Hishikari Takatoyo


Hishikari Clan


Ōsumi Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 16xx

Other Names:  Shigetaka, [Common] Magosaburō, Genbei, Kyūbei

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Echigo

Clan:  Hishikari (illegitimate branch)

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Satsuma → Higo-Hitoyoshi

Lord:  Sagara Yorifusa → Shimazu Yoshihiro → Shimazu Iehisa → Sagara Yorifusa

Father:  Hishikari Shigemasa

Siblings:  Mino-no-kami, Takatoyo

Wife:  Daughter of the Shimazu clan

Children:  Shōgen, Shigetane

Hishikari Takatoyo served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  He was a kokujin, or provincial landowner, in Ōsumi Province.  Takatoyo was from an illegitimate lineage of the Hishikari family.

Takatoyo was born as the son of Hishikari Shigemasa.  His father, Shigemasa, served the main branch of the Hishikari family.  In 1569, while holed-up with members of the Sagara clan in Ōkuchi Castle, he was attacked and surrendered to the Shimazu clan.  Hishikari Shigehide, the lineal heir to the main branch of the Hishikari family, was tendered as a hostage (and, after maturing, became a retainer) to the Shimazu while Takatoyo’s family served the Sagara clan.  Later, the Sagara clan yielded allegiance to the Shimazu.  In 1585, when Shimazu Yoshihiro was headed to attack the Ōtomo clan, Takatoyo, along with Okamoto Yoriuji and Uchida Denemon, were requested to join whereupon Takatoyo came under the command of the Shimazu and served meritoriously in numerous battles.

In 1587, during the Subjugation of Kyūshū by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the Sagara clan, through the devices of Fukami Nagatomo, surrendered to Hideyoshi.  At this time, Takatoyo, together with his lord (Sagara Yorifusa) and Indō Yoriyasu were in the Shimazu encampment in Hyūga Province, but, when Yorifusa and all of the Sagara commanders attempted to leave the Shimazu, only Takatoyo observed his pledge of subservience to Yoshihiro and decided to continue serving the Shimazu family as a representative of the Sagara.  With the intent of remaining loyal to the Sagara, he left his wife and child, Mitsukame (later known as Shōgen), in the territory of the Sagara and followed Yoshihiro to Satsuma Province.

Thereafter, he continued to faithfully serve Yoshihiro and, in the sixth month of 1594, during the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign, took four subordinates and crossed himself to the Korean Peninsula, contributing to the campaign.  In the second month of 1597, he was injured and, after returning to Japan, received a stipend of 300 koku.  In the seventh month, he led a group of five and crossed again to Korea, serving in the Battle of Sacheon.  In 1600, Takatoyo participated with the Western Army in the Battle of Sekigahara as well as during the retreat after the main battle.

In 1611, upon the death of Shimazu Yoshihisa, in lieu of martyring himself, a retainer of the Shimazu named Hishikari Shigehide from the main branch of the Hishikari family severed his little finger and put it inside Yoshihisa’s coffin, but, owing to this self-inflicted injury, he later died.  Shigehide did not have an heir, so, until the appointment of a successor, Takatoyo served as the interim head of the main branch of the Hishikari family.  Later, the second son of Rusu Fujikage, Shigehide, became the next head of the clan.  Thereafter, Takatoyo left the Shimazu and returned to the service of the Sagara family.  During the Genna era (1615 to 1624), he died of illness in Hitoyoshi in the southern part of Higo Province.

His eldest son, Shōgen, remained with the Sagara clan, later becoming a chief retainer of Sagara Yorihiro, the second lord of the Hitoyoshi domain.  Takatoyo had a second son named Shigetane who was born to his wife from the Shimazu clan.  Shigetane became the head of a group of retainers in Ōkuchi serving Shimazu Mitsuhisa, the second lord of the Satsuma domain.