Kiyomasa Katō
Kiyomasa Kato 2
Born: 1562
Died: 1611
Place of Birth: Owari province
Place of Death: ---
Japanese name: 加藤 清正
Participation(s): Battle of Yamazaki

Battle of Shizugatake
Seige of Odawara Castle (1592)

Served: Toyotomi

Kiyomasa Katō was one of the famous warriors in Japanese history. He was the childhood friend of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and served the latter for his long life. He was also one of the seven spears of Shizugatake.


Kiyomasa Katō was born in the village of Nakamura a village in Owari.[1] He was called Toranosuke meaning the young tiger in his childhood and was the son of a blacksmith who died when the boy was only three years old.[2] Taranosuke was also the childhood friend of Hideyoshi Toyotomi.[3] Because of a familial relationship between the two boy's mother Hideyoshi Toyotomi took Taranosuke under his wing when his father died.[4]

Serving Hideyoshi ToyotomiEdit

Kiyomasa Katō soon proved to have a considerable aptitude for military life. The first opportunity to deminstrate it came at the age of twenty one with the battle of Shizugatake, where the absence of a flat battlefield and lines of arquebus troops allowed the individual samurai spirit to be expressed in an unfettered way. Kiyomasa Kato fought on horseback in classic style with the support of a loyal band of samurai attendents, and wielded his favorite cross-bladed to great effect. It was not long before a number of enemy heads had fallen to Kiyomasa and, to intimidate his opponents, he orderded one of his attendents to tie the severed heads to a long silk of green bamboo and carry it for Kiyomasa like a genaral's standard. Kiyomasa Katō was named that day as one of the Seven Spears of Shizugatake.[5]

In 1585 Kiyomasa Katō recieved from Hideyoshi the important role of inspector of taxes and in 1588 he began a long association with the island of Kyushu, having been given Norimasa Sassa's fief following the suicide of the letter. He was based in the castle town of Kumamoto.[6]



One armed armor: A type of armor that only one shoulder, leaving the other one bare. Kiyomasa Katōwas said to favor this type of armor.[7]



  1. Samurai Archives, Katō Kiyomasa
  2. Samurai commanders 2 1577 - 1638, Stephen Turnbull
  3. Samurai Sourcebook, Stephen Turnbull
  4. Samurai commanders 2 1577 - 1638, Stephen Turnbull
  5. Samurai commanders 2 1577 - 1638, Stephen Turnbull
  6. Samurai commanders 2 1577 - 1638, Stephen Turnbull
  7. NA Iron Triangle by Koei; Item Encyclopedia.