Takeda Shingen (武田信玄)

Shingen TAKEDA, Harunobu TAKEDA was a busho (Japanese military commander) during the Sengoku period (Japan), a shugo daimyo (shugo, which were Japanese provincial military governors, that became daimyo, which were Japanese feudal lords) of Kai Province, and a daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) during the Sengoku period (period of warring states).

He was originally known by the surname of Genji. He was the nineteenth generation of Takeda clan from the collateral branch of Kawachi-Genji (Minamoto clan), a family line of Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan), while being in the main line of Kai-Genji (Minamoto clan). His imina (personal name) was Harunobu. `Shingen' was a Kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist names). He was granted Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) during the Taisho period.

He was the legitimate son of Nobutora TAKEDA, the eighteenth generation of Kai-Genji (Minamoto clan) Takeda family that successively served as Shugo (provincial constable) of Kai Province. After the country was unified under Nobutora of the previous generation, Shingen took over the structure established by Nobutora, and invaded the neighboring county and Shinano Province. He all but subjugated Shinano Province while simultaneously carrying out the Battle of Kawanakajima against Kenshin UESUGI of Echigo Province, whom he fought in the process of invading Shinano Province, which was said to have occurred five times. Besides Kai Province, he also claimed Shinano Province, Suruga Province, Nishi-Kozuke Province, Totomi Province, Mikawa Province, and a part of Mino Province, while Takeda clan's territory continued to expand through the next generation, the reign under Katsuyori. Late in life, he became sick while on his way to Kyoto in Mikawa Province, and died in Shinano Province.

From the Edo Period through modern times and the present day, the legendary character described in "Koyo Gunkan" (record of the military exploits of the Takeda family) became well known. Shingen's image as a leader of the powerful Takeda army and worthy opponent of Kenshin UESUGI was cemented based on his Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan (as fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and as immovable as the mountain) banner, and his reputation as being the tiger of Kai Province (also called the dragon of Kai Province due to the red seal of a dragon he used). Even today, he is considered to be a busho (Japanese military commander) from the Sengoku period that is well known both locally within Yamanashi Prefecture, and nationwide.

From birth to his sucession as kai-shugo (military governor of Kai)

On December 11, 1521, he was born the as first legitimate child of Nobutora TAKEDA, Shugo of Kai Province. His mother was Oi no kata, the daughter of the Oi clan that was a powerful Kokujin (local samurai) in Nishigoori.

During the reign of his father, Nobutora, Kai province was unified by his father, subjugated the entire family and kokujin ryoshu (local samurai lord). During the period of his father, Nobutora, a castle town based on Tsutsujigasaki-yakata (Tsutsujigasaki Mansion) of Kofu district was developed, and the status of daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) during the Sengoku period was established.

His birth place was Yogaisan-jo Castle (Sekisui-ji Temple) behind the residence of the Takeda clan. According to "Kohakusaiki" (a diary and record on the history of the Sengoku period supposedly written by Masatake Komai), in 1521 when Shingen was born, Lady Oi retreated to Yogai-yama Mountain, while 15000 soldiers led by Masashige KUSHIMA under the order of Ujichika IMAGAWA of Suruga Province closed on Kofu, but were subsequently beat off by the Takeda army at Arakawahata (Kofu City).
According to a reliable resource, Shingen's childhood name was `Taro.'
However, according to "Koyo Gunkan" (record of the military exploits of the Takeda family) (hereinafter referred to as "Gunkan"), he was also named `katsu (victory) chiyo', which was associated with the victory at Arakawahata. Since Shingen was regarded as a hero in later years, a legend was born surrounding his birth. According to "Gunkan," or "Takeda sandaiki" (a history of the three generations of the Takeda family), a wisp of cloud floated over ubuya (a hut for delivering babies) as if a white flag fluttered in the wind, and when it disappeared, a pair of white falcons came to stay over the ubuya (a hut for delivering babies) for three days. It is said that they were relieved for this reason, expecting that Shinshi (Divine Servant) of Suwa Myojin would protect the young lord (Shingen). In another story, it is said that Nobutota rested at camp, and just when he had a dream that SOGA no Goro would become his child, Shingen was born.

In 1525, his younger brother, Jiro (Nobushige TAKEDA) was born to Nobutora and Lady Oi. "Gunkan" describes that his father's love shifted to Jiro, and gradually alienating Katsuchiyo. Shingen's fuyaku (a warrior who educated the son of the Lord to become a great leader) was unknown, but "Gunkan" describes Nobukata ITAGAKI as a possible fuyaku.

In the latter half of the period reigned by Nobutora, a negotiation to reconcile with the Imagawa clan was carried out. He allied with the Ogigayatsu-Uesugi clan in the Kanto region who fought with the Gohojo clan that was a newly-emerging daimyo of Sagami Province, and kept fighting against the Hojo forces at Tsuru-gun, Kai Province. According to "Katsuyamaki" (the chronology of Kai Province), a daughter of Tomooki UESUGI, the lord of Kawagoe-jo Castle in Musashi Province was married as a lawful wife of Harunobu. It was considered to be a political marriage, but reportedly, Harunobu and his lawful wife enjoyed a good relationship. In 1534, she died while delivering her baby.

In 1536, he celebrated his attainment of manhood, and was honored to have henki (granting subordinates the use of a character from the superior's real name), receiving a character "晴" from the twelfth shogun, 足利義晴 (Yoshiharu ASHIKAGA), and changed his name to `晴信' (Harunobu) (according to Kohakusaiki (a record and diary on the history of the Sengoku period supposedly written by Masatake Komai), `信' is tsuji (a distinctive character used in the names of all people belonging to a single clan or lineage) of the Takeda clan). He was appointed to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and Daizenshiki (Office of the Palace Table). After his genpuku (celebration on attaining manhood), he married Sanjou-no-kata, the daughter of Sadaijin (minister of the left), Kinyori SANJO as keishitsu (second wife). The year he married Sanjou-no-kata, Ujiteru IMAGAWA passed away at Suruga Province, and Yoshimoto IMAGAWA, who took over the head of the family, made peace with the Takeda clan after Hanakura no Ran, Hanakura Rebellion. It is believed that the marriage was arranged by the Imagawa clan who were close to the court nobles in Kyoto. The article on the marriage was contained in "Gunkan" where it mentioned that Harunobu's Genpuku as well as his official court ranks were fixed by the Imagawa clan, and the Imperial envoy at the time was said to be Kinyori SANJO. Such facts have been questioned, due to the alliance between Yoshimoto after he succeeded as head of the family and because Nobutora was unclear owing to the timing difference (according to Shunroku SHIBATSUJI's perspective).

Nobutora allied with the Suwa clan, the Murakami clan, and powerful families in Shinano, and proceeded to invade Saku County, Shinano Province. In a Samurai family, an Uijin (first battle) was often implemented after one's Genpuku, and "Gunkan" describes the Ujin of Harunobu as an attack against Genshin HIRAGA, the lord of Un no kuchi-jo Castle, in Saku-gun in December, 1536. The description contained in "Gunkan" that Harunobu made the castle surrender overnight is suspect, but the period described in "Gunkan" is considered to be correct.

Harunobu joined the army when Nobutora invaded Shinano Province, and also joined Un no taira kassen (the battle of Un no taira) in 1541. According to "Kohakusaiki" (a recorded diary on the history of the Sengoku period supposedly written by Masatake Komai), Nobutora was expelled to Suruga Province by Harunobu and senior vassals including Nobukata ITAGAKI, Torayasu AMARI, and Toramasa OBU, when he returned to Kofu Province in the same year, and Harunobu took over as nineteenth head of the Takeda family.

