Sunday, 15 August 2010

battle of Kawanakajima

After the fourth battle of Kawanakajima, Takeda clan suffered two internal setbacks. Shingen uncovered two plots on his life, the first from his cousin Katanuma Nobumoto (whom he ordered to commit seppuku), and the second, a few years later, from his own son Takeda Yoshinobu . His son was confined to the Tokoji, where he died two years later; it is not known whether his death was natural or ordered by his father. After this incident, Shingen designated his fourth son, Takeda Katsuyori (武田勝頼), as the acting leader of the clan after himself until Katsuyori's son comes to his age. Katsuyori himself, however, had never become the formal head of the clan.
The death of Yoshinobu is believed to have much to do with the change in Shingen's Imagawa policy. After Imagawa Yoshimoto was killed in a battle against Oda Nobunaga in 1560, Shingen had started to plan an invasion of Suruga, a territory now controlled by Yoshimoto's son Ujizane. Yoshinobu, however, had strongly opposed such a plan because his wife was the daughter of late Yoshimoto. By 1567, nonetheless, after Shingen had successfully kept the forces led by Uesugi Kenshin out of the northern boundaries of Shinano, taken over a strategically important castle in western Kōzuke, and suppressed internal objection to his plans to take advantage of the weakened Imagawa clan, was ready to carry out his planned Suruga invasion.
During this time Shingen also ordered the damming project of the Fuji River, which was one of the major domestic activities of the time.
Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu are believed to have made a pact to share the remaining Imagawa lands between them, and they both fought against Yoshimoto's heir. After defeating the intervention forces commanded by Hōjō Ujimasa of Sagami, Shingen finally secured the Province of Suruga, formerly base of the prestigious Imagawa clan, as a Takeda assest in 1569.
Upon securing Takeda control over Suruga, northern Shinano, and western Kōzuke, Shingen moved to challenge the Oda-Tokugawa alliance, leading a formidable force of over 30,000 into the latter's territories in Tōtōmi, Mikawa and Mino Provinces in 1572.
The exact circumstances surrounding Takeda Shingen's death are not absolutely known. There are many different stories, some of which are as follows.
When Takeda Shingen was 49 years old, he was the only daimyo with the necessary power and tactical skill to stop Oda Nobunaga's rush to rule Japan. He engaged Tokugawa Ieyasu's forces in 1572 and captured Futamata, and in January engaged in the battle of Mikatagahara, where he defeated, but not decisively, a small combined army of Nobunaga and Ieyasu. After defeating Tokugawa Ieyasu, Shingen stopped his advance temporarily due to outside influences, which allowed Tokugawa to prepare for battle again. He entered Mikawa Province, but soon died in the camp. Some accounts say he succumbed to an old war wound, some say a sniper wounded him earlier, and some accounts say he died of pneumonia. He was buried at Erin temple in what is now Kōshū, Yamanashi.
The film Kagemusha, by director Akira Kurosawa, loosely depicts a well known version of his death in which a single sniper shot him at night. The other aspects of his death depicted in the film were artistic liberties taken by the director.
takeda Katsuyori became the daimyo of the Takeda clan. Katsuyori was ambitious and desired to continue the legacy of his father. He moved on to take Tokugawa forts. However an allied force of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga dealt a crushing blow to the Takeda in the Battle of Nagashino. Here Oda Nobunaga's matchlock-armed infantry destroyed the Takeda cavalry. Ieyasu seized the opportunity and defeated the weak Takeda led by Takeda Katsuyori in the battle of Temmokuzan. Katsuyori committed suicide after the battle, and the Takeda clan never recovered.
Upon Shingen's death, Kenshin reportedly cried at the loss of one of his strongest and most deeply respected rivals. One of the most lasting tributes to Shingen's prowess was that of Tokugawa Ieyasu himself, who is known to have borrowed heavily from the old Takeda leader's governmental and military innovations after he had taken leadership of Kai during Toyotomi Hideyoshi's rise to power. Many of these designs were put to use in the Tokugawa Shogunate.
While the Takeda were for the most part destroyed by the loss of Shingen's heir, Katsuyori, Shingen had a profound effect on the period in Japan. He influenced many lords with his law, tax, and administration systems, and many tales were told about him. Although aggressive towards military enemies he was probably not as cruel as other warlords. His war banner contained the famous phrase Fū-Rin-Ka-Zan (, "Wind, Forest,crimeajewel, Fire, Mountain"), taken from Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War.' This phrase refers to the idea of Swift as the Wind, Silent as a Forest, Fierce as Fire and Immovable as a Mountain. The motto applied to Shingen's policies and his military strategy.
