Hosokawa Tadaoki was a Japanese samurai warrior from the late Sengoku Period. He was just 15 years old when he started fighting for Oda Nobunaga. Hosokawa Tadaoki was the son of a highly respected warrior, scholar, and poet Hosokawa Fujitaka.
He was one of the main proponents of the Battle of Komaki Nagakute, and just like his father, they were similar in many ways since Fujitaka was known to be proficient in the tea ceremony arts, studying under the tutelage of the great Sen no Rikyu.
Sen no Rikyu was also called Rikyu, and was claimed to be a historical figure who influenced the Chanoyu, The Way of Tea. Specifically, this was the tradition of wabi-cha.
Hosokawa Tadaoki Early Life
He was the eldest son of Hosokawa Fujitaka and Numata Jako. Hosokawa Tadaoki was given the childhood name Kumachiyo, and he served Oda Nobunaga at a young age.
Hosokawa had a wife, and she was 16 years of age when he married her. The couple had several children from their union.
As mentioned, Hosokawa Tadaoki had a wife and she was called Gracia. The two had children from the marriage, and they include Hosokawa Tadataka, Okiaki, Tadatoshi, and Okitaka.
Just like with other samurai warriors, he too had a couple of concubines in his list. They were the daughter of Kori Muneyasu, Masashi Shimamoto, Akechi Mitsutada, and the daughter of Kiyota Mamoru whom he had a child with.
Hosokawa Tadaoki Accomplishments
Hosokawa accomplished numerous things as a samurai, and he was also able to provide assistance for numerous campaigns and lords. In 1580, he became the Daimyo of the Tango Province and participated in the Battle of Komaki Nagakute in the year 1584.
In 1590, he was able to join the fight at the Odawara campaign and led about 5000 warriors in the Battle of Sekigahara – one of the most well-known and bloodiest wars that occurred in Japan’s history.
Aside from battles, he was also awarded efficiency in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony just like with his master, Sen no Rikyu.
Role as Daimyo
As a daimyo, Hosokawa Tadaoki was on Hideyoshi‘s side during the battles of Komaki and Nagakute in 1584; he was also there during the Odawara Campaign six years later.
It was in the same year as the Odawara Campaign when he became close friends with Tokugawa Ieyasu. This Daimyo was the one who helped Tadaoki pay his debts to Toyotomi Hidetsugu.
Persecution and Emotional Scars
To avoid being captured by the enemy, Hosokawa’s wife, Gracia, ordered a servant to kill her. After she ordered herself to be killed, she also told her servant to set fire on their palace.
This actually left an emotional scar on Hosokawa Tadaoki. It was an act of trickery that drove Tadaoki, among others, into joining Tokugawa Ieyasu‘s camp.
Death at a Young Age
In 1646, he died at a young age of 82. Hosokawa Tadaoki was buried next to his wife Hosokawa Gracia. When his wife died, Hosokawa never remarried after this.
He was the third and last of the few Daimyo that took part in the Battle of Sekigahara and died four years before Mori Hidemoto.
Image source: 1549bcp at English Wikipedia [Public domain]