Masakazu NARUSE (military commander in the period of warring states) (成瀬正一 (戦国武将))

Masakazu NARUSE was a retainer of the Tokugawa clan in the Sengoku period (period of warring states) (Japan). He was the second son of Masayori NARUSE. He was the younger brother of Masayoshi NARUSE. He was the father of Masanari NARUSE, the lord of Inuyama-jo Castle, Yoshimasa NARUSE, a chief retainer of Maeda family of Kaga Province, and Masatake NARUSE, the head of Hanabatakeban (the organization of Edo bakufu) of Hidetada TOKUGAWA. He was commonly known as Kichiemon. His Buddhist name was Issai.

In his earlier years, he served the Takeda clan, Gohojo clan, and so force, and won military glory. When service in other provinces was banned by the Tokugawa family, he returned and took part in the famous battles during the dawning era of the Tokugawa family as a direct vassal of the shogun of Ieyasu. When his elder brother, Masayoshi, died in the Battle of Mikatagahara, he took over as the family head of the Naruse clan. In the Battle of Nagashino, he served as both the flag identifier and the commander of the gun squad. While Nobunaga ODA aggressively purged the former vassals of the Takeda clan after the fall of the Takeda clan, he sheltered his former colleagues, which facilitated the capture of Koshu after the Honnoji Incident. He served as Koshu magistrate, local governor of Hachigata-jo Castle, and joined the Battle of Sekigahara as flag commissioner. He died with the high Commissioner of Fushimi-jo Castle as his final post.

Period of serving the Takeda family
Around 1560, he ran away from the Tokugawa clan to serve the Takeda clan; and in the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, together with Shogen ISHIGURO, he won back the severed head of Torasada MOROZUMI, then, he was granted the land of Fuefuki City by Shingen TAKEDA.

After returning to the service of the Tokugawa family
Mikawa era
There are various theories, but it is believed that he rejected the offer from Ujiyasu HOJO (some say he served the Hojo clan for a period of time) and returned to the service of the Tokugawa clan. Thereafter, he and his elder brother Masayoshi TOZO served in the Anegawa War and Battle of Mikatagahara under the command of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA. After his elder brother, Masayoshi, died in the Battle of Mikatagahara, he followed Ieyasu on foot and showed him the way to Hamamatsu-jo Castle. After the war, he took over as the head of the Naruse head family instead of his elder brother. In the Battle of Nagashino, he identified battle flags and commanded the gun squad on the Takeda side along with Sadayoshi KUSAKABE as a police sergeant for Tadayo OKUBO. He played the role of an intelligence officer as his career of previously serving the Takeda family was appreciated, while serving as commander of the gun squad by making use of his special skill. This scene is depicted on the Naruse family version of the folding screen with images of the Nagashino War. Additionlly, collaboration with Kusakabe, which began around this time, lasted throughout his life.

During the Battle of Takatenjin-jo Castle, he established a coalition among the six fortresses, Mount Ogasa, Nakamura, Nogasaka, Higamine, Shishigahana, and Mount Mii, with Sadayoshi KUSAKABE in 1580 to strengthen the siege, and captured the Takatenjin-jo Castle in 1581.

In 1582, he was called for to capture Tanaka-jo Castle, which had come to a standstill during the invasion of Suruga Province. Together with the Mikawa-Yamamoto clan (later, the chief retainer of the domain of Echigo-Nagaoka), he advised Nobushige YODA to surrender, and had him surrender the castle to Tadayo OKUBO. In passing, some say that Tatewaki YAMAMOTO was the younger brother of Kansuke YAMAMOTO.

After the fall of the Takeda clan that year, Nobunaga began fiercely purging the former vassals of the Takeda clan, which led to incidents such as the fire attack on a Buddhist priest Kaisen Joki in Eirin-ji Temple. In the midst of the 'hunt for the Takeda clan,' Masakazu sheltered the old Takeda retainers, who were acquaintances, in Kiriyama, Totomi Province.

Koshu era
In 1582, when Ieyasu TOKUGAWA ruled Kai Province, he served as magistrate of Kai Province with Sadayoshi KUSAKABE until the Tokugawa clan transferred to the Kanto region. Once he became magistrate, he obtained letters for confirmation of holdings for Mukawashu (samurai groups in Kai) such as the Yonekura clan, Kai-Ichijo clan, and old Takeda retainers, whom he was sheltering, such as Nagayasu OKUBO, and won them over. In 1585, Kazumasa ISHIKAWA suddenly ran away to serve Hideyoshi, and the Tokugawa family could no longer use the strategy which they used since the Mikawa days. Ieyasu ordered Masakazu to drastically change it to Takeda-style strategy for mobilizing the Mukawashu who were police sergents of Masakazu. During this time, he discovered 'Kika Oban Roku-sonae no Saho no sho,' 'Bunkoku no shioki,' 'Hatto no shikimoku kyujukyukajo,' and 'Gungo' with Masatada ICHIKAWA, who was one of the four major magistrates. Additionally, Nagayasu OKUBO gradually distinguished himself, and at the beginning of the period of Koshu, it was a system based on Naruse and Kusakabe, but in the latter half, it was one of the three magistrates system with Naruse, Kusakabe, and Okubo. Meanwhile, the Akazonae (red arms) of Naomasa II was joined by Shogen ISHIGURO, who won back the severed head of Torasada MOROZUMI with Masakazu. In 1585, his eldest son, Masanari, was appointed head of the group of the newly established Negoro group (one of the hundred member groups of the Edo bakufu). Additionally, Shigemasa YAMAGUCHI, the grand master of the Negoro Group of musketeers and the lord of the Ushiku domain, was the first father-in-law of Masakazu's third son, Masatake.

After the raid in Kanto
When Ieyasu conducted a raid in Kanto, he served as a guide, and was later appointed as local magistrate of Hachigata-jo Castle in Musashi Province, governing together with police sergent Mukawashu. In 1592, he reconstructed the main shrine of the current Chichibu-jinja Shrine. In addition, as high quality lime and lumber are found in Chichibu and Hachioji, he supplied building material in collaboration with Nagayasu OKUBO in Hachioji for the construction of Edo-jo Castle and the castle town.

During the Battle of Sekigahara, he served with Sadayoshi KUSAKABE as the flag commissioner for Hidetada TOKUGAWA, and was later granted 2,100 koku in Musashi and Omi Provinces.

Later years
Since the Battle of Sekigahara, he remained as high commissioner of Fushimi-jo Castle. In 1615, he was unofficially offered by Ieyas to give him the Kameyama-jo Castle (Ise Province) to be ranked as feudal lords, but he refused and died in Fushimi.


In identifying the flags on the Takeda side in the Battle of Nagashino, he did not make any mistakes.

When he put up a sign suggesting a visit to Kichiemon NARUSE, Mukawashu and other former vassals from the Takeda clan who were taking refuge from the hunt came to Masakazu for help.

In 1615, he was unofficially offered by Ieyasu to be ranked as feudal lords, but he refused saying satisfaction should be taken as a warning. Because he thought that his children had been treated better than their social position warranted, he never became a territorial lord, but received gold coins instead, and divided them with his associates and those working under him including Sadayoshi KUSAKABE.

After his third son Masatake's Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment), Masatake's wife Osen and grandson Sukemasa NARUSE, who were on their way to Obi-jo Castle stopped by Fushimi to see him, but he did not allow them out of consideration for Ieyasu.