasa, Katsuie pushed further north and into Kaga province, a campaign short in glory but long in difficulty. He was a commander at the Battle of Tedorigawa in Kaga Province in 1577, where the Oda were defeated by Uesugi Kenshin. Katsuie took advantage of the death of Uesugi Kenshin in 1578 to drive into Uesugi territory and by 1582 had advanced as far as the eastern districts of Etchû at the expense of Uesugi Kagekatsu. Katsuie was not in a position to avenge the death of Oda Nobunaga in June 1582, an honor taken by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In the aftermath of Nobunaga's death, Katsuie supported Oda Nobutaka as the Oda successor, opposing Hideyoshi, who favored the infant Samboshi (later, Oda Hidenobu). Rivalry between the two men, first exposed at the so-called Kiyosu Conference, led to open conflict in the winter of 1582. Katsuie, however, was virtually trapped in Echizen by the season's snow while Hideyoshi eliminated Oda Nobuo, then forced the submission of Takigawa Kazumasa in Ise. In 1583 Katsuie dispatched his favorite general and nephew, Sakuma Morimasa, to capture Hideyoshi's key forts in northern Ômi. Morimasa became heavily involved attempting to capture Shizugatake and ignored Katsuie's orders to return to Echizen. Morimasa was then defeated in the Battle of Shizugatake by Hideyoshi. Katsuie began for the front but was confronted by the onrushing enemy forces and retreated back into Kita no sho. After setting his castle alight and handing his daughters into the custody of Hideyoshi, Katsuie committed suicide along with his wife on 14 June 1583.
Sons: Katsutoyo, (Sakuma) Katsumasa (both adopted)

Shibata Katsutoyo
Shibata retainer

Notes: Katsutoyo was a son of Shibukawa Hachizaemon and was adopted by Shibata Katsuie. In 1582, following the Kiyosu conference, Katsutoyo was placed at Nagahama Castle in northern Ômi.

Shibata Katsumasa
Shibata retainer

Katsumasa was a son of Sakuma Moritsugu and was adopted by his uncle, Shibata Katsuie. He was killed fighting under the command of his brother Sakuma Morimasa at the Battle of Shizugatake.

SHIGA Chikamori
Ôtomo Retainer

Chikamori was an important retainer of Ôtomo Sôrin. During the 1570's and early 1580's, Chikamori began to distance himself from the Ôtomo and went so far as to enter into secret communications with the invading Shimazu in 1586 although his son Chikataka fought the latter from Okashiro Castle. Chikamori afterwards faded into obscurity as the Shiga family lost much of its influence when the Ôtomo were dispossessed after the 1600 Sekigahara Campaign.
Son: Chikataka

SHIINA Yasutane
Etchû warlord

Yasutane was the son of Shiina Yoshitane. He ruled his domain in Etchû Province from Matsukura Castle. He clashed with neighboring Jinbo Nagamoto, lord of Toyama Castle, throughout the 1550's, briefly making peace in 1554 through the mediation of the Hatakeyama of Noto Province. In 1560 Yasutane was able to secure the support of the Uesugi clan, and in April Uesugi Kenshin brought down Toyama. The Jinbo and Shiina continued to fight, and later Yasutane entered into an agreement with the Takeda of Kai. This provoked Kenshin, who in 1575 attacked and captured Matsukura. Yastutane petitioned Kenshin to return Matsukura to him but this did not occur. The Shiina thus became vassals of the Uesugi but did not survive the 1578-79 Ôtate no ran.
Son: Shigetane

SHIJI Hiroyoshi
Môri retainer
Kôzuke no suke

Hiroyoshi was the son of Shiji Motoyoshi and first served Môri Okimoto of Aki Province. Following Môri Motonari's rise to the head of the Môri after 1523, Hiroyoshi became one of his most trusted advisors. An important administrator for Motonari, he assisted in the upbringing of Môri Takamoto. He was the elder brother of another Môri notable, Kuchiba Michiyoshi.

SHIMA Chikamasu
Chosokabe retainer

Chikamasu was the youngest son of Chosokabe Kunichika and a brother of Chosokabe Motochika. He suffered from tuberculosis and in 1571 set out to a hot spring in Awa Province in an attempt to bolster his health. En route he was murdered by Awa samurai who mistook him for a spy. This is said to have provided Chosokabe Motochika with a pretext for his invasion of Awa Province. Chikamasu was remembered as a big and cheerful individual, despite his flagging health.