There are various theories regarding Nobutora's banishment including the theory it was due to `inappropriate behavior' such as Nobutora's military services in invasions outside the country or increasing taxes during poor harvests, which are described in Kai Province historic materials such as "Katsuyamakia" (the chronology of Kai Province) and Kogaku-ji Temple, the theory that Nobutora's banishment was a retirement based on agreement, which was described in "Kai koku shi" (Records of Kai Province), and another theory is that Harunobu conspired with Yoshimoto IMAGAWA. According to "Gunkan," Nobutora was expelled because of friction with Harunobu. Harunobu was initially treated as a legitimate son of Nobutora, but the relationship with Nobutora deteriorated; the episode where during a New year's celebration in 1538, Nobutora didn't pour Sake into Harunobu's cup while he offered sake Harunobu's younger brother, Nobushige, pouring it into Nobushige's cup was contained in "Gunkan."

Subjugating Shinano Province

Just after Harunobu expelled his father, Nobutora, Yorishige SUWA (Sengoku Period), the lord of Uehara-jo Castle, Suwa, Shinano Province, and Nagatoki OGASAWARA who was shugoshiki (post of provincial constable) of Shinano Province, and lord of Hayashi-jo Castle in Shinano Province, invaded Kai Province, but was subsequently beat off by Harunobu. In July, 1542, Harunobu set to invade the territory of Suwa Province in return. Just then, a dispute over the head family of the Suwa family between Yorishige SUWA and Yoritsugu TAKATOO occurred in the Suwa clan. Harunobu interfered in the dispute, destroying Yorishige SUWA by joining hands with Yoritsugu TAKATOO, and subdued Suwa Province. Subsequently, in November of the same year, he came into conflict with Yoritsugu TAKATOO over the division of the territory of Suwa Province, and beat off the TAKATOO army at Kobuchizawa.

In 1543, he attacked Sadataka OI, the lord of Nagakubo-jo Castle in Shinano Province and forced him to kill himself. In May, 1545, he invaded Takato-jo Castle in Kamiina and destroyed Yoritsugu TAKATOO, and in July, destroyed Yorichika FUJISAWA, the lord of Fukuyo-jo Castle.

In 1547, he attacked Kiyoshige KASAHARA in Shiga-jo Castle. As Kasahara army was reinforced by armies from Norimasa UESUGI of Kozuke Province, Harunobu's army endured an uphill battle. In the Battle of Otaihara on September 29, Takeda army had a major victory over the Uesugi and Kasahara allied armys. However, Harunobu stood up the heads of 3000 soldiers that were severed at Otaihara around the castle in order to threaten those within. As a result, johei (castle garrison) remained to take refuge, and many died in the battle, while the remaining women, children, and male servants were treated severely, and made into hostages or slaves. It is said that this incident caused Kokujin-shu (local samurais) to distrust Harunobu, and in a round about way, delayed the subdual of Shinano Province. In the same year, he established Koshu Hatto no Shidai (the Laws of the Province of Kai) (Shingen kaho (the law in Koshu which was enforced by Shingen)) as bunkokuho (the law individual sengoku-daimyo enforced in their own domain).

In March, 1548, Harunobu confronted Yoshikiyo MURAKAMI who possessed great power in the northern part of Shinano Province at Uedahara (the Battle of Uedahara). Although Takeda's army was superior in terms of military power, Takeda army was defeated by Murakami's army, and many officers and soldiers including syukuro (a chief vassal of a samurai family), Nobukata ITAGAKI and Torayasu AMARI were killed. Harunobu was also injured, and he stayed in Yumura-onsen Hot Spring for thirty days to recover from his wound. Taking advantage of this opportunity, in April in the same year, Nagatoki OGASAWARA invaded Suwa. Harunobu won a major victory over the Ogasawara army at the Battle of Shiojiritoge (the Battle of Kattsurutoge).

In August, 1550, Harunobu invaded the territory of Ogasawara. Nagatoki OGASAWARA had no power left to fight back, and he abandoned Hayashi-jo Castle to flee to Yoshikiyo MURAKAMI.. Thus, Chushin (central area of Shinshu, present Nagano Prefecture) was placed under Takeda's control.

Harunobu who had gained momentum, attacked Toishi-jo Castle, a subsidiary castle of Yoshikiyo MURAKAMI.
However, the Takeda army suffered a crushing defeat through this battle, which was passed down orally later,
He lost more than 1000 soldiers including Takatoshi YOKOTA and Nobuari OYAMADA (Dewa no kami (the governor of Dewa Province).

After the Toishi-jo Castle fell from the fruits of plans hatched by Yukitaka SANADA (Yukitsuna) in May, 1551, the Takeda army gradually established its superiority. In May, 1553, Yoshikiyo MURAKAMI abandoned Katsurao-jo Castle to flee to Echigo Province, to be with Kagetora NAGAO (Kenshin UESUGI). Thus, Toshin (eastern area of Shinshu) was also placed under control of the Takeda family, and Harunobu nearly subdued Shinano Province not including Hokushin (northern area of Shinshu). Later, he became a Shugo of Shinano Province.

The Battle of Kawanakajima

In May, 1553, Kenshin UESUGI dispatched a full-fledged legion of troops to Shinano Province at the request of Yoshikiyo MURAKAMI and the local ruling families in Northern Shinano. It turned out to be the onset of the battle between Kain Province and Echigo Province on the initiative at Zenkojidaira (the first battle of Kawanakajima). At that time, neither Harunobu nor Kagetora was motivated to lead their army, and both armies withdrew in June. In September of the same year, Nobuhiro OI was backed by Kagetora, and caused a rebellion. Harunobu immediately suppressed this.

In order to advance to Shinano Province, Shingen proceeded to reconcile with the Imakawa clan in Suruga Province and the Hojo clan in the Sagami Province. In 1554, the daughter of Yoshimoto IMAGAWA married his legitimate son, Yoshinobu as his lawful wife to enhance the Kosun Alliance (an alliance between the Takeda clan in Kai Province and the Imagawa clan in Suruga Province). In addition, he married off his daughter to the legitimate son of Ujiyasu HOJO, Ujimasa HOJO, entering into the Koso Alliance (an alliance between the Takeda clan in Kai Province and the Hojo clan in Sagami Province). Imagawa and Hojo also established a marital relationship through Shingen, and thus, Ko So Sun Sangoku Domei (tripartite of the Kai-Sagami-Suruga alliance) was established. Among Sangoku Domei (tripartite alliance), the Koso Alliance between the Hojo clan, which had conflicts with Kagetora in the northern Kanto region, worked as a military alliance, and dispatched troops together.

In 1557, Gonaisho (official document) was issued concerning the reconciliation between Kai and Echigo by Shogun Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA. Harunobu required Kagetora, who accepted the Gonaisho, to be assigned as Shinano shugoshiki (post of provincial constable of Shinano Province) in exchange for his acceptance to the Gonaisho, and Harunobu was appointed to Shinano Shugo (the military governor of Shinano Province).
He entered into priesthood around this time, and ganmon (Shinto or Buddhist prayer (read)) that was dedicated to Matsubara-jinja Shrine in Saku-Gun, Shinano Province in the following year was the first historical material that contained the name of `Shingen.'

Shingen kept invading Hokushin, but a major battle never occurred because Kenshin had left for Kyoto. The fourth battle of Kawanakajima in 1561 was the largest among a series of battles. It is said that more than 6000 soldiers on both sides died. Among the Takeda army, important vassals including Shingen's younger brother, Nobushige TAKEDA, Torasada MOROZUMI, Kansuke YAMAMOTO, and Morimasa SAIGUSA died.

After the fourth battle of Kawanakajima occurred, the battle was tentatively put to an end. The Takeda army started dispatching troops to Nishi-Kozuke Province, and following this the policy of the Takeda army outside the country started to change. The Takeda army and the Uesugi army confronted each other in 1564, but never fought in battle (the fifth battle of Kawanakajima).

Battles against the Imagawa clan and Hojo clan

After the battle of Kawanakajima, Shingen targeted Ueno for invasion. However, he didn't have a great result as the former vassal of the Uesugi clan, Narimasa NAGANO fought back with success.. When Narimasa passed away in 1561, the Takeda army fiercely attacked Narimori NAGANO who took over the head of the family. In October, 1566, Minowa-jo Castle was felled by the Takeda army, and he succeeded in suppressing the western part of Ueno.

