Maeda Hidemochi


Maeda Clan



Lifespan:  Tenshō 4 (1576) to 11/6 of Keichō 6 (1601)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), Inspector of the Left Division

Clan:  Maeda

Father:  Maeda Gen’i

Mother:  Daughter of Murai Sadakatsu

Siblings:  Hidemochi, sister (wife of Sanjōnishi Saneeda), sister (wife of Horio Tadauji), sister (second wife of Ishikawa Tadafusa), sister (wife of Isse Jinzaemon – a retainer of the Horio clan), Shigekatsu, Masakatsu, sister (successor wife of Inaba Sadamichi)

Maeda Hidemochi served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.  Hidemochi was also a Christian convert.

In 1576, Hidemochi was born as the eldest son of Maeda Gen’i, a retainer of the Oda clan.  Hidemochi’s childhood name was Hanemon.

Hidemochi joined his father, Gen’i, to serve as a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was conferred the Hashiba surname.  Geni’i held the role of the Kyōto shoshidai, the official in charge of the Board of Retainers, an office in the Muromachi bakufu to guard the shōgun and give judgment on criminals in Kyōto.  In this capacity, he was frequently involved in events related to the suppression and protection of Christians.  Owing to this influence, Hidemochi became a Christian.  In 1595, he was formally baptized and received the baptismal name of Paolo.  In 1596, while Gen’i was, upon orders of Hideyoshi, engaged in the suppression of Christians in the Kinai, Hidemochi secretly provided shelter to them.  This led Gen’i to fear that he would be removed from his position because his eldest son was a Christian, so Gen’i encouraged Hidemochi to forsake Christianity.  Hidemochi, however, rejected this advice, transferred his rights as the designated successor to his younger brother, Maeda Shigekatsu, and left the Maeda family.  Under one theory, this caused Gen’i to become angry whereupon he expelled Hidemochi from the family.  Under another theory, the headship of the clan was transferred to Hidemochi but this is not likely given that Gen’i was a member of the gobugyō, or Five Commissioners, in the Toyotomi administration prior to the death of Hideyoshi in 1598.

On 11/6 of Keichō 6 (1601), he died at the age of twenty-six.  According to one theory, upon orders of his father, he was forced to take his own life or was killed.  Hidemochi had a good relationship with his younger brother, Shigekatsu, and, upon the death of Hidemochi, a Christian service was held.