The Takeda clan (武田氏)

The Takeda clan was a samurai family that existed during the time from the end of the Heian to to the Sengoku period (Japan). Its main name was Genji (Minamoto clan). It was the head family of Kai Genji, belonging to Kawachi Genji, one of Seiwa Genji lines, and was founded by MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu. Its branch families existed in Aki and Wakasa Provinces, and its illegitimate branch family existed in Kazusa Province.

The heads of the clan in later years regarded MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu, the third son of the head of Kawachi Genji Minamoto no Yoriyoshi, as the founder of the Takeda clan. Minamoto no Yorinobu, who called himself Kawachi Genji, was appointed the governor of Kai Province in 1209, and thereafter Yoriyoshi and Yoshimitsu took over the post successively. It is considered that Yorinobu and Yoshimitsu stayed in Kyoto and didn't live in Kai province. Yoshimitsu is believed to be the first person who lived in Kai province, and it has been passed down orally that Wakamiko Castle located in Wakamiko, Sutama-cho, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture was Yoshimitsu's residence. In an excavation conducted in 1981, no firm evidence proving that it was Yoshimitsu's residence was discovered, although some relics were unearthed. Further, this oral tradition is being questioned in the light of the fact that the kokuga (provincial government office) of Kai Province was located in Yatsushiro-gun (Kai Province) at the time. Also, there is one opinion that denies the fact he was appointment the governor of Kai Province (Kei AKIYAMA).

Ryoichi SHIDA asserted in his book "The History of Katsuta City" published in 1968 that the founder of the clan was Minamoto no Yoshikiyo (Takeda kaja), a son of Yoshimitsu, who used the Takeda clan as a family name in Takeda-gori, Naka-gun, Hitachi Province (Takeda, Hitachinaka City, formerly Katsuta City, Ibaragi Prefecture). The above view is commonly accepted at present. It is said that Yoshikiyo and his eldest son Kiyomitsu were banished from Hitachi to Kai Province in 1130 due to Kiyimitsu's violence. It is believed that the place where they settled was Ichikawa-sho, Koma-gun (Ichikawamisato-cho, formerly Ichikawadaimon-cho, Yamanashi Prefecture), but it could be the current Saijo, Showa-cho.

Yoshikiyo and his son occupied Hemi-sho located at the foot of Mt. Yatsugatake, and their descendants settled at various places in the Kofu basin and became branch families. Kiyomitsu called himself Hemi, not Takeda, but Nobuyoshi TAKEDA, a grandson of Yoshikiyo, called himself Takeda when he celebrated his coming of age at Takeda Hachiman-gu Shrine. Nobuyoshi became gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate) during the Kamakura period and was appointed to shugo (military governor) of Suruga Province. His son Nobumitsu TAKEDA was appointed to shugo of Kai Province/Aki Province and laid the foundation for the Takeda clan to prosper in Kai and Aki.

Being one of the distinguished families of Kawachi Genji, the Takeda clan became sengoku daimyo (Japanese territorial lord during the Sengoku period) during the Sengoku period,
During the era of Shingen Takeda, the clan expanded its territory and confronted the coalition of Oda and Tokugawa. In the era of Katsuyori, however, the head family was extinguished due to the disturbance inside the territory, and only the illegitimate branch families were in existence during the Edo period.

Its family treasures are Mihata (the Japanese (rising sun) flag that was granted by Emperor Goreizei) and Tatenashi (Tatenashi-no-yoroi (unrivaled armor) which Minamoto no Yoriyoshi was granted together with Mihata).

Kai-Takeda clan

The Kai-Takeda clan was the main lineage of Kai Genji belonging to the Kawachi Genji line of Seiwa Genji. Its fourth head, Nobuyoshi Takeda (MINAMOTO no Nobuyoshi), raised an army in response to Prince Mochihito's orders. Although he adopted an independent position initially, he later achieved distinguished war service during the Battle of the Fuji River in cooperation with Minamoto no Yoritomo and was appointed as shugo of Suruga Province. Later, Nobuyoshi was purged by Yoritomo, who feared Nobuyoshi's power, and many of his brothers and sons were sent to their deaths. However, only Nobumitsu TAKEDA, the fifth son of Nobuyoshi, was taken under Yoritomo's wing and appointed to shugo of Kai Province. Thus, Nobumitsu became the main lineage of the Takeda clan at Nirasaki. Nobumitsu achieved distinguished war service during the Jokyu War as well, and he became the founder of the Aki Takeda clan after being appointed to shugo of Aki Province.

