Kawakatsu Hirotsuna (川勝広綱)

Hirotsuna KAWAKATSU (1579 - Nov 3, 1661) was a military commander during the Azuchi-Momoyama period and subsequently, a retainer of the Shogun during the Edo period. He was the second hereditary leader of the Kawakatsu family (main family) of Hideuji line. His true family name was that of the Hata Clan and, he was a descendent of Hata no Kawakatsu. He was popularly known as Shichikuro or Shinzo. Holding a court rank of Jugoige (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) was the Governor of Shinano and later on Tanba Provinces. His father was Hideuji KAWAKATSU. His mother was the daughter of Chunagon (vice-councilor of state) Ayanokoji. His wife was the daughter of Nagakatsu FUJIKAKE. His children were: Hironao KAWAKATSU, Hirouji KAWAKATSU, Hironori KAWAKATSU, an adopted daughter (daughter of Nishinotojin Tokinao raised by Hirotsuna who became the wife of Shokan Yoshimasa TODO) and a daughter (Nobutoshi SAKUMA's wife).

In 1579, Hirotsuna was born in Tanba Province as heir to Hideuji KAWAKATSU. In the role of one of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's umamawashi (mounted knight who rode close to the Shogun) he had a 200 koku domain within Taki-gun hamlet in Tanba Province. Subsequently he swapped territory in Koga hamlet in Omi Province for land in Funai hamlet in Tanba Province. Together with his father Hideuji, during the Battle of Sekigaharara in 1600, he allied with the Western forces and participated in attacks on Yusai HOSOKAWA's stronghold at Tanabe Castle in Tango Province (Battle of Tanabe Castle). However, father and son were pardoned by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, demoted in rank (Hirotsuna was relocated from Taki-gun hamlet and Funai-gun hamlets in Tanba Province to Funai Province). In 1601 Hirotsuna's father Hideuji was summoned at the behest of Tadaoki HOSOKAWA (of the ancient Tanba clan around since the Muromachi period) to form a vassal's household.

In 1606 he received a decree to build Sunpu Castle and on June 20 the same year, received an meritorious service award certificate. In July 1607 he inherited the clan leadership role from his father Hideuji whereupon Hirotsuna became a vassal of the Edo shogunate (and a fief in Tanba Province of over 3,570 koku). In 1617, he oversaw the construction of Chion-in Temple in Kyoto. In 1631 he became Tsukaiban (a person responsible for orders and patrol in a battlefield) and on February 21, 1633 received orders to go on an inspection tour of the 5 home provinces (Yamashiro, Yamato, Kawachi, Izumi, Settsu). In 1634 he accompanied the Shogun Iemitsu TOKUGAWA on a tour of the capital and on October 29, 1637 as an inspector, he proceeded to the Funai Domain in Bungo Province. Subsequently he received orders again and was absent from Funai. On November 10, 1639 he proceeded to the Takatori Domain in Yamato Province to serve as an inspector. In 1640, he took on the role on-site of handing over Takatori Castle which had been granted to Iemasa UEMURA. In April 1642, he accompanied Shogun Iemitsu on his pilgrimage to Mt. Nikko-san. In early November 1643, he departed on an inspection tour of Mitsunaka IKEDA's Tottori Domain in Inaba Province. With the death of Tadamasa MATSUDAIRA in 1645, he received orders on October 5 and departed to do an inspection tour of the Fukui Domain in Echizen Province. He received orders on September 8, 1649 to arrange a hand-over of Takatsuki Castle (located in Settsu Province) to Naokiyo NAGAI that year. As Tsunatoshi HOSOKAWA was still a child, he departed on December 10, 1650, on an inspection tour of Tsunatoshi's domain and oversaw the affairs of the Kumamoto Domain in Higo Province. Subsequently he retired from office took his place at shogunal vassal gatherings. He died age 83 on Nobember 3, 1661.
He was given the posthumous Buddhist name of 'Gensho.'
His grave is located in Shoryu-ji Temple in Shiba, Tokyo. The role of head of the family was inherited by Hironao's heir Hiroari KAWAKATSU. Also, his second son Hirouji set up a new household.

[Original Japanese]