Lifespan: 6/20 of Tenbun 19 (1550) to 4/9 of Keichō 15 (1610)
Other Names: Gyōninbō (childhood), Yukihisa, [Common] Matashirō, Uma-no-kami
Rank: bushō, daimyō
Title: Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), Director of the Imperial Cavalry of the Right Division
Lord: Shimazu Takahisa → Shimazu Yoshihisa → Shimazu Yoshihiro → Shimazu Tadatsune → Tokugawa Hidetada
Father: Shimazu Tadamasa
Mother: Daughter of Sata Tadashige
Siblings: Sister (wife of Irikiin Shigetoyo), Mochihisa, sister (wife of Shimazu Tadanaga)
Wife: Eldest daughter of Hongō Tokihisa
Children: Teruhisa, Irikiin Shigetoki, 花庭玉蓮大姉, Tadaoki, daughter
Shimazu Mochihisa served as a bushō and daimyō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods. In the Edo period, he served as the first lord of the Sadowara domain in Hyūga Province.
In 1550, Mochihisa was born as the son of Shimazu Tadamasa in Nagayoshi in Satsuma Province. Tadamasa was the younger brother of Shimazu Takahisa, a sengoku daimyō and the fifteenth head of the Shimazu clan. In 1561, Tadamasa was killed in action so Mochihisa was raised by Takahisa (his uncle) and Shimazu Yoshihisa (his older cousin).
In 1565, Mochihisa was granted the Chōsa township in Ōsumi Province and inherited Shimizu Castle which had been a strategic base of his father over a long period.
In the eleventh month of 1578, when battling against Ōtomo forces at Taka Castle in Hyūga, Mochihisa charged an enemy camp and fought valiantly, contributing to a victory by the Shimazu. This event is known as the First Siege of Taka Castle. Owing to this achievement, Mochihisa was recognized for meritorious service of the first order.
In 1587, after the defeat of the Shimazu during the Subjugation of Kyūshū by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, their landholdings were reorganized. Aiming to monopolize trade with the Ryūkyū Islands, Yoshihisa moved the Tanegashima clan to Chinran in the south-central portion of Satsuma Province. Meanwhile, in 1591, Mochihisa gained possession of the islands known as Tanegashima, Yakushima, and Okinoerabujima totaling 10,000 koku. In 1599, Mochihisa was granted the territories of Ōsumi and Tarumizu. Thereafter, the descendants of Tadamasa possessed Tarumizu as members of the Shimazu family, leading to formation of the Tarumizu-Shimazu branch of the family.
In 1600, Shimazu Toyohisa (Mochihisa’s nephew) died at the Battle of Sekigahara. In 1603, following their negotiations with Tokugawa Ieyasu in the aftermath of the war, Yoshihisa and Iehisa summoned Mochihisa to Tsurumaru Castle for the first time after his transfer to Tanegashima. At the meeting, Yoshihisa informed Mochihisa that, according to the will of Ieyasu, he would be granted Sadowara in the Naka District of Hyūga which was the former territory of Toyohisa totaling 30,000 koku held under the direct jurisdiction of the bakufu. Thereafter, Mochihisa became the first lord of the Hyūga-Sadowara domain. Later, he was given a sword from Matsudaira Yasumot,o, a younger brother of Ieyasu of a different father.
Mochihisa’s grandson, Shimazu Hisanobu, wed as his formal wife the younger sister of Toyohisa and, in 1602, she gave birth to Shimazu Hisatoshi.
Given the opportunity to meet Tokugawa Ieyasu, he presented him with a family heirlooom – a tea container having pronounced “shoulders” near the neck. This was later named the “Shimazu tea container.”
In 1608, he received a certificate of merit for assisting in the construction of Sunpu Castle.
In 1610, Mochihisa headed toward Kyōto for the construction of Sasayama Castle in Tanba Province, but died while en route. He was sixty-one years old.
He was buried at the Daiun Temple in Kyōto and, owing to favors received from the abbot, the Shimazu clan of the Sadowara domain converted from the Sōtō school to the Jōdo school of Buddhism.
Mochihisa’s eldest son died of illness during the campaign on the Korean Peninsula, while his second son was sent for adoption, so he was succeeded by his third son, Shimazu Tadaoki.