Subjugation of Takeda (武田征伐)

The "subjugation of Takeda" in Japanese history refers to a series of battles fought by Nobunaga ODA, who invaded the territories of Katsuyori TAKEDA (Suruga, Shinano and Kai Provinces) in order to destroy the Takeda clan, whose power was in decline after the Battle of Nagashino.
This is also called 'Collapse of the Takeda clan.'

Flow of the war
Prologue to the battle
In 1575, after the Battle of Nagashino, Yoshimasa KISO (who was married to Marihime, Shingen TAKEDA's daughter), a maternal relative of the Takeda clan, was ordered by Katsuyori TAKEDA to support Nobumoto AKIYAMA in defending Iwamura-jo Castle in Mino Province. However, he resisted Katsuyori for financial reasons. Since Nobutomo was defeated by Nobunaga ODA's army and executed, the Takeda clan lost a base that they had held since the time of Lord Shingen to conquer areas to the west of their territory, and was instead exposed to the threat of the Oda clan in Mino Province. Caught up in battles with the Ikko Buddhist sect (Battles of Ishiyama) in the Kinai (areas around Kyoto and Nara) and Hokuriku regions and battles with the Mori clan in western Japan, the Oda clan was unable to send its army to areas to the east of its territory for a while. However, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA of Mikawa Province, who was an ally of the Oda clan, intensified his offensive after the Battle of Nagashino, forcing Katsuyori to frequently send his troops to battle. In order to cover expenses required for the frequent dispatch of troops, Katsuyori imposed extremely high taxes and used a large amount of forced labor. As a result, Katsuyori gradually lost trust among his followers. Yoshimasa was one of his followers who were disappointed in Katsuyori; Katsuyori also distrusted Yoshimasa, who took no action to defend Akiyama, and the relationship between Yoshimasa and Katsuyori deteriorated quickly. On February 1, 1582, Yoshimasa, who was displeased with Katsuyori's policy to effectuate another increase in forced labor for the construction of Shinpu-jo Castle, finally betrayed Katsuyori and defected to the Oda clan by sending his younger brother, Yoshitoyo UEMATSU, to Nobutada ODA (Nobunaga's eldest son) as a hostage.

Upon being informed by Marihime of the betrayal of Yoshimasa, Katsuyori was infuriated and dispatched a troop of about 5,000 soldiers led by his cousin Nobutoyo TAKEDA (a member of the Takeda clan in Kai) to conquer Kiso Province; Katsuyori also crucified and executed Yoshimasa's mother, concubine and child. Katsuyori dispatched his own troop of about 15,000 soldiers as well.

When learning about the rebellion of Yoshimasa on February 3, 1582, Nobunaga decided to subjugate Katsuyori TAKEDA and issued mobilization orders. Nobunaga and his son, Nobutada, marched from Ina. The army of Nagachika KANAMORI, Nobunaga's vassal, advanced from Hida, while the army of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, Nobunaga's ally, advanced from Suruga. Ujimasa HOJO (Katsuyori's brother-in-law), who had been fighting with the Takeda clan since the Otate Rebellion, also decided to send troops into Kai and Shinano Provinces from Sagami, Izu and Kozuke Provinces.

Composition of the Oda army
From 1572 onward, an army corps led by Nobutada ODA, Tsuneoki IKEDA, Nagayoshi MORI (Naritoshi MORI's elder brother) and Hidetaka KAWAJIRI, which was known as Nobutada's corps (Tsuneoki IKEDA later withdrew from the corps and moved to Settsu Province), was fighting against the Takeda clan in order to prevent the expansion of Takeda's territory into the eastern Mino Province. The army corps was formed as follows at the time of subjugation of Takeda.

Taisho (general): Nobutada ODA
Spearhead: Nagayoshi MORI, Tadamasa DAN, Yoshimasa KISO, and Tomotada TOYAMA
Main unit: Hidetaka KAWAJIRI, Hideyori MORI, Moritaka MIZUNO, and Tadashige MIZUNO
Attachment: Nagamasu ODA, Oda Ichimonshu (clansmen), Ujitsugu NIWA, and others
Assistant Deputy General: Kazumasu TAKIGAWA

The subsequent army corps directly commanded by Nobunaga was arranged as follows.

