Nejime Shigetake


Nejime Clan

Nejime Shigetake

Ōsumi Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 5 (1536) to 3/16 of Tenshō 8 (1580)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Master of the Imperial Guards of the Right Division

Clan:  Nejime

Lord:  Kimotsuki Kanetsugu → Shimazu Yoshihisa

Father:  Nejime Kiyotoshi

Mother:  Daughter of Shimazu Tadaoki

Wife:  [Formal]  Daughter of Kimotsuki Kanetsugu

Children:  Shigehira, daughter (wife of Honda Tadachika)

Nejime Shigetake served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was the sixteenth head of the Nejime clan – kokujin, or provincial landowners, in Ōsumi Province.

In 1561, Shigetake accompanied Kimotsuki Kanetsugu to deploy in Ōsumi.  Thereafter, he supported the Kimotsuki in battle against the Shimazu clan.  The death of Kanetsugu weakened the Kimotsuki clan, after which, in 1573, Shigetake settled on his own accord with Shimazu Yoshihisa, cutting ties with the Kimotsuki in favor of the Shimazu.  This led to an attack by Kimotsuki Kaneaki and Ijichi Shigeoki, but with reinforcements from the Shimazu army, including Kabayama Tadasuke, Shigetake succeeded in repelling the forces of his former ally.

Shigetake displayed superior skills in the field of civil affairs, promoting overseas trade with the Ming dynasty and the growth of commercial activities.  Shigetake is recognized as the first individual in Japan to engage in the cultivation of citrus fruit.

Shigetake died in 1580.  His son and designated heir, Nejime Shigehira, succeeded him as the seventeenth head of the clan, continuing to serve as a senior retainer of the Shimazu clan.