Kiyota Shigetada


Kiyota Clan


Bungo Province

Lifespan:  Kyōroku 2 (1529) to 11/23 of Tenshō 15 (1587) (or, under another theory, 1580)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Awa

Clan:  Kiyota

Lord:  Ōtomo Sōrin → Ōtomo Yoshimune

Father:  Kiyota Akinobu

Mother:  Daughter of the Bekki clan

Siblings:  Shigetada, Masanari, Akikatsu, Akiatsu, sister (wife of Tachibana Muneharu), sister (wife of Kiyota Tosai), sister (wife of Bekki Chikayoshi, also known as Yamada Katsubei)

Wife:  [Formal]  Daughter of the Isshiki clan, [Second wife]  Justa – eldest daughter of Ōtomo Sōrin

Children:  Shigesumi, Gorō Taifu-Masaie, Ryōsenin, daughter (died early)

Adopted Children:  Shigenori (son-in-law), Madalena

Kiyota Shigetada served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Ōtomo clan and a Christian convert.  He had the common name of Tarō.

The Kiyota originated from the Bekki clan, an illegitimate branch of the Ōtomo clan.  Shigetada served Ōtomo Sōrin and, in 1578, made contributions while participating in an assault against Tsuchimochi Chikashige holed-up in Matsuo Castle.  Later that year, he led the Notsuin group (coming from a manor in the Ōtomo territory) in connection with an invasion by Sōrin of Hyūga Province.

In 1580, Shigetada defeated Tabaru Chikatsura (a retainer who betrayed the Ōtomo) at the Jissai Temple in the Kunisaki District, but was injured on the route home and, according to one theory, died.  According to another theory, in 1587, during the Kyūshū Pacification, when Hideyoshi arrived in Kokura in support of the Ōtomo family, retainers of the Ōtomo who betrayed them in favor of the Shimazu hurried forward, but, owing to blindness and a serious illness, Shigetada sent a close retainer on his behalf.

According to one account, at this time, a comrade who supported the Shimazu slandered Shigetada and, as a result, Shigetada sought refuge in Hizen Province.  A Jesuit priest named Luís Fróis residing in Japan during this period noted in his diary that Yoshimune’s brother-in-law, Shigetada, had his landholdings seized but was allowed to live.  Shigetada and Justa fled in the direction of Nagasaki and covertly attempted to have family members and retainers follow after them.  En route, they stopped at a location in Higo Province where Justa had connections and arrived in Nagasaki that same year.  According to the genealogical charts of the Kiyota family, Shigetada died of illness in a prison in Nagasaki on 11/23 of Tenshō 15 (1587).

His wife, Justa, was a daughter of Ōtomo Sōrin, and, initially, was the second wife of Ichijō Kanesada, a sengoku daimyō in the western part of Tosa Province.  Later, she separated from Kanesada and, in 1575, wed Shigetada.  Justa was baptized in 1580 and became a Christian like Shigetada.

The adopted son-in-law of Shigetada, Kiyota Shigenori, was a sibling of Shiga Chikatsugu.  Shigenori, together with Shigetada’s daughter, Ryōsenin, were the natural parents of a consort of Hosokawa Tadaoki named Kichi and several sons.  Kichi bore Hosokawa Tatsutaka (a bushō in the early Edo period), and descendants include Hosokawa Morihiro, the former prime minister of Japan.