During Edo period, 24 retainers who served under Shingen were chosen as a popular topic for Ukiyo-e and Bunraku. The names vary from work to work and the following list is the widely agreed version of retainers. They had not worked together as some had died before others served but they were noted for their exceptional contributions to Shingen and the Takeda family.
Of his retainers, Kōsaka Masanobu stands out as being one of Shingen's better known beloveds, in the style of the Japanese shudo tradition. The two entered into the relationship when Shingen was twenty two and Masanobu sixteen. The love pact signed by the two, in Tokyo University's Historical Archive, documents Shingen's pledge that he was not, nor had any intentions of entering into, a sexual relationship with a certain other retainer, and asserts that "since I want to be intimate with you" he will in no way harm the boy, and calls upon the gods to be his guarantors.
Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda Shingen
Akiyama Nobutomo
Amari Torayasu
Anayama Nobukimi
Baba Nobuharu
Hara Masatane
Hara Toratane
Ichijō Nobutatsu
Itagaki Nobukata
saka Masanobu
Naitō Masatoyo
Obata Masamori
Obata Toramori
Obu Toramasa
Ohama Kagetaka
Oyamada Nobushige
Saigusa Moritomo
Sanada Nobutsuna
Sanada Yukitaka
Tada Mitsuyori
Tsuchiya Masatsugu
Takeda Nobukado
Takeda Nobushige
Yamagata Masakage
Yamamoto Kansuke
The Takeda Shingen festival takes place on the first weekend of every April in Kōfu. Usually a famous Japanese TV actor plays the part of Takeda Shingen himself. There are several parades going to and from the Takeda Shrine and Kofu Castle. These parades are very theatrical involving serious re-enactors who practice the rest of the year for this one weekend in April. The parades reflect the different comings and goings of Takeda Shingen during his life.
Shimazu Yoshihisa (February 9, 1533 – March 5, 1611) was a daimyo of Satsuma Province and the eldest son of Shimazu Takahisa. His mother was a daughter of Nyurai'in Shigesato, Yukimado . Shimazu Yoshihiro and Shimazu Toshihisa are his brothers.
His childhood name was Torajumaru but went by the name of Matasaburo . On his genpuku, he took the name of Tadayoshi but after receiving a kanji from the shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru, changed to Yoshitatsu . He later changed his name to Yoshihisa. He married an aunt and after her death, married a daughter of Tanegashima Tokiaki.
In 1566, he succeeded as the head of Shimazu clan after his father to become the sixteenth leader. Working together with his brother Yoshihiro, Toshihisa, and Shimazu Iehisa, he launched a campaign to unify Kyūshū. Starting in 1572 with the win against Ito clan at the battle of Kigasakihara, Yoshihisa would win victories after victories. In 1578, he defeated the Ōtomo clan at the battle of Mimigawa, in 1583 against Ryūzōji clan, and on 1584 against Aso clan. By the middle of 1580s, the Shimazu clan would control most of Kyūshū with the exception of Otomo's domain and a unification was not far into the future.
However, in 1587 Toyotomi Hideyoshi launched a campaign to pacify Kyūshū with an overwhelming force of over 200,000, at least five times the number under Yoshihisa's troops, and Shimazu troop was driven back to Satsuma province where they were forced to surrender. Most of domains they had conquered were divided by Hideyoshi and the Shimazu clan managed to retain only Satsuma Province and Osumi Province. Yoshihisa shaved his head to surrender showing that he would become a Buddhist monk if his life was spared. His name as a monk was Ryuhaku but it is unclear whether he retired to have Yoshihiro rule. As a retainer under Hideyoshi, his younger brother Yoshihiro controlled troops, but it is believed that Yoshihisa still managed day-to-day affairs in the domain. Yoshihisa did not have a son to succeed him, so he had Yoshihiro's son, Shimazu Tadatsune marry the third daughter Kameju and adopted him as the successor.
After Hideyoshi made decision on Yoshihisa's domain, Yoshihisa was invited by Tokugawa Ieyasu to Fushimi Castle. It is said that after asked repeatedly by Ieyasu and his retainers on how he almost unified Kyūshū, Yoshihisa finally relented and said "My three younger brothers led by Yoshihiro as well as retainers like Niiro Tadamoto fought so well united under the same goal, I never had a chance to show bravery in a battle. I only had to wait in the Kagoshima Castle for news brought by messengers of their victories." After Yoshihisa left, Ieyasu told his retainers that "(Yoshihisa had, as) a general let retainers under him work to the best of their abilities. This is how a great general should be."