SHIMA Tomoyuki
(Shima Sakon, Shima Katsutake)
Tsutsui, Toyotomi retainer

Tomoyuki, was is better known as Shima Sakon, was initially a retainer of Tsutsui Junkei. He left the service of the Tsutsui and later became a retainer of Ishida Mitsunari. He was one of Mitsunari's chief lieutenants during the Sekigahara Campaign. He quarreled just prior to the battle with Shimazu Yoshihiro when the latter suggested a night attack, which Shima opposed. He commanded 1,000 men at the Battle of Sekigahara but was struck by rifle fire and died on the battlefield.


The Shimazu, who may have been descended from the Koremune, were founded by Shimazu Tadahisa (d.1227?), who was appointed as military commander of southern Kyushu by Minamoto Yoritomo in 1187. The Shimazu were splintered into two contending factions following the death of Sadahisa (1265-1351) and remained fractured into the Sengoku Period. Building on the efforts of his father Takahisa, Shimazu Yoshihisa managed to take much of Kyushu by 1587 but was forced back by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Though they supported Ishida Mitsunari in 1600, the Shimazu remained a powerful house until the end of the Edo Period. It was once believed that Shimazu Tadahisa was an illegitimate child of Minamoto Yoritomo, a story that has largely been abandoned since the end of the Edo Period.

Shimazu Takehisa
(Shimazu Tadamasa)
Satsuma warlord

Tadamasa defeated the Ito in 1485 in southern Hyuga. He suffered the rebellion of a number of Shimazu vassals in Ôsumi in 1496 and the Kimotsuki in 1506. He died in 1508, possibly by suicide.

Shimazu Katsuhisa
Satsuma warlord

Katsuhisa fled Kagoshima after Shimazu Sanehisa rebelled in 1526. He adopted Shimazu Takahisa and supported him in his later years but when the two came to odds Katsuhisa was banished and spent the rest of his life wandering from place to place on Kyushu.
Son: Takahisa (adopted)

Shimazu Sanehisa
Shimazu retainer

Sanehisa, lord of Izumi Castle in Satsuma Province, rebelled against Shimazu Katsuhisa in 1526 and attempted to establish himself as an independent power. He fought with the Iriki-in and in 1539 suffered the loss of a number of his forts, including Ichiku and Momotsugi.
Sons: Yoshitora, Tadatoshi (Shikibu-daisuke; 1508-1549)

Shimazu Takahisa
Lord of Satsuma
Mutsu no kami, Saemon no jô

Takahisa was the son of Shimazu Sagami no kami Tadayoshi (1492-1568). He was born on 28 May 1514 and was adopted by Shimazu Katsuhisa. He became the lord of Kagoshima Castle after his Katsuhisa was forced to flee by Shimazu Sanehisa's rebellion in 1526. A capable and ambitious leader, Takahisa took Kagoshima in 1536 and afterwards gradually extended his authority throughout Satsuma Province. In addition to Sanehisa's branch of the Shimazu, Takahisa faced resistance from such erstwhile vassals as the Iriki-in, Kimotsuki and Keto-in. He was one of the first daimyô to employ firearms in battle, doing so at Kajiki in Ôsumi Province 1549. He officially retired in favor of his son Yoshihisa in 1566, having brought some measure of stability to the Shimazu domain. He met with St. Francis Xavier in Kagoshima in 1549. He died on 15 July 1571.
Sons: Yoshihisa, Yoshihiro, Iehisa, Toshihisa

Shimazu Yoshihisa
(Shimazu Yoshitatsu, Shimazu Matasabrô)
Lord of Satsuma and Ôsumi

