The lord of Kumamoto, was born a low ranking samurai in the province of Owari; the present-day Aichi Prefecture of Japan. Through skill in battle he soon became one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's generals. Under Hideyoshi he took part in the invasion of Korea as one of the three supreme commanders.
As a reward for his service during the Korean Invasion, Kiyomasa was awarded the fief of Kumamoto in Kyushu. Following Hideyoshi's death, Kiyomasa stayed in Kumamoto and did not take part in the battle of Sekigahara; thereby assuring his continued tenancy of the castle.
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