Shimazu Toshihisa

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  • Born: 1537
  • Died: 1592
  • Titles: Saemon no kami
  • Other names: Matarokurô
  • Distinction: Shimazu retainer
  • Japanese: 島津歳久 (Shimazu Toshihisa)

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 Ketô-in clan in Satsuma province as his fief. He adopted Shimazu Tadachika, the 2nd son of Shimazu Yoshitora, as his heir and married his eldest daughter to him.

Tadachika was killed, however, in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Kyushu Campaign of 1587. While Yoshihisa submitted to Hideyoshi's authority, Toshihisa refused to do so; indeed, he never met with Hideyoshi at all. When Hideyoshi passed through Toshihisa's territory, Satsuma samurai loosed arrows into Hideyoshi's palanquin.

In 1592, when summoned for service in the 1st Korean Campaign, he declined, pleading illness. As many of Toshihisa's retainers had recently participated in an armed resistance to service in Korea, led by Umekita Kunikane, Hideyoshi suspected him of also defying his commands and sent Yoshihisa to punish him. Toshihisa committed suicide before Yoshihisa arrived, saying in his death note that while he had not contemplated rebellion, he chose to commit suicide for the sake of the Shimazu house.

Toshihisa was succeeded by Tadachika's son, Tsunehisa [島津常久].