Hatakeyama Shigetada

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Hatakeyama Shigetada. Ukiyo-e woodblock print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Hatakeyama Shigetada (畠山 重忠?, 1164–1205), also known in art as Shirafuji Hikoshichirō, was a samurai who fought in the Genpei War, in Japan. Originally fighting for the Taira clan, he switched sides for the battle of Dan-no-ura, and ended the war on the winning side.[1]

Following the war, when his son Shigeyasu was killed by Hōjō Tokimasa, Shigetada spoke up. The reward for this temerity was death, along with the rest of his family.[1] His brave attempt to defend his honor, along with various other acts of strength and skill are recorded in the Heike Monogatari and other chronicles of the period.

Kajiwara Kagesue, Sasaki Takatsuna, and Hatakeyama Shigetada racing to cross the Uji River before the second battle of Uji. Woodblock print by Kuniyoshi

In an anecdote from the Heike monogatari, he is described as competing, along with a number of other warriors, to be the first across the Uji River. When his horse is shot in the head with an arrow, he abandons the creature and uses his bow as a staff to help himself across. Just as he is about to climb the bank, however, his godson Okushi no Shigechika asks for help, and is grabbed and thrown ashore by Shigetada; Shigechika then stands tall and proclaims himself the winner, the first across the river.[2]

Tomoe Gozen with Uchida Ieyoshi and Hatakeyama no Shigetada. Woodblock print by Yōshū Chikanobu, 1899

After the Battle of Awazu in 1184, Shigetada is known for failing to capture Tomoe Gozen.[3]


  1. ^ a b Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al (2005). "Hatakeyama Shigetada" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 296-297., p. 296, at Google Books
  2. ^ Kitagawa, Hiroshi et al. (1975). The Tale of the Heike, pp. 511-513; Varley, Paul. (1994). Warriors of Japan as Portrayed in the War Tales, p. 95., p. 95, at Google Books
  3. ^ Joly, Henri L. (1967). Legend in Japanese Art, p. 540.


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