During the Genko War, a warthat occurred near the end of the Kamakura period in which Emperor Godaigo raised an army, the clan followed the Hojo clan of Kamakura and attacked Mt. Kasagi. In 1335, after the fall of bakufu, the clan participated in the Nakasendai War launched by Tokiyuki HOJO. During the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), Nobutake Takeda, then the shugo of Aki Province, followed Takauji ASHIKAGA, achieved distinguished war service at various battle fields and became the shugo of Kai Province in place of the Takeda clan of Isawa lineage. In 1416 when Kanto Kanrei (a shogunal deputy for the Kanto region) Zenshu UESUGI rebelled against Kamakura Kubo (quasi-shogun of Kanto region) Mochiuji ASHIKAGA (War of Zenshu UESUGI) at Kamakurafu (Kamakura Government), Nobumitsu TAKEDA sided with his son-in-law Zenshu. However, Zenshu was defeated because of the intervention by bakufu of Kyoto, and Nobumitsu was subjugated by Kamakurafu and committed suicide. Nobumoto TAKEDA, a younger brother of Nobumitsu who had become a monk at Mt. Koya in fear of bakufu's interrogation, was appointed as the successor of the shugo of Kai Province after the internal strife in Kai-Genji with the Hemi clan. Thereafter, the clan was obedient to Kamakurafu under the situation where Kamakurafu and bakufu were in rivalry. When the power of Kamakurafu eroded as the result of the Eikyo Disturbance in the era of sixth shogun Yoshinori ASHIKAGA, Nobumitsu's son Nobushige TAKEDA achieved distinguished war service in the Battle of Yuki and seized the opportunity to restore the clan.

After Nobumitsu restored it, the clan was still annoyed with the rebellion of influential local samurai, the arbitrary behavior of shugodai (deputy of shugo) Atobe clan, the strife inside the clan and the invasion by neighboring provinces. The sixteenth head Nobumasa Takeda expelled the Atobe clan and stabilized the situation in the territory by strengthening the control over vassals, but an internal war occurred over his successor.

The eighteenth head Nobutora TAKEDA unified the territory and actively expanded the clan's territory by invading neighboring Shinano Province. Shingen TAKEDA wielded the authority of the daimyo (feudal lord) in flood control as well as in the development of gold mines and absorbed Shinano Province into his territory. After eliminating anxiety about being attacked from behind by allying himself with the neighboring Imagawa and Gohojo clans, Shingen invaded Shinano and clashed with the Uesugi clan of Echigo over the possession of the northern Shinano region (the Battle of Kawanakajima). After the Imagawa clan declined, he annulled the alliance and extended his influence to the Tokai region by invading Suruga Province.

Although Shingen started going up to Kyoto in 1572 in accordance with the request by the fifteenth shogun Yoshiaki ASIKAGA, the Takeda army withdrew to Kai Province because Shingen died on the way to Kyoto. At the height of its prosperity, the clan possessed territory equivalent to 1.2M koku (0.3336 cubic million meters of rice) that extended to nine provinces, namely Kai Province, Shinano Province and Suruga Province as well as a part of Kozuke Province, Totomi Province, Mikawa Province, Mino Province, Hida Province and Ecchu Province. Katsuyori TAKEDA further expanded the territory by invading Mino Province, but he gradually lost control over his vassals. The clan declined in one stroke when it was defeated in the Battle of Nagashino and lost senior vassals who had served from the era of Shingen, and it was eventually ruined in 1575 by the attack of Nobunaga ODA (the Battle of Tenmokuzan). Ieyasu TOKUGAWA had Nobuharu ANAYAMA (Nobuharu TAKEDA), a vassal of the Takeda clan, succeed the head of the clan. Thereafter Ieyasu had his own son Fukumatsumaru call himself Nobuyoshi TAKEDA and had him succeed the head of clan, but the clan extinguished.