In June, 1560, Yoshimoto IMAGAWA, who was a sworn ally of the Takeda clan, was killed by Nobunaga ODA at the Battle of Okehazama. This triggered the decline of the Imagawa family. For this reason, Shingen planned to abandon the alliance with the Imagawa clan and invade Suruga Province. Yoshinobu TAKEDA, who was Yoshimoto's son in law as well as the legitimate son of Shingen, and Toramasa OBU, Yoshinobu's fu (tutor to a crown prince) was fiercely opposed to Shingen's plan. Shingen forced Toramasa OBU to commit Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment) in 1565. In November 1567, he disinherited Yoshinobu, and forced him to commit suicide (it is also said that he died of disease).

After that, he commenced the invasion of Suruga Province while allying with Ieyasu TOKUGAWA of Mikawa Province in December, 1568. Despite the resistance of the Imagawa army, his army defeated Kiyotaka OGI at Matsuno-yama Mountain, and defeated the army of Ujizane Imagawa at Satta-san Mountain, entering Imagawa's mansion. Ujiyasu HOJO, who was a relative to the Imagawa clan, came to support the Imagawa army, and blocked Satta-san Mountain with a large number of troops. Both armies were stuck, but Shingen's army was short on supplies due to the transportation party having been attacked, and faced a tough battle at Omiya-jo Castle that was located along the border between Kai Province and Suruga Province, while Ieyasu, who aimed to subdue Suruga, allied with Ujiyasu and came into conflict with Shingen. Thus, Shingen recognized the disadvantage in fighting against the Hojo and Tokugawa allied army, and in April, 1569, the Takeda force withdrew to Kai Province, leaving Nobukimi ANAYAMA to defend Okitsu-jo Castle.

In October of the same year, Shingen led as many as 20,000 soldiers to invade Ueno, Musashi province, and Sagami Province to beat off HOJO. On November 19, he encircled Odawara-jo Castle, but, on October 5(old calendar), and lifted the siege after only four days. HOJO placed Ujiteru HOJO and Ujikuni HOJO on a route which the Takeda army would take to go back to Kai Province. Ujimasa HOJO and other troops prepared to depart Odawara in order to launch a pincer drive. On October 26, the Takeda army and the Ujiteru HOJO and Ujikuni HOJO army collided at Mimase toge. At first, the Hojo army prevailed, but the situation drastically changed after a surprise attack from above by Masakage YAMAGATA proved successful.. Their opponent was crushed, and they were able to extract themselves out of a difficult situation before the main troops from HOJO arrived. (Battle of Mimasetoge). It is said that the Hojo army called back other troops from Suruga Province to cover the damage they suffered during the battle.

It seems that Ujiyasu HOJO became ill during this battle and the Hojo family had to prioritize the defense of its own country. The Etsu-So Alliance (the Echigo and Sagami alliance) didn't function well and the alliance between TAKEDA, SATAKE, and SATOMI was established, making the Hojo family anxious over the defense of the Kanto region. These are considered to be the reasons behind the Hojo family's placing importance in defending its own country. This caused the security in Suruga Province to decline. In August 1570, the Takeda army carried out a long-waited invasion to Suruga Province yet again. They smashed the defending HOJO troops, completely subduing them.

The invasion of the Provinces of Totomi, Mikawa and restoration of the Koso Alliance (an alliance between the Takeda clan in Kai Province and the Hojo clan in Sagami Province)

In October 1568, Nobunaga ODA advanced to Kyoto under Shogun Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA. However, Nobunaga came into conflict with Yoshiaki later, and Yoshiaki sent Gonaisho (official document) to Shingen in order to subjugate Nobunaga. Shingen, who was also concerned that the forces of Nobunaga had expanded, carried out a large-scale invasion of the Provinces of Totomi and Mikawa to subjugate Ieyasu TOKUGAWA who was a sworn ally. Shingen made Oyama-jo Castle, Asuke-jo Castle, Damine-jo Castle, Noda-jo Castle, and Nirengi-jo Castle surrender before May of the same year, and returned to Kai Province.

On October 31, 1571, Ujiyasu HOJO who had been suffering from a disease, passed away in Odawara. Ujimasa who was the legitimate son of Ujiyasu followed his father's will to `make peace with TAKEDA again' (according to a different theory, this was Ujimasa's own policy), he broke off the alliance with Kenshin, and offered his younger brothers, Ujitada HOJO, and Ujinori HOJO hostages for Kai Province, restoring the Koso Alliance with Shingen on January 22, 1572. At this point, the territory of the Takeda family consisted of Shinano Province, Suruga Province, the western part of Kozuke Province, Totomi Province, Mikawa Province, Hida Province, and a part of Ecchu Province as well as Kai Province, and its (crop) yield reached 1,200,000 koku (0.3336 million cubic meters).

Strategy to conquer the west

In 1565, Shingen and Nobunaga were allied through the marriage of the daughter of Naokado TOYAMA (the niece of Nobunaga as the adopted daughter of Nobunaga), with a kokujin ryoshu (local samurai lord) of Higashi Mino Province, into Katsuyori TAKEDA. She died just after delivering a baby boy (later Nobukatsu TAKEDA), after which the legitimate son of Nobunaga, Nobutada ODA and the daughter of Shingen, Shinshoni were immediately married. The alliance between the Oda clan and the Takeda clan was maintained despite the Takeda's military clash against the Tokugawa clan.

In 1571, Shingen protected the Tendai-zasu (the head priest of the Tendai sect), Kakujo who was in exile due to Mt. Hiei having been set on fire in 1571. By the arrangement of Cloistered Imperial Prince, Shingen was given the position as gon no sojo (a highest ranking priest, next to a sojo). On November 18, 1572, he left Kofu to advance to Kyoto under a Nobunaga tobatsurei (a command for putting down Nobunaga) issued by Shogun Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA (Shingen kept acting to maintain the alliance, sending amicable documents to Nobunaga). Out of 30,000 soldiers, 3,000 soldiers were led by Nobutomo AKIYAMA that invaded the territory of Nobunaga, Higashi Mino Province, and 5,000 soldiers were led by Masakage YAMAGATA that invaded the territory of Ieyasu, Mikawa Province, while Shingen, himself and Nobuharu BABA invaded Totomi Province via Aokuzuretoge, leading as many as 20,000 soldiers (the total number of soldiers are through to have tallied 22,000 including 2,000 reinforcement troops from the Gohojo family).

The main troops led by Shingen made the castles of TOKUGAWA; Tadarai-jo Castle, Amagata-jo Castle, Ichinomiya-jo Castle (Totomi Province), Iida-jo Castle (Totomi Province), Kakuwa-jo Castle, and Mukasa-jo Castle surrender within a day on Novemer 28. The army of Masakage YAMAGATA was united with the main troops of Shingen after making Kakimoto-jo Castle and Idaira-jo Castle (Idairagoya-jo Castle) surrender. The army of Nobutomo Akiyama made Iwamura-jo Castle, an important point of Higashi Mino Province, surrendur before December.

On the other hand, Nobunaga merely sent 3,000 soldiers as a reinforcements to Ieyasu as he confronted Nagamasa AZAI, Yoshikage ASAKURA, and followers of the Ikko sect of Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple. On November 29, Ieyasu fought against the Takeda army at Hitokotozaka, Totomi Province, but was defeated due to Shingen's superior military force and skillful tactics. On February 1, 1573, Shingen made Futamata-jo Castle, an important point of Totomi Province (the Battle of Futamata-jo Castle).

Ieyasu, who was caught in a tight spot, was ready to be held up in a castle at Hamamatsu, but departed for the front with 11,000 soldiers after spotting movement by Takeda's army
At Mikatagahara in Totomi Province, Ieyasu came to an epic and decisive war against Shingen on February 4, 1573. However, Ieyasu suffered a crushing defeat due to Shingen's superior military force and skillful tactics, and the Tokugawa army took flight, as well as losing a number of officers and soldiers (the Battle of Mikatagahara). It is said that Ieyasu was so scared that he involuntarily lost his steed.

