Asano Naganori (浅野長矩)
Naganori ASANO was a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) in the early and middle Edo period. He was the third lord of Ako Domain, Harima Province. His official rank was Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade), takumi-no-kami (the head of Bureau of Skilled Artisans). He is usually called Asano Takumi no Kami because of his Buke-kani(official court titles for samurai). He was made famous as a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) by the masterpiece called Chushingura (The treasury of Loyal Retainers), which is a theatrical version of Genroku Ako Incident.
Naganori was born in 1667 as the eldest son to Nagatomo ASANO, a son of the lord of the Ako Domain Naganao ASANO. His mother was Hachi NAITO (lawful wife), a daughter of Tadamasa NAITO, fudai daimyo (a daimyo in hereditary vassal to the Tokugawa family) (the lord of Toba domain of the Province of Shima). He was literally born as the heir of the Ako Asano family. His childhood name "Mataichiro" makes it clear (it was the same name as his grandfather Naganao, his father Nagatomo).
The Ako Asano family was one of the branch of the Hiroshima Asano family and Nagashige ASANO, the third son of Nagamasa ASANO, was the earliest ancestor. It began with Nagamasa ASANO's having been given 50,000 koku crop yields of Makabe Domain, Hitachi Province as his own retirement stipend aside from 370,000 koku crop yields of Kishu Domain (later 420,000 koku crop yields of the Hiroshima Domain in Aki Province) for his eldest son Yoshinaga ASANO, in 1606. It was the third son Nagashige ASANO who succeeded the family estate of that 50,000 koku crop yields after Nagamasa's death in 1611. Nagashige became the lord of Kasama Domain in 1622 and died in 1632.
Naganao, the legitimate son of Nagashige succeeded the lord of Kasama Domain, but he became the lord of Ako Domain in 1645. It was the beginning of 50,000 koku crop yields of the Ako Asano family. Naganao ASANO, who had become the lord of Ako Domain, was renowned as a wise ruler who had built the foundation of Ako Domain, establishing water supply system and Ako salt development. Nagatomo ASANO was born as a legitimate son to Naganao, and Naganori was born to Nagatomo as an heir.
The heavy line represents biological child, the double line adopted child, and the horizontal thin line marriage.
The lord of the Ako Domain
He was born on September 28, 1667, as the eldest son of Nagatomo ASANO in the kamiyashiki of the Asano family (current St. Luke's international hospital) in Edo Tepposu (current Akashi-cho, Chuo Ward, Tokyo).
His father, Nagatomo, was promoted to level of lord of the Domain in March 167, but 3 years later, on February 20, 1675, Nagatomo died. His real mother, Hachi of the Naito clan, also died on February 6, 1673, so Naganori lost both of his parents in early childhood.
On April 19, 1675, Naganori succeeded the reigns of the family at the age of only 9, becoming the third lord of the domain. On May 1 of the same year, he had an audience with the 4th Shogun Ietsuna TOKUGAWA, presenting the sword of the Bizen no kami family, which was a relic of his father. On June 16, 1675, a contract marriage between Naganori and Princess Yozenin, the daughter of Nagaharu ASANO (the third-order lord of Hiroshima Domain, Bingo Province) was applied for with he Bakufu, and it was approved on September 27. Therefore, Aguri moved into Tepposu kamiyashiki in Ako Domain in 1678.
On September 10, 1680, he was promoted to Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and on 21, given a government post as takumi-no-kami (the head of Bureau of Skilled Artisans), which was the same post as his grandfather Naganao.
On March 1681, he received an official appointment to become Edo Kanda-basi Bridge goban (person on duty) from Bakufu. On October 4, 1684, at the age of 15, he began learning Yamagaryu (Yamaga school) military science under the instruction of Soko YAMAGA. On May 5,1682, Naganori was selected as one of the persons in charge of entertaining Chosen Tsushinshi (Emissary from Korea) and he entertained 伊趾寛, who is the chief of Emissary, in Izu Mishima (current Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture) on August 9. The daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) in charge of entertaining together in Mishima house was the lord of Ashimori Domain Bicchu Province Kinsada KINOSHITA, who later became Uketori-yaku when Ako Domain was abolished.
On March 4, 1683, he was assigned to entertain Sadanobu KAZANIN (Shonii Naidaijin [Senior Second Rank, Inner Minister]) and Arishige CHIGUSA (Shonii Gon Dainagon [Senior Second Rank, a provisional chief councilor of state), who were coming Edo as an Imperial envoy of the Emperor Reigen, and actually entertained them on March. Asano succeeded in entertaining them, though Yoshinaka KIRA of koke (a master of ceremony) attended as an instructor of Imperial envoy banquet also this time. And Katsutoyo HIJIKATA, the lord of Komono Domain, was in charge of entertaining Inshi (a messenger from the retired Emperor), on this occasion. The daughter of Katsutoyo later married Nagahiro ASANO, the younger brother of Naganori. It is likely that the discussion of marriage was raised between the Asano family and the Hijikata family when they served in charge of entertainment.
