Shimazu Tadatsune

Shimazu Tadatsune (島津 忠恒, November 27, 1576 – April 7, 1638) was a tozama daimyō of Satsuma, the first to hold it as a formal fief (han) under the Tokugawa shogunate, and the first Japanese to rule over the Ryūkyū Kingdom. As lord of Satsuma, he was among the most powerful lords in Japan at the time, and formally submitted to Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1602, to prove his loyalty, being rewarded as a result with the name Matsudaira Iehisa; Matsudaira being a branch family of the Tokugawa, and "Ie" of "Iehisa" being taken from "Ieyasu", this was a great honor. As of 1603, his holdings amounted to 605,000 koku.

Tadatsune was the third son of Shimazu Yoshihiro. Since Yoshihiro's elder brother, Shimazu Yoshihisa, did not have a son and his other elder brother, Shimazu Hisakazu, had died of illness in Korea, he was deemed successor to their uncle and he later took the name of Iehisa (家久). Like his father and uncle, he was known for bravery on the battlefield. During the second half of Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea, fighting beside his father, he helped drive off the Ming army of over 100,000 men with only 8000 men. As head of the Shimazu clan, he sought to remove corrupt or disloyal counselors, and to reform the clan leadership. To this end, in 1599, he killed a long-time retainer and karō, Ijuin Tadamune, as well as his son, Ijuin Tadazane, when they tried to part with the Shimazu clan.

In 1602, he became the head of his clan but his father held real power until 1619. On April 5, 1609, Tadatsune led an expeditionary force to the Ryūkyū Kingdom, subjugating it and using it to effect trade with China. The Ryūkyūs were allowed to remain semi-independent, and would not be formally annexed by Japan until after the Meiji Restoration (1868); if China knew that the Ryūkyūs were controlled by the Japanese, trade would have come to an end. Thus, Tadatsune forced this unusual status upon the kingdom.

Shimazu Tadatsune
Shimazu Tadatsune


  • Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan: 1334–1615, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Year 1576 (MDLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.



was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar, the 1638th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 638th year of the 2nd millennium, the 38th year of the 17th century, and the 9th year of the 1630s decade. As of the start of 1638, the Gregorian calendar was

10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Amami Islands

The Amami Islands (奄美群島, Amami-guntō) is an archipelago in the Satsunan Islands, which is part of the Ryukyu Islands, and is southwest of Kyushu. Administratively, the group belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan and the Japan Coast Guard agreed on February 15, 2010, to use the name of Amami-guntō (奄美群島) for the Amami Islands. Prior to that, Amami-shotō (奄美諸島) was also used. The name of Amami is probably cognate with Amamikyu (阿摩美久), the goddess of creation in the Ryukyuan creation myth.

April 7

April 7 is the 97th day of the year (98th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 268 days remain until the end of the year.

Gangwon campaign

The Gangwon campaign was a campaign by the Japanese army to pacify Gangwon province, Korea in 1592, just after the beginning of the Seven Year War.

Invasion of Ryukyu

The invasion of Ryukyu (琉球侵攻, Ryūkyū Shinkō) by forces of the Japanese feudal domain of Satsuma took place from March to May 1609, and marked the beginning of the Ryukyu Kingdom's status as a vassal state under Satsuma. The invasion force was met with stiff resistance from the Ryukyuan military on all but one island during the campaign. Ryukyu would remain a vassal state under Satsuma, alongside its already long-established tributary relationship with China, until it was formally annexed by Japan in 1879 as Okinawa Prefecture.

Komikan (fruit)

The komikan (小みかん, 小蜜柑) is a type of mandarin orange grown in Japan. "Ko" means "little", and "mikan" a type of citrus cultivar; komikans are unusually small. It is almost the same as the Kishumikan.

It is sometimes called a Sakurajima komikan orange (桜島小みかん, Sakurajima komikan) grown on Sakurajima, an active composite volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The same cultivar is also grown in Fukuyama in Kirishima along Kagoshima Bay, and this is simply called komikan (小みかん, 小蜜柑).

List of samurai

The following is a list of Samurai and their wives. They are listed alphabetically by their family names. Some changed their names and they are listed by their final names. Note that this list is not complete or comprehensive; the total number of persons who belonged to the samurai-class of Japanese society, during the time that such a social category existed, would be in the millions.