He died of an illness in 1611. His posthumous name was . He was buried at what had once been the site of Fukushoji in Kagoshima, Kagoshima and there is still a tombstone along with all other leaders of the clan. There are also monuments built in his memory at Kokubun city, Ima Kumano Kannonji in Kyoto, and Koyasan. There is no portrait of Yoshihisa remaining but in Taiheiji at Kawauchi, Kagoshima, there is a bronze figure of Yoshihisa of the surrender against Hideyoshi that was made after he died.
His knowledge of culture is not widely known but he had Hosokawa Yusai teach him classic literatures and Kampaku Konoe Wakihisa who was skilled in, but not limited to waka and renga was said to have frequented Yoshihisa's house.
Sanada Masayuki (1544 (1547?) - July 13, 1611) was a Japanese Sengoku period daimyo. He was the third son of Sanada Yukitaka, a vassal daimyo to the Takeda family in Shinano province. He is known as a master strategist. Sanada Nobuyuki and Sanada Yukimura were his sons.
Sanada Masayuki (1544 (1547?) - July 13, 1611) was a Japanese Sengoku period daimyo. He was the third son of Sanada Yukitaka, a vassal daimyo to the Takeda family in Shinano province. He is known as a master strategist. Sanada Nobuyuki and Sanada Yukimura were his sons.
Initially, Masayuki changed his name to Mutō Kihei to inherit the Mutō clan, a branch of the Takeda family. He was favoured by Takeda Shingen, who discovered his talent at a young age and of whom Masayuki became a close servant. After Shingen's death, he continued to serve Takeda Katsuyori. However, during the Battle of Nagashino of 1575, both of Masayuki's elder brothers, Nobutsuna and Masateru, were killed. Masayuki changed his name back to Sanada so that he could claim his inheritance.
In 1577, immediately after Uesugi Kenshin's death, Masayuki took advantage of the internal turmoil within the Uesugi clan and seized Numata Castle in Kozuke province, an act that first demonstrated his strategic abilities.
After the fall of the Takeda clan in 1582, Masayuki temporarily yielded to Oda Nobunaga. However, Nobunaga died within a year at the Incident at Honnōji. Upon Nobunaga's death, the Sanada clan was left alone in Shinano province surrounded by hostile powers such as the Uesugi clan, the Hōjō clan, and the Tokugawa clan. By drifting through temporary alliances and fickle allegiances, the Sanada clan managed to survive.
In 1585, the Sanada clan stood opposed to Tokugawa Ieyasu. With 7,000 men, the Tokugawa forces lay siege to Ueda Castle, which was defended by only 2,000 soldiers. However, Masayuki was able to inflict 3,000 casualties on Tokugawa and won an overwhelming victory. This was the First Battle of Ueda Castle, a victory that earned Masayuki national prominence.
In 1589, Sanada retainers had disputes with the Hōjō clan, which eventually led to the fall of the Hōjō clan by Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invading armies.
After Hideyoshi's death, in 1600, Masayuki joined Ishida Mitsunari's side during the Battle of Sekigahara. Masayuki sent his eldest son, Nobuyuki, to the eastern side, while Masayuki and his younger son, Yukimura, fought on the western side, a move that ensured the Sanada clan's survival. Fortifying Ueda Castle, Masayuki fought against Tokugawa Hidetada's 38,000 men with only 2,000 soldiers. This was the Second Battle of Ueda Castle, and, whilst it was not exactly a victory, Masayuki was able to deliver a heavy blow to Hidetada and delay his forces for long enough that they were unable to show up at the main battlefield on time.
However, the western side, led by Ishida Mitsunari, lost the main battle, and the victorious Tokugawa Ieyasu was able to redistribute fiefs at will. Masayuki and Yukimura were initially going to be executed, but, given Nobuyuki's participation in the eastern army, they were instead exiled to Kudoyama in Kii province. The Sanada clan was inherited by Sanada Nobuyuki.
Sanada Masayuki died in Kudoyama in 1611.
Even though Masayuki was never able to expand his territories as well as other daimyo, he is nevertheless often considered a talented daimyo, doomed by misfortune and the inconvenient terrains which surrounded his home domain. Toyotomi Hideyoshi had called Masayuki a person whose inside did not match his outside, that his allegiance was fickle and not to be trusted. Nevertheless, it was exactly his drifting alliances that helped the Sanada clan survive the onslaught of hostile clans, and, since the Edo period, he has been more extolled than vilified.
Takeda Shingen (December 1, 1521 – May 13, 1573) of Kai Province was a preeminent daimyo in feudal Japan with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period.
