Kuwayama Shigeharu (桑山重晴)

Shigeharu KUWAYAMA was a Japanese military commander who lived during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was from Owari Province. He was also a master of tea ceremony and learned the tea ceremony from SEN no Rikyu.


In 1524, he was born as the son of Mochinori KUWAYAMA in Kuwayama no sho, Kaito County, Owari Province. It is believed that the Kuwayama family was a descendant of Tomomitsu YUKI, senior vassal of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).

Serving Nagahide NIWA, a vassal of Nobunaga ODA, as a yoriki (mounted warrior belonging to a general in the Sengoku period), he played an active role in the battles such as the Battle of Anegawa and so on, and was praised by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI for his level and calm activities. After being transferred from the Niwa clan to the Hashiba clan at Hideyoshi's request in 1574, he became the lord of the Takeda-jo Castle in Tajima Province and was granted properties yielding 10,000 koku (approximately 1,803.9 cubic meters of crop yields) in 1580.

As a result of additional properties due to his military exploits such as defending the Fort Shizugatake at all cost against Morimasa SAKUMA's attack in the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583, he came to possess properties yielding 20,000 koku (approximately 3,607.8 cubic meters of crop yields) in total.

When Hideyoshi's younger brother, Hidenaga TOYOTOMI, became the lord of Kii Province in 1585 after the conquest of Kishu, Shigeharu was appointed to a position of Karo (chief retainer) of Hiednaga by Hideyoshi at the Osaka-jo Castle in May of the same year, and became the keeper of Wakayama-jo Castle with properties increased to those yielding 30,000 koku (approximately 5,411.7 cubic meters of crop yields) in total.

On August 13, 1595, Shigeharu was assigned to guard the Main Gate of Fushimi-jo Castle when Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI visited Fushimi-jo Castle to account for suspicion of rebellion. As a result of additional properties in Tanigawa, Hine County, Izumi Province yielding 10,000 koku which were granted in recognition of his service, he came to possess properties yielding 40,000 koku (approximately 7,215.6 cubic meters of crop yields) in total.

After entering into priesthood in 1596, he called himself Kuwayama Jibukyo Hoin (Minister of Civil Administration with the highest priesthood rank). On June 6 of the same year, he handed over the post of Shurishiki (an official in the Office of Palace Repairs) to his legitimate grandson, Kazuharu KUWAYAMA, and governed only properties yielding 10000-koku as a result of distributing properties yielding 20,000 koku and 10,000 koku to Kazuharu, and to the second son, Motoharu KUWAYAMA, respectively. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, he came to govern properties yielding 16,000 koku (approximately 2,886.24 cubic meters of crop yields) as a result of taking over properties yielding 4,000 koku (approximately 721.56 cubic meters of crop yields) and 2,000 koku (approximately 360.78 cubic meters of crop yields) from Kazuharu and Motoharu, respectively.

On November 1, 1606, he died. He died at the age of 83. His grave remains in the Sango-ji Temple in Takajo-machi, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture.

[Original Japanese]