Portrait of Sengoku Hidehisa
|Born||February 20, 1552|
|Died||June 13, 1614|
Hidehisa is also credited with being the man who captured the infamous Ishikawa Goemon.
According to his family records, Hidehisa was the fourth son of his family, a low ranking samurai family in the Saito clan. He was given away to another family at a young age, but eventually his older brothers died of illness and he was recalled to inherit his family name.
Hidehisa started as a low ranking Samurai for the clan. The clan was destroyed by Oda Nobunaga and he was captured during the assault. He then became a member of the Oda clan and was ordered to serve under Kinoshita Tōkichirō (the eventual Toyotomi Hideyoshi). Hidehisa took part in most of the Oda clan's military actions afterwards. Slowly but steadily he rose up through the ranks. He participated in Hideyoshi's successful campaign in Shikoku.
In 1581, he was made the daiymo of Awaji Domain at Sumoto Castle.
However, in 1585, he was given charge to lead the campaign on Kyushu with two other daimyo: Chōsokabe Motochika and Sogō Nagayasu. However, they were crushed in the Battle of Hetsugigawa by the Shimazu. Sogo Nagayasu perished along with Chōsokabe Motochika's heir, Nobuchika. Hidehisa was accused of charging ahead too soon and then fleeing at the first sight of trouble. After he returned to Hideyoshi, he was stripped of his title, land, and sent into exile.
In 1590, he was made daimyo at Komoro with 50,000 koku revenues. Due to this series of events Hidehisa easily sided with Ieyasu in the Battle of Sekigahara after Hideyoshi's death. Hidehisa was in the army of Ieyasu's heir Tokugawa Hidetada. They were unable to reach the battle in time due to the stalling tactics of Sanada Masayuki, however Hidehisa successfully persuaded the furious Ieyasu to spare both he and Hidetada after this blunder. Hidetada remained grateful to Hidehisa for the remainder of his life. Hidehisa's family remained daiymo until the Meiji restoration.
Hidehisa is generally described as a brave and skillful warrior in his early days with Hideyoshi; he was often at the front lines of the Oda clan's military operations. He also appears to take up some of Hideyoshi's charisma, as he was able to avoid getting himself killed despite ending up in situations that would normally bode poorly for most samurai several times.
- "Komoro" at Edo 300 (Japanese)