November 27

November 27 is the 331st day of the year (332nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 34 days remain until the end of the year.

Sanada Yukimura

Sanada Yukimura (真田 幸村, 1567 – June 3, 1615), actual name: Sanada Nobushige (真田 信繁), was a Japanese samurai warrior of the Sengoku period. He was especially known as the leading general on the defending side of the Siege of Osaka.

Yukimura was called "A Hero who may appear once in a hundred years", "Crimson Demon of War" and "The Last Sengoku Hero". The famed veteran of the invasion of Korea, Shimazu Tadatsune, called him the "Number one warrior in Japan" (日本一の兵).


Shimazu is a Japanese surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Esther Shimazu (born 1957), American/Hawaiian sculptor

Saeko Shimazu (born 1959), Japanese voice actress

Shimazu clan, daimyō of the Satsuma han

Shimazu Hisamitsu (1817-1887), Japanese samurai prince

Shimazu Katsuhisa (1503-1573), the fourteenth head of the Shimazu clan

Shimazu Nariakira (1809-1858), Japanese feudal lord (daimyō)

Raisei Shimazu (島津 頼盛, born 1999), Japanese footballer

Shimazu Tadahisa (died 1227), founder of the Shimazu clan

Shimazu Tadatsune (1576-1638), Tozama daimyō of Satsuma

Shimazu Tadayoshi (1493-1568), daimyō (feudal lord) of Satsuma

Shimazu Takahisa (1514-1571), daimyō during Japan's Sengoku period

Shimazu Toshihisa (1537-1592), senior retainer to the Shimazu clan

Shimazu Yoshihiro (1535-1619), general of the Shimazu clan

Shimazu Yoshihisa (1533-1611), daimyō of Satsuma

Takako Shimazu (born 1939), Japanese princess

Yasujirō Shimazu (1897–1945), Japanese film director

Shimazu Toyohisa

Shimazu Toyohisa (島津 豊久, July, 1570 – October 21, 1600), son of Shimazu Iehisa and nephew of Shimazu Yoshihiro, was a Japanese samurai who was a member of the Shimazu clan. He was also the castle lord in command of Sadohara Castle. He served in the Battle of Kyushu (1587) under his uncle against the Toyotomi. He fought bravely, but was ambushed off route when he charged forward. He was saved by his uncle. He also was said to have participated in the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), where he was killed fending off enemy troops during the Shimazu retreat at the conclusion of the battle. His wife was the daughter of Shimazu Tadanaga, cousin and karō to Shimazu Yoshihisa.

Shimazu Yoshihiro

Shimazu Yoshihiro (島津 義弘, August 21, 1535 – August 30, 1619) was the second son of Shimazu Takahisa and younger brother of Shimazu Yoshihisa. Traditionally believed to be the seventeenth head of the Shimazu clan, he was a skilled general during the Sengoku period who greatly contributed to the unification of Kyūshū. He is said to have been born in Izaku Castle in 1535. He was the castle lord in command of Iino Castle.

Shimazu Yoshihisa

Shimazu Yoshihisa (島津義久, February 9, 1533 – March 5, 1611) was a daimyō of Satsuma Province and the eldest son of Shimazu Takahisa. His mother was a daughter of Iriki'in Shigesato (入来院重聡), Sesshō (雪窓). Shimazu Yoshihiro and Shimazu Toshihisa are his brothers. He is said to have been born in Izaku Castle in 1535.His childhood name was Torajumaru (虎寿丸) but he went by the name of Matasaburō (又三郎). On his coming-of-age (genpuku), he took the name of Tadayoshi(忠良) but after receiving a kanji from the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiteru, changed to Yoshitatsu (義辰). He later changed his name to Yoshihisa. He married his own aunt and after her death, married his relative, a daughter of Tanegashima Tokitaka.

In 1566, he succeeded his father as the head of Shimazu clan, becoming the clan's sixteenth leader. Working together with his brothers Yoshihiro, Toshihisa, and Shimazu Iehisa, he launched a campaign to unify Kyūshū. Starting in 1572 with the win against Itō clan at the battle of Kizaki, Yoshihisa would win victory after victory.

