Watarase Shigeaki


Watarase Clan


Tōtōmi Province

Lifespan:  Kōji 1 (1555) to Bunroku 4 (1595)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Watarase

Lord:  Hōjō Ujimasa → Hashiba Hideyoshi → Toyotomi Hidetsugu

Father:  Yura Narishige

Siblings:  Yura Kunishige, Shigeaki, Nagao Akinaga, sister (formal wife of Narita Ujinaga), sister (wife of Kuroda Naoyuki)

Wife:  Daughter of Arima Noriyori

Children:  Akisuke

Watarase Shigeaki served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.

In 1555, Shigeaki was born as the second son of Yura Narishige.  His formal wife was the daughter of Arima Noriyori.

Initially, similar to his relatives, Shigeaki served the Gohōjō clan, but, before long, he became a retainer of Hashiba Hideyoshi.  In 1585, Shigeaki participated in the Conquest of Kishū including the Siege of Sengokubori Castle.  Thereafter, upon orders of Hideyoshi, Shigeaki became a chief retainer of Toyotomi Hidetsugu.  In 1590, when Hidetsugu was enfeoff​ed in Owari and Ise, Shigeaki was enfeoff​ed in the provinces of the Tōkaidō and became the lord of Yokosuka Castle in Tōtōmi Province.

In 1595, in connection with the Hidetsugu Incident, Shigeaki defended Hidetsugu, but was found complicit, removed from his position, and ordered to commit seppuku.  His eldest son, Watarase Akisuke, was not permitted to inherit his father’s landholdings, and his younger brother-in-law, a retainer named Arima Toyouji inherited Shigeaki’s territory and band of retainers.  This was said to be the result of Shigeaki’s poor governance of his territory.  His descendants returned to farming.