Shijo Ryuichiro, was born during a light rain in midsummer 1578,
in Sakegawa village. Mogami district, Yamagata province. His mother,
Satake Reiko, A teacher of cultural arts. His father Shijo Kinsaburo
Naomasa (5th gen to serve the Matsudaira clan), was a mid ranking
cavalman and archer of Matsudaira Takechiyo.
His early training was augmented by his father's emphasis on
spiritual and academic learning. He studied at the Hozo-in school for
spearmanship, his secondary was swordmanship. He was learning the
Myokyo classics, as well as advanced concepts of Buddhism of the
In 1590: Ryuichiro's father, Naomasa, was slain in a vendetta
killing. Naomasa had uncovered a plot by Hashiba Hidenaga to dishonor
Naomasa, a dual followed. Hidenaga was killed, later Naomasa was
killed by a agent on the road to Edo.
Ryuichiro then changes his name to Ichiro, and entered into the
care of Kobayakawa Hideaki, a trusted friend and fellow calveryman of
his father, where he continued his studies of military tactics and
Ichiro's first battle was in Chinju in 1593. During the battle
Ichiro had taken four heads the first was taken when he was knocked
off his horse, it was the first time he had used his sword in actual
combat, downing his foe quickly. The second head he claimed was by
chance, a well placed swing claiming victory. The third fell to his
martial skills when a young but foolish warrior attacked him from
ambush. The final foe he slew with dispassion and quick skill, earning
him the notice of several local lords.
Matsudaira Takechiyo recognized him as a great warrior and gave
him the name Uchiyori. At Kobayakawa Hideaki's request, Matsudaira
Takechiyo and Date Masamune sent Ichiro to oversee a medium sized
merchent district in the Akita Prefecture.
Skilled in many areas other then combat, Ichiro quickly and
skillfully managed to increase the production of armour and military
accounterments, being awarded a stipend from Matsudaira as a result of
this. Just outside Kotoka village in 1600 under the command of
Fukushima Masanori, Ichiro joins the Eastern forces as a calveryman
at the siege of Fushimi Castle.
Ichiro was present at the battle of sekigahara in 1600, he was
highly reccomended by to Matsudaria Teru by Matsudaria Takechiyo
and Fukushima Masanori to be given command of a small lance unit.
In 1601: Takechiyo raised his status to honored vassal of the
Takechiyo, knowing there is more to life then war wished for
Ichiro to take a wife and make a family. Hasekura Tsunenaga, acting
upon these wishes, chose Nami, the youngest daughter of Hattori
Masashige from the village of Matsushima to be Ichiro's wife.
Accepting this offer graciously, Ichirio and Nami were married in the
temple in the vllage of Ikemi in the Miyagi Prefecture, those in
attendance were Matsudaria Takechio and Teru. Oda Nagamasu, Date
Masamune and others, all friends or followers of the lords and Ichirio
As a reward for great service and loyalty, Tokugawa Ieyasu made
him lord of Hachiryu village , the center of the workshops and granted
him resources to further his skills. Ichiro was also granted a larger
stipend and 250 retainers.
In 1602 ,Lady Nami gave birth to Namiko during a steady but warm
rainstorm in their home, the child well gifted with Nami's apperance
and Ichiros intellect. Ichiro was present when Matsudaira Takechiyo
was named Shogun and when he changed his name to that of Tokougawa.
Lord Ichiro frequently took to the campaign trail seeking honor and to
further his skills.
In 1605, during a trip to the ocean and a nearby fishing village,
a sudden shift in the weather caused a great wave to reach up and
sweep Nami and Namiko out into the water, Nami was lost in a few
moments time but, Ichirio was only able to save Namiko. This event
caused Ichiro to never re-wed and to turn his path towards a more
spritual tilt, returning to his Buddist studies.
He saw service in the name of the Shogun in the
battles of Osaka in 1614 and 1615.