Yoshihisa was Shimazu Takahisa's eldest son and his mother was a daughter of Iriki-in Shigetoshi. He was born on 4 March 1533. He succeeded his father in 1566 and took on Takahisa's dream of conquering all of Kyushu. Between 1566 and 1569 he was compelled to subdue both the Kimotsuki (Ôsumi) and Hishikari (Satsuma), as well as stave off the outside Sagara and Itô. Once he had also secured the loyalty of the Iriki-in and Togo, he was able to turn to Hyûga Province, which was largely controlled by Itô Yoshisuke. Yoshihisa, supported by his brothers Yoshihiro and Iehisa, defeated Yoshisuke at Kizakihara in 1572 and at Takabaru in 1576, then forced Ito to flee his lands in 1578 and take up with the Ôtomo of Bungo Province. Ôtomo Sôrin and his son Yoshishige led a powerful army into Hyûga but saw their army (led by Tawara Chikakata) soundly defeated by the Shimazu brothers at Mimigawa. In the course of the battle, sheer weight of numbers had forced the Shimazu back, until Yoshihisa had declared that he did not intend to retreat one inch from where his banners were placed. This inspired his men to rally and stop the Ôtomo attack. Following this great victory, Yoshihisa made a temporary peace with the Ôtomo and invaded Higo Province, which brought him into conflict with the Ryûzôji of Hizen, who were also expanding. Yoshihisa forced Sagara Yoshiaki to surrender and commit suicide in 1581 but became bogged down in fighting with Ryûzôji Takanobu. The stalemate was broken when Shimazu Iehisa won the Battle of Okitanawate in 1584. Takanobu was killed and his son Masaie was compelled to submit to Shimazu authority. Yoshihisa turned his attentions back to the Ôtomo and began a full-scale invasion of Bungo in 1586. Iwaya was captured (resulting in the suicide of Takahashi Jôun) and Funai was threatened. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, to whom Ôtomo Sorin had appealed for aid, sent an expeditionary army late in the same year, which was defeated by Yoshihisa's brothers at the Battle of Hetsugigawa in January 1587. Funai was taken shortly afterwards but had to be abandoned before a huge Toyotomi army led by Hideyoshi and Hashiba Hidenaga. After a few sharp displays of Shimazu defiance, Yoshihisa surrendered to Hideyoshi on 14 June 1587. He was forced to retire and turn over the command of the Shimazu to Yoshihiro. His family was allowed to retain Satsuma, Ôsumi, and southern Hyûga. He shaved his head and was known afterwards as Ryuhaku. He died on 5 March 1611. His first wife had in fact also been his aunt, as she was the daughter of his grandfather Shimazu Takatoshi. They were evidently very close and her death saddened Yoshihisa greatly. His second wife was a daughter of Tanegashima Tokitada. Yoshihisa was a capable commander and was fortunate in having his three competent brothers to support him in all matters.

Shimazu Yoshihiro
(Shimazu Tadahira)
Shimazu retainer, Lord of Satsuma and Ôsumi
Hyogo no Kami

Yoshihiro was the 2nd son of Shimazu Takahisa and was born on 21 August 1535. He displayed great promise from an early age and served in many of his brother Yoshihisa's campaigns. At Kizakihara in 1572, 300 men under Yoshihiro defeated Itô Yoshisuke's 3000 in what is sometimes called the 'Okehazama of Kyushu. He went on to fight at Takabaru (1576), Mimigawa (1576), Minamata (1581), and Hetsugigawa (1587). He was named daimyô following the submission of the Shimazu to Hideyoshi in 1587. He led 10,000 men in the 1st Korean Campaign (1592-93) and during the 2nd Korean Campaign fought at the battles of Namwôn and Sachôn. At the start of the 1st Korean Campaign, a number of retainers, including his own brother Toshihisa, protested being called on to serve and so Yoshihiro was compelled to punish them. He sided with Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign of 1600. Along with Shimazu Toyohisa he joined Ishida's army but their small contingent was almost wiped out in the Battle of Sekigahara. After the defeat he retired in favor of his son Tadatsune. He is said to have fought in 52 battles over the course of his life and was an able leader. He died on 30 August 1619.
Sons: Hisayasu, Tadatsune (Iehisa)

Shimazu Toshihisa
Shimazu retainer
(Shimazu Matarokurô)
Saemon no Kami

Toshihisa was the 3rd son of Shimazu Takahisa. A reliable soldier, he fought in a number of his elder brother Yoshihisa's campaigns and in 1580 was awarded the former domain of the Keto-in in Satsuma Province as his fief. In 1592 he joined those retainers who resisted the call to duty in the Korean Campaign and committed suicide when his brother Shimazu Yoshihiro's forces came to punish them.

