Maeda Shigekatsu (前田茂勝)

Shigekatsu MAEDA is a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) in the early Edo period. The lord of the Tanba Kameyama Domain, then became the lord of Yakami Domain of the Tanba Province. The second son of Geni MAEDA, who was the Gobugyo (five major magistrates) of the Toyotomi clan. The official court rank was Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade, Shuzen no Kami (head of Shuzengen).

The common name was Hikoshiro. In 1595, he became a Christian. His Christian name was Consantino. In the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, he joined with the Western Camp, and attacked Tanabe-jo Castle in Tango Province protected by Yusai HOSOKAWA of the Eastern Camp, and also worked as an envoy to surrender the castle to the enemy. However after the war, since his father had the connection with the Imperial Court, he was approved the lanownership.

Since his father Geni died in 1602, he succeeded as head of the family. Then he got transferred from Tanba-Kameyama Domain of to Tanba-Yakami Domain. However, because of his strong belief as a Christian, he was viewed as a threat to the bakufu (Japanese feudal government), and since Shigekatsu himself did not conduct the domain duties, was indulged in debauchery, drove mad, murdered the father and son of the vassal, Shinzaemon OIKE who was remonstrating, and had many vassals commit suicide, the bakufu deprived his position, and he was handed down to Tadaharu HORIO. It is said that he lead a serious life as a Christian after this deprivation of the position. He died in 1621.

The lineage of his brother Masakatsu remained as a hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which is a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) with 1400 koku.


There is also an anecdote which says that he was suppressed and handed down when he had a fight with the owner of the inn in Mizuguchi Omi Province, and the local governor of the bakufu was surprised to find out that it was Shigekatsu.