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Shimazu
Yoshihiro-mon
Historical Information
Located at: Morokata Domain, Hyuga Province (relegated to Satsuma Domain in Yoshihiro's time)
Served:
Toyotomi (Yoshihiro)
Tokugawa (Tadatsune)
Crest(s)/Banner(s): Crest for family head: cross within a circle (pictured)
Shimazu's version of the cross
Circle with the Shimazu's version of the cross in the center
A crane hovering above a cross
Talent(s): Warrior clan
Aristocrats (Dukes)
Major Figure(s): Yoshihisa, Yoshihiro, Nariakira, Hisamitsu

The Shimazu clan (島津氏), sometimes spelled as Shimadzu clan in romanji, is a family with origins dating as far back as the Kamakura period. The family name continues to exist in Japan today. There are several known branches spread throughout the main island but the most famous ones are the Shimazu in Kyushu.

One of the clan's stated origins is that they were offshoots of the Koremune clan, a clan with roots with the Chinese related Hata clan. The other explanation for their origin is that their ancestors were the Konoe family, a branch of the Fujiwara. Their particular ancestor became the governor of the manor, Shimazu no Ryo, and his child adopted the Shimazu family name. His son was assigned as a jitō by Minamoto no Yoritomo in Satsuma Province. This made him the governor of Satsuma, Ōsumi, and Hyūga Province and the protector of Echizen Province. As for why Yoritomo chose Tadahisa, the reasons are vague and still being studied to this day. The Shimazu records state that one of his relatives was one of Yoritomo's concubines and was obligated by family ties to promote him; this explanation is only accepted by modern historians as a possible theory. By the time the Shimazu came into power, the Ōtomo's family founder, Ōtomo Yoshinao, was also designated as one of Kyushu's protectors.

Serving under the shogunate for two hundred more years, they continued to protect the law in the Edo Period through the Meiji period. With each following clan leader being better than the last, there is a saying about them as, "There is no dark age for the Shimazu".

There are several possible meanings for the family's cross crest. The cross could represent two dragons intertwining in their flight towards the heavens. It could also be two simple chopsticks, which form an auspicious sign for the users and a curse to their enemies on the battlefront. Others argue that it was based on ancient meditating hand positions with the image being made to expel doubt and hesitation while on the field. It has also been said to have been a Christian inspired seal, but plenty of historical records state the cross was used before Christianity was introduced to Japan.

Clan HeadsEdit

  1. Tadahisa
  2. Tadatoki
  3. Hisatsune
  4. Tadamune
  5. Sadahisa
  6. Morohisa / Ujihisa
  7. Korehisa / Motohisa
  8. Hisatoyo
  9. Tadakuni
  10. Tatsuhisa
  11. Tadamasa
  12. Tadaharu
  13. Tadataka
  14. Katsuhisa
  15. Takahisa
  16. Yoshihisa
  17. Yoshihiro
  18. Tadatsune (Iehisa)
  19. Mitsuhisa
  20. Tsunataka
  21. Yoshitaka
  22. Tsugutoyo
  23. Munenobu
  24. Shigetoshi
  25. Shigehide
  26. Narinobu
  27. Narioki
  28. Nariakira
  29. Tadayoshi
  30. Tadashige
  31. Tadahide
  32. Nobuhisa (1937-present)

Nobuhisa is the executive director of the family's corporation, Shimazu Limited. He formerly had police authority in the Kagashima Prefecture. He continues to house tea ceremonies at his family's tea house using urasenke techniques and practices his family's form of kenjutsu, Kage no Ryu. He formerly attended a biwa players club.

Other FiguresEdit

  • Tadamasa - Takahisa's younger brother, died fighting Kimotsuki Kanetsugu in 1561.
  • Toshihisa - Takahisa's son, third Shimazu brother alive during the Warring states period.
  • Iehisa - Takahisa's son, fourth Shimazu brother alive during the Warring states period.
  • Tsurujumaru - Yoshihiro's first son, died when he was young (age varies).
  • Hisayasu - Yoshihiro's second son who died when he was twenty one; one of the three named generals who died of illness during Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign against Odawara Castle.
  • Tadachika - Toshihisa's adopted son, died fighting the Toyotomi army at Kyushu in 1587.
  • Toyohisa - Iehisa's son, died at the Battle of Sekigahara.

