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Shimazu Sanehisa

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Shimazu Sanehisa of the Sasshû Shimazu clan, was responsible for a prominent succession dispute within the Shimazu clan in the 1520s.

Though born of illegitimate Shimazu clan descent, he eventually became lord of Izumi castle. In 1527, he joined with Shimazu Katsuhisa and attacked Kagoshima castle in order to drive Katsuhisa's adopted heir, Shimazu Takahisa, out. He gradually expanded his power, driving Niiro Tadakatsu, who opposed him, out of Shibushi, and going so far as to earn the title of "lord of three provinces" from his followers.[1] Katsuhisa, however, meanwhile, escaped to Chôsa in Ôsumi province, and turned against Sanehisa.

Sôshû Shimazu forces attacked those of Sanehisa at Ichiuji castle in 1536, and the following year joined forces with Katsuhisa.

Though Sanehisa managed to hold off the Sôshû Shimazu for some time, Takahisa and his father Shimazu Tadayoshi gradually expanded their territory; Sanehisa fought with the Iriki-in clan and in 1539 suffered a number of losses to the Sôshû at Kaseda, Ichiki, Kawanabe, and Murasakibaru, and was eventually driven out of Kagoshima. Takahisa was recognized as lord of the three provinces in 1545.

Sanehisa later traveled to Kyoto, where he mingled with members of the Ashikaga shogunate and Imperial Court both. He returned to Kagoshima in 1553, and died of illness shortly afterward.

References

  1. This refers to the three provinces traditionally controlled by the Shimazu: Satsuma, Ôsumi, and Hyûga.
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