Shimazu Iehisa
Nakatsukasa taiyu

Iehisa was the 4th son of Shimazu Takahisa. He was one of the most famed Shimazu commanders and fought in most of his brother Yoshihisa's battles. In 1578 he held Taka Castle in Hyûga against a powerful Ôtomo army, allowing his brothers time to raise a relief army and rush to his aid. The Ôtomo were crushed at the Battle of Mimigawa, which Iehisa joined by leading his men out of the castle and into the enemy's rear. He especially distinguished himself at the Battle of Okitanawate, where he led 2,000 Shimazu and 1,000 Arima troops in a victory over Ryûzôji Takanobu that resulted in the latter's death. He fought bravely against the invading Toyotomi forces in 1587 but died suddenly at his Sadowara Castle in Hyûga on 10 July, possibly as the result of poisoning. He was probably the finest warrior the Shimazu produced in the Sengoku Period.
Son: Toyohisa

Shimazu Hisayasu
Shimazu retainer
(Shimazu Mataichirô)

Hisayasu was the eldest son of Shimazu Yoshihiro. He was introduced to Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was present for the Odawara Campaign (1590). He accompanied his father on the 1st Korean Campaign but fell ill and died in 1593.

Shimazu Tadatsune
(Shimazu Iehisa, Matsudaira Iehisa)
Lord of Satsuma, Ôsumi, and Hyûga
Chûnagon, Satsuma no kami, Ôsumi no kami

Tadatsune was the 3rd son of Shimazu Yoshihiro. He became the daimyô of the Shimazu following his family's involvement in the Sekigahara Campaign and went to Edo in 1603 to personally pledge his loyalty to Tokugawa Ieyasu. He received the character 'Ie' from Tokugawa Ieyasu and surname Matsudaira. He led troops at the Osaka Winter Campaign and was on his way to join the Osaka Summer Campaign with 13,000 troops but arrived after the castle had fallen. He won favor with the Tokugawa bakufu in 1609 by sending an expedition to Okinawa that resulted in the king of that island being brought to Edo and tribute given. He received the title Chûnagon in 1626.
Son: Tadayuki

Shimazu Toyohisa
(Shimazu Matashichirô)
Shimazu retainer

Toyohisa was the son of Shimazu Iehisa and held Sadowara Castle in Hyûga when he came of age. He served under his uncle Yoshihiro in the Odawara Campaign (1590), in the Korean Invasions, and accompanied him to the Battle of Sekigahara. In the course of the retreat at the conclusion of the battle, Toyohisa was killed fending off enemy troops, though he is credited with allowing Yoshihiro to escape.

Shimazu Teruhisa
Shimazu retainer

Teruhisa was a son of Shimazu Yukihisa and was a son-in-law of Shimazu Yoshihisa. He accompanied Shimazu Iehisa to Hizen Province in support of the Arima in 1584, a campaign that resulted in the Battle of Okitanawate, After returning from the first Korean Campaign he fell ill and died at Karashima.

Shimazu Yoshitora
Shimazu Matatarô, Shimazu Hachirôzaemon, Shimazu Haruhisa, Shimazu Yoshitoshi)
Shimazu retainer
Satsuma no kami

Yoshitora was a son of Shimazu Sanehisa and succeeded his father in 1553. He served Shimazu Takahisa and Yoshihisa with distinction, in particular during the confrontation with the Ryûzôji at Okinawadate in 1584. Yoshitora was at times referred to as Sashu Yoshitora in light of his leadership of that branch of the Shimazu.
Son: Tadachika (1569-1587)

Shimazu Yukihisa
(Shimazu Matashirô)
Shimazu retainer

Yukihisa was a son of Shimazu Tadamasa and a nephew of Shimazu Takahisa. He served Shimazu Yoshihisa in a number of campaigns and was eventually established at Sadowara in Hyûga. with an income of 30,000 koku.
Son: (Iriki-in) Shigetoki

