The Shimazu clan mon
|Parent house||Seiwa Genji (Minamoto clan)|
|Final ruler||Shimazu Tadashige|
|Current head||Shimazu Nobuhisa|
|Founding year||12th century (ca. 1196 CE)|
|Ruled until||1947, Constitution of Japan renders titles obsolete|
The Shimazu were descendants of the Seiwa Genji branch of the Minamoto. The Shimazu would become one of the families of Edo period daimyō to have held their territory continuously since the Kamakura period, and would also become, at their peak, the wealthiest and most powerful Tozama daimyō family with an income in excess of 700,000 koku.
The founder, Shimazu Tadahisa (d. 1227), was a son of Shōgun Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199) with the sister of Hiki Yoshikazu. Tadahisa's wife was a daughter of Koremune Hironobu, descendant of the Hata clan, whose name Tadahisa took at first. He received the domain of Shioda in Shinano Province in 1186 and was then named shugo of Satsuma Province. He sent Honda Sadachika to take possession of the province in his name and accompanied Yoritomo in his expedition to Mutsu in 1189. He went to Satsuma in 1196, subdued Hyūga and Ōsumi provinces, and built a castle in the domain of Shimazu (Hyūga), which name he also adopted.
The 19th head, Yoshihiro (1535–1619), was the daimyō at the time of the Battle of Sekigahara, the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and the Siege of Osaka. His nephew and successor was Tadatsune. He held significant power during the first two decades of the 17th century, and organized the Shimazu invasion of the Ryūkyū Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa Prefecture) in 1609. The Shōgun allowed this because he wished to appease the Shimazu and prevent potential uprisings after their loss at Sekigahara. The trade benefits thus acquired, and the political prestige of being the only daimyō family to control an entire foreign country secured the Shimazu's position as one of the most powerful daimyō families in Japan at the time. The Shimazu clan is renowned for the loyalty of its retainers and officers, especially during the Sengoku period. Some retainer families, such as the Ijuin and Shirakawa, were determined to defeat any opposition to help expand the power of the Shimazu clan. The Shimazu are also famous for being the first to use teppo (firearms, specifically matchlock arquebuses) on the battlefield in Japan, and began domestic production of the weapons as well. Shimazu battle tactics are known to have been very successful in defeating larger enemy armies, particularly during their campaign to conquer Kyūshū in the 1580s. Their tactics included the luring of the opposition into an ambush on both sides by arquebus troops, creating panic and disorder. Central forces would then be deployed to rout the enemy. In this way, the Shimazu were able to defeat much larger clans such as the Itō, Ryūzōji and Ōtomo. Overall, the Shimazu was a very large and powerful clan due to their strong economy both from domestic production through trade, good organization of government and troops, strong loyalty of retainers and isolation from Honshū.
Incorporates information from the Japanese Wikipedia article
Shimazu is a playable faction in Shogun 2.
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.Battle of Mimigawa
The Battle of Mimigawa was a battle, fought in Japan, between the Ōtomo clan and the Shimazu clan in 1578. The Ōtomo force was led by Sorin's brother-in-law Tawara Chikataka, while the Shimazu clan was led by Shimazu Yoshihisa. The Shimazu had been advancing north from their Satsuma Province, when Ōtomo Sōrin (retired daimyō) and his heir Yoshimune, moved south to confront them in May. The Christian Ōtomo army destroyed Buddhist and Shinto religious buildings along the way as they crossed the Mimigawa and laid siege to Takajo Castle on 20 October, with its 500 men led by Yamada Arinobu. The Ōtomo set up their Portuguese cannon, kunikuzuri or "destroyer of provinces", across the Kiribaragawa. The castle was soon reinforced by 1000 men under Yoshihisa's younger brother Shihazu Iehisa. Shimazu Tadahisa was able to ambush some Ōtomo troops and follow the survivors to their headquarters at Matsuyama.Yoshihisa had a dream the night before the battle, which he turned into a poem, and the Shimazu considered a good omen:
The enemy defeated host
Is as the maple leaves of autumn,
Floating on the water
Of the Takuta stream
The Shimazu used their favorite decoy tactic, used 8 times from 1527 to 1600. In the center of their army as decoy was Shimazu Yoshihiro, with Shimazu Tadahira and Shimazu Tadamune on his flanks, and Yoshihisa in reserve. The Ōtomo army in the center, led by Tagita Shigekane and Saeki Korenori, were led on by the Shimaza false retreat, across the Takajogawa, into the Shimaza trap. Shimazu Iehisa and Yamada Arinobu sallied from Takajo castle and attacked the Otomo army from the rear. Tawara Chikataka fled while Tagita Saeki and Tsunokuma were killed. The bodies of the Otomo army littered the 25 km back to the Mimigawa in their retreat and pursuit by the Shimazu army.Fabian Fucan used the battle to warn other daimyōs not to abandon the Buddhist religion.Kagoshima Castle
Kagoshima Castle (鹿児島城, kagoshima jō), also known as Tsurumaru Castle, is a Japanese castle in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.Kyūshū campaign
The Kyūshū campaign of 1586–1587 was part of the campaigns of Toyotomi Hideyoshi who sought to dominate Japan at the end of the Sengoku period. Having subjugated much of Honshū and Shikoku, Hideyoshi turned his attention to the southernmost of the main Japanese islands, Kyūshū, in 1587.Shimazu Iehisa
Shimazu Iehisa (島津 家久, 1547 – July 10, 1587) was a Japanese samurai of the Sengoku period, who was a member of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Province. He was the fourth son of Shimazu Takahisa. He served in a command capacity during his family's campaign to conquer Kyūshū. His sons were Shimazu Toyohisa, Shimazu Tadanao, and Shimazu Mitsuhisa. He was nephew of Ten'ei-in (wife of Tokugawa Ienobu) from his mother side and later he married Kamehime and daughter of Shimazu Yoshitaka, Mitsuhime.
