Kawakami Hisatomo


Kawakami Clan


Satsuma Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 16xx

Other Names:  Kyūemon

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Kawakami

Lord:  Shimazu Yoshihisa → Shimazu Yoshihiro → Shimazu Tadatsune

Father:  Kawakami Tadatomo

Adoptive Father:  Kawakami Tadasato

Siblings:  Tadakata, Tadae, Hisatomo

Children:  Kyūemon (written with a different character than his father’s common name)

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

Hisatomo was born as the third son of Kawakami Tadatomo.  He was adopted by a blind uncle, Kawakami Tadasato.

In 1586, after the Battle of Hetsugigawa, Shimazu Iehisa dispatched Hisatomo to meet Chōsokabe Motochika (who could not depart to his base in Tosa Province by ship owing to a low tide), and to communicate that the killing of his son, Chōsokabe Nobuchika, was an unavoidable event on the battlefield and that he should gradually draw-down his camp by high tide.  Thereafter, during the Pacification of Kyūshū by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Hisatomo served meritoriously in several locations.

Hisatomo served under the command of Shimazu Tadatsune in the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign on the Korean Peninsula.  In 1598, approximately 12 miles from Sacheon, a huge Ming army pressed forward so he pulled back to Sacheon.  At the Battle of Sacheon, Hisatomo joined his older brother, Kawakami Tadae, to fight valiantly.

Beginning in 1599, Hisatomo was ordered to reside Fushimi, in the environs of Kyōto, but, in 1600, he rushed to join the camp of Shimazu Yoshihiro in the Western Army for the Battle of Sekigahara.  During the retreat, the forces were pursued by the division in the Eastern Army led by Ii Naomasa whereupon Hisatomo, along with his older brother, Tadae, and nephew, Kawakami Hisashige, in addition to Oshikawa Kimichika and Kubo Yukimori, dismounted from their horses to stand and fight the enemy.  Later, Hisatomo was counted among a valorous group of retainers of the Shimazu known as the Five Spears of Ogaeshi.

After returning to Satsuma Province, Hisatomo died of illness.  The year of his demise is unknown.  In 1608, Hisatomo served as a messenger to Sagara Yorifusa, the lord of the Hitoyoshi domain in the southern part of Higo Province so he appears to have lived until the early Edo period.