Meanwhile, Shingen learned that Yoshikage ASAKURA who joined the battle at Kita-Omi Province as a reinforcement for his sworn ally, Nagamasa AZAI, withdrew. Shingen continued to send a document (Ino Monjo (documents that Shingen Takeda sent to Yoshikage Asakura)) to Yoshikage, asking him to dispatch troops again, but Yoshikage never responded afterward.

Shingen ceased his attacks and celebrated New Years at Gyobu. In February 1573, Shingen invaded Mikawa, and on March 23, made Noda-jo Castle (Mikawa Province) surrender (the Battle of Noda-jo Castle).

The Death of Shingen and his will

Shingen's condition had been deteriorating due to his chronic illness, and he often coughed up blood after the fall of Noda-jo Castle. Takeda army's attacks suddenly ceased.
Shingen was under treatment in Nagashino-jo Castle, but his condition never improved
In May, he eventually decided to withdraw to Kai Province.

On May 23 (in Gregorain calender, which was April 12, 1573 in old lunar calender), he passed away on Mikawa-kaido road on the way back to Kai Province; he died at the age of 53. According to the copy of onjuku kenmotsu shojo to Nobushige OYAMADA, the place where he died was Komanba in Shinano Province (Achi-mura, Shimoina County, Nagano Prefecture), but some people say that it was Namiai or Neba. His Kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist names) is 法性院機山信玄. His family temple was the Erin-ji Temple in Koshu City, Yamanashi Prefecture.

His death haiku (Japanese poem) was `大ていは 地に任せて 肌骨好し 紅粉を塗らず 自ら風流.'

According to "Koyo Gunkan" (a record of the military exploits of the Takeda family), he left a will, `my death should be kept secret for three years, and my dead body shall be sunk into Lake Suwa' and also left his last word, `serve as koken (guardian) until Nobukatsu succeeded the position, and relyed on Kenshin UESUGI in Echigo Province,' to Katsuyori. He asked his senior vassals, Masakage YAMAGATA, Nobufusa BABA, Masatoyo Naito to look after his affairs after he died, and left his last words, `Genshiro, tomorrow, Place the Takeda's flag in Seta,' to YAMAGATA.

It is stated that sinking Shingen's dead body into Lake Suwa in Shingen's will was not true (according to "Gunkan," it was not implemented as a result of a discussion between his senior vassals). Some issues were confirmed in historical materials in the period, while Shunroku SHIBATSUJI pointed out that the intent of Masanobu KOSAKA (Toratsuna KASUGA,) who was said to be the author of Gunkan, was reflected in the record.

Katsuyori, who succeeded the family after Shingen died, followed Shingen's will, and kept the death of Shingen secret without performing a funeral. It has been orally handed down that Chogaku-ji Temple in Komaba or Enko-ji Temple at Iwakubo, Kofu was the location of Shingen's cremation. It is said that a coffin on which Shingen's Kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist names) and the year and month of his death were inscribed was discovered in 1779 when the excavation was conducted, and it is believed that Shingen's remains were preserved after cremating his body just after his death.

According to Article 51 of "Koyo Gunkan" (record of the military exploits of the Takeda family), on April 12, 1575 (in old lunar calendar, which was May 31, 1575 in Gregorian calender), just before the Battle of Nagashino, Shingen's funeral ceremony was perfomed, and Kaisen Joki served as Daidoshi (who chants the prayers and essence of religious texts and leads the whole ceremony in Shuni-e (Omizutori, Water-Drawing Festival)) at the funeral ceremony.
Haruo UENO stated `On April 16, 1576 (in old lunar calneder, which was May 24, 1576 in Gregorian calender), three years after his death, Shingen's formal funeral was performed.'
However, some people say that the statement concerning the formal ceremony in 1576 was a mistake, and advocate that the formal ceremony was performed in 1576.

The vassals and system

It is considered that categorizing Takeda family based on system was quite difficult. Because the Takeda family was transferred from being a provincial constable to daimyo during the Sengoku period, some systems remained Medieval, while other systems were revised for the needs of the new period. The influences of the first half of the Kamakura and Muromachi period and the latter half of the Muromachi are indistinctly mixed.

The vassals of the Takeda family were divided as follows:

1. Takeda shinzoku shu (a group which mainly consisted of siblings and relatives of Shingen Takeda)

The group mainly consisted of Shingen's brothers and relatives.
"Kai koku shi" (Records of Kai Province) defines Takeda shinzoku shu as `someone who were brothers of kokushu (kokushu daimyo, a rank of territorial load in Edo period) and established a new family.'
Therefore, their family names vary, for example, the Ichijo family. In some cases, they became the Takeda shinzoku shu as a result of their marriage, for example, the Kiso clan.

2. Fudai kashin dan (a group of hereditary vassals)

Principally, it mainly consisted of vassals who were from the family that had served the Takeda family since the time when the Takeda family had owned only one province, Kai. However, the family that was promoted to Samurai-Daisho (commander of warriors) during shingen TAKEDA's generation, for example, Toratsuna KASUGA (Masanobu KOSAKA) is included in the Fudai kashin dan. Therefore, it can be said that it was not typical to serve the Takeda family generation after generation. On the other hand, there is a case that some vassals are were regarded as fudai (a daimyo in hereditary vassal to the Tokugawa family) despite the territory that they own in Koshu. 4. Refer to the "Other" section.

3. Tozama kashin dan (a group of vassals excluding relatives, siblings and hereditary vassals)

The term, Tozama, was not used during that period, but as a matter of practical convenience, it is used like this today.
Vassals that were not included in 1 or 2
They were called by their regional name such as Suwa shu (a group of vassals of the Suwa clan), Ueno shu (a group of vassals of the Ueno clan) and by the name of their feudal lord such as Sanada shu (a group of vassals of the Sanada clan). Kaizoku shu (pirates) that was the navy of the Takeda clan, are included in this group.

4. Others (a group of local samurai)

There are some groups including Mukawa shu (a group of samurai in Kai Province) that existed within Kai Province, and it is hard to determine whether those groups were Shingen's relatives or fudai (a daimyo in hereditary vassal to the Tokugawa family) and whether they belonged to the Takeda clan or whether they had a relationship that bordered on being an alliance with the Takeda clan. Many of those groups are based on the main and branch family relationship, and are groups possessing their own features in a specific region. The study on the relationship between those groups and the Takeda clan continues to this day.

Today, Takeda family vassals are often divided as depicted above. On the other hand, according to "Jingo Kishomon" (written oath), people who should be categorized into Fudai kashin dan (a group of hereditary vassals) are categorized into `Takeda shinzoku shu' (a group which mainly consisted of siblings and relatives of Shingen Takeda). According to Harunori Hattori, the term, `unrelated branch family' is used for those people, and the depth of one's relationship with the Takeda family determines whether the term, `unrelated branch family' would have been used for them.

Office organizations consisted of administrative organizations and military organizations. Among administrative organizations, an organization governed by the post called `Shiki' (agency) existed. Since the Takeda clan didn't have a centralized system, they didn't directly place orders towards the territory of a local lord (so-called Kokujin (local samurai)). The territories of the Anayama and Oyamada clan maintained an identity close to that of kokujin ryoshu (local samurai lord). In the early period governed by Shingen, the role of the chairman in the collective leadership system was strong. The vassals based on the chigyo system (enfeoffment system) was established in the latter half of the period governed by Shingen.

In principle, offices were organized as follows:
However, it doesn't seem that it was operated as a complete system, given that the names of some people assigned were not described. It appears that these systems were revised as the territory was expanded and the chigyo system (enfeoffment system) was established.

Public administration

Shiki (agency)…the highest officers of the administrative organization
This position was also called Ryoshiki as two people were appointed.

Kujibugyo (in charge of political operations and litigation)…in charge of political operations and ceremonies of the Imperial Court, suits. Kujibugyo (in charge of political operations and litigation) didn't examine all the trials. Kujibugyo (in charge of political operations and litigation) examined the suits which had not be finished in the lower level. To be described below.

