Takeda Motonobu (武田元信)

Motonobu TAKEDA (1455-January 10, 1522) was the fifth head of the Wakasa-Takeda clan of the Takeda clan. He was Shugodaimyo (Japanese territorial lord as provincial constable) in Wakasa Province. He was the son of Kuninobu TAKEDA. He was the father of Motomitsu TAKEDA. His common name was Hikojiro. His official rank was Jibushoyu (Junior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Civil Administration), and later became Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) and Daizen no daibu (Master of the Palace Table). Being a warrior, he was an eminent person of culture with seasoned knowledge of aristocratic culture such as Ise Monogatari (The Tales of Ise) and Waka poetry.

Record of Motonobu TAKEDA

The Wakasa-Takeda clan had close ties with the Hosokawa clan, which had been Shogunal Deputy for generations. His name Motonobu (元信) is granting subordinates the use of a character from the superior's real name and is consisted of 'Moto' ('元') from Katsumoto HOSOKAWA and 'Shin' ('信') from the Takeda clan. Taking on the Eastern Camp during the Onin War, he was later named Shugo in the Tango Province and ordered to conquer the Isshiki clan of the Western Camp, but the fighting did not go well and he was often attacked in Wakasa.

Motomobu was the second oldest son, but he was considered to be his father Kuninobu's successor because his older brother Nobuchika TAKEDA died early. Motonobu encountered the Coup of Meio soon after his family inheritance, but after this he deepened the ties with the Hosokawa-keicho family and helped to bring the Wakasa Takeda family to prosperity. However, the confrontation with the Isshiki clan which was his arch rival in the Tango Province kept going back and forth, and he finally attacked the Isshiki clan being reinforcemed by the Asakura clan in the Echizen Province during the invasion of Wakasa by the Isshiki clan. Moreover, his rule was unstable due to peasant uprisings which took place in his territory. In 1519 he gave his headship to his son Motomitsu and became a priest.

On November 13, 1521 Motonobu presented 5000 hiki in renovation costs for the north gate of Kinri (the Imperial Palace), and in recognition of his service on 1st of December he was unusually promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) as Shugodaimyo (after his retirement). He was well versed in Waka and ancient practices and customs, and contributed greatly to the revival of art and culture which had declined during conflict and war. It is known that he had close contacts with the vassals of the Awaya clan and Sanetaka SANJONISHI, a man of rank in Kyoto. In the "Sanetaka Koki" (Sanetaka's Diary), designated a national important cultural property, it is written that Motonobu was in possession of a copy of the "Ise Monogatari" (The Tales of Ise) written by FUJIWARA no Sadaie himself. It is also known that Motonobu himself had been transcribing Sadaie's Ise Monogatari and his personal collections of poetry. His calligraphy is considered valuable as not much of it exists.