Shingen's second son Ryuoho (Nobuchika UNNO) got out of trouble because he was blind and had become a monk. Ryuho's son Nobumichi TAKEDA was banished to Izu-oshima Island because of his involvement in the Okubo Nagayasu Incident, but the clan was pardoned in the era of his son Nobumasa TAKEDA and became a vassal of the bakufu in 1700 as koke (privileged family under Tokugawa shogunate). When Shingen was conferred Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) in 1915 at the state ceremony for the Emperor Taisho, ikisenmyo (court rank diploma and imperial edict) for Shingen was given to Nobuyasu TAKEDA, the head of the clan at the time. Since then, this lineage has been deemed as the legitimate lineage of Shingen up to today with the current head Hidenobu TAKEDA. Nobumoto NISHINA and Nobusada NISHINA, the first and second son of Shingen's fifth son Morinobu NISHINA, served the Tokugawa shogunate as hatamoto (direct retainer of bakufu), and both families are existing at present (Nobusada reverted its family name to Takeda). Shingen's seventh son Nobukiyo TAKEDA sought shelter to his older sister's husband Kagekatsu UESUGI and reverted his family name to Takeda, and his descendants served the Uesugi family for generations. Nobutoshi KAWAKUBO, a son of Shingen's younger brother Nobuzane KAWAKUBO, served Ieyasu TOKUGAWA as hatamoto and also reverted his family name to Takeda.

Principal vassales of the Kai-Takeda clan during the Sengoku period (the era of Shingen and Katsuyori)

It is difficult to know the reality of its vassals because basic documents concerning the military system and territories of the vassals of the Takeda clan, such as the register of military service and tax ledgers, are no longer exist. Details concerning the vassals during the period from the last stage of the Harunobu (Shingen) to the Katsuyori era are seen in "Koyo Gunkan," a war chronicle written during the Edo period. These descriptions are widely known since the book prevailed among people during the Edo period. However, "Gunkan" was not used for empirical research for a long time because its value as historical records was denied by Yoshinari TANAKA during the Meiji period. In recent years, however, its value as historical records are being reviewed thanks to Kenji SAKAI's study that was conducted from the standpoint of Japanese language.

Study on the Takeda clan and related documents

Shingen TAKEDA of the Kai-Takeda clan was widely known by people during the Edo period to early modern times thanks to the popularity of "Koyo Gunkan," and he became the symbol of the local history at his birthplace. During the Meiji period, researchers of local history conducted the study mainly on war history with the aim of characterizing Shingen as an imperialist or a local hero. In the early Showa period, "Kai shiryo shusei" and "Kai sosho" were published, and the empirical research was initiated by Yamanashi Kyodo Kenkyuukai (Yamanashi Local History Study Group).

After the war, the study became active from 1955. The study was conducted on the pre-Shingen era based upon the criticism of "Azuma Kagami" as well as on the Northern and Southern period and the Muromachi period. Concerning the Shingen era, empirical monographs were published by Takahiro OKUNO, Masayoshi ISOGAI, and Haruo UENO etc.

Also, the discovery of new historical material like "Katsuyamaki" as well as the publication of historical material made progress, and the Research Society of the Takeda clan was inaugurated in 1987. After the archaeological excavation of Takeda-uji yakata (residence of the Yoshikiyo TAKEDA) was conducted, research that focused on the Nobutora era, prior to the Shingen era, as well as on the Katsuyori era, which was posterior to Shingen era, made progress. At present, empirical as well as ethnological studies are being conducted on various themes, including socio-economic history, power structure of the Sengoku daimyo Takeda clan, individual study of vassals, finance, flood prevention projects, military and foreign affairs, urban problem, ruling of merchants/craftsmen, ruling of villages and religion etc.

Against these studies that focus on the Takeda clan and Kai-Genji, Yoshihiko Amino stressed the role which other clans played in the medieval history of Kai and asserted the necessity to study other clans.