Mitsuhide AKECHI, Tadaoki HOSOKAWA, Junkei TSUTSUI, Nagahide NIWA, Hidemasa HORI, Hidekazu HASEGAWA, Ujisato GAMO, Ukon TAKAYAMA, Kiyohide NAKAGAWA, etc.

Collapse of the Takeda army corps
On February 3, 1582, the spearhead, Nagayoshi and Tadamasa, departed from Gifu-jo Castle at first. In order to supervise two young generals, Hidetaka was dispatched to form the main unit. On February 6, 1582, the spearheading unit invaded Shinano Province from the Ina-kaido Road. The invasion caused panic among Takeda's troops stationed along the Ina-kaido Road, and on the day when the Oda army's vanguard invaded Shinano Province, Kyube SHIMOJO, Chief Retainer of Nobuuji SHIMOJO, who was the lord of Takizawa (areas around the present-day Achi-mura and Hiraya-mura in Shimoina-gun, Nagano Prefecture), a territory that formed a barrier preventing entry into Iwamura, expelled Nobuuji and defected to the Oda army. Nobumine OGASAWARA, Lord of Matsuo-jo Castle (located in present-day Iida City), also defected to the Oda army.

On February 12, 1582, Nobutada (who led the main unit of the Oda army) and Kazumasu departed, respectively, from Gifu-jo Castle and from Nagashima-jo Castle in Ise Province, moving their troops to Iwamura-jo Castle in Mino two days later, on February 14.
On the next day, Kazumasu received a letter from Nobunaga in which Kazumasu was ordered to fully 'support young Nobutada.'
On February 16, the Takeda army was defeated in the battle of Torii-toge Pass (in Nagano Prefecture) by Yoshimasa's army, which was supported by a group of Oda retainers who were ordered to defend Yoshimasa by Nobunaga. On February 17, 1582, Nobutada moved his own camp to Hiraya, and on the next day, invaded Iida. On the same day, Masanao HOSHINA, lord of Iida-jo Castle, abandoned the castle, and escaped to Takato-jo Castle (he surrendered thereafter, and became a lord of Takato-jo Castle). Nobukado TAKEDA (Shingen's brother) and others who knew about the abandonment of Iida-jo Castle lost the will to fight. They determined that a resistance at Oshima-jo Castle (Matsukawa-machi, Shimoina-gun), was impossible, and escaped from Oshima-jo Castle. On February 18, 1582, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA departed from Hamamatsu-jo Castle, and entered Kakegawa-jo Castle. On February 20, 1582, after placing Tanaka-jo Castle, defended by Nobushige YODA, under siege, Ieyasu sent an emissary to the inside of the castle, and recommended the surrender of castle. Nobushige YODA who withdrew to his home, Misawakoya, surrendered Tanaka-jo Castle, and on February 21, 1582, he moved to Sunpu-jo Castle.

After dispatching the spearhead to Kobotoke-toge Pass and Misaka-toge Pass which were located at the border between Sagami Province and Kai Province, Ujimasa invaded the eastern part of Suruga near the end of February. On February 28, 1582, Ujimasa captured Tokura-jo Castle and Sanmaibashi-jo Castle which were part of the few remaining footholds of Takeda in Suruga, and subsequently in March, he took control of castles on the Takeda side in Numazu City and Fuji City. In the Kozuke district, Ujikuni HOJO put pressure on Takahiro HOJO in Maebashi-jo Castle, and further threatened the territory of Masayuki SANADA.

