Kabayama Hisataka


Kabayama Clan


Satsuma Province

Lifespan:  Eiroku 3 (1560) to 3/4 of Kanei 11 (1634)

Other Names:  Kamechiyomaru (childhood), Ōno Shichirō Tadataka → Kabayama Gonzaemon Hisataka, Gensetsu (monk’s name)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Vice Minister of Popular Affairs, Governor of Mino

Clan:  Kabayama

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Satsuma

Lord:  Shimazu clan

Father:  Kabayama Tadasuke

Mother:  Daughter of Murata Tsunesada

Siblings:  Norihisa, Hisataka

Wife:  [Formal]  Daughter of Ōno Tadamune, [Second]  Daughter of Uehara Hisanobe

Children:  Hisamori, Hisamitsu

Kabayama Hisataka served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Province.  In addition to the military arts, Hisataka was known as a cultured individual with a deep knowledge of waka, or classical poetry, as well as kemari, or kickball.

In 1560, Hisataka was born as the son of Kabayama Tadasuke, a retainer of the Shimazu clan.  The Kabayama were members of the Shimazu clan and Hisataka served as the thirteenth head of the Kabayama.

Initially, Hisataka was adopted as the son-in-law of Ōno Tadamune, a senior retainer of the Shimazu clan, and adopted the name of Ōno Shichirō Tadataka.  Hisataka participated in an attack against Takaharu Castle in 1576 and at the Battle of Okitanawate in 1584.   In 1585, during an assault against Katashida Castle, he killed two enemy troops.  In 1586, during an assault on Katsuno-o Castle, he engaged in combat against an opposing soldier and, despite incurring injuries, killed him.  That same year, during an attack against Iwaya Castle, he earned the honor of being the first to garner the head of the enemy.  Later that year, he joined the camp of Shimazu Yoshihiro, entered Bungo Province, and, together with Indō Yoriyasu and Indō Yorimori, was assigned to guard Sakanashi Castle.

In 1586, during the Subjugation of Kyūshū by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, after gōzoku, or wealthy families, from Higo Province abandoned the Shimazu and attempted to assault Sakanashi Castle, Hisataka joined forces with Niiro Tadamoto and Ijūin Hisanobu to kill 100 enemy soldiers en route to overrunning their position and then returned to Satsuma Province.  After the Shimazu clan surrendered to Hideyoshi, Hisataka accompanied Shimazu Hisayasu, the second son of Yoshihiro, to head-out for the Conquest of Odawara.

On 4/27 of Tenshō 19 (1591), after his father-in-law, Tadamune, was murdered upon orders of Shimazu Yoshihisa (for unknown reasons),  Tadataka was placed in confinement in Kaseda (and, later, in Taniyama).  However, orders were given by Yoshihiro to accompany Hisayasu for the Bunroku Campaign on the Korean Peninsula, and, after reverting to the Kabayama surname, changed his name to Kabayama Gonzaemon Hisataka and was asssigned to serve as a chief retainer with an increase to his stipend of 200 koku.

In 1593, after Hisayasu died from illness, Hisataka temporarily returned to Satsuma, but then crossed the sea to return for the campaign in Korea, serving meritoriously along with his nephew, Kabayama Tadamasa, in the Battle of Sacheon and at the Battle of Noryang, defeating the navy of Yi Sunsin of the Joseon Dynasty.  After returning to Japan, in the sixth month of 1599, his nephew, Tadamasa, died of illness in Fushimi without an heir.  Thereafter, Hisataka inherited the headship of the Kabayama clan and, in the era of Shimazu Tadatsune (Iehisa), served an important role as a chief retainer of the Shimazu.  In 1607, he was assigned to serve as the lord of the manor of Izumi.  In 1609, during an invasion of the Ryūkyū islands, he aided in the toppling of Shuri Castle, contributing to the subjugation of the Ryūkyū by the Shimazu.  In 1628, he became lord of the manor of Izaku and, that same year, entered the priesthood and adopted the monk’s name of Gensetsu.  Despite appealling for an increase to his landholdings, he was ignored by his lord, Shimazu Iehisa, and, after being preceded in death by his lineal heir, spent his latter years in despair.

In 1634, Hisataka died of illness at the age of seventy-five.  His grave is at the Tahō Temple in the city of Hioki in Kagoshima Prefecture.