In parallel with the study of the Takeda clan, compilation of documents relating to the Takeda clan is also being conducted. As the head family of the Takeda clan was already extinguished, many of its ancestral documents were scattered and lost and only their manuscripts or eiinbon (a reproduction of a manuscript) are in existence. At present, 3,300-odd documents are known. In the past, investigations of the ancient documents of Kai were conducted when the Edo bakufu compiled "Shoshu Komonjo" as well. Similar investigations were also conducted when "Kai kokushi" was compiled as a general topography of Kai Province, although its description of the Takeda clan was based on "Koyo Gunakan". However, the above books include many documents of which the originals cannot be identified at present.

The collections of documents relating to the Takeda clan were published during the post-war period of Showa era when the empirical study of the Takeda clan became vigorous. When "The History of Kofu City" was compiled in 1966, "Kai-Takeda-shi bunshomokuroku" (list of documents about Kai-Takeda clan) was included in "Kofu-shi shiryoumokuroku" (list of historical materials in the history of Kofu City). Further, "Shinpen Koshu Komonjo" (new edition of ancient documents about Koshu) was published in 1969 by Minahiko OGINO and Shunroku SHIBATSUJI. Thereafter, some documents were newly found and the study of dateless documents made progress. Comprehensive investigation of historical materials was also conducted with the start of the compilation project on "The History of Yamanashi Prefecture." The results of the above investigations were compiled on the part of Takeda clan in "Sengoku ibun" compiled by Shunroku SHIBATSUJI and Motoki KURODA as well as in the list of medieval historical materials attached to "The history of Yamanashi Prefecture."

Concerning the characteristics of the documents related to the Takeda clan, it is pointed out that while many documents written during the Shingen/Katsuyori era, the era after the Takeda clan established its wide territory, are existing, the number of those written during Nobutora era or before is quite small. Further, few documents written in the Shingen/Katsuyori era mentioned Takeda families other than the head family, vassals, or ruling of the land. It is also pointed out that there are many false documents.

The Aki-Takeda clan

The history of the Aki-Takeda clan dates back to the time when the fifth head Nobumitsu TAKEDA was appointed to shugo of Aki Province thanks to his distinguished war service during the Jokyu War. The clan initially dispatched shugodai, but the seventh head Nobutoki TAKEDA constructed the Sato Kanayama-jo Castle in Aki Province to prepare for Genko (Mongol invasion attempts against Japan) and started to rule the territory in earnest. The clan was appointed to the shugo of both Kai Province and Aki Province during the Northern and Southern Court period after the tenth head Nobutake Takeda achieved distinguished war service under Takauji ASHIKAGA. At that time, Ujinobu Takeda, the second son of Nobutake, set up a new branch family as shugo of Aki Province and became the founder of the Aki-Takeda clan. Ujinobu was removed by the bakufu from the position of shugo in 1368 and the clans of Ashikaga side, such as the Imagawa clan and the Hosokawa clan, served as shugo. However, the Aki-Takeda clan continued to exist at Kanayama-jo Castle as bungun-shugo (shugo of partial district).

As the clan was in rivalry with the Ouchi clan, it sided with the eastern forces in the Onin War and continued to confront the Ouchi clan, until the Sengoku period, in alliance with the Amako clan. However, in 1July 541 when Nobuzane Takeda was the ninth head of Aki-Takeda clan, Kanayama-jo Castle was ruined by Motonari MORI who was ordered to attack by the Ouchi clan, and the clan extinguished. Ekei ANKOKUJI, a monk who played the role of diplomat for the Mori clan during the period from the end of the Sengoku period to the Azuchi-Momoyama period, was the son of Nobushige Takeda (Aki-Takeda clan), a cousin of Nobuzane. Among the people of the Aki-Takeda clan, he was the sole person who is well-known from posterity.