He participated in the Battle of Takajo.Shimazu Narioki
Shimazu Narioki (島津 斉興, December 1, 1791 – October 7, 1859) was a Japanese feudal lord (daimyō) of the Edo period, the 27th in the line of Shimazu clan lords of Satsuma Domain (r. 1809–1851). He was the father of Shimazu Nariakira, Shimazu Hisamitsu and Ikeda Naritoshi (1811–1842).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 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.Shimazu Toshihisa
Shimazu Toshihisa (島津 歳久, August 15, 1537 – August 25, 1592) was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama period, who served as a senior retainer of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Province. He was also the commander when Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Kyushu.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.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).Siege of Iwaya Castle
The Siege of Iwaya Castle (岩屋城の戦い) was fought in the year 1586 when an army of the Shimazu clan put the castle of Iwaya, which belonged to the Takahashi clan who were vassals of the Ōtomo clan, under siege.
After the defeat of the Ryūzōji clan at the Battle of Okita Nawate in 1584, Shimazu Yoshihisa refocused his attentions on the Ōtomo clan and a campaign was started against their dominions. The siege of Iwaya Castle resulted after the Shimazu invasion of Chikuzen Province. The castellan of Iwaya was Takahashi Shigetane, one of the most trusted retainers of the Ōtomo, and held the fortress with a small garrison of around 763 soldiers. When the invading army of around 20,000 soldiers put the castle under siege the situation seemed untenable, but the castle managed to hold for two weeks.
When Shigetane realized he could not hold the fortress any longer he committed seppuku and all soldiers suicide attack. The Shimazu took the castle and were impressed with Shigetane's loyal conduct; they are said to have prayed for his deceased spirit.Siege of Kajiki
The Siege of Kajiki was fought in the year of 1549 when forces of the Shimazu clan besieged the castle of Kajiki. The siege succeeded and the castle was taken. The siege is notable for being the first time "Portuguese derived" arquebuses were used in battle in Japan.Siege of Kōriyama Castle (1544)
The Siege of Kōriyama Castle was fought in the year 1544. The Iriki were vassals of the Shimazu clan and Iriki-In Shigetomo was the brother-in-law of Shimazu Takahisa. However relations began to sour when rumors spread that Shigetomo was plotting a rebellion against Takahisa. In 1544 Shigetomo died and shortly after Takahisa attacked and captured his castle of Kōriyama, ending any menace the Iriki-in could pose to his rule. Iriki-in Shigetsugu succeeded Shigetomo and the relations were later restored between both sides.Siege of Oguchi Castle
The Siege of Oguchi Castle was fought in the year of 1569 when forces of the Shimazu clan besieged the Hishikari clan's castle of Oguchi in Ōsumi Province. The siege was successful and the castle fell to the Shimazu.Tachibana Ginchiyo
Tachibana Ginchiyo (立花 誾千代, September 23, 1569 – November 30, 1602) was head of the Japanese Tachibana clan during the Sengoku period. She was the daughter of Tachibana Dōsetsu, a powerful retainer of the Ōtomo clan (which were rivals of the Shimazu clan at the time). Because Dosetsu had no sons, he requested that Ginchiyo be made family head.Ōsumi Province
Ōsumi Province (大隅国, Ōsumi no Kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the eastern part of Kagoshima Prefecture. It was sometimes called Gūshū (隅州). Ōsumi bordered on Hyūga and Satsuma Provinces.
Osumi's ancient capital was near modern Kokubu. During the Sengoku and Edo periods, Ōsumi was controlled by the Shimazu clan of neighboring Satsuma and did not develop a major administrative center.
The Ōsumi region has developed its own distinct local dialect. Although Ōsumi is part of Kagoshima Prefecture today, this dialect is different from that spoken in the city of Kagoshima. There is a notable cultural pride in traditional poetry written in Ōsumi and Kagoshima dialects.
Japan's first satellite, Ōsumi, was named after the province.
Campaigns of the Shimazu clan