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Ukita Hideie was born as the second son of Ukita Naoie, the ruler of Okayama Castle. Tragically, Hideie's father passed away when he was just nine years old, thrusting him into the responsibilities of leading the castle, clan, and domain. Prior to his father's demise, the Ukita clan had aligned with Oda Nobunaga. After Nobunaga's assassination during the Honno-ji Incident, Hideie remained loyal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, whose ties were further solidified through marriage.

Hideie's wife, Princess Go-hime, hailed from the Maeda clan and had been adopted by Hideyoshi before marrying Hideie, forging a strong bond among the three families. However, in 1600, Japan became embroiled in a conflict between East and West factions. Hideie commanded the largest army among the Western forces at the Battle of Sekigahara, numbering 17,000 men. Despite his initial optimism, the betrayal of the allied Kobayakawa troops spelled defeat for the Western side.

Following the Western forces' loss, Hideie fled to Satsuma under the protection of his ally Shimazu Yoshihiro. After two years in hiding, he was presented before Tokugawa Ieyasu by Yoshihiro's son, Tadatsune. Ieyasu ordered Hideie's exile to Mount Koya and later to Hachijo-jima, a remote island south of Tokyo.

During his exile on Hachijo-jima, Hideie altered the characters of his name while still maintaining its pronunciation. Accompanied by two of his sons, he lived out his days on the island until his death in 1665 at the age of 84. Despite his isolation, Hideie received a pardon from the Tokugawa Shogunate upon Ieyasu's passing in 1616. Yet, he chose to remain on the island, becoming the last surviving daimyo who had participated in the Battle of Sekigahara.

Hideie's descendants continued to reside on Hachijo-jima after his passing, supported by supplies from Go-hime's lineage and the newly established Ukita branch in Etchu. This support persisted until the end of the feudal era in 1868.

 


See also  

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