Uwai Satokane

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  • Born: 1545
  • Died: 1589
  • Titles: Ise no kami
  • Japanese: 上井覚兼 (Uwai Satokane, Uwai Kakken)
  • Distinction: Shimazu retainer

Uwai Satokane was a Shimazu clan karô and one of Shimazu Yoshihisa's top councilors. Parts of his diary survives as a glimpse into the court of a 16th Century daimyô.

He was named rôjû (meaning, karô) in 1576, and following the 1579 conquest of Hyûga province by the Shimazu, was given Miyazaki castle. Uwai was active in campaigns in Higo province and against the Ôtomo clan, but was also active in appreciation of waka poetry and tea ceremony, and is known to have been a highly educated and cultured individual.

Uwai suffered a serious injury in the 1586 siege of Iwatsurugi castle. The following year, he was attacked and defeated at Miyazaki by the forces of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He submitted to Hideyoshi's authority, turned over the castle to him, and took up retirement at Ijûin in Satsuma province. Uwai died of illness several years later, in 1589.

Uwai's diary, known simply as "Uwai Kakken Nikki," is a valuable source providing insights into the everyday life of a Sengoku daimyô. It is held today at the Shiryôhensanjo at the University of Tokyo, and has been designated an Important Cultural Property. The diary covers the periods from 1574 to 1576 (with some parts missing) and from 1582 to 1586, during which Uwai rose from scribe to sôja to rôjû, and describes in considerable detail much of Shimazu politics, battles, and legal cases of those years. Uwai also wrote at length about cultural activities of the Shimazu court, including religious activities, renga poetry, tea ceremony, kyôgen, etc. - topics little-known from other surviving sources.


See Also

Uwai's diary is available today in a modern-type publication, as:

  • University of Tokyo, Shiryôhensanjo (eds.), Uwai Kakken nikki 上井覚兼日記, in Dai Nihon kokiroku 大日本古記録, part 5, vols 1-3, University of Tokyo (1954-1957).