Attack on Takato-jo Castle

On February 28, 1582 Hidetaka KAWAJIRI was ordered by Nobunaga to build a castle as an armed camp in order to attack Takato-jo Castle. On March 1, 1582, Nobutada ODA placed Takato-jo Castle kept by Morinobu NISHINA, brother of Katsuyori TAKEDA, under siege. Nobutada sent Morinobu gold and a letter through local priest designated as an emissary, and recommended the surrender of the castle. However, Morinobu refused this request. The priest used as an emissary was sent back after his ears and nose were chipped off. On March 2, 1582, the Oda army of about 30,000 soldiers launched an all-out attack, and Morinobu NISHINA and Masayuki OYAMADA bravely fought against the Oda army, fighting fierce battles despite their small numbers. The Oda army also suffered considerable damage, and Nobuie ODA of the Iwakura family was killed in the battle. However, the Oda army with more warriors ran through the castle gate, and as a result, Morinobu NISHINA and Masayuki OYAMADA committed suicide. Takato-jo Castle fell.

Alone among Takeda soldiers who desperately sought to flee from the battlefield, Morinobu NISHINA put up stubborn resistance till the end to show the true power of a Takeda samurai. Morinobu's headless body was buried by local residents who revered him, and his burial mound is called Mt. Goro even today.

Escape of Katsuyori
On February 28, 1582, Katsuyori TAKEDA defeated by Yoshimasa KISO abandoned resistance at Suwa, and escaped to Shinpu-jo Castle (Nirasaki City). To pursue Katsuyori, Nobutada ODA moved his army to Suwa on the day after the fall of Takato-jo Castle and burned down Suwa-taisha Shrine, which was under the protection of the Takeda clan. Meanwhile, Yoshimasa KISO advanced his troops in order to mount an attack on Matsumoto-jo Castle, which was a place of strategic importance in Shinano. On March 1, 1582, Nobukimi ANAYAMA in the Takeda family contacted Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, and defected to the Oda side. On March 4, 1582, Ieyasu started invading Kai Province, using Baisetsu as a guide.

On March 5, 1582, Nobunaga ODA departed from Azuchi-jo Castle. On March 6, 1582, Nobunaga arrived at the Ibi-gawa River. He then received the head of Morinobu NISHINA, Lord of Takato-jo Castle, from his legitimate son, Nobutada ODA, and exposed the head to public view along the Nagara-gawa River.

On March 3, 1582, Katsuyori TAKEDA held a war council at Shinpu-jo Castle to decide whether to escape to Iwabitsu-jo Castle (Higashiagatsuma-cho, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma Prefecture) held by Masayuki SANADA, or to escape to Iwadonoyama-jo Castle (Otsuki City) held by Nobushige OYAMADA. Although Masayuki recommended going to Iwabitsu-jo Castle, which was an impregnable fortress, Nobushige insisted on going to Iwadonoyama-jo Castle on the grounds that Iwabitsu-jo Castle was too far and that the snow was too deep. Finally, Katsuyori rejected Masayuki's proposal and chose to go to Iwadono, which was ruled by Nobushige, a member of his own clan. And then, Katsuyori set the uncompleted Shinpu-jo Castle on fire, and escaped to Iwadonoyama-jo Castle.

Battle of Tenmokuzan

Nobutada, who invaded Kofu on March 7, 1582, and established an armed camp at a private house of Kurodo ICHIJO, found the clansmen, relatives, and senior vassals of Katsuyori, and executed them. At that time, Nobutatsu ICHIJO, Yoritoyo SUWA, Nobukado TAKEDA, etc. were executed.

On March 9, 1582, the troop led by Katsuyori and his legitimate son, Nobukatsu TAKEDA, was attacked by Nobushige OYAMADA at Sasago-toge Pass (Present-day Otsuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture) just before reaching Iwadono-jo Castle, and was prevented from entering the castle. There are different explanations for this attack, one of which is that Nobushige OYAMADA was not a vassal of the Takeda family but its ally and that as the lord of an independent territory, he was obliged to protect his territory and its residents from war damage. Some people believe that it was not Nobushige OYAMADA's army but the Oda army that attacked Katsuyori at Sasago-toge Pass. In any case, Katsuyori and Nobukatsu gave up moving to Iwadono, and Katsuyori (TAKEDA) and his retainers escaped to Tenmokuzan Mountain (Yamato-cho, Koshu City, Yamanashi Prefecture) where ancestors of the Takeda clan committed suicide. Katsuyori hid family treasures (a suit of armor called "tatenashi yoroi" and a flag) in a temple in Enzan (in Koshu City) to protect them from damage.

