Kamata Masachika

鎌田政近

Kamata Clan

Bushō

Satsuma Province

Lifespan:  6/26 of Tenbun 14 (1545) to 9/1 of Keichō (1605)

Other Names:  Matashichirō (common)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Deputy of the Bureau of Drawings and Scripts, Governor of Izumo

Clan:  Kamata (illegitimate branch)

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Satsuma

Lord:  Shimazu Yoshihisa → Shimazu Yoshihiro → Shimazu Iehisa

Father:  Kamata Masakatsu

Adoptive Father:  Kamata Masayoshi

Wife:  Daughter of Inadome (Sagara) Nagahide, daughter of Tosa-Ichijō clan

Children:  Masatora, Masatomi, Sagara Nagatsugu, Ei Hisamasa

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

Masachika was born as the son of Kamata Masakatsu from an illegitimate branch of the Kamata clan.  Later, he was adopted by Kamata Masayoshi.

After pacifying the Kimotsuki clan, in 1577, Masachika entered their base at Shibushi Castle in Hyūga Province and served as lord of the manor.  In 1578, after the Itō clan was expelled by the Shimazu clan from Hyūga, he moved to the former base of the Itō at Tonokoori Castle.  This same year, at the Battle of Mimikawa, Masachika joined Yamada Arinobu to block the Ōtomo army at Taka Castle and hold-out until the arrival of reinforcements.  This event is known as the First Siege of Taka Castle.  Thereafter, he participated in the Battle of Okitanawate in 1584 and the Siege of Iwaya Castle in the Mikasa DIstrict of Chikuzen Province in 1586.

Meanwhile, at the main branch of the Kamata clan, after the death of Kamata Owari-no-kami Masatoshi, successive heads of the clan died early or suffered from ill health.  As a result, upon orders from their lord, Shimazu Yoshihisa, Masatoshi’s grandson, Kamata 政心, became the designated successor to Kamata Masayoshi (the adopted son of Masatoshi) as the next head of the main branch of the Kamata.

In 1591, after the Pacification of Kyūshū by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Masachika was appointed as a chief retainer.

In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, owing to the participation of the Shimazu in the Western Army, Masachika confronted the risk of losing his position, but, in 1602, Masachika, serving as a representative of Shimazu Yoshihisa and Shimazu Iehisa, met with Tokugawa Ieyasu at Fushimi Castle and, as an outcome of negotiations with a senior retainer named Honda Masanobu, reached agreement for the survival of the Shimazu clan of the Satsuma domain, the transfer of Ukita Hideie who had been harbored by the Shimazu, and the return of Sadowara Castle which had been taken by the Eastern Army.  Owing to these results, in 1604, he became the lord of the manor of Ibusuki in Satsuma and was awarded Ibusuki Castle.

On 9/1 of Keichō 10 (1605), Masachika died of illness in Fushimi in the environs of Kyōto.  After his burial at the Senyū Temple in Fushimi, a memorial service was held and a grave built at the Fukushō Temple in Satsuma.

Masachika’s eldest son, Kamata Masatora, died in battle against Kai Chikahide, so Masachika was succeeded by his second son, Kamata Masatomi.