Kanjo bugyo (commissioner of finance)…in charge of finance.

Kuramae shu (local governor)…Local Daikan (governor)
They also took charge in managing the land directly controlled by the Takeda clan which was called goryosho (the Imperial or shogunate's estate).

Samurai tai sho (in charge of guarding and departing to the front during a war)…in charge of security issues and departing for the front.

Ashigaru tai sho (in charge of assisting Samurai-tai-sho and guarding the boundaries of territories)… further divided into Hatamoto tai sho (assistants to Samurai-tai-sho) that served and assisted Samurai tai sho (in charge of guard and departure for the front in a war) as Kenshi (inspector), and into Kasei tai sho (in charge of guarding on the boundaries of territories) who guarded the territorial boundaries.

Ronin gashira (in charge of leading Ronin (masterless samurai)…organized and lead ronin(masterless samurai) across the country.

Gunsei (military government)

Hatamoto musha bugyo (instructor in the bow (weapon))…instructor in the Bow (weapon)
Since this position is stated as the highest rank, it is considered to be a person responsible for a ceremony held just before going into battle and one celebrating a victory.

Hata bugyo (in charge of taking care of flags of Suwahossho) …in charge of managing flags such as the helmet of Suwahossho.

Yari bugyo (a post in the Edo bakufu)…accompanied by Kiba ashigaru (cavalry). It may refer to the leader of Hatamoto shineitai (bodyguards).

Shiban shu (commander for flags) …a messenger carrying a flag of Mukade on one's back. This was divided into tsukaiban (a person responsible for order and patrol in the battlefield) and Okutsukaiban.

奥近衆…It was also described as 奥近衆小姓. Basically, this position was granted to someone selected from the children and brothers of a feudal lord.

Shokoku shiban shu (messenger)…served as a messenger to various countries.

Kaizoku shu (pirates)…navy.

Otogishu (story tellers) …Also described as Otowashu (adviser). Close adviser.

Shinshu (kohei (military engineer))…a group of military engineers
Constructing bridges or camps.

They were positioned under the Shiki (agency) of the administrative or military organization, and served as an underlying organization of the Takeda clan. The position of ryu shuinjo soja (specially assigned officials in charge of military central administration) was different from positions in those systems. Some positions such as Gundai (Intendant of a region or administrator of a town) in the occupied territory obtained independent discretionary power, which, however was limited. The term, Gundai (Intendant of a region or administrator of a town), was often used to describe attacks against Shinano. It was rarely to describe attacks against Suruga, and the castellan or Jodai (the keeper of castle) assumed the duty of Gundai. It would be an example of the administrative organization of the Takeda clan changing as their territory expanded.

It is clear that their military system was based on the Yorioyaoyako system (a system in which a soldier and a person tentatively built a parent and child relationship based on a subordinate-superior relationship). In principle, the system comprised of Yorioya, someone who directly belonged to the Takeda clan and Yoriko, a soldier who was under the care of Yorioya. However, in Takeda-related materials, the term, `Doshin shu' (Yoriko) is used in some parts instead of Yoriko. Therefore, the Yorioyayoriko system was often mistaken with the Jikishin (a direct retainer) baishin (indirect vassal) system, therefore, caution needs to be exercised in distinguishing them. In addition, a group of local samurai that were an independent group which existed within Koshu and were related by blood, were considered to be the group that was under the rule of the Takeda clan. In some cases, the entire group was assigned to Shinzoku shu (a group which consisted of siblings and relatives) much like doshin (a police constable), depending on the group. Mukawa shu (a group of samurai in Kai Province) was an example of a group of local samurai, which was prescribed earlier, and Kuishiki shu (a group of local samurai) which was assigned to the Oyamada clan, was an example of a group of local samurai which was prescribed later.

Some of Shinzoku shu (a group which consisted of siblings and relatives), Fudai kashin dan (a group of hereditary vassals), and Tozama kashin dan (a group of vassals excluding relatives, siblings and hereditary vassals) were considered to be Yorioya. Since some of Fudai kashin dan (a group of hereditary vassals) were doshin (a police constable) (Yoriko), Fudai kashin dan were not necessarily commanders of mass groups such as Yorioya. Some families from the so called The Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda carried the rank of Doshin, which meant that their reputation had nothing to do with placement to Yorioya.
Additionally, in some cases, a person who was considered to be Samurai-Daisho (commander of warriors) was assigned to Yorioya,
The authority of such a person is thought to have been far reaching. Generally, Yorioya was often a family that owned a vast territory, and this earned them to right to speak as a landlord. On the other hand, some Yorioya, for example, a commander (Toratsuna KASUGA in in northern Shinano, Masatoyo Naito in Ueno) may have had authority to direct and lead large scale military forces, apart from their right over a territory.

A great number of families were Yoriko due to its structure. The large part of Fudai kashin dan (a group of hereditary vassals) and Tozama kashin dan (a group of vassals excluding relatives, siblings and hereditary vassals) were Yoriko. Under peacetime conditions, they owned territory as nanushi (village headman), and had direct subordinates that were known as `Mata hikan' (low-level bureaucrat) (the term that was described by the Takeda clan, which referred to the hikan (low-level bureaucrat) under hikan (low-level bureaucrat) in the region where he lived or in his territory. Multiple Yoriko were assigned to one Yorioya to form a military force. As was mentioned earlier, in Takeda-related materials, these were described as `Yoshin shu' (Yoriko). Often, the name was written using the name of a responsible person and Doshin, for example, `Amari doshin shu' (Yoriko of Amari (Yorioya)). However, a person whose name was contained in the term was often Yoriko as well. It seems that the term itself was used differently depending on the situation.

Yoshikage MAGARIBUCHI was an example of complications arising from this issue, and he was ordered to be `Doshin' of Nobukata ITAGAKI even though he was `hikan of Shingen.'
Being the hikan of Shingen means that he was a direct subordinate of Shingen. More precisely, he should not be regarded as Yoriko in terms of system, but in fact, was regarded as Yoriko as he was the Doshin of Nobutaka. Since he was the hikan of Shingen, directions at the time of battle were given by Nobutaka while chigyo (enfeoffment) were given by Shingen. MAGARIBUCHI shown in this example was the Doshin of someone else, but a person, who was considered to be Doshin and was directly assigned to Shingen, existed as well.

However, it is hard to determine whether they were described in a word for word manner as in modern times. For military service registeries, if someone was described as `hikan, * clan' or `Doshin * clan,' he would be taken to be the hikan directly assigned to Shingen, and if someone was described as `* clan Doshin X clan,' he would be taken to be the Mata hikan of someone, which makes it possible to determine the meaning based on the order of words. It can't be denied that picking words from modern books that are published today facilitated confusion.

According to "Nakao no go gunyakushu namae cho" (register of military service), a person who went to the war front from the same Go (village), was sometimes assigned to several Yorioya, and turned out to be Yoriko Doshin, or a person who owned one's territory in several Go (village)
Therefore, it was not necessarily the case that one person governed one region. This is one reason to the difficulty in understanding the system.

In terms of trials, Yorioya yoriko system was the core system. In Koshu Hatto no Shidai (the Laws of the Province of Kai), it was defined that Yoriko would bring a suit to Yorioya regardless of its content. It was agreed that a lawsuit could be brought to Shingen only if it could not be handled by the Yorioya. There is evidence that soldiers and farmers were not separated at that time.

The steady connection between Shingen and his vassals was maintained through kishomon (sworn oath) in which a vassal pledged allegiance to Shingen in terms of minor conflicts between Shingen and a vassal or incidents such as Yoshinobu incident which cause confusion in the family, and by performing Shinto and Buddhist oaths. The letter and vow to his homosexual partner, Gensuke KASUGA (later Masanobu KOSAKA) whom Shingen loved, in which Shingen stated his excuse for his love affairs ((1546) they are currently possessed by the Historiographical Institute of The University of Tokyo, complete with a vow to Harunobu TAKEDA), still exist. They are historical materials that describe the relationship with his vassals.


