Shimazu Takahisa

Shimazu Takahisa (島津 貴久, May 28, 1514 – July 15, 1571), the son of Shimazu Tadayoshi, was a daimyō during Japan's Sengoku period. He was the fifteenth head of the Shimazu clan.

Shimazu Takahisa
Shimazu Takahisa.jpg
Shimazu Takahisa
Head of Shimazu clan
In office
Preceded byShimazu Katsuhisa
Succeeded byShimazu Yoshihisa
Personal details
BornMay 28, 1514
Izaku Castle
DiedJuly 15, 1571 (aged 57)
RelationsShimazu Katsuhisa (adopted father)
ChildrenShimazu Yoshihisa
Shimazu Yoshihiro
Shimazu Toshihisa
Shimazu Iehisa
Military service
AllegianceMaru juji.svg Shimazu clan
UnitMaru juji.svg Shimazu clan
Battles/warsSiege of Kajiki (1549)
Siege of Iwatsurugi (1554)


In 1514, he is said to have been born in Izaku Castle.[1] On 1526, Takahisa was adopted as the successor to Shimazu Katsuhisa and became head of the clan.[2] He launched a series of campaigns to reclaim three provinces: Satsuma, Osumi, and Hyūga.[2] While he made some progress, it would be up to the next generation in the Shimazu family to successfully reclaim them. He nurtured such future leaders like Shimazu Yoshihisa and his brothers Yoshihiro, Toshihisa and Iehisa who would, for a short time, see the Shimazu clan take over the entire island of Kyūshū; he is also said to have a daughter of unknown name.

Takahisa actively promoted relationships with foreign people and countries. He was the first daimyo to bring Western firearms into Japan, following the shipwreck of a number of Portuguese on Tanegashima in 1543. In 1549, he welcomed St. Francis Xavier and met Xavier in Ijyuin Castle.[2] He granted the Jesuit protection to spread Christianity in his domain, but later retracted his support of Christianity under pressure from local Buddhist monks.[3] Takahisa also held a diplomatic relationship with the Ryūkyū Kingdom.

In 1549, he used "Portuguese-derived" firearms to take Kajiki castle.[4]

In 1554, Shimazu Takahisa had to take action against his rebellious kokujin vassals, Ito clan and Kimotsuki clan, at Siege of Iwatsurugi Castle.

In 1570, he relinquished the family head position to Shimazu Yoshihisa.[2] He died in 1571.[2]

Notable retainersEdit


  1. ^ "国史跡 伊作城" (in Japanese). 南さつま観光. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Shimazu Takahisa". kotobank. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  3. ^ Miki, Tamon: "The Influence of Western Culture on Japanese Art"; Monumenta Nipponica (19, 3/4) 1964 p. 380–401
  4. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 212. ISBN 1854095234.
  • Frédéric, Louis (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.