Wakasa-Takeda clan

Nobumitsu ISAWAGORO constructed the Genriki-kiyama-jo Castle in Oi-gun, Wakasa Province in the Kamakura period. The history of the Wakasa-Takeda clan dates back to the time when Nobuhide TAKEDA, the eldest son of the fourth head of the Aki-Takeda clan Nobushige TAKEDA (Muromachi period), was appointed to shugo of Wakasa Province after he killed in 1440 the shugo of Wakasa Province Yoshitsura ISSHIKI at the behest of the sixth shogun of Muromachi bakufu Yoshinori ASHIKAGA. Nobuhide moved his base from Aki to Wakasa when he became shugo. During the era of Nobuhide, the residence of the Takeda clan was located at Takahama, Oi County (Takahama-cho), not at Obama, Onyu County (Obama City). After Nobuhide died of disease in 1441 at the age of twenty-eight, his younger brother Nobutaka TAKEDA succeeded him and ruled Wakasa and Aki Provinces. After the death of Nobutaka, the Takeda clan split in two, and Nobushige's fourth son Mototsuna Takeda and third son Kuninobu TAKEDA succeeded as the head of the Aki-Takeda and Wakasa-Takeda clans respectively.

Nobutaka TAKEDA suppressed the remnants of the Isshiki clan as well as uprisings in Wakasa Province, and when the Onin War occurred, he sided with the east forces and invaded Tango Province. He was trusted by the Muromachi bakufu and actively associated with men of culture. The third head Kuninobu and subsequent heads frequently sent the army to Kyoto in response to a request from the bakufu while ruling Wakasa and Tango Provinces. Because the clan's army stayed for long in Kyoto, the clan's power declined due to pressure exerted by neighboring provinces and the successive alienation of influential local samurai. In addition, succession disputes arose in the era of the eighth head Yoshizumi TAKEDA and the clan's power further eroded. Yoshizumi sheltered Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA in August 1566 when he came to Wakasa seeking the protection of his older sister's husband Yoshizumi, but Yoshiaki couldn't tolerate to see the confusion inside the clan and soon left for Echizen Province seeking the protection of the Asakura clan. In August 1568, two years later, the Wakasa-Takeda clan eventually lost its territory due to the invasion by the Asakura clan of Echizen.

The last head of the clan Motoaki TAKEDA was forced by the Asakura clan to live at Ichijodani-jo Castle, but he returned to Wakasa after the Asakura clan was ruined by Nobunaga ODA in 1573. However, Nobunaga left Wakasa to Nagahide NIWA and Motoaki was given only 3.000 koku (541.17 cubic meters of rice) at Ishiyama, Oi County. In the Honnoji Incident that occurred in 1582, he sided with Mitsuhide AKECHI with the aim of regaining former territory and occupied Nagahide NIWA's Sawayama-jo Castle. However, he was ordered to kill himself by Hideyoshi HASHIBA and Nagahide NIWA who defeated Mitsuhide, and the Wakasa-Takeda clan extinguished.

The Kazusa-Takeda clan

The founder of the Kazusa-Takeda clan was Nobunaga TAKEDA, a son of Nobumitsu TAKEDA. He was allowed to rule Kazusa Province by Kogakubo (descendants of one of the Ashikaga families that held the office of Kanto region administrator) Toshishige ASHIKAGA. After the death of Nobutaka TAKEDA, a son of Nobunaga, the main family was based at Chonan-jo Castle and a branch family was based at Mariya-jo Castle. The main family sometimes called itself the Chonan clan based on the name of place. According to local oral tradition, Toyonobu TAKEDA, the last head of the Kazusa-Takeda clan, was identified with Shingen's third son Nobuyuki SAIHO, and some people asserted that he sheltered his younger brother Morinobu NISHINA after the Kai-Takeda clan extinguished. Toyonobu took a thorough anti-Oda/anti-Toyotomi position as a military commander under the Gohojo clan. In 1590 when his castle was besieged by the army of Toyotomi, which was then in the course of the suppression of Kanto, he committed suicide and the clan extinguished.