In the period governed by Shingen, a system that imposed a land tax and miscellaneous taxes per ken (1-ken is approximately 1.8 meters) of house, which had been developed since the period of Nobutora, was established. The land survey was implemented to get a handle on the area, and the foundations to govern the territory were developed.

Although the base of the Takeda clan, Kai Province included a flat land known as Kofu basin, there were few usable fields available due to the flooding of two major rivers, Kamanashi-gawa River, Fuefuki-gawa River, for which high income from nengu (land tax) was not expected. Consequently, flood prevention projects; river improvement and the development of new fields from the flooded fields were actively implemented through the power of the Daimyo during the period governed by Shingen. In Ryuo where Midai-gawa River and Kamanashi-gawa River joined together (Formerly, Ryuo-cho, Nakakoma-gun, present day Kai City), banks called Shingen tsutsumi (banks of the river) were established to divert the course of the river for cultivation while the castle town in Kofu, was developed, which was an excellent example of flood prevention projects.

Koshu gold (Goishi gold), the first gold coin of Japan was minted. In Kai, there were gold mines such as Kurokawa Kinzan (Kurokawa Gold Mine), Yunooku Kinzan (Yunooku gold mine), that boasted bountiful reserves of gold and were operated during the period governed by Shingen. The excavation technology and refining method were actively employed from nanban (the Europe), and a large amount of gold was yielded to be devoted to flood prevention projects and military expenses.
In diplomatic affairs, the gold which was yielded was used as gifts to the central and powerful family, powerful temples and shrines, as well as donations to support the force that fought against Nobunga ODA and Kenshin UESUGI
Koshu gold (Goishi gold) was not commonly circulated, and it didn't appear that the Takeda clan directly controlled mining at gold mines according to historical resources. It is believed that the Takeda clan obtained gold based on the condition that they covered the rights and interests of a group with technicians.

They implemented measures to protect temples and shrines, for example, approving or donating the domain of a temple, securing the rights and interests of temple, prohibiting intervention by Syugo (provincial constable), inviting chief priests, conferring priest's names or posthumous Buddhist names from the central organization. On the other hand, they imposed obligations such as retaining conventions, carrying out a method in esoteric Buddhism to pray for a victory in a war, holding memorial services for the fallen, and dedication to the god(s) for shrines.
Shingen, himself also believed in Buddhism,
As his own territory expanded, he protected temples and shrines that had strong influences on people in the region, in order to understand his territory regardless of Buddhism sects. It is especially well known that he generously protected Erin-ji Temple of Rinzai Sect, built a shaden (a shrine building) at Takeda hachiman-gu Shrine, and requested Zenko-ji Temple to move to Kofu.

After Shingen subdued Suruga Province, he dedicated himself to establishing the Takeda navy. In 1571, he recruited Fuhei MAMIYA (10 vessels), Mikinojo MAMIYA (five vessels), Kagetaka OHAMA (one Atake bune (a ship used in war, seen from the latter half of the Muromachi period to the beginning of the Edo period), 15 boats), Masakatsu MUKAI (five vessels), Yasunao ITAMI (12 vessels, 50 doshin (a police constable) to establish the Takeda navy.

Personal Profile

It is said that he was a deeply religious Buddhist. However, he acted against the teachings of Buddha, and still became involved in the real world even after he became a priest.

In the "Koyo Gunkan" (record of the military exploits of the Takeda family), which was not clearly authenticated (Quite a few parts were modified by the Tokugawa Shogunate, given that it was not written by Shinegn himself and was completed in the early Edo period) the following was written:
When Shingen finished practicing a Zen book, until the volume 7 of 10 volumes of "Hekiganroku", which Shingen studied fastidiously, the instructor, Gishu Genpaku said to him as follows:
You don't have to study any more.'
Because you are Samurai, I don't recommend that you become enlightened and retire from the real world.'
Shingen desired to practice the Zen book until Volume 10, but eventually ended his studies with volume 7 as he was advised.

Samurai at that time, especially samurai called the Daimyo with territory were deeply connected with monks, and many samurai became priests. However, they didn't become enlightened due to various reasons such as circumstances concerning territory, issues concerning the head of family, and philistine attitudes. In influential temples and shrines at that time, many monks became corrupt, some monks became a monk-soldier, or an armed monk called the jinin (associates of Shinto shrines), would have relationships with girls or commit acts of burglary. They were involved in affairs in the real world, and never hesitated to fight in battles. It is believed that Shingen aimed to warn other Daimyo or disperse their military forces by inciting religious forces or riots by becoming a member or partner of religious forces after he became a priest. According to "Koyo Gunka," one reason that Shingen became a priest was that he intended to acquire the position of daisojo (a Buddhist priest of the highest order) after entering priesthood. The wife of Kennyo HONGANJI, Nyoshun-ni, and the lawful wife of Shingen, Sanjou-no-kata were full sisters. Apart from Shingen, the Takeda family were deeply connected with these religious forces, given that some of Shingen's vassals also became priests as well. It seems that Shingen was not a genuine believer as he promoted the marriage of monks, which was originally a taboo that was no longer in vogue, and incited a riot using believers.


There are several portraits of Shingen from the same period. `Kenpon chakushoku Takeda Harunobu gazo' (a portrait of Takeda Harunobu) possessed by Jimyo-in Temple in Wakayama Prefecture and `Kenpon chakushoku Takeda Shingen gazo' (a portrait of Takeda Shingen) painted by Tohaku HASEGAWA, possessed by Seikei-in Temple, Mt. Koya (important cultural property) are well known.

It has been handed down that the former one was a portrait dedicated for use in the memorial services for Shingen, in which Harunobu was portrayed as an adolescent donning samurai eboshi (lacquered hat) and hitatare (a kind of court dress in old days), which were the formal wear of Samurai. Hanabishi-mon (a crest which represents the head of the Takeda family and the military governor of Kai Province) that showed that he was the head of the Takeda family, Kai shugoshiki (military governor of Kai Province) was depicted on a hitatare (a kind of court dress in old days). It has been handed down that the latter one was a portrait dedicated to Seikei-in Temple by Katsuyori, an ancestral temple of the Takeda clan. It depicted Shingen in his late middle ages, who was rather plump with tabusa (hair in a bundle), carrying a sword with `Nihikiryomon' (the family crest of the Ashikaga family (Ashikaga Shogunate family)), the family crest of Ashikaga Shogun Family. It was painted by Tohaku HASEGAWA, a painter, who connected with the Sanjo family during the same period that the `portrait of Abbot Nichigi Shonin,' the portrait of the uncle of Sanjo-fujin (Lady Sanjo), and the lawful wife of Shingen, were painted.

Apart from his portraits, Shingen had himself depicted in the image of Fudo Myoo (Acala, one of the Five Wisdom Kings) during the same period, but the image was not instilled. During the Edo period, "Koyo Gunkan" became popular, and the image of Shingen, as Hoshi-musha (armed priests) with a red clerical garment and the helmet of Suwahossho, was established. The image was established in Shingen's portraits painted by Tanshin KANO or Yoshisato YANAGISAWA, the drawing of the twenty four generals of Takeda, and in Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints). After the portrait possessed by Seikei-in Temple was publicly introduced as `the portrait of Shingen TAKEDA,' the image was established from the Taisho period through until the early Showa period. Since the bronze statues in front of Kofu station and Enzan station were modeled on this image, and the fact that the image was used in historical text books as well, led to the image becoming the generally accepted image of Shingen.

In recent years, in Shingen's image, he has sideburns on the back even though he became a priest and was tonsured at the age of 39.

The family crest on his clothes or sword is not Takeda Hanabishimon (a crest which represents the head of the Takeda family and the military governor of Kai Province), but is Nihikiryomon (the family crest of the Ashikaga family (Ashikaga Shogunate family)) (ASHIKAGA, Hatakeyama).

Although it is said that he died of Rogai (tuberculosis) (chronic disease) or cancer, he was not very thin in stature.

The bird perching on the right shoulder of Shingen was a bird from Noto Province.

