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Nakagawa Hidemasa, the son of Settsu Province's (present-day Hyogo Prefecture) daimyo Nakagawa Kiyohide and the elder brother of Nakagawa Hidenari, was married to Princess Tsuru (Tsuruhime), the youngest daughter of Oda Nobunaga. Additionally, his uncle was the renowned samurai and tea master Furuta Oribe.

In 1572, Kiyohide and his sons initially surrendered their lands to the advancing Oda forces heading towards Kyoto. However, they later rebelled, eventually aligning themselves with and serving Oda Nobunaga six years later. Following Nobunaga's demise, the Nakagawa family pledged allegiance to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Hidemasa assumed leadership of the Nakagawa clan at the age of 15 after his father fell in the Battle of Shizugatake. In the subsequent year, 1584, he demonstrated his prowess in the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute, earning accolades from Hideyoshi. His commendable actions during the Shikoku campaign in 1585 led to an increase in his holdings from 50,000 koku in Settsu to 65,000 koku, including land in the neighboring Miki, Harima Province (also part of modern-day Hyogo Prefecture).

Further engagements awaited Nakagawa Hidemasa, including his participation in the Kyushu campaign of 1587. During the siege of Odawara in 1590, he joined the ranks of the 220,000 besiegers against 82,000 samurai within Odawara Castle. Tragically, his life came to an end during the Battle of Bunroku in 1592, where he served as one of the leaders in the 158,000-strong contingent dispatched by Hideyoshi to annex Korea. At the time of his demise, Nakagawa Hidemasa was 25 years old.

 


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