Katsuuji was born in 1583, the year after the death of Oda Nobunaga in the coup d’état known as the Honnō Temple Incident. In 1598, the demise of Toyotomi Hideyoshi was followed by a period of instability until Tokugawa Ieyasu could consolidate power, during which period Katsuuji and his father, Hijikata Katsuhisa, were temporarily detained for an alleged plot against Ieyasu.
Lifespan: Tenshō 11 (1583) to 6/28 of Kanei 15 (1638)
Rank: bushō, daimyō
Title: Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), Assistant Director of the Bureau of Carpentry
Lord: Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Toyotomi Hideyori → Tokugawa Ieyasu → Tokugawa Hidetada → Tokugawa Iemitsu
Father: Hijikata Katsuhisa
Siblings: Katsuuji, Katsushige, Katsunori, Katsumasa, sister (formal wife of Hirano Nagayasu), sister (wife of an unknown person from the Saikōji clan and then the Takeyama clan), sister (referred to as Hijikata-shi, a consort of Oda Nobunaga and mother of Oda Nobusada) (?)
Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Oda Nobukatsu
Children: Katsutaka, Ujihisa, Mitsutada
Hijikata Katsuuji served as a bushō and daimyō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods. He was the first lord of the Ise-Komono domain.
In 1583, Katsuuji was born as the son of Hijikata Katsuhisa, a retainer of the Oda clan.
In 1594, he served Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was awarded a fief of 3,000 koku in Ise Province. Katsuuji became an attendant of Toyotomi Hideyori. In 1596, he became a daimyō with a fief of 10,000 koku. In 1599, however, his father was suspected in a fictitious plot to assassinate Ieyasu crafted by Tokugawa Ieyasu and his military strategist, Honda Masanobu, in the wake of the demise of Hideyoshi as Ieyasu vied for power. As the eldest son, Katsuuji was also suspected of being complicit so, together with his father, was taken into custody by Satake Yoshinobu in Hitachi Province.
In 1600, just before the Battle of Sekigahara, Katsuuji was pardoned by Ieyasu for his crimes. Thereafter, he became a retainer of the Tokugawa family. That same year, his fief in Ōmi was increased to 2,000 koku and he founded the Komono domain with 12,000 koku. From 1614, at the Siege of Ōsaka, he joined the Tokugawa and achieved valor as a member of the vanguard forces. In the third month of 1635, Katsuuji retired and transferred the headship of the clan to his eldest son, Katsutaka. On 6/28 of Kanei 15 (1638), he died at the age of fifty-six.
Separately from Katsuuji, his father, Katsuhisa, founded the Etchū-Nunoichi domain and, later, the Shimōsa-Tako domain. Katsuuji, however, was an illegitimate child so his father’s landholdings were inherited by his younger brother and the lineal heir, Hijikata Katsushige.
His grave is at the Koun Temple in Kyōto.