Kita Hidechika


Kita Clan


Mutsu Province

Lifespan:  15xx to Keichō 3 (1598)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Kita

Lord:  Nanbu Nobunao

Father:  Kita Nobuchika

Siblings:  Chikakazu, Hidechika, Naotsugu, Chikatomo, Taneichi Chikahisa

Wife:  Fifth daughter of Nanbu Harumasa

Children:  Naochika, Chikagoto

Kita Hidechika served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Nanbu clan of Mutsu Province.  He had the common name of Shume.

Hidechika’s year of birth is unknown, but he was born as the son of Kita Nobuchika, a bushō and retainer of the Nanbu clan.

Hidechika possessed a fief of 2,000 koku. In the seventh month of 1581, Tairadate Masakane was solicited by Kunohe Masazane and then killed Ichinohe Hyōbu Tayū Masatsura and his son at Ichinohe Castle, ending the lineage of the Ichinohe clan.  Masazane had a confidant named Ichinohe Zusho take over Ichinoe.  Nanbu Nobunao then launched an assault and toppled the castle, whereupon he appointed Hidechika to serve as the lord.

In 1591, during the Revolt of Kunohe Masazane, Hidechika holed-up in Ichinohe Castle, enduring a nighttime attack by members of the Kunohe clan while waiting for reinforcements to arrive.  According to the History of Iwate Prefecture, he circulated a rumor that he had died after being subjected to a hail of bullets.  Another account, however, questions whether he survived. 

Owing to his contributions to suppress the revolt, he was appointed as the chamberlain of Hanamaki Castle and his fief was increased to a total of 8,000 koku.  At this time, he changed his name to Naochika.  In 1598, a wound from being shot by an arquebus worsened and he died.  Based on genealogical records of the Kita clan in the third volume of the History of Iwate Prefecture, he died in 1644, but in the original History of Iwate Prefecture, he is deemed to have died in 1598.

After his death, Hidechika’s father, Nobuchika, succeeded him in the role as chamberlain of Hanamaki Castle but, following the death of Nobuchika, the service of the Kita clan as chamberlains came to an end.  Hidechika’s fief of 2,000 koku was inherited by his younger brother, Kita Naotsugu, because his older brother, Kita Chikakazu, possessed his own landholdings.

When Hidechika’s lord, Nanbu Nobunao, entered into a peace accord with Andō Chikasue, Nobunao arranged for his daughter to wed the younger brother of Chikasue named Andō Tadajirō Hidetaka.  In 1587, Hidetaka died of illness without children so she was returned to her original family in Sannohe, adopted the name of Hiyama-gozen, and lived until 1621.  According to one compilation, this woman was not the daughter of Nobunao, but, instead, the daughter of Hidechika.