Ishida Shigeie (石田重家)

Shigeie ISHIDA was a busho (Japanese military commander) from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the early Edo period. He was a legitimate son of Mitsunari ISHIDA, who was famous in the Battle of Sekigahara. His official court rank was Hayato no Kami.


It is said that he was born in 1583 as a legitimate son of Mitsunari ISHIDA.

In the night of March 3, 1599, due to the death of Toshiie MAEDA, the 7 bushos, such as Kiyomasa KATO, Masanori FUKUSHIMA, Nagamasa KURODA, Tadaoki HOSOKAWA, Yoshinaga ASANO, Terumasa IKEDA and Yoshiaki KATO (however, some materials also include the names of Iemasa HACHISUKA and Takatora TODO), who belonged to the Budan-ha (political faction that was willing to resort to military means to achieve its aims) and had been in a hostile relationship with his father Mitsunari, attacked his father's Osaka residence. However, his father had escaped in advance from Osaka into Fushimi-jo Castle with the help of Yoshinobu SATAKE (Ukyo no daibu [Master of the Western Capital Offices]). Thereafter, a wadan (peace negotiation) was established by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA who tried to make up the incident, and his father approved of the retirement from the Gobugyo (five major magistrates).

In 1600, he was recommended to join the war under the name of Ieyasu by Yoshitsugu OTANI who was joining the expedition in Aizu, however, the Battle of Sekigahara broke out thereafter, then he was kept in Osaka-jo Castle as a hostage for the Toyotomi clan. However, when he knew that the western camp, including his father, suffered a crushing defeat from the attack by the eastern camp and fell apart to pieces at the main battle of the Battle of Sekigahara, he escaped from Osaka-jo Castle behind the scenes with the help of a senior vassal, Jinnai TSUYAMA and his menoto (a woman providing breast-feed to a highborn baby), etc. into Jusho-in Temple, a subtemple of Myoshin-ji Temple in Kyoto, and became a priest by the chief priest, Eryo HAKUHO and entered the Buddhist priesthood. Incidentally, this temple was one which was constructed by Mitsunari for his father, Masatsugu ISHIDA. And Shigeie petitioned Ieyasu for his life through Kyoto Shoshidai, Nobumasa OKUDAIRA. Ieyasu couldn't kill Shiegeie who had been in the Buddhist priesthood, and permitted it. Afterward, Shigeie succeeded to the 3rd chief priest of Jusho-in Temple.

He died on March, 8, 1686. He died at the age of 104 (it would not seem to be an accurate age because there are many different opinions about his birth year). His Kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist name) is Sokyo.

According to a theory, Shigeie in his later years returned to secular life from the Buddhist priesthood, and died in Kishiwada under the patronage of the lord of Kishiwada Domain in Izumi province, Nobukatsu OKABE.

[Original Japanese]