Ishida Masatsugu (石田正継)

Masatsugu ISHIDA (birth date unknown - October 23, 1600) was a busho (Japanese military commander) of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. His father is said to have been Tamehiro (or maybe Nakanari, the Lord of Mutsu Province; Kiyomune; or Tameatsu) but this is uncertain. His children included Masazumi ISHIDA and Mitsunari ISHIDA. His was also known as Sagoemon, Toemon, Taroemon. His was a member of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and Oki no kami (Governor of Oki Province). Apparently originally called Masanari, Tamenari, or Harunari (though this is uncertain), 'Masatsugu' was the name he used after his son, Mitsunari, became successful.

He was said to be a ji-samurai (low-ranking farmer-samurai) from Ishida-mura, Sakata-gun, Omi-no-kuni (Omi Province) (present day Ishida-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture), but there is also a theory that he was Hikan (vassal) of the Kyogoku clan. He had a profound knowledge of, and was very accomplished in, waka poetry and literature. After his son, Mitsunari, became a retainer of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, Masatsugu often acted as his advisor. When Mitsunari was promoted to the Go-bugyo (Five Commissioners) and transferred to Sawayama-jo Castle, Masatsugu was made, in 1595, a daimyo worth 30,000 koku in Omi Province. As the Jodai, or castle caretaker, he was in charge of political affairs whenever Mitsunari was away. During the Japanese invasions of Korea, he was stationed, along with Masatora KUSUNOKI, at Hizen-Nagoya-jo Castle as an accountant. He fought with the Western Army during the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, defending the inner bailey of Sawayama-jo Castle with Masazumi, but under Hideaki KOBAYAMA's furious attacks, the castle fell within half a day and Masatsugu committed suicide with his sword.

His grave is located at Myoshin-ji Temple in Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City, which is also in possession of a portrait of Masatsugu.

[Original Japanese]