SHIMIZU Muneharu
Môri retainer

Muneharu was a younger son of Shimizu Munenori, a local power in Bingo Province. He joined the Môri around 1576 when Kobayakawa Takakage pushed into the region. He held Takamatsu Castle against Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi's forces in 1582, refusing Hideyoshi's initial calls for surrender. When Hideyoshi diverted a river and flooded Takamatsu's grounds, Muneharu had no choice but to accept a surrender. As a condition for sparing the garrison, Hideyoshi demanded that Muneharu commit suicide. Muneharu did this in a boat in full view of the Oda army. Muneharu's son Kageharu went on to serve as a retainer of the Kobayakawa house.
Sons: Muneyuki, Kageharu

SHIMIZU Yasuhide
Hôjô retainer

Yashuhide was a retainer of the Hôjô family and held land in Izu Province, where he was an administrator. He served in a number of campaigns for Hôjô Ujiyasu and Ujimasa. During the Odawara Campaign (1590), he was attacked by waterborne troops under Chosokabe Motochika and Wakizaka Yasuharu and was compelled to surrender. The Shimizu afterwards became retainers of Yûki Hideyasu.

Takeda, Tokugawa retainer
Izu no kami

Nobuji was from Shinano Province and became a Takeda vassal around 1552. He abandoned the Takeda in 1582 and later entered the service of the Tokugawa.

(Shimokata Yasaburô)
Oda retainer

Sadakiyo served three generations of the Oda of Owari - Nobuhide, Nobunaga, and Nobuo. He gained fame as one of the 'Seven Spears' of the Battle of Azukizaka (1542). Known for his skill with the spear, he went on to distinguish himself at the Battles of Kayatsu (1553) and Okehazama (1560) under Nobunaga. After Nobunaga's death in 1582, Sadakiyo went to serve Oda Nobuo and died at Kiyosu Castle over twenty years later.

(Shimotsuma Yoriteru, Hokkyô)
Honganji retainer
Chikugo no kami

Raishô was a noted strategist of the Kaga ikko. In 1574 he led troops in support of the Echizen ikko in their uprising and was present for the defeat and destruction of Asakura Kageakira. He was defeated and killed the following year by Oda troops.

Date retainer

Munesane served Date Masamune and in 1586 was given Shiomatsu Castle. At the time of the Date's invasion of Aizu (1589) he served under Date Shigezane and distinguished himself in the fighting. He was afterwards given Mizusawa Castle and an income of 5,000 koku. He is thought to have been either 47 or 55 at the time of his death.

Môri retainer

Takaie was a son of Shishido Motoie and served Môri Motonari, to whose daughter Takaie was married. He played an important role in the actions leading up to Amako Haruhisa's attempts to bring down Koriyama in 1540, repulsing an Amako drive into his domain.

SHÔDA Sadakata
Uesugi retainer

Sadataka was a retainer of Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo Province and held Shôda Castle. He revolted in 1556 but was compelled to surrender. Forgiven by Kenshin, he was later killed at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima.


The Shôni mon

The Shôni of Hizen Province were descended from Fujiwara Hidesato, one of whose descendants received the title Dazai Shôni from Minamoto Yoritomo and settled at Dazaifu and took the name Shôni. The Shôni played a key role in the Mongol Invasions and later served under Ashikaga Takauji (after initially supporting Go-Daigo). They initially lost their domain in the Sengoku Period to the Ôuchi but managed to regain them with the help of the Ôtomo. In 1553 their erstwhile vassal Ryûzôji Takanobu rebelled and by 1559 they had been completely destroyed.

Shôni Sukemoto
Hizen warlord

Sukemoto was the son of Masasuke and managed to defeat the encroaching Ôuchi family with the help of the Ôtomo, to whom he was related by marriage.
Son: Tokinao

Shôni Tokinao
Hizen warlord

Tokinao was a son of Shôni Sukemoto. He suffered the rebellion of his retainer Ryûzôji Takanobu in 1554 and fled to Chikugo Province. The following year he clashed with Takanobu and was killed.

Founder of the Ishiyama Honganji

Kokyô was the grandson of Jitsunyo Koken and founded the Ishiyama Honganji after the Yamashina Honganji was destroyed in Kyoto in 1532 by the Hosokawa, Rokkaku, and the Nichiren sect.
Son: Kennyo Kosa

copyright 2005 F. W. Seal