Shiga Chikanori


Shiga Clan


Bungo Province

Lifespan:  Tenbun 4 (1535) to Tenshō 15 (1587)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Vice Minister of Popular Affairs

Clan:  Shiga

Lord:  Ōtomo Sōrin → Ōtomo Yoshimune

Father:  Shiga Chikamori

Siblings:  Chikanori, Kiyota Shigenori, Shiga Chikanari, Chikatsugu, sister (wife of Bekki Shigetsura), sister (wife of Yoshihiro Muneyuki)

Wife:  Adopted daughter of Ōtomo Yoshishige (natural daughter of Nada Fujin and prior husband, Hattori Ukyō-no-jō)

Children:  Samon

Adopted Children:  Jōkan, Chikatsugu

Shiga Chikanori served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Ōtomo clan based in Bungo Province.

Chikanori was born as the son of Shiga Chikamori, a retainer of the Ōtomo.

Along with the Tahara and Takuma clans, the Shiga clan was one of three prominent clans serving the Ōtomo family.  Later, the Shiga clan split between northern and southern branches known as the Kita-Shiga and the Minami-Shiga clans, with each one flourishing.

In 1550, after the killing of Ōtomo Yoshiaki in an event known as the Collapse on the Second Floor, Chikanori and his father, Chikamori, supported Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin) as the successor to Yoshiaki as the head of the Ōtomo family.  Thereafter, Chikanori inherited the headship of the Shiga clan from his father at an early age, and, from the Eiroku era (1558 to 1570) to the Genki era (1570 to 1573), served as a member of the kahanshū, a group of senior retainers of the Ōtomo family.  In 1577, Chikanori had a falling out with Ōtomo Yoshimune who had succeeded Sōrin as the head of the Ōtomo.  It appeared that Chikanori and his father would be killed, but they avoided that fate through the intervention of Sōrin who, although retired, continued to wield influence in the family.

Resentful of this incident, Chikanori responded to a solicitation from Nyūta Yoshizane, another retainer of the Ōtomo, to secretly collude with Shimazu Yoshihisa, the sengoku daimyō based in Satsuma Province in southern Kyūshū.  In the tenth month of 1586, the Shimazu marched north to invade Bungo Province, starting a campaign that lasted for approximately one-half year known as the Hōsatsu War.  At this time, Chikanori joined the Minami-Shiga clan (Shiga Akitaka and his son, Shiga Yasutaka) to ally with the Shimazu army.  Shiga Chikatsugu, one of the sons of Chikanori, pledged his loyalty to the Ōtomo and resisted the Shimazu from his base at Oka Castle, contributing to the defense of the Ōtomo.  The next year, during the Kyūshū Pacification by the Toyotomi army, the Minami-Shiga were destroyed while Chikanori was forced by Yoshimune to kill himself.

The falling out between Chikanori and Yoshimune occurred after it was discovered that Chikanori had taken and kept a consort of Yoshimune named Ichinotai whereupon Chikanori was put under confinement, which he resented for years.  He was an ardent practitioner of Buddhism and opposed to Christianity so fiercely objected to the baptism of his son, Chikatsugu, which also became a reason to rebel against Yoshimune and the Ōtomo family.