Ban Naomasa (塙直政)

Naomasa BAN (year of birth unknown - June 9, 1576) was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the Azuchi Momoyama period. He was a vassal of Nobunaga ODA. He was called as Kurozaemon, and was a Bicchu no kuni no kami (governor of Bicchu Province).

His second wife was the daughter of Katsuie SHIBATA. In 1575, he was granted the family name of Harada, the famous family in the Kyushu region; afterward, he used the name of Harada Bicchu no kami (governor of Bicchu Province, Harada). Another name of his was Masakatsu. Shigetomo. His son was Yasutomo BAN.


He was from Hira Village, Kasugai District, Owari Province. He was originally an umamawari (horse guards) for Nobunaga, but was selected as a member of the Aka horo shu (elite bodyguard unit). Since Nobunaga's entering the capital in 1568, Naomasa became mainly in charge of government affairs in the Kinai region (provinces surrounding Kyoto and Nara), and served as obugyo (shogunate administrator)(supervisory role) at the time of granting of nanjatai (granting of a fragrant wood which is said to have the best aroma). He was appointed as the Yamashiro no kuni Shugo (provincial constable of Yamashiro Province) in May 1574 and as the Yamato no kuni Shugo (provincial constable of Yamato Province) in March 1575; he was successful as a riryo (government official).

Afterward, he came to join military operations; he joined the battle against Hongan-ji Temple and Ise Nagashima Ikko Ikki (an uprising of Ikko sect followers in Nagashima, Ise Province) and Echizen ikko ikki (religious riot) in 1575, and achieved distinguished war services. At the jonin (investiture) this year, Naomasa was appointed as the Bicchu no kami (the governor of Bicchu Province) along with Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, Mitsuhide AKECHI and Hiromasa YANADA; he was then granted the family name of Harada.

In May 1576, Naomasa went to the front at the siege of the Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple (Ishiyama War) along with Mitsuhide AKECHI, Murashige ARAKI and Yusai HOSOKAWA and took charge of the capture of Mitsu-tera Temple, but was ambushed by the soldiers of Hongan-ji Temple and died in a melee. It is said that he was killed by the army led by Shigehide SUZUKI, the Saiga-shu (the gun troop). Nobunaga was furious at the loss at the battle, and arrested the surviving members of the Ban family and retainers and took fierce measures against them such as confiscation of territories and forbiddance of lodging. Nobunaga changed his policy toward the invasion of Ishiyama due to this loss of the battle. Nobunaga took a strategy of a long-term enclosure by granting a large-scale military force to Nobumori SAKUMA, the head of senior vassals.

[Original Japanese]