Shingen was called "Tarō" (a commonly used pet name for the eldest son of a Japanese family) or "Katsuchiyo" during his childhood. When he celebrated his coming of age, he was given a formal name of "Harunobu", which included a character from the name of Ashikaga Yoshiharu, the 12th Ashikaga Shogun. It was a common practice in feudal Japan for a higher-ranked warrior to bestow a character from his own name to his inferiors as a symbol of recognition. From the local warlord's perspective, it was glorious to receive a character from the shogunate, although the authority of the latter had greatly degenerated in the mid-sixteenth century.
Both the Ashikaga and the Takeda clans descended from the noble Minamoto clan. Technically, Harunobu, as well as his forefathers, had bore the surname of Minamoto. Therefore, Harunobu would be referred to as "Minamoto-no Harunobu" in official records kept by the Imperial Court when he was conferred the official title of "Daizen Dayu" . The Imperial Court had maintained a system of ritsuryō that was parallel to the shogunate apparatus.
In 1559 Harunobu chose to live a pabbajja life and received a dharma name, Shingen , from his Buddhist master. The kanji of "Shingen" can also be pronounced as "Nobuharu," which is the inversion of his official name, Harunobu. In ancient times, such stylish/religious names of recognized Japanese aristocrats/warriors/officials would be read in "onyomi" , the Chinese-styled pronunciation, instead of "kunyomi" , the indigenous Japanese pronunciation. Although widely known by the dharma name, Takeda Shingen's formal name had remained "Harunobu" throughout the rest of his life.
Shingen is sometimes referred to as "The Tiger of Kai" for his martial prowess on the battlefield. His primary rival, Uesugi Kenshin , was often called "The Dragon of Echigo" or also "The Tiger of Echigo" .
Takeda Shingen was the first born son of Takeda Nobutora , leader of the Takeda clan, and daimyo of the province of Kai. He had been an accomplished poet in his youth. He assisted his father with the older relatives and vassals of the Takeda family, and became quite a valuable addition to the clan at a fairly young age. But at some point in his life after his "coming of age" ceremony, the young man decided to rebel against his father.
He finally succeeded at the age of 21, successfully taking control of the clan. Events regarding this change of leadership are not entirely clear, but it is thought that his father had planned to name the second son, Takeda Nobushige, as his heir instead of Shingen. The end result for the father was a miserable retirement that was forced upon him by his son and his supporters: he was sent to Suruga Province (on the southern border of Kai) to be kept in custody under the scrutiny of the Imagawa clan, led by Imagawa Yoshimoto , the daimyo of Suruga. For their help in this bloodless coup, an alliance was formed between the Imagawa and the Takeda clans.
Shingen's first act was to gain a hold of the area around him. His goal was to conquer Shinano Province . A number of the major daimyos in the Shinano region marched on the border of Kai Province, hoping to neutralize the power of the still-young Shingen before he had a chance to expand into their lands. However, planning to beat him down at Fuchu (where word had it Shingen was gathering his forces for a stand), they were unprepared when Takeda forces suddenly came down upon them at the battle of Sezawa. Taking advantage of their confusion, Shingen was able to score a quick victory, which set the stage for his drive into Shinano lands that same year. The young warlord made considerable advances into the region, conquering the Suwa headquarters in the siege of Kuwabara before moving into central Shinano with the defeat of both Tozawa Yorichika and Takato Yoritsugu. However, the warlord was checked at Uetahara by Murakami Yoshikiyo, losing two of his generals in a heated battle which Murakami won. Shingen managed to avenge this loss and the Murakami clan was eventually defeated. Murakami fled the region, eventually coming to plead for help from the Province of Echigo .
After he had conquered Shinano, Shingen faced another rival, Nagao Kagetora or later Uesugi Masatora /Terutora /Kenshin of Echigo. The feud between them became almost legendary, and they faced each other on the battlefield five times at the battles of Kawanakajima. These battles were generally confined to controlled skirmishes, neither daimyo willing to devote himself entirely to a single all-out attempt. The conflict between the two that had the fiercest fighting, and might have decided victory or defeat for one side or the other, was the fourth battle, during which the famous tale arose of Uesugi Kenshin's forces clearing a path through the Takeda troops and Kenshin engaging Shingen in single combat. The tale has Kenshin attacking Shingen with his sword while Shingen defends with his iron war fan or tessen. Both lords lost many men in this fight, and Shingen in particular lost two of his main generals, Yamamoto Kansuke and his younger brother Takeda Nobushige.

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