Shimazu Tadayoshi

Shimazu Tadayoshi (島津 忠良, October 14, 1493 – December 31, 1568) was a daimyō (feudal lord) of Satsuma Province during Japan's Sengoku period.

He was born to a branch family of the Shimazu clan, the Mimasaka Shimazu family (伊作島津家) but after his father Shimazu Yoshihisa died, his mother married Shimazu Unkyu of another branch family, the Soshū (相州家). Tadayoshi thus came to represent two families within the larger Shimazu clan.

Shimazu Katsuhisa, who presided over the Shimazu family, did not have a son and he was driven out by Shimazu Sanehisa, who was the head of yet another branch, the Sasshū (薩州家). Sanehisa then laid claim to be the head of the clan without being properly recognized by the rest of the families. Katsuhisa asked Tadayoshi for help to regain his position, and Tadayoshi sent his son Shimazu Takahisa to be adopted by Katsuhisa. In 1526, Katsuhisa handed over the position of the head of the family to Takahisa. In 1539 though, during the Battle of Ichirai, Tadayoshi defeated Katsuhisa (who would regain power later) and Takahisa came to be recognized by all members of the Shimazu clan as the head.

After Takahisa's succession, Tadayoshi retired to Kaseda in Satsuma Province. He held a great amount of power, trading with the Ryūkyū Kingdom and Ming-dynasty China. He also arranged for massive purchases of arquebuses to make the clan prosperous for the planned unification of Kyūshū by Takahisa.

Tadayoshi wrote an Iroha poem that sang of the importance of unity and also to give more literacy to his men. It begins with following words:

Inishie no Michi wo Kikitemo Tonaetemo Waga Okonai ni sezuba Kahinashi

It means, "Even if you learn old ways, if you cannot use them as your own, it is meaningless." It was based on Confucianism and his educational philosophy would deeply influence his four grandsons, Shimazu Yoshihisa, Shimazu Yoshihiro, Shimazu Toshihisa, and Shimazu Iehisa. This would eventually make its way into modern philosophies in the Meiji period as Satsuma han took part in modernizing Japan.

Tadayoshi called himself Shimazu Jisshinsai (島津日新斎) in later years and praised his four grandsons as "Yoshihisa the Leader", "Yoshihiro the Brave", "Toshihisa the Planner", "Iehisa the Tactician" and later as "Nisshin Dai Bosatsu", which will be greatly revered by Satsuma Samurai. Tadayoshi died in 1568 at the age of 77.

Shimazu Tadayoshi(16th)
Portrait of Shimazu Tadayoshi

Year 1493 (MCDXCIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Battle of Ichirai

The Battle of Ichirai (市来鶴丸城の戦い) was fought in 1539 between two rival factions of the Shimazu clan.

Shimazu Katsuhisa, who presided over the Shimazu family, did not have a son and he was driven out by Shimazu Sanehisa, who was the head of another branch, the Sasshū (薩州家). Sanehisa then laid claim to be the head of the clan without being properly recognized by the rest of the families. Katsuhisa asked Shimazu Tadayoshi for help to regain his position, and Tadayoshi sent his son Shimazu Takahisa to be adopted by Katsuhisa as a condition for his help. In 1526, Katsuhisa handed over the position of the head of the family to Takahisa. However, it was not until 1539, at the Battle of Ichirai, when Tadayoshi defeated Katsuhisa (who would regain power later) that Takahisa came to be recognized by all members of the Shimazu clan as the head.

Ijuin Tadaaki

Ijuin Tada'aki(伊集院忠朗; 1520–1561) a retainer of the Japanese clan of Shimazu following the Sengoku period of the 16th century of Japan. Under Tada'aki, Ijuin clan would rise to the prominence as one of the most important retainer in the Shimazu clan.

He served under Shimazu Tadayoshi and Shimazu Takahisa was essential in uniting Shimazu clan, and battles against Ito clan and Kimotsuki clan. At the siege of Iwatsurugi in 1554, it was recorded that Tada'aki had his troop use matchlock guns against enemies for the first time by the Shimazu army. For this and other contributions and services, he held the post of the top karō until 1556 and governed as the top official of the clan.

It is recorded that on 1561 while having a party with Kimotsuki Kanetsugu, Tada'aki offended Kanetsugu so well that humiliated Kanetsugu started a war that the Shimazu clan wanted all along.

Iyo-Matsuyama Domain

The Iyo-Matsuyama Domain (伊予松山藩, Iyo-Matsuyama han) was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, with its holdings centered in modern-day Matsuyama, Ehime.

Izaku Castle

Izaku Castle (伊作城, Izaku-jō) is the earthly remains of a castle structure in Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.It was the home castle of the Shimazu clan before Shimazu Takahisa moved their home castle to Ichiuji Castle in 1536 and famous as the birthplace of the warlord Shimazu Tadayoshi, Shimazu Yoshihisa and Shimazu Yoshihiro.