LadiesEdit

  • Shimazu Fujin - Takahisa's daughter
  • Kashun Fujin - Yoshihisa's first wife
  • Myorin Fujin - Yoshihisa's second wife
  • Hongō Tadataka's daughter - Yoshihiro's first wife
  • Jisō Fujin - Yoshihiro's second wife
  • Niiro Tadakata's daughter - Toshihisa's wife
  • Kabayama Yoshihisa's daughter - Iehisa's wife
  • Shimazu Yoshihisa's daughter - Tadatsune's wife
  • Shimazu Tadakiyo's daughter - Tadatsune's second wife

Koei made up a woman known as Azusa for Nobunaga's Ambition Online. She is Yoshihisa and Yoshihiro's younger sister and Iehisa's older sister.

Major VassalsEdit

  • Shimazu Yukihisa
  • Shimazu Teruhisa
  • Shimazu Tadanaga (Shimazu Tadatake)
  • Ijuin Tadaaki
  • Ijuin Tadaao
  • Ijuin Tadamune
  • Ijuin Tadazane
  • Ijuin Hisaharu
  • Ijuin Hisanobu
  • Hishijima Yoshiki
  • Hishijima Kunisada
  • Hirata Masamune
  • Hirata Masashige
  • Hirata Mitsumune
  • Hongo Tokihisa
  • Hongo Tadatora
  • Honda Chikasada
  • Uehara Narachika
  • Ueno Tadanori
  • Ei Hisatora
  • Uwai Kakujin (Uwai Satokane)
  • Umekita Kunikane
  • Katsura Tadanori
  • Kabayama Yoshihisa
  • Kabayama Tadasuke
  • Kabayama Hisataka
  • Kamada Masatoshi
  • Kamada Masahiro
  • Kamada Masachika
  • Kawakami Tsunehisa
  • Kawakami Hisazumi
  • Kawakami Tadakatsu
  • Kawakami Hisaaki
  • Kawakami Tadatomo
  • Kawakami Tadakata
  • Kawakami Tadae
  • Kawada Yoshiaki
  • Kiire Suehisa
  • Kyo Gigo
  • Saruwatari Nobumitsu
  • Tanegashima Masatoki
  • Tanegashima Tokitaka
  • Tanegashima Hisatoki
  • Tōgō Shigeharu
  • Tōgō Chui (Shigetaka)
  • Niiro Tadamoto
  • Niiro Tadataka
  • Niiro Tadamasu
  • Niiro Hisatoki
  • Niiro Ryoan
  • Machida Hisamasu
  • Miyahara Kagetane
  • Yamada Arinobu
  • Yamada Arinaga
  • Godai Tomoyoshi
  • Chojuin Moriatsu
  • Chuman Shigekata
  • Tōya Yoshikata
  • Murao Shigeari
  • Murao Shigemasa

The Three Countries of KyushuEdit

The Three Countries of Kyushu (九州三国), also alternatively called the Three Kingdoms of Kyushu (九州三国志) by Koei and others, is a contemporary historical term to describe the three powerful daimyo families in the region during the Warring States period. Each one held considerable power and they constantly fought with one another for control of the continent. The family names and the well known leaders from each clan are:

  1. Ōtomo clan - controlled north-eastern sections of Kyushu; Ōtomo Sōrin
  2. Ryūzōji clan - controlled north-western parts and relative islands in the north; Ryūzōji Takanobu
  3. Shimazu clan - predominately ruled in the south; Takahisa's four sons, the Four Shimazu Brothers

Out of the three, the Ryūzōji name was the first to fall into decline after Takanobu's death in battle. As they struggled to recover, the Ōtomo used their vassals, the Tachibana family, to battle the Shimazu. While the Shimazu overpowered both families momentarily, their wars were halted when Hideyoshi suppressed Kyushu by having each family surrender to him.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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