There is no doubt that the painter was Tohaku HASEGAWA from Noto Province. However, there is another theory that it was painted by Yoshitsugu HATAKEYAMA as there were some questions, for example, that there was no evidence which showed that he was away from Noto at that time ("the mystery of the portrait of Shingen Takeda" by Masayuki FUJIMOTO). Since there is no doubt that Shingen's portrait at Seikei-in Temple was painted by Tohaku HASEGAWA, the theory that this was the image of Shingen was accepted. However, `Kenpon chakushoku Takeda Shingen gazo' (a portrait of Takeda Shingen) was not used in recent text books, and alternatively, the portrait `possessed by Jimyo-in Temple' was used. Today, NHK and Fuji Television Network, Inc tend not to use `Kenpon chakushoku Takeda Shingen gazo' (a portrait of Takeda Shingen). It is advocated that Kira Yoriyasu gazo (a portrait of Yoshiyasu Kira) possessed by Joshin-ji Temple, in Tokyo is regarded to be the image of Shingen (according to Fujimoto).

Wise saying

`Men are a castle, Men are a stone wall, Men are a moat.'
A merciful act brings one to your side, while vengeful acts causes one to become your enemy.'
(Even if a castle is securely defended, it would be impossible to keep governing the country when people lose their patriotism for the country. A merciful act enables to keep people's minds on your side, resulting in the country to proper, while more revenge will cause the country to be destroyed.)

As he was quoted, Shingen never constructed a new castle within Kai Province during his life, and he kept living in Tsutsujigasaki-yakata (Tsutsujigasaki Mansion) encircled with single moat. However, there was Yogaisan-jo Castle (Sekisui-ji Temple) as the keep at the back of Tsutsujigasaki-yakata (Tsutsujigasaki Mansion), which was a typical Yamashiro (mountain castle) of busho (Japanese military commander) in the Sengoku period.

`A 50% chance of victory is great, 70% is OK, but 100% is horrible.'
`Because, a 50% of victory would motivate you to win, 70%, will make you a little lazy, but 100%, would make you arrogant.'
`Even if you have had a major victory, you would definitely lose the next battle when you become arrogant.'
`This attitude not only applies to battle, but also every issue in the world'

It is a warning for winners who would become arrogant. Considering that Katsuyori, who won a string of battles, was defeated at the Battle of Nagashino, this word is considered to be a word of warning. There is a theory that this word was adapted by "Koyo Gunkan."

`If you try to do, it can be achieved, if you don't, it will never be achieved.'
`It is such a pity that someone gives up achieving something they could achieve, simply saying that they can't'
(Nowadays, the word of Yozan UESUGI, the lord of the Yonezawa domain, `If you try to do, it can be achieved, if you don't, it will never be achieved. Achieving nothing is due to one's own intention to not try.' is better known than the word of Shingen, but was originally a quote from Shingen).

Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan (as fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and as immovable as the mountain)

Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan is an abbreviation of the phrase stated in, `Sonshi' (Chinese books about tactics), `其疾如風 其徐如林 侵掠如火 不動如山' (as fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and as immovable as the mountain) (In Sonshi, it is followed by the phrase, `as hard as to understand a shade, as fast as thunder')
Shingen also wrote `其疾如風 其徐如林 侵掠如火 不動如山' (as fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and as immovable as the mountain) on his banner, and fought his battles under it. It is said that the words on the banner were written by Kaisen Joki, the head priest of Erin-ji Temple. The actual banner was possessed by Takeda-jinja Shrine.

This banner is famous for being used by Shingen TAKEDA, but Shingen was not the first one to use it. During the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, which was about 200 years earlier than the period of Shingen, the banner was used by Akiie KITABATAKE as a Jinki (the flag for a camp) containing the emblem, Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan (風林火山). In general, Shingen TAKEDA's image is strongly associated with Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan, and many works have been created using Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan in his image.


Shingen placed importance in guns. It is said that he owned more than 300 guns by 1555.
In the section for 1555 of Katsuyamaki (the chronology of Kai Province), it is stated that `Harunobu TAKEDA (Shingen TAKEDA) entered Asahiyama-jo Castle, the fort of Asahiyama, with 3000 kuren (officials) *snip* 300 guns.'

The Takda army was so strong that people in the region ruled by Nobunaga talked about their strength, saying `The Takeada army and Uesugi army are the strongest in the world', even after the Takeda army suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Nagashino (refer to the section for April, 1528 of the records of Kofuku-ji Temple and Renjo-in Temple in Yamato Province).

He installed a flush toilet at Tsutsujigasaki-yakata (Tsutsujigasaki Mansion). The flush toilet used water flowing from the back of Tsutsujigasaki-yakata (Tsutsujigasaki Mansion). When Shingen pulled a string to ring a bell, several vassals were informed one after another, and eventually the last vassal in the upper stream flushed the water. Shingen called the toilet Yama (mountain).
When one of his vassals asked Shingen, `Why do you call the toilet Yama (mountain) ?', Shingen gave a witty answer, `Because there is always Kusaki (it has two meanings; 草木: plants, and 臭き: bad smell, in different characters) in Yama (mountain).'
The toilet was large, and eventually a desk and an ink stone were placed in the room. Shingen used to write a document or plan a strategy, relieving nature.

According to "Koyo Gunkan" (record of the military exploits of the Takeda family), when Nobunaga gave Shingen a gift of kosode (a kimono with short sleeves worn as underclothing by the upper classes), Shingen gave attention to the lacquer case in which kosode was contained, and he found out that the lacquer case was coated with many layers of lacquer after examining it by tearing, etc. Shingen said `The lacquer case shows that the Oda family is loyal to the Takeda family, their loyalty to the Takeda family is genuine,' from which it can be assessed that Shingen seemed to be a person who paid attention to details, however, Nobunaga's real intentions were not clear.

It seems that Shingen suffered an illness for a long time. Shingen initially planned to enter Kyoto on October 1, but extended it to October 3 (both dates were based on old lunar calender). It is said that it was because Shingen's illness transiently became worse.

Shingen placed importance on the gathering of information. He established a secret organization called `Mitsumono' (secrecy organization of Shingen Takeda), and ordered them to gather information or carry out espionage (in "Koyo Gunkan" (record of the military exploits of the Takeda family), the organization is also described as Suppa (the secrecy organization of Shingen Takeda). He gathered girls who had no relatives and taught them the art of stealth (ninjutsu). He deployed them nationwide as `Arukimiko' (spies supposedly sent by Shingen Takeda), and had them carry out espionage. It is said that Shingen was successful at winning battles because he was quick to gather information. For this, Shingen knew everything though Shingen was never away from Kai Province.
This gave him the impression that he went everywhere in Japan, and he was called the `the man with long legs.'
However it is suspect as to whether Shingen did these things, as the creditability of "Koyo Gunkan" was questionable in comparison with other historical materials.

In `Koyo Gunkan,' it is stated that Shingen stated as follows.
`Shingen wishes to enter the Enshu, Mikawa, Mino, and Owari Province to rule those provinces, putting up a flag in a capital while Shingen is alive, and establish the Buddhist law, Oho (the law and customs for Buddhism), rules with Shinto religion and 諸侍, properly handling the affairs of state.'

When the fire attack against Enryaku-ji Temple in Mt. Hiei by Nobunaga ODA happened (1571), Shingen tried to remove the Enryaku-ji Temple in Mt. Hiei to Kai Province, condemning Nobunaga as a `transfiguration of a demon.'
For this, in 1572, Shingen was appointed to the position of daisojo (a Buddhist priest of the highest order) by a high monk of Enryaku-ji Temple in Mt. Hiei who survived. In addition, Shingen sent Nobunaga a letter describing his position as daisojo (a Buddhist priest of the highest order), which can be taken to have been a proclamation of war against Nobunaga. As it was stated earlier, these were actions that were not tolerated.