Jinmaku Kyūgorō

Jinmaku Kyūgorō (陣幕 久五郎, June 4, 1829 – October 21, 1903) was a sumo wrestler from Itō, Izumo Province, Japan. He was the sport's 12th yokozuna.

Kimotsuki Kanetsugu

Kimotsuki Kanetsugu (肝付 兼続, 1511 – December 26, 1566) was the sixteenth head of the Kimotsuki family and the son of Kimotsuki Kaneoki. Kanetsugu was a skilled and smart leader but his domain happened to be next to that of the most powerful clan in Kyūshū, Shimazu clan and Kimotsuki family would be crushed by them.

He killed his uncle Kimotsuki Kaneshu to become the head of the clan after his father, Kaneoki, died.

Kanetsugu believed that maintaining a good relationship with the neighboring Shimazu clan was essential to the clan's survival and had the eldest daughter of Shimazu Tadayoshi as his wife as well as having his sister marry Shimazu Takahisa. On the other hand, he moved to unify Ōsumi Province and captured Takaoka Castle in 1538 to capture the majority of the province. On 1533, he had his son Kimotsuki Yoshikane take over the clan and retired but still held onto most of the actual power.

In 1561, the relationship between his clan and Shimazu collapsed and Kanetsugu allied with Itō clan of Hyūga Province to counter Shimazu. In the same year, he repelled invading Shimazu troops with much success and killed the younger brother of Takahisa, Shimazu Tadamasa. Knowing that there was no turning back, Kanetsugu tried to divorce his wife who was of Shimazu clan, but she did not agree and declined the offer.

In 1562, Kanetsugu and his troops captured Shibushi district to hold the largest domain. In 1566, Shimazu clan massed its army and invaded again capturing Kōyama Castle as well as most of Kimotsuki's domains. The desperate Kanetsugu committed suicide near Shibushi area where he had a small castle to which he had retired.

Prince Yamashina Kikumaro

Prince Yamashina Kikumaro (山階宮 菊麿王, Yamashina-no-miya Kikumaro-ō, 3 July 1873 – 2 May 1908), was the second head of the Yamashina-no-miya, a collateral line of the Japanese imperial family.

Sachiko, Princess Hisa

Sachiko, Princess Hisa (久宮祐子内親王, Hisa-no-miya Sachiko Naishinnō, 10 September 1927 – 8 March 1928) was the second daughter and child of Emperor Shōwa and his wife, Empress Kōjun.

Satsuma Domain

Satsuma Domain (薩摩藩, Satsuma-han), officially Kagoshima Domain, was a Japanese domain of the Edo period. It is associated with the provinces of Satsuma, Ōsumi and Hyūga in modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture and Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū.

In the han system, Satsuma was a political and economic abstraction based on periodic cadastral surveys and projected agricultural yields. In other words, the domain was defined in terms of kokudaka, not land area. This was different from the feudalism of the West.

The domain was ruled from Kagoshima Castle, the core of what later became the city of Kagoshima. Its kokudaka was assessed at 770,000 koku, the second highest kokudaka after that of Kaga Domain.


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 Nariakira

Shimazu Nariakira (島津 斉彬, April 28, 1809 – August 24, 1858) was a Japanese feudal lord (daimyō) of the Edo period, the 28th in the line of Shimazu clan lords of Satsuma Domain. He was renowned as an intelligent and wise lord, and was greatly interested in Western learning and technology. He was enshrined after death as the Shinto kami Terukuni Daimyōjin (照国大明神) in May 1863.

Shimazu Tadashige

Prince Shimazu Tadashige (島津 忠重, 20 October 1886 – 4 April 1968), was the son of Shimazu Tadayoshi and 30th head of the Shimazu clan. He was a naval officer, and rear admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy. His wife was the daughter of Tokudaiji Sanetsune.

Shimazu Tadayoshi (2nd)

Shimazu Tadayoshi (島津忠義, May 22, 1840 – December 26, 1897) was a Japanese daimyō of the late Edo period, who ruled the Satsuma Domain as its 12th and final daimyō. During his tenure, much of the political power in Satsuma was held by his father, Hisamitsu.

Shimazu Takahisa

Shimazu Takahisa (島津 貴久, May 28, 1514 – July 15, 1571), the son of Shimazu Tadayoshi, was a daimyō during Japan's Sengoku period. He was the fifteenth head of the Shimazu clan.

