Concept

Katō Kiyomasa

Summary
was a Japanese daimyō of the Azuchi–Momoyama and Edo periods. His court title was Higo-no-kami. His name as a child was Yashamaru, and first name was Toranosuke. He was one of Hideyoshi's Seven Spears of Shizugatake. Kiyomasa was born in what is now Nakamura-ku, Nagoya (situated in contemporary Aichi District, Owari Province) to Katō Kiyotada. Kiyotada's wife, Ito, was a cousin of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's mother. Kiyotada died while his son, Kiyomasa (then known as Toranosuke), was still young. Soon after, Toranosuke entered into Hideyoshi's service, and in 1576, at age 15, was granted a stipend of 170 koku. In 1582, he fought in Hideyoshi's army at the Battle of Yamazaki, and later in 1583 at the Battle of Shizugatake. Owing to his achievement in that battle, he became known as one of the Seven Spears of Shizugatake and was rewarded with 3,000 additional koku. In 1584, Kiyomasa took part in the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute against the Tokugawa clan. When Hideyoshi became the kampaku in the summer of 1585, Kiyomasa received the court title of Kazue no Kami (主計頭, head of the accounting bureau) and junior 5th court rank, lower grade (ju go-i no ge 従五位下). In 1587, he fought in the Kyūshū campaign against the Shimazu clan. Later, after Higo Province was confiscated from Sassa Narimasa, he was granted 250,000 koku of land in Higo (roughly half of the province), and given Kumamoto Castle as his provincial residence. Kiyomasa was one of the three senior commanders during the Seven-Year (Imjin) War (1592–1598) against the Korean Joseon. Together with Konishi Yukinaga, he captured Seoul, Busan and many other cities. He defeated the last of the Korean regulars at the Battle of Imjin River and pacified Hamgyong. The Korean king Seonjo abandoned Seoul before Kiyomasa's forces. Kiyomasa held two Korean princes who had deserted as hostages and used them to force lower-ranking Korean officials to surrender. During the war, he apparently hunted tigers for sport, using a yari (spear), and later presented the pelts to Hideyoshi.
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