It is said that Shingen's entry to Kyoto was deemed difficult due to the long distance from Kai to Kyoto at that time. In fact, Kai Province was less developed than Mino and Owari Province of Nobunaga, and was a mountainous province, which made it difficult to march through. The phrase, which was created making fun of Shinegen when Nobunaga entered Kyoto ahead of Shingen, was contained in Shinseninu tsukuba shu (anthology of Haikairenga (a type of Renga)), a book of Haikai (seventeen-syllable verse) at that time; as shown below.
It is a long way to the capital from Kai. '

There were many times Shingen destroyed alliances he formed during his life, for example, alliances with SUWA, ODA, IMAGAWA, and TOKUGAWA (HOJO as a consequence). Therefore, he was rarely trusted in diplomatic affairs. Katsuyori was reminded of this when he formed an alliance with UESUGI.

Shingen never called Kenshin UESUGI by his family name, UESUGI. It was because there was a gap in the social status between the Takeda family, Kai no Shugo (the provincial constable of Kai Province), and the Nagao family, Echigo no Shugodai (deputy of Shugo (provincial constable) of Echigo Province). When the Nagao family was granted the family name, UESUGI, the social status of the Nagao family became higher than that of the Takeda family. Shingen, who was not happy about it, and kept calling him by his former family name, NAGAO.

The love letter, kishomon (sworn oath), to Masanobu KOSAKA, who had a homosexual relationship with Shingen, is still preserved to this day.

Cause of death

His chronic pulmonary tuberculosis is widely accepted to be the cause of death, and was stated in Jii onjuku kenmotsu shojo (literary remains of Warring States period) (Sengoku Ibun (ancient writings in Sengoku period), No.2638), pneumonia, stomach cancer or esophageal cancer (stated in "Koyo Gunkan").

In the section of the Suganuma clan of the Hankanpu (Genealogy of the Protectors of the Shogunate) written by Hakuseki ARAI, a common saying that Shingen was shot and was injured when approaching the sound of a flute which he heard from inside the Noda-jo Castle, in MIkawa Province when Shinge encircled the castle, is described. "Koyo gunkan" denied this description.

It is also said that his death was caused by a decline inhis physical health resulting from schistosomiasis japonica (form of bilharzia caused by the Oriental blood fluke Schistosoma japonicum) which became epidemic as a local disease in modern times
Another theory is that Nobunaga ODA murdered Shingen by poisoning him with arsenic.

Banishment of his father

In recent years, there is a theory that Shingen was manipulated by his roshin (old or key retainer), and Shingen's father was banished due to the coup by powerful local lords (kokujin) in Kai Province. The theory is based on what Masatake KOMAI wrote about the dispute over the head of the Imagawa family in his diary about the day of Shingen experiencing his first battle as having been at the age of 16. It is agreed within the academy that Shingen experienced his first battle at the age of 20. The theory above was most likely created because experiencing a first battle at the age of 20 was considered to be late for a daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) in the Sengoku period) at that time.

Besides, Nobukata ITAGAKI's repeated acts against Shingen's intentions strengthened the creditability of this theory. From this, some analysts say that it was after the Battle of Uedahara that Shingen's reign was established.

Takeda bishi (the crest of the Takeda family)

Takeda bishi (the crest of the Takeda family) is a family crest of the Takeda family in Koshu. It is famous for its shape that consists of four rhombic shapes. In Yamanashi Prefecture, the former Kai Province, Takeda bishi (the crest of the Takeda family) are every where, from Kofu Station to ordinary houses. It is used in equipment in vehicles of riot police of Yamanashi Prefecture, or used in designs of E257 series used in `Azusa' (train) or `Kaiji' (train), Limited Express of East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

At the time of people's visit for the New Year Greeting or for the celebration of emperor's birthday to the Imperial Palace, patterns similar to Takeda bishi can be seen in the vicinity of the veranda of Chowa den Hall in the palace where the emperor or imperial family members stood. These patterns have been used for decoration or costumes used in the inner palace since ancient times, and has nothing to do with the Takeda family in Koshu (based on the answer of the information officer of Imperial Household Agency).

For your information, Gionkita Hiroshima Prefectural Senior High School uses Takeda bishi as the school's emblem since the school is located along the foot of Takeda-yama Mountain where there was once the Sato-Kanayama Castle, the residence of Aki-Takeda clan, branch family of Takeda clan.

Influence in after ages

Although theTakeda family died out in the generation of Katsuyori, the surviving retainers were kept under the protection of the Tokugawa clan. Some of those served the Tokugawa shogunate, doing excellent jobs. There were Takeda ronin (masterless samurai) that lived in a village in Kai Province, retaining their privilege as a former vassal of Takeda.

In the Edo period, "Koyo Gunkan" became popular, 24 busho (Japanese military commander), who were the most acclaimed Busho among busho of the Takeda family in the period of Shingen, were called `The Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda.'
The name of Shingen became widely known. `The Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda' originally came from Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints) or Joruri (dramatic narrative chanted to a samisen accompaniment), and the official category or name of Twenty-Four Generals of Takeda family didn't exist. The selected busho appeared in different periods, thus, there was no time that all 24 busho served Shingen together. They were selected by common people, and their faces vary depending on the materials. The lord is not usually included in this kind of group. However, there are only 23 vassals in the Twenty-Four Generals, with Shingen added to the last one to make them the Twenty-Four Generals, which is the most distinctive feature. Apart from The Twenty-Four Generals, the big four of the Takeda clan (also referred to as four wise retainers of Takeda. Refer to Nobuharu BABA, Masatoyo Naito, Masakage YAMAGATA, Masanobu KOSAKA, who served Shingen and Katsuyori) is famous.

In contrast with Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, whose reputation was debased after the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, Shingen's reputation among common people was maintained and approved even by the Tokugawa shogunate since Shingen was regarded as "bushin (the god of war) who gave Ieyasu hardships so that Ieyasu would grow up as a person," and Ieyasu learned from Shingen's methods.

In the Edo period, "Koyo Gunkan" that mainly described Shingen's reign or strategy was established. Literature that depicted the Takeda family or the battles of Kawanakajima appeared and were determined to be a new genre. In Kai Province which was entirely governed by the Tokugawa Shogunate, Shingen was respected as a person who commenced the original system based on Koshu sanpo (taxation law); Daishogiri zeiho (tax collection law), Koshu gold, and Koshu masu (measuring container).

During the Meiji Period, Shingen's image became prevalent, and in Yamanashi Prefecture, which was tenryo (bakufu-owned land) during the Edo period, Shingen was recognized as a person who represented local history. Before the war, Ministry of Interior (Japan) offered to upgrade the Takeda-jinja Shrine to Bekkaku kanpeisha (the new shrine ranking that the Meiji government set up as the shrines which enshrined gods of heaven and earth can not be equally treated with the ones which enshrine people) in exchange for validating Kinno jiseki (vestige of loyalty) of Shingen. Some local history researchers studied to determine whether Shingen was a person loyal to the emperor. After the war, Eiyu Shikan (hero-centered historiography) or Kokoku Shikan (emperor-centered historiography which is based on state Shinto) were eliminated and the empirical study on the medieval history or the Takeda clan were conducted. In 1987, the Research society for the Takeda clan was established. Researchers including Masayoshi ISOGAI, Haruo UENO, Shoji SASAMOTO, Shunroku SHIBATSUJI, Yu HIRAYAMA, Takashi AKIYAMA appeared, and published documents on the empirical study or the Takeda clan related materials.

After the war, tourism became the main business of Yamanashi Prefecture due to the change in the structure of industry. Shingen was positioned as a symbol of the local region by Yamanashi Prefecture or Kofu City, becoming a resource for historic tourist business, in the process of promoting tourist business. On Saturday and Sunday of the week of April 12, the anniversary of Shingen's death, an urban festival, Shingen-ko Festival whose key feature is `Koshugundan shutsujin' (departure of the army of Koshu for the front) is held.
Furthermore, various theories derived from Shingen regarding tourism products were formed, for example, Hoto (a popular regional dish, made by stewing flat udon noodles and vegetables in miso soup) as food for tourists, which was originally traditional food in Yamanashi Prefecture, is advertised as being `a combat ration used by Shingen.'

[Original Japanese]