Matsura Takanobu (1529-1599)

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  • Born: 1529
  • Died: 1599
  • Titles: Hizen no kami
  • Other names: Matsuura Gensaburô
  • Sons: Shigenobu, Nobusane (Bungo no kami; d.1621)
  • Distinction: Hizen warlord

Takanobu was the son of Matsuura Hisanobu and ruled Hirado. Reputedly affiliated with the wako (Japanese pirates), he clashed with his neighbors the (of Tsushima Island) and the Ômura (of the Sonogi area of Hizen) as he expanded Matsuura power. By the end of the 1560's had consolidated his hold over the Matsuura district, aided by a small but important influx of income brought about by trade with the Portuguese. He was exceedingly opposed to the introduction of Christianity, though he at first tolerated it in view of the profits brought by the foreign trading ships. Tension built within the Matsuura domain, however, and in 1561 a dozen Portuguese traders were killed in a dispute over the cost of cloth. Though he relented in his anti-foreign stance to an extent after 1564, in 1565 Takanobu ordered his own ships to attack the Westerners' 'Great Ship' after it had anchored in the Ômura domain (eschewing the Matsuura domain). The assault failed after another Portuguese vessel came to the Ship's aid. He retired in 1568 in favor of his son Matsuura Shigenobu.