Ōtomo Chikaie


Ōtomo Clan


Bungo Province

Lifespan:  Eiroku 4 (1561) to 3/25 of Kanei 18 (1641)

Other Names:  Ōtomo Chikaie → Hayashi Chikaie → Tabaru Chikaie → Moji Kageyushi → Tonegawa Michitaka, Hitachi-no-suke (common)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Ōtomo

Lord:  Ōtomo Yoshimune → Tachibana Muneshige → Hosokawa Tadaoki

Father:  Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin)

Mother:  Nada-fujin

Siblings:  Yoshimune, Chikaie, Chikamori, Jesta (wife of Ichijō Kanesada and, later, Kiyota Shigetada), Tekla (wife of Koga Sankyū), sister (wife of Nada Shigemoto), sister (wife of Ichimata Shigezane), sister (wife of Mori Tomonobu), sister (wife of Usuki Munehisa), Regina (wife of Itō Yoshikata), Katsurahime (or Maxentia, wife of Kobayakawa Hidekane), sister

Wife:  Daughter of Yoshihiro Shigenobu

Children:  Matsuno Chikahide

Ōtomo Chikaie served as a bushō from the Azuchi-Momoyama to early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Ōtomo clan of Bungo Province in northern Kyūshū.

In 1561, Chikaie was born as the second son of Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin), a sengoku daimyō, the twenty-first head of the Ōtomo, and a Christian convert.

Owing to Chikaie’s ambitious and temperamental disposition, Sōrin initially sought to avoid a succession struggle by sending him to the priesthood, but Chikaie resisted and returned to secular life.  He is also said to have obeyed his father by visiting a Christian church in Usuki and was influenced by Christian beliefs.  In the eleventh month of 1575, he became a Christian and received the baptismal name of Don Sebastiano.  Thereafter, during the celebration of Christmas, several temples in the town were destroyed.

In 1579, Chikaie succeeded to the headship of the Tabaru clan in lieu of Tabaru Chikatsura (who had launched a revolt against the Ōtomo) and he adopted the name of Tabaru Chikaie.  From around 1581, he joined a group of senior retainers in the Ōtomo clan known as the kabanshū, participating in a series of battles in Buzen, Chikugo, and Chikuzen provinces.  In 1586, the Shimazu army marched north from their home province of Satsuma to invade Bungo, triggering the Hōsatsu War.  During this event, Chikaie colluded with Shimazu Yoshihisa at the expense of his older brother, Ōtomo Yoshimune, whom he despised.  Upon learning of the betrayal, Yoshimune sought to have Chikaie killed, but, through the mediation of Sōrin, Chikaie was dismissed from his position, his territory seized, and he was taken in by Sōrin in Usuki.

Later, he changed his name to Moji Kageyushi and moved to Moji Castle in Buzen and Tonbyū Castle in Bungo.  Censured by Toyotomi Hideyoshi for disloyalty after the Pacification of Kyūshū, his life was spared through the offices of his father, but, again, he was removed from his position and his landholdings seized.  According to the accounts of Luís Fróis, a Jesuit missionary from Portugal residing in Japan at the time, around this time, Chikaie lost vision in one of his eyes.

Thereafter, he moved to Usuki which came under the control of Sōrin, attended his father’s dying moments, and conducted the memorial services.  In the eighth month of 1591, he was reappointed as a member of the kabanshū.  In 1592, he served in the Bunroku Campaign on the Korean Peninsula.  After the removal of the Ōtomo clan from their position, Chikaie was assigned to the army of Tachibana Muneshige.  Thereafter, in 1609, he served as a guest commander with a stipend of 100 koku and 30 laborers whereupon he changed his name since Tonegawa Michitaka.

Chikaie died in 1641.  His descendants became direct retainers of the Hosokawa clan of the Kumamoto domain and adopted the surname of Matsuno.