Tajiri Tajima was a peasant farmer and later served as a bushi and retainer of the Shimazu clan during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.
Originally, Tajima was a peasant in the village of Tajiri in Izaku in Satsuma Province. In 1539, when Shimazu Tadayoshi encountered difficulties in an assault on Kaseda Castle, Niiro Yasuhisa promised Tajima that if he set fire to and burned down Kaseda Castle, then Yasuhisa would welcome him as a son-in-law and he could become a bushi. Tajima then proceeded to burn down the castle and, as promised, became Yasuhisa’s son-in-law and was promoted to the warrior class.
In the eighth month of 1548, when the Kitahara clan on Mount Hinata in Ōsumi Province were attacked by Ijūin Tadaaki, Tajima led and killed five or six enemy soldiers. In the ninth month, during an assault against Honda Tadachika at Himeki Castle, Tajima served in the front, setting fire to the castle and expelled the Kitahara forces standing guard, aiding in the toppling of the castle.
In 1582, Tajiri Akitane of Hizen Province revolted against Ryūzōji Takanobu and requested support from the Shimazu family of Satsuma. Upon orders of Shimazu Yoshihiro, Tajima, along with Chōsa Munemitsu and Taniguchi Kunaizaemon entered Tajiri Castle for several months.
In 1592, when Umekita Kunikane launched the Umekita Uprising in the Hishikari District of Ōsumi, Tajima and his two sons, Kōtarō and Kōgorō, joined the campaign but they were all apprehended and executed. Tajima’s landholdings were then granted to a performer of nō theater named Ichiō Utanosuke.