Tachibana Muneshige

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Muneshige's kamon.
  • Born: 1567
  • Died: 1642
  • Titles: Hida no kami
  • Distinction: Ôtomo retainer, Chikugo warlord
  • Other Names: 立花統虎 (Tachibana Munetora)
  • Japanese: 立花 宗茂 (Tachibana Muneshige)

Tachibana Muneshige was the son of Takahashi Shigetane and was adopted by Tachibana Dosetsu.

A vassal of the Ôtomo clan, he fought alongside his father in defending Iwaya castle against a siege by Shimazu clan forces in 1586. The defense was unsuccessful, and Muneshige's father committed suicide as the castle fell. Later that same year, Muneshige fought to defend Tachibana castle against the Shimazu; when it became apparent that this castle would fall as well, Muneshige sallied forth from the castle, and inflicted heavy losses on the Shimazu clan.

After siding with Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1587, Tachibana split from the Ôtomo to become a daimyô in his own right. He was given Yanagawa castle in Chikugo province and its surrounding territory (worth some 130,000 koku) as his fief, and led 2,500 men under the command of Kobayakawa Takakage in Hideyoshi's first invasion of Korea. In the second invasion of Korea, he was involved in the Siege of Ulsan, where he distinguished himself for bravery. He decided to support Ishida Mitsunari against Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1600 and took 1,000 men to assist in the Siege of Ôtsu castle (Ômi province). Though Ôtsu fell, Muneshige was unable to fight at the Battle of Sekigahara as a result of the siege's duration. Nonetheless, he was deprived of his domains in the aftermath of Mitsunari's defeat. In 1611 he was given a 10,000 koku fief at Tanakura han (Mutsu province) and recovered Yanagawa han as well in 1620.

Tachibana participated in the suppression of the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637-1638. He died in 1642.