Godai Tomoyoshi


Godai Clan


Satsuma Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 9 (1540) to 7/27 of Kanei 3 (1626)

Other Names:  Shōzaemon, Ukyō-no-suke (common)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Godai

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Satsuma-Kagoshima

Lord:  Shimazu Yoshihiro → Shimazu Iehisa

Father:  Godai Suketomo

Wife:  Daughter of the Kedōin clan, daughter of Iki Sukegoro

Children:  Tomoyasu, Tomoyasu (written with a different character)

Godai Tomoyoshi served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Province.

Tomoyoshi came from an illegitimate branch of the Shūin clan who served as hereditary Shintō priests of the Nitta-Hachiman Shrine in Satsuma.  The family adopted the Godai surname from the time that the first-generation head of the family, Koremune no Yasutada (the son of Koremune no Yasutomo from the Kamakura period), served as the head priest of the Godai Temple.

In 1564, Tomoyoshi was one of 60 individuals who followed Shimazu Yoshihiro when Yoshihiro established his residence at Iino Castle in Hyūga Province.  Thereafter, he served as a chief retainer of Yoshihiro.  He further served as the lord of the manor of Mangata.  On 5/4 of Genki 3 (1572), upon the outbreak of the Battle of Kizakibaru, Tomoyoshi was assigned 40 soldiers to set an ambush at Nomaguchi on Mount Shiratori.  Along with Yoshihiro and Kamata Masatoshi, Tomoyoshi contributed to the defeat of a Hyūga-Itō army of as many at 3,000 men.  For this service, Tomoyoshi was awarded landholdings of 200 koku.  Later, he built a memorial to pray for the soul of the enemy commander-in-chief, Itō Sukeyasu.

In 1584, Tomoyoshi followed Yoshihiro’s son, Shimazu Hisayasu, to participate in the Conquest of Odawara.  In 1600, during the Battle of Sekigahara, Tomoyoshi was stationed at Nagashima to be on watch for the army of Katō Kiyomasa of Higo Province.  After Yoshihiro returned to Satsuma, Tomoyoshi received an additional award of 200 koku.  In 1603, he served as a magistrate for Chinese trading vessels.  In 1605, when Chōjuin-dono, the adopted daughter of his lord, Shimazu Iehisa, was sent to wed Matsudaira Sadayuki, Tomoyoshi accompanied the party.

In 1626, he died of illness and was buried at the Ryūsei Temple in Satsuma.