Shimazu Sadahisa (島津貞久)

Sadahisa SHIMAZU (May 10th, 1269 - August 12th, 1363) was the fifth-generation, family head of the Shimazu Clan. He was the eldest, legitimate son of Tadamune SHIMAZU. He was a busho (Japanese military commander) during the Northern and Southern Dynasties period, and he built the foundation for the feudal lordship of the Shimazu clan by pushing forward the system of land localizations.

In 1318, he succeeded the governorship of Satsuma Province.

In 1333, he was asked to join the armed uprising by Takauji ASHIKAGA to overthrow the Shogunate, and Sadahisa attacked the Chinzei tandai Hidetoki HOJI along with Sadatsune SHONI and Sadamune OTOMO, forcing HOJO to commit suicide. He was appointed as the Governor of Okuma and Hyuga Province, and since the time of Tadahisa Shimazu who was the first head of the Shimazu clan, he was able to restore what he considered as the birthplace of his clan after 130 years, the three countries of Satsuma, Okuma and Hyuga.

In 1335, Takauji became estranged from Emperor Godaigo. Sadahisa greatly contributed to the establishment of the Ashikaga Shogunate by actions known for his assistance of Takauji who escaped to Kyushu as he incurred a temporary loss in a battle and so on, and by beating back Kikuchi's force in the Battle of Tatarahama which paved the way for Takauji's comeback. However, in the three states of Satsuma, Okuma, and Hyuga below, the Taniyama clan and the Kimotsuki clan had taken up arms as the Southern Court. To counter this, Sadahisa dispatched Yorihisa KAWAKAMI and others to Satsuma which sparked fierce battles between the Northern and Southern Dynasties in Southern Kyushu. Traditionally, the region of Southern Kyushu was the stronghold of the three clans of Taniyama, Taira of Satsuma and Kimotsuki, who were Zaichokanjin (the local officials in Heian and Kamakura periods), but the advancement of the Togoku Samurais such as the Shimazu clan and the Shibuya clan into the region during the Kamakura Period created friction between them. The animosity between them led the whole local rulers en masse to join the Southern Court, and a showdown with the Provincial Governor Shimazu became imminent.

The Southern Court gained momentum as Imperial Prince Kaneyoshi of Nishinomiya entered the Taniyama-jo Castle in 1342, and the war situation did not improve easily, for Sadahisa's repeated attacks on the Taniyama-jo Castle proved to be futile. In the midst of all this in 1350, there was a split within the Northern Court between Takauji and Tadayoshi ASHIKAGA (known as the Kanno Disturbance), which forced Sadahisa to fight against Tadaaki HATAKEYAMA of the Tadayoshi clan, temporarily making him join the forces of the Southern Court (after the end of the Kanno Disturbance he returned to the Northern Court).

In 1363, as Tadahisa bestowed the Provincial Governorship of Satsuma to his third son, Morihisa SHIMAZU (the Soshu family), who was the Assistant Governor of Kazusa Province and the Provincial Governorship of Okuma to his fourth son, Mutsu no kami Ujihisa SHIMAZU (the Oshu family), the Shimada clan split and hostility ensued between them.

The Predecessor
Tadamune SHIMAZU
The Shimazu clan
1318 - 1363

The Next Generation
The Soshu family: Morihisa SHIMAZU
The Oshu family: Ujihisa SHIMAZU