Kasuya Takenori (糟屋武則)

Takenori KASUYA was a feudal warlord who lived between the Azuchi Momoyama and Edo periods. The Kasuya clan existed from the Kamakura period and was a military family based at Kakogawajo Castle in Harima Province; Takenori KASUYA was the second son of Tadayasu KASUYA, a retainer of the Bessho clan in Harima Province. His elder brother was Tomomasa. The family name "Kasuya" (糟屋) is recorded as having been written using different character combinations (糟谷, 粕屋, 加須屋), but the famous combination used by Sanekatsu KASUYA was"加須屋". Takenori also had other names (corresponding to Christian name for westerners) as 数正, 宗重, 真安, 宗孝 and so force, each of which was said to have been used by Takenori as an alias depending on the period; thus there is confusion as to whether certain usages refer to Takenori or one of his children.

He had a celebrated nephew, Takenari KASUYA, who was an archery expert.


His real name was said to have been Shimura, because Takenori's mother remarried into the powerful Shimura clan after his elder brother Tomomasa was born, and subsequently Takenori was born. However, during the Harima campaign by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI in 1577, because Tomomasa had entered Mikijo Castle with Nagaharu BESSHO, Takenori became separated from his brother and went for the Oda camp used the name Kasuya with them. Subsequently, Takenori became a page to Hideyoshi HASHIBA upon the recommendation of Yoshitaka KURODA. During the 1583 battle of Shizugatake, Takenori took an active role in the arrest of a subordinate of Morimasa SAKUMA, the samurai Shichizaemon YADOYA; Takenori is included among Masanori FUKUSHIMA, Kiyomasa KATO and others as one of the "seven lancers of Shizugatake"; due to his valor in battle, he was awarded 2,000 koku of land in Harima Province and 1,000 koku in Kawachi Province, representing a combined grant exceeding 3,000 koku of land. Subsequently he participated in the battles of Komaki and Nagakute as well as the conquests of Kyushu and Odawara, in which he mobilized 150 troops. He was involved in things other than military matters, as when, in 1586, he administered the building of a grand statue of Buddha at Hokoji Temple and, in 1591 became the administrator of land surveys of Omi Province; together with Nagamori MASHITA, he undertook land surveys and left behind a legacy in the form of the administration of public works. Additionally, in 1586 was given the court rank of Upper Junior Fifth Rank Principal cupbearer to the Emperor. He attended the Emperor Goyozei's processing when the emperor visited Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's Jurakudai mansion. Moreover, during the Bunroku campaigns he was an overseer who went to Korea; in 1592, in company with Naotada SHINJO and others, he issued instructions urging Korean refugees to return home; in the same and subsequent year (1593) he participated in the first and second Jinju Castle battles and, in August 1595, was granted an additional 6,000 koku of land and became the owner of Harima Kakogawajo Castle (12,000 koku). In 1594 he also participated in the construction of Fushimijo Castle.

Subsequently, at Sekigahara he was the only one of "the seven lancers" to join the western army, and he participated in the battles of Fushimijo Castle and Sekigahara, by leading 360 troops. Following the conflicts he suffered punishment by removal of samurai status but was later pardoned and, in 1602, was employed as a retainer of the shogun, thereby receiving a modest 500 koku stipend as a Tokugawa vassal. However, after his death the Kasuya family was cut off again. Also, his son was Takenori KASUYA who, after the death of Takenori (the senior), fought on Toyotomi's side in Osaka and supposedly died in battle.

Incidentally, a long lance used by Takenori is kept at the Nagahama Castle Historical Museum in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture.

[Original Japanese]