Tawara Chikakata

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Tawara Chikakata was a retainer to the Ôtomo clan in the mid-to-late 16th century.

Born the son of Nata Akimoto, high priest of Usa Hachiman Shrine, Chikakata was adopted by Tawara Chikamoto. At the recommendation of his uncle Takita Akio, he was able to become a close confidant to the young Ôtomo Sôrin.

In part as a result of this connection, around 1545, at age 15, Sôrin married Chikakata's sister, a woman known to us today only by her epithet in Jesuit records, as "Jezebel." Chikakata later adopted the second son of Sôrin and "Jezebel," Ôtomo Chikaie, as his own heir, and later their third son, Ôtomo Chikamori, as well. Another of Chikakata's adopted sons, Tawara Chikatsura, created a scandal among the Ôtomo and Tawara families when he converted to Christianity.

Chikakata led Ôtomo armies in a number of major campaigns, including against the Shimazu clan at the 1578 battle of Mimigawa.


  • Haruko Nawata Ward, Women Religious Leaders in Japan's Christian Century, Ashgate (2009), 115-123.