Hongō Tadatora


Hongō Clan


Hyūga Province

Lifespan:  Kōji 2 (1556) to 12/14 of Bunroku 3 (1595)

Other Names:  Danjōchū, Sanuki-no-kami

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Hongō

Father:  Hongō Tokihisa

Mother:  Daughter of Honda 薫親

Siblings:  Sister (wife of Shimazu Mochihisa), Sukehisa, Tadatora, sister (Hishijma Yoshitomo), Mitsuhisa, Hisamura, Tadayori, 久栄

Wife:  [Formal] Daughter of Niiro Tadamitsu, [Consort] Daughter of Nobe 盛忍

Children:  Tadayoshi, Nobe Morisada (born of same mother but different father than Tadayoshi)

Hongō Tadatora served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was the eleventh head of the Hongō clan of Hyūga Province.

In 1556, Tadatora was born as the second son of Hongō Tokihisa.  Tadatora had an older brother of the same mother named Hongō Sukehisa, but, in 1581, Tokihisa and Sukehisa had a sudden falling out, whereupon Sukehisa was forced to commit seppuku.  Tadatora then became the designated successor of Tokihisa.

From 1573, Tadatora joined the Shimazu clan.  In 1581, in battle against Sagara Yoshihi, Tadatora and Shimazu Yoshitora served meritoriously.  Thereafter, he participated primarily in battles in the direction of Higo Province and made significant contributions to the dominance of the Shimazu in Kyūshū.

In 1587, during the Subjugation of Kyūshū by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tadatora and Shimazu Yoshihiro were in the faction advocating resistance.  Even after the surrender of Shimazu Yoshihisa, Tadatora and his father, Tokihisa, holed-up in Miyakano Castle to continue the resisting.  Later, they were convinced by Yoshihisa to yield to the Toyotomi.  Unlike other bushō who resisted the invasion, Tadatora directly (without going through the Shimazu) received a written declaration of his rights to his landholdings and was treated on a par with the daimyō.

In 1592, for deployment to the Korean Peninsula, Tadatora departed Miyakono Castle on 3/3 and, on 4/28, after landing in Pusan, came under the command of Mōri Takamasa, engaging in battles to Gangwon Province.  On 9/6 of Bunroku 2 (1593), in exchange for having his younger brother, Hongō Mitsumasa, serve, he was permitted to return to Japan.  After his return, in the third month of 1594, his formal wife died.  In the seventh month, prior to the end the mourning period, he received orders to deploy and sailed to the Korean Peninsula again.  On 12/14 of Bunroku 3 (1594), he died of illness while on deployment on Geoje Island in Korea.  He was thirty-nine years old.

Tadatora did not have children with his formal wife but had a son with his consort.  This son, Hongō Nagachiyomaru (later known as Hongō Tadayoshi), succeeded him.  Owing to Nagachiyomaru’s youth at the time of succession, upon orders of the Shimazu clan, Mitsumasa served as provisional head of the Hongō clan until Nagachiyomaru reached the age of seventeen.