Kawakami Hisaaki


Kawakami Clan


Satsuma Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 6 (1537) to 2/3 of Eiroku 11 (1568)

Other Names:  Genzaburō

Rank:  bushō

Title:  General of the Left Division (Sakon-shōgen)

Clan:  Kawakami

Lord:  Shimazu Yoshihisa

Father:  Kawakami Tadakatsu

Siblings:  Tadayori, Hisaaki, Tadazane, sister, sister (second wife of Shimazu Sanehisa)

Children:  Hisatoki

Kawakami Hisaaki served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Province.

In 1537, Hisaaki was born as the second son of Kawakami Tadakatsu.

Hisaaki was a member of the Kawakami family, an illegitimate branch of the Shimazu clan.  From an early age, he was recognized for being intelligent and courageous.  He was also praised by Shimazu Tadayoshi and Shimazu Yoshihisa.  In 1553, at the age of seventeen, he was appointed on an exceptional basis by his lord, Yoshihisa, to serve as a chief retainer of the Shimazu as well as the lord of the manor of Taniyama.  Moreover, upon orders of Yoshihisa, he became a rōjū, or a member of the council of elders, which position he held until his demise.

Hisaaki served valorously in the vanguard forces including, in 1555, in an assault against the Gamō clan, and, in 1561, in the Siege of Meguri Castle against Kimotsuki Kanetsugu of Ōsumi Province.  Hisaaki fully leveraged his abilities to produce results on the battlefield.  On 1/20 of Eiroku 11 (1568), however, in a battle against the combined forces of the Sagara and Hishikari, he joined an assault on Akaike Nagatō and the Hishikari forces holed-up in Ōkuchi Castle.  In an effort to protect Shimazu Yoshihiro, he fought on his own, incurring injuries in thirteen locations on his body, and, after returning to Kagoshima, died on 2/3.  He was thirty-two years old.

The expectations for the future placed upon Hisaaki from an early age were so high that Tadayoshi wrote his name in the location where sutras were recited.