Meanwhile, a branch family based at Mariya Castle called itself the Mariya Clan (Mariyatsu clan). The clan possessed a wide territory ranging from the west to the central part of Kazusa Province during the early stage of the Sengoku period. It is said that Nobuyasu Mariya sheltered Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA, a son of Kogakubo Masauji ASHIKAGA, when he came to Kazusa after being defeated in the strife of succession and got Yoshiaki to call himself "Koyumikubo" while calling himself "Boso kanrei." When his second son Nobumasa MARIYA was born to his legal wife after he had handed over the real power in the clan to his illegitimate son Nobutaka MARIYA, vassals were divided into two groups of people who insisted the "legitimate son Nubumasa should be the successor" and another group of people who insisted "Nobutaka was already nominated as the successor and it shouldn't be changed". Although Nobutaka became the head of the clan after the death of Nobuyasu, vassals supporting Nobumasa soon expelled him from Mariya-jo Castle in alliance with Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA and Yoshitaka SATOMI. As a result, Nobutaka fled to Ujitsuna HOJO for shelter. It is said that the above was one of the causes for the Konodai Battle. After the above battle, Nobumasa MARIYA and his suppoters surrendered to the Hojo army and Nobutaka returned to the head of the clan. After Nobutaka's death, however, Yoshitaka SATOMI attacked and destroyed Nobutaka's successor Nobumasa MARIYA and put the Mariya clan under his control. However, the clan was again subdued by the Hojo clan after the Konodai Battle, and when the Toyotomi clan suppressed the Kanto region, it lost territory and fled to the Nasu clan for shelter. Thus, the Mariya clan shared the fate of the main family of Chonan.

Incidentally, Toyobu TAKEDA's son Ujinobu of the main family survived, moved to a neighboring village after the fall of Chonan-jo Castle while being protected by vassals and settled there as goshi (country samurai). This family managed to live through the Edo period and is still in existence today. Nothing was known about the branch family thereafter.

The Takeda clan in Inaba

A branch family of the Wakasa-Takeda clan existed as a vassal of the Yamana clan, the shugo of Inaba Province. It is unknown from when the clan started to serve the Yamana clan of Inaba, but the name "Saemontayu TAKEDA" can be seen in the "Inryoken Nichiroku" dated December 16, 1491 as one of vassals of Toyotoki YAMANA. Kuninobu TAKEDA, a vassal of Nobumichi YAMANA, renovated Kyushozan-jo Castle (Tottori-jo Castle) in 1545, but he incurred his master's suspicion of rebellion because of the fortified castle and was assassinated. However, he was suspected of rebellion by his master since the renovated castle was fortified, and he was eventually assassinated.
(there are several views concerning the death of Kuninobu, including the one asserting he died in the Battle of the Hashizu-gawa River in 1540)
When Hiyodorio-jo Castle was constructed during the Tenmon era, Takanobu TAKEDA, the first son of Kuninobu, left Hiyodorio-jo Castle to his younger brother Matasaburo TAKEDA, entered Tottori-jo Castle and adopted a posture to confront shugo Toyokazu YAMANA. Takanobu, who had entered into an alliance with the Mori clan of Aki, killed the lord of Shikano-jo Castle Toyonari YAMANA (the son of Nobumichi) in 1563 by poisoning him, and he defeated Toyokazu in the Battle of Yutokoroguchi during April of the same year. Toyokazu fled to Shikano-jo Castle after being forced out of Fusetenjinyama-jo Castle, but he later died of disease. Katsuhisa AMAKO, a bereaved son of Shingu-to, an offshoot of the Amako clan of Izumo Province, and Shikanosuke YAMANAKA entered Koshikiyama Castle in 1573. The Takeda clan attacked the castle in order to fight against the allied forces of Toyokuni YAMANA and Katsuhisa AMAKO, but it was defeated and withdrew to Hiyodorio-jo Castle after handing over Tottori Castle to its master Yamana clan. In 1578 when the Kusakari clan, a local lord of Mimasaka Province, constructed Yodoyama-jo Castle in Chizu County, Inaba Province, the Yamana clan pitched its camp at Daigi-ji Temple in Sanuki, Inaba Province in order to subjugate it and invited Takanobu TAKEDA to a war council. When Takanobu entered the temple, the Yamana clan closed the gate and killed him, and the Takeda clan in Inaba was extinguished. According to "Intoku Taiheiki" and "Inaba Mindanki," Gengoro TAKEDA and Genzaburo TAKEDA (Sukenobu TAKEDA), bereaved sons of Takanobu, stayed with Mototsugu NANJO and Hidekane MORI respectively. It is said that Toyokuni YAMANA, who became the lord of Muraoka domain, employed Genzaburo TAKEDA with 200 koku (55.6 cubic meters of rice). In fact, the Takeda clan was listed in the "Yamanake kafunotoki hanshi kakuroku jinmei" compiled in January 1868. Judging from the above, there is no doubt that some people of the Inaba-Takeda clan became retainers of the Muraoka domain and served the Yamana clan until the Meiji Restoration.

