Shimo Hidehisa


Shimo Clan


Dewa Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 16xx

Other Names:  Yoshitada, Yasuhisa, Jiemon

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Tajima-no-kami (Governor of Tajima)

Clan:  Shimo

Lord:  Gohōjō clan (?) → Uesugi Kagekatsu → Mogami Yoshiaki

Father:  Shimo Shigezane

Siblings:  Hisanaga, Hidehisa

Wife:  Daughter of Doi Masashige

Children:  Hidezane (?)

Adopted Children:  Hidemasa, Motokuni

Shimo Hidehisa served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Uesugi and Mogami clans.

The Shimo were members of the Kurokawa clan of the Agakita Group in northern Echigo Province.

Hidehisa was born as the second son of Shimo Shigezane.  His father, Iga-no-kami Shigezane, served the Uesugi clan, the military governors of Echigo.  In 1552, he was compelled to commit seppuku by Nagao Kagetora (later known as Uesugi Kenshin).  During a succession struggle in the Uesugi clan known as the Otate Conflict, Hidehisa’s older brother, Shimo Hisanaga, sided with Uesugi Kagekatsu and was killed in action at the Battle of Akada.

According to one theory, Hidehisa served the Gohōjō clan for a while, but, in 1589, he became the lord of Oura Castle to serve as a representative of Shōnai – detached territory controlled by the Uesugi in Dewa Province.  In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, he invaded the territory of the Mogami, capturing Shiraiwa and Yachi castles.  He was not informed, however, that Naoe Kanetsugu had withdrawn, so he became isolated at Yachi Castle and, after enduring a ferocious assault by the Mogami army, surrendered.  Hidehisa was spared by Mogami Yoshiaki and appointed to serve in the vanguard in an attack against Shōnai.  Hidehisa captured Oura Castle and, as a retainer of the Mogami.  He then returned to his role as the lord of Oura Castle with a fief of 20,000 koku.  Hidehisa was placed under Yoshiaki’s eldest son, Mogami Yoshiyasu.  He received one of the characters from the name of Yoshiyasu, changing his name to Yasuhisa, but, later, after Yoshiyasu was killed by Yoshiaki, he reverted to his name of Hidehisa.

The year of his demise is uncertain.  A donated sign for the construction of a Buddhist temple on Mount Kinpu dated in the tenth month of 1608 lists Dewa-no-kami Minamoto Yoshiaki, Shimura Izu-no-kami Akiyasu, and Shimo Tajima-no-kami Hidehisa, so it appears he was living at this time.  There is a story that, in 1614, his son and successor, Shimo Jiemon Hidezane, was murdered along with Shimura Akikore (also known as Akikiyo, the son of Shimura Akiyasu) in a rebellion by Ichikuri Takaharu.  Hidemasa, however, did not have a son, so there is a theory that the victim of the murder was Hidemasa himself.  This has not yet been authenticated.

After the removal of the Mogami clan from their position, among the former retainers who served other families, descendants of the adopted children of Hidehisa were in two other families.

Shimo Mimasaka-no-kami Hidemasa was a son of Emoto Daizen, a kokujin, or provincial landowner, from Kōzuke, and known as Genrokurō.  After the removal of the Mogami, he was forgiven of his past transgressions by Kagekatsu and returned to the service of the Uesugi as a head of the cavalry with an income of 300 koku.  He did not have any natural sons but the descendants of his adopted son, Zenemon Yoshifusa, continued to serve for the Yonezawa domain in the Edo period.

Shimo Nagato-no-kami Motokuni was a son of Ii Chūemon, a kokujin, or provincial landowner, from Echigo, and known as Kanshichirō.  After the removal of the Mogami, we was engaged in service by the Murakami clan of the Murakami domain with an income of 1,000 koku, but, after the removal of the Murakami, reverted to the status of a rōnin, or wandering samurai.  Subsequently, he was engaged by the Mizoguchi clan of the Shibata domain for an income of 600 koku, and continued in service of the Shibata domain.