In 1514, he is said to have been born in Izaku Castle. On 1526, Takahisa was adopted as the successor to Shimazu Katsuhisa and became head of the clan. He launched a series of campaigns to reclaim three provinces: Satsuma, Osumi, and Hyūga. While he made some progress, it would be up to the next generation in the Shimazu family to successfully reclaim them. He nurtured such future leaders like Shimazu Yoshihisa and his brothers Yoshihiro, Toshihisa and Iehisa who would, for a short time, see the Shimazu clan take over the entire island of Kyūshū; he is also said to have a daughter of unknown name.

Takahisa actively promoted relationships with foreign people and countries. He was the first daimyo to bring Western firearms into Japan, following the shipwreck of a number of Portuguese on Tanegashima in 1543. In 1549, he welcomed St. Francis Xavier. He granted the Jesuit protection to spread Christianity in his domain, but later retracted his support of Christianity under pressure from local Buddhist monks. Takahisa also held a diplomatic relationship with the Ryūkyū Kingdom.

In 1549, he used "Portuguese-derived" firearms to take Kajiki.


Tadayoshi (written: 忠義, 忠吉, 忠良, 忠善, 忠美, 忠由 or 直義) is a masculine Japanese given name. Notable people with the name include:

Ashikaga Tadayoshi (足利 直義) (1306–1352), Japanese samurai

Ichijō Tadayoshi (一条 忠良) (1774–1837), Japanese kugyō

Tadayoshi Ichida (市田 忠義) (born 1942), Japanese politician

Tadayoshi Nagashima (長島 忠美) (born 1951), Japanese politician

Nishio Tadayoshi (西尾 忠善) (1768–1831), Japanese daimyō

Ōkubo Tadayoshi (I) (大久保 忠由) (1736–1769), Japanese daimyō

Ōkubo Tadayoshi (II) (大久保 忠良) (1857–1877), Japanese daimyō

Tadayoshi Okura (大倉 忠義) (born 1985), Japanese idol, singer and actor

Tadayoshi Sano (佐野 忠義) (1889–1945), Japanese general

Satomi Tadayoshi (里見 忠義) (1594–1622), Japanese samurai and daimyō

Shimazu Tadayoshi (島津 忠良) (1493–1568), Japanese daimyō

Shimazu Tadayoshi (2nd) (島津 忠義) (1840–1897), Japanese daimyō

Torii Tadayoshi (鳥居 忠吉) (died 1571), Japanese samurai

Tadayoshi Yokota (横田 忠義) (born 1947), Japanese volleyball player

Takako Shimazu

Takako Shimazu (島津 貴子, Shimazu Takako, born 2 March 1939), born Takako, Princess Suga (清宮貴子内親王, Suga-no-miya Takako Naishinnō), is a former member of the Imperial House of Japan. She is the fifth and youngest daughter of Emperor Shōwa and Empress Kōjun, and the youngest sister of the Emperor Emeritus of Japan, Akihito. She married Hisanaga Shimazu on 3 March 1960. As a result, she gave up her imperial title and left the Japanese Imperial Family, as required by law.

Tokugawa Satotaka

Count Tokugawa Satotaka (徳川 達孝, June 18, 1865 – February 18, 1941) was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period who became a government official in the Meiji, Taishō, and Shōwa eras. Younger brother of Tokugawa Iesato. His childhood name was Bannosuke (群之助).

Served as a member of the House of Peers and the Board of Trustees of Gakushūin. In the pre-1945 nobility, he held the rank of count.

Tsunenari Tokugawa

Tsunenari Tokugawa (徳川 恆孝, Tokugawa Tsunenari) (also 徳川 恒孝; born 26 February 1940) is the present (18th generation) head of the main Tokugawa house. He is the son of Ichirō Matsudaira and Toyoko Tokugawa. His great-grandfather was the famed Matsudaira Katamori of Aizu and his maternal great-grandfather was Tokugawa Iesato. As a great-grandson of Shimazu Tadayoshi, the last lord of Satsuma Domain, he is also a second cousin of the former Emperor, Akihito. Tsunenari was active for many years in the shipping company Nippon Yūsen, and is the head of the nonprofit Tokugawa Foundation.

His son, Iehiro Tokugawa, is a translator.

In 2007, Tsunenari published a book entitled Edo no idenshi (江戸の遺伝子), released in English in 2009 as The Edo Inheritance, which seeks to counter the common belief among Japanese that the Edo period (throughout which members of his Tokugawa clan ruled Japan as shōguns) was like a dark age, when Japan, cut off from the world, fell behind. On the contrary, he argues, the roughly 250 years of peace and relative prosperity saw great economic reforms, the growth of a sophisticated urban culture, and the development of the most urbanized society on the planet.

Prominent people of the Sengoku period
Three major daimyōs
Other daimyōs
Ninja, rogues and
Monks and other
religious figures
Female lord
Other women
Foreign people in Japan
See also


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