In 1578, he defeated the Ōtomo clan at the battle of Mimigawa, in 1583 against Ryūzōji clan, and on 1584 against the Aso clan. By the middle of the 1580s, the Shimazu clan controlled most of Kyūshū with the exception of Ōtomo's domain and a unification was not far into the future.

However, in 1587 Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched a campaign to pacify Kyūshū with an overwhelming force of over 200,000, at least five times the number under Yoshihisa's troops, and Shimazu troop was driven back to Satsuma province where they were forced to surrender. Most of domains they had conquered were divided by Hideyoshi and the Shimazu clan managed to retain only Satsuma Province and Ōsumi Province. Yoshihisa shaved his head to surrender showing that he would become a Buddhist monk if his life was spared. His name as a monk was Ryūhaku (龍伯) but it is unclear whether he retired to have Yoshihiro rule. As a retainer under Hideyoshi, his younger brother Yoshihiro controlled troops, but it is believed that Yoshihisa still managed day-to-day affairs in the domain. Yoshihisa did not have a son to succeed him, so he had Yoshihiro's son, Shimazu Tadatsune marry the third daughter Kameju (亀寿) and adopted him as the successor.

After Hideyoshi made decision on Yoshihisa's domain, Yoshihisa was invited by Tokugawa Ieyasu to Fushimi Castle. It is said that after asked repeatedly by Ieyasu and his retainers on how he almost unified Kyūshū, Yoshihisa finally relented and said "My three younger brothers led by Yoshihiro as well as retainers like Niiro Tadamoto fought so well united under the same goal, I never had a chance to show bravery in a battle. I only had to wait in the Kagoshima Castle for news brought by messengers of their victories." After Yoshihisa left, Ieyasu told his retainers that "(Yoshihisa had, as) a general let retainers under him work to the best of their abilities. This is how a great general should be."

He died of an illness in 1611. His posthumous name was 貫明存忠庵主. He was buried at what had once been the site of Fukushoji in Kagoshima and there is still a tombstone along with all other leaders of the clan. There are also monuments built in his memory at Kokubun city, Ima Kumano Kannonji (今熊野観音寺) in Kyoto, and Koyasan. There is no portrait of Yoshihisa remaining but in Taiheiji at Kawauchi, Kagoshima, there is a bronze figure of Yoshihisa of the surrender against Hideyoshi that was made after he died.

His knowledge of culture is not widely known but he had Hosokawa Yusai teach him classic literatures and Kampaku Konoe Wakihisa who was skilled in waka and renga was said to have frequented Yoshihisa's house.

Shimazu clan

The Shimazu clan (島津氏, Shimazu-shi) were the daimyō of the Satsuma han, which spread over Satsuma, Ōsumi and Hyūga provinces in Japan.

The Shimazu were identified as one of the tozama or outsider daimyō families in contrast with the fudai or insider clans which were hereditary vassals or allies of the Tokugawa clan.

Shō Nei

Shō Nei (尚寧, 1564–1620) was king of the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1587–1620. He reigned during the 1609 invasion of Ryukyu and was the first king of Ryukyu to be a vassal to the Shimazu clan of Satsuma, a Japanese feudal domain.

Shō Nei was the great-grandson of Shō Shin (尚真, r. 1477–1526) and the adopted son-in-law of Shō Ei (尚永, r. 1573–1586).


Tadatsune (written: 忠恒 or 忠常) is a masculine Japanese given name. Notable people with the name include:

Shimazu Tadatsune (島津 忠恒) (1576–1638), Japanese daimyō

Taira no Tadatsune (平 忠常) (died 1031), Japanese samurai

Torii Tadatsune (鳥居 忠恒) (1604–1636), Japanese daimyō

Ukita Hideie

Ukita Hideie (宇喜多 秀家, 1573 – December 17, 1655) was the daimyō of Bizen and Mimasaka Provinces (modern Okayama Prefecture), and one of the council of Five Elders appointed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Son of Ukita Naoie, he married Gōhime, a daughter of Maeda Toshiie. Having fought against Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Battle of Sekigahara he was exiled to the island prison of Hachijō-jima, where he died.


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