Kuninobu TAKEDA (the governor of Buzen Province)
Takanobu TAKEDA (the eldest son)
Sukenobu TAKEDA (became a retainer of the Muraoka domain and served Toyokuni YAMANA)

The Takeda clan in Hitachi Province

The Takeda clan in Hitachi Province (1)
It was founded by Toshikiyo TAKEDA, the son of MINAMOTO no Yoshimitsu, in Takeda-go, Naka-gun, Hitachi Province. Refer to the beginning part.

The Takeda clan in Hitachi Province (2)
Nobuhisa TAKEDA, the son of the twlefth head of the Kai-Takeda clan Nobuharu Takeda, moved from Kai Province to Kitaura in Hitachi Province in 1392 and constructed his residential castle. He founded a school of swordplay while governing his territory. Akisuke TAKEDA and Hisanori served for Mito domain and became the master of swordplay. They practiced, in addition to ancestral swordplay, Hokushin ittoryu swordplay, Kashima-shintoryu and Tenshin shoden Katori shintoryu and passed them on to Sukenaga TAKEDA. Sukenaga TAKEDA established Takeda shintoryu based on the above. The clan is still in existence today.

The Takeda clan in Hitachi Province (3)
When the Takeda clan was extinguished, the Atobe clan, a branch family of the Kai-Takeda clan served as shugodai until the Sengoku period, and became a vassal of the Tokugawa clan betraying the master family. Since then, the descendants served the Mito domain (Mito Tokugawa family). At the end of Edo period, Kounsai TAKEDA, who disliked the family name Atobe because it reminded him of the betrayal of the master family, reverted the family name to Takeda with the approval of his lord Nariaaki TOKUGAWA.

Kounsai TAKEDA (zo shoshii - Senior Fourth Rank, posthumously conferred - a vassal of the Mito domain, the son of Masatsugu ATOBE, an adopted son of Masafusa ATOBE of the main family)

Kaisuke TAKEDA (the son of Masao)


During the Sengoku period, the Takeda clan, that followed the Gohojo clan, existed in Sagami Province. It is said the Takeda clan in Sagami mediated when Nobutaka Mariya of the Kazusa-Takeda clan sought shelter with the Hojo clan. Other than the above-mentioned, it is believed that the Kosokabe clan in Tosa Province was a branch family of the Takeda clan.
(Jinbaori (sleeveless campaign jacket worn over armor) with Takeda bishi (the crest of the Takeda family) still exists.)


Takeda-bishi is the crest of the Koshu (Kai province) Takeda family.
According to its written guarantee of origin, a family treasure of the Takeda family "Tatenashi-no-yoroi" was the one given to Empress Jingu when she prayed at Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine for long-lasting luck in the battle of Sankan seibatsu (the conquest of three countries in old Korea), and it later came into the possession of the Koshu Takeda family for a certain reason (needless to say, it is not a historical fact because the age of Sankan seibatsu doesn't coincide with the dates)
It is said that the clan adopted the "Hanabishi" pattern attached to the armor as its formal family crest. All family crests attached to existing articles and portraits of the Takeda clan are "Hanabhishi". It is said that "Yotsuwari-bishi" (simplified Takeda's family crest), whose pattern is a combination of four diamond shapes, was created during the Sengoku period because it was troublesome to draw "Hanabishi" on many battle flags. However, there are many opinions concerning its origin, and some people say it was designed based upon the Chinese character "田," a part of "武田" (Takeda). "Yotsuwari-bishi" tends to be considered the formal family crest because it was often drawn in Shingen's portraits, which were valued by the scholars of Koyoryu military science, and ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock paintings) during the Edo period. However, the formal family crest is "Hanabishi." In Yamanashi Prefecture, former Kai Province, Takeda- bishi is seen everywhere from Kofu Station to ordinary houses.

[Original Japanese]