Tanegashima Hisatoki


Tanegashima Clan


Satsuma Province

Lifespan:  Eiroku 11 (1568) to 12/27 of Keichō 16 (1612)

Other Names:  Tsurukesamaru (childhood), Katsutoki, Saburō-jirō

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Master of Imperial Guards of the Left Division

Clan:  Tanegashima

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Satsuma

Lord:  Shimazu clan

Father:  Tanegashima Tokitaka

Mother:  Daughter of the Kuroki 道統

Siblings:  Sister (wife of Ijūin Tadamune), Enshinin-den (Myōren-fujin, second wife of Shimazu Yoshihisa), Tokitsugu, Hisatoki

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Shimazu Tomohisa, [Consort] Daughter of Maeda Shigehiro

Children:  Daughter (wife of Ise Sadatoyo), Tadatoki

Tanegashima Hisatoki served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Shimazu clan of Satsuma Province and served as the sixteenth head of the Tanegashima clan.  His grandson of the same name served as the eighteenth head of the Tanegashima clan.

In 1568, Hisatoki was born as the second son of Tanegashima Tokitaka, the fourteenth head of the Tanegashima clan.  Hisatoki was born to a consort of Tokitaka from the Kuroki clan.

Hisatoki’s older brother, Tanegashima Tokitsugu, became the head of the clan at the age of five while Tokitaka was still alive, but died two years later, whereupon the headship reverted to Tokitaka.  Later, Shimazu Yoshihisa, a sengoku daimyō of Satsuma, permitted succession to Hisatoki.  After attending his coming-of-age ceremony, Hisatoki became the sixteenth head of the clan.  During this event, Yoshihisa served in a ceremonial role to place a black-lacquered hat on Hisatoki known as an eboshi and Hisatoki received one of the characters in his name from Yoshihisa, adopting the name of Hisatoki.

As a retainer of the Shimazu clan, Hisatoki participated in the Battle of Okitanawate in 1584 and other clashes against the Ōtomo clan.  In 1590, he served in the Conquest of Odawara and, at this time, presented 200 arquebuses to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  For the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign, Hisatoki followed Shimazu Yoshihiro to sail to Korea.  In 1595, owing to the outcome of the nationwide survey of landholdings conducted by the Toyotomi administration, the territory in Tanegashima was granted to Shimazu Mochihisa while Hisatoki was moved to Chiranin in Satsuma.  In 1599, however, he returned to Tanegashima and served as a chief retainer of Yoshihisa and Shimazu Tadatsune.

In 1612, Hisatoki died at the age of forty-four.  He did not have a son as his successor but, at the time of his demise, a consort was pregnant with a son to be named Tanegashima Tadatoki who later inherited the headship of the clan.  Tadatoki’s son, Tanegashima Hisatoki, carried the same name as his grandfather.

Known for his skills in handling the arquebus, during the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign, the unmatched capability of the Shimazu army owed in meaningful part to Hisatoki’s skills.  As a result, Hisatoki gained notoriety for his prowess with the arquebus.