On March 11, 1582, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA and Baisetsu ANAYAMA met with Nobutada ODA, and discussed the future. On the same day, a group led by Katsuyori was captured by the army led by Kazumasu TAKIGAWA at a place in Tano in front of Tenmokuzan Mountain. Masastsune TSUCHIYA and Tomoharu KOMIYAMA bravely fought against their enemies; Masatsune later came to be known for having killed one thousand soldiers with a sword in one hand. Katsutomi ABE also attacked the enemy encampment, and died in the battle. In Shirotsukuri, Toriibata in Tano, which was the last battlefield of Katsuyori, he bravely fought off Nobunaga's large army with a small number of troops.

However, being hopelessly outnumbered, Katsuyori and his son, Nobukatsu and Mrs. Hojo committed suicide, along with Mitsukata NAGASAKA, Tsuchiya brothers and Akiyama Kii no kami (governor of Kii Province); some people believe that Katsusuke ATOBE also committed suicide, but others believe that he was killed in the battle to defend Suwa. In any case, the theory in "Koyo Gunkan" (record of the military exploits of the Takeda family, compiled by one of the Takeda vassals, and completed in 1616 by Kagenori OBATA) that claims that Nagasaka and Atobe escaped violates a historical fact). As a result of these battles, the distinguished Kai-Takeda clan of the direct descendants of Shinra-Saburo Yoshimitsu of the Seiwa Genji lineage became extinct.

Ending of the Kai-Takeda clan
When Katsuyori committed suicide, Nobunaga did not even cross the border, and stayed at Iwamura-jo Castle. It was March 14, 1582 when the heads of Katsuyori and his son, Nobukatsu, reached Nobunaga who had invaded Namiai.

On March 16, 1582, Nobutoyo TAKEDA was killed by his disloyal vassal, Kakuunsai (Nobutsune) SHIMOSONE, and Nobushige OYAMADA was also executed at Kai-Zenko-ji Temple on the grounds of having betrayed his master. Nobushige YODA also came within an inch of being executed by the order of Nobunaga; however, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA seeking manpower in the Takeda family let him get away. Nobushige provided assistance to help Ieyasu conquer Shinano and Kai Provinces, which had been left without a territorial governor after the Honnoji Incident. There were many other people, including Mukawashu warriors (warriors active in the remote region of Kai Province) and those who later came to be known as the four major Tokugawa magistrates, who were protected by Masakazu NARUSE (military commander in the Sengoku Period), a former vassal of the Takeda clan who became a vassal of the Tokugawa clan.

Nobuchika (Ryuho) UNNO who was the second son of Shingen and became a priest due to blindness committed suicide after letting his son, Kenryo, Nobumichi TAKEDA, escape. The descendants of Nobumichi helped Nagayasu OKUBO achieve success and survived vicissitudes of history, maintaining their lineage for generations.

Rewards and the hunting down of the remnants of the Takeda clan
On March 21, 1582, Nobunaga ODA arrived at Suwa, and received a congratulatory gift of victory from Ujimasa HOJO through his emissary. On March 23 and 29, 1582, rewards given to participating warlords were announced.

