Tanegashima clan

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The Tanegashima clan of Tanegashima (Tane Island, to the south of Kyushu) claimed descent from Taira no Kiyomori (1118-1181), one of whose great-grandsons is supposed to have been sheltered by Hôjô Tokimasa. This great-grandson adopted the name Hôjô Tokinobu and was afterwards established on Tanegashima, to the south of the coast of Satsuma province. Tokinobu's descendants carried the name Tanegashima (though they maintained the Hôjô family crest) and became long-time retainers of the Shimazu clan. Tanegashima was the site of Japan's first contact with Europe, when a Chinese vessel carrying several Portuguese was forced ashore there by weather in 1543. They brought with them guns, which were afterwards nicknamed 'Tanegashima'.

Selected Members of the Tanegashima clan