Kazumasu TAKIGAWA: Kozuke Province, Chiisagata-gun, Saku-gun
Hidetaka KAWAJIRI: Kai Province excluding Honganchi (birthplace of clan) of Baisetsu ANAYAMA, Suwa-gun (Anayama kaechi)
Ieyasu TOKUGAWA: Suruga Province
Yoshimasa KISO: Permitted to rule his inherited territories, Chikuma-gun and Azumi-gun
Nagayoshi MORI: Takai-gun, Minochi-gun, Sarashina-gun, Hanishina-gun
Hideyori MORI: Ina-gun
Nobukimi ANAYAMA: Permitted to rule his inherited territories and to make his legitimate son, Katsuchiyo, succeed him as the head of the Takeda clan
Naritoshi MORI: Kaneyama-jo Castle (Mino Province) (former residential castle of Nagayoshi)
Tadamasa DAN: Iwamura-jo Castle, Mino Province (former residential castle of Hidetaka)
According to legend, Kazumasu wished for a tea cup used in tea ceremony, which was known as "Jukokonasu" (literally, "a tiny shining eggplant" in Japanese), one of the best-known works of art produced in Azuchi, and was concerned about the loss of the tea cup, which he considered as a treasure in the tradition of tea ceremony. Kazumasu is also believed to have been appointed as governor of the Kanto region or as an official with similar authority.
(In "Shinchoko-ki" (Biography of Nobunaga ODA), the post was called 'Kanto-hasshu no gokeigo' (post guarding eight provinces in the Kanto region), or 'Togoku-no-gi otoritsugi' (agency post concerning matters related to the eastern part of Japan, particular Kanto region), in "Date jika kiroku" (historical record of the Sendai clan), the post was called 'Togoku bugyo' (magistrate in the eastern part of Japan), and in "Hoan Nobunaga-ki"(Biography of Nobunaga ODA written by Hoan OZE) and "Buke-jiki" (record about samurai family), the post was called 'Kanto Kanrei.'
The above descriptions are based on Katsuhiro TANIGUCHI, "Nobunaga-gun no Shireikan: Bushotachi no Shusse Kyoso" (Competition among the Military Commanders of the Nobunaga Army), Chuko Shinsho.)
Ujimasa HOJO received recognition for 'some of his performance at Suruga,' but, did not receive any special reward.

Nobunaga ODA, who departed for Kai Province in April 1582, is reported to have seen Mt. Fuji at Daigahara (in present-day Hokuto City) for the first time in his life. On April 3, 1582, Nobunaga arrived at burnt-out Tsutsujigasaki-yakata (Tsutsujigasaki Mansion) which had been the home ground of the Takeda clan. Meanwhile, Nobutada ODA's army started hunting down and killing the remnants of the Takeda clan and besieged Erin-ji Temple (in present-day Koshu City), where enemies sought shelter. The Nobutada ODA force requested the temple to hand over the remnants, but the temple refused the request. Nobutada ODA burnt down the temple, and the temple priest, Kaisen Joki, died in the fire, leaving the well-known farewell words, "Suppress your self, and even fire is cool."

Nobutada ODA also employed farmers to kill many other people, including ministers of justice, court ladies and persons named Damine or Nagashino, whose severed heads were presented to his army. Given gold in exchange for these heads, farmers searched for important members of the Takeda clan to kill them and present their heads to Oda's army.

Contrarily, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA ignored the order to hunt down the remnants, and hid surviving retainers of the Takeda clan in secret as mentioned above. These former retainers of the Takeda clan made great contributions in the subsequent Tenshojingo War and the reorganization of the army.

On April 10, 1582, Nobunaga ODA departed from Kofu, and headed on a sightseeing trip along the Tokaido Road. Nobunaga arrived in Ejiri (present-day Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City) on April 13, in present-day Hamamatsu City on April 16, and returned in triumph to Azuchi-jo Castle on April 21, 1582.

After the war
Nagayoshi, who entered Kaizu-jo Castle, conquered neighboring warlords and fought off the attack of Kagekatsu UESUGI, while at the same time mounting an offensive against the Uesugi clan. On May 27, 1582, Nagayoshi crossed the border between Shinano and Echigo Provinces to support the armies of northern provinces, including Katsuie SHIBATA's army, and invaded into the area around Nihongi (present-day Joetsu City) in Echigo Province, from where Kasugayama-jo Castle could be seen at a short distance. Informed of the invasion, Kagekatsu UESUGI was forced to quickly return to Kasugayama-jo Castle. However, when Nobunaga was killed in the Honnoji Incident, Nagayoshi MORI abandoned Kaizu-jo Castle, and fled back to his territory. Hidetaka KAWAJIRI was killed by an uprising of old retainers of the Takeda clan. As a result, the territories of the Takada clan were temporarily left in a state without political or military control.

For subsequent movements of Kazumasu TAKIGAWA and Ujimasa HOJO, refer to the article, Battle of Kanna River, and for those of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, Ujimasa and Masayuki SANADA, refer to the article, the Tenshojingo War.