Right after his finishing the duty as a person in charge of entertaining Imperial envoy, he married Aguri officially on May. On June 12, give or take a few days of that marriage, his Karo (chief retainer) Yoshishige OISHI (grand-uncle of Yoshio OISHI. And he was the relative of the Asano family. See Tanomonosuke and Kura no suke for further information) died in Edo. Tanomonosuke OISHI was a roshin (old or key retainer) who was a guardian of Yoshio OISHI, who became Hitto karo (the head of chief retainers) young, and assisted Naganori Asano, who was a young lord of the domain, governing the politics of Ako Domain actually instead of the two.
However, it is not likely the real power of administration of the domain was shifted to Naganori because of that. Naganori was only 17 years old according to the traditional Japanese way of counting (15 years old according to the current way of counting) and Kuranosuke OISHI from his hometown was only 25 years old according to that way of counting, though he was already given the title of Hitto karo (the head of chief retainers). Therefore, it is likely the real power of the domain was naturally shifted to Tomofusa OONO (Masseki Karo), who was the next roshin (old or key retainer) to Tanomonosuke.
On August 15 of the same year, he entered his territory Ako for the first time and met the vassals hometown such as Yoshio OISHI. From then on, he traveled back and forth between Edo and Ako every other year by Sankin-kotai (daimyo's alternate-year residence in Edo).
On September 24, 1684, he submitted a testimony written with his younger brother Nagahiro ASANO to Soko YAMAGA while he was in Edo, however Soko died in Edo the following year.
On January 21, 1691, he was assigned as a firefighter of Honjo (proprietor or guarantor of a private estate) when he was in Edo, and he sometimes worked as a firefighter since then. (When Kira Kozuke no Sake lost his mansion Kajibashitei destroyed in the great fire of Edo on October 9, 1698, it was Naganori ASANO who led the firefighters then.
One theory has it that Naganori's having failed to protect the former mansion of the Kira family caused resentment of Kira, leading to the hostility later)
On January 17, 1694, he was assigned to receive Matsuyama-jo Castle (Bicchu Province), which was a castle of a daimyo (feudal lord), as the Mizutani family of the domain of Bicchu-matsuyama was abolished. Therefore, Naganori left Ako leading the troops of 3500 soldiers to Bicchu Matsuyama (current Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture) on March 13, 1694. On March 18, he received the castle from Kuranosuke TSURUMI, Karo (chief retainer) of the Mizutani family, bloodlessly. Naganori left for Ako the next day of the surrender of the castle, leaving Hitto karo (the head of chief retainers) Kuranosuke OISHI in Matsuyama-jo Castle to attend it, and the Asano family had been in charge of Matsuyama-jo Castle for 1 year and 9 months until Shigehiro ANDO entered the castle as a new lord the following year.
On October 9, 1694, he tentatively adopted his younger brother Nagahiro ASANO because he had no children between Aguri, and gave him 3,000 koku crop yields of new field, making him independent as bakufu hatamoto (direct retainers of the bakufu, which is a form of Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). And on February 2, 1696, he formally adopted Nagahiro as a legitimate son, preparing for any possibility, as Naganori fell into critical condition due to smallpox. The information of ' Naganori is in critical condition' was delivered to senior vassals hometown such as Kuranosuke OISHI, by a courier Mototoki HARA (a head of ashigaru [common foot soldier]).
(Hara was later selected as the first courier to deliver the information of Ninjo (an attack using sword) inside the palace to hometown)
However, Naganori had been improving and fully recovered around June 1696. He was assigned to watch out for fire of Honjo (proprietor or guarantor of a private estate) lumber stock being given credit for his achievements as a firefighter daimyo (Japanese feudal lord). On September 4, 1698, he received an official appointment as Kanda-basi Bridge goban again. And he became Sakurada-mon Gate goban on July 31, 1700. On December 23 of the same year, the wedding ceremony between Naganori's adopted child Nagahiro ASANO and Katsutoyo HIJIKATA's daughter was held.
Then, on March 13, 1701, he received an official appointment to entertain the Imperial envoy for the second time.
Ninjo (an attack using sword) Inside the Palace
Naganori ASANO was assigned to entertain Imperial envoys coming down to Edo by bakufu. The instructor of entertainment was Yoshinaka KIRA, just like in 1683. However, Kira was in the capital to do the duty of koke (a master of ceremony) at that moment, and had not returned to Edo until March 27. Therefore, Naganori had to prepare during that 25 days on his own, getting the idea that 'Kira is unnecessary', and it is likely that notion had some influence on the relationship between them.
The party of Sukekado YANAGIWARA and Yasuharu TAKANO, the Imperial envoys of Emperor Higashiyama, and Hirosada SEIKANJI, the Inshi (a messenger from the retired Emperor) of Emperor Reigen, left Kyoto on March 26. Naganori entered residence for Imperial envoys in Edo (current Marunouchi Chiyoda Ward 1-4 Japan Industrial Club) on April 17 as he was informed that Imperial envoys had reached Shinagawa-shuku Station. Then, Imperial envoys reached the residence for Imperial envoys in Edo on April 18. At first, roju (senior councilor) Masanao TSUCHIYA, koke (a master of ceremony) Motokuro HATAKEYAMA and others had an audience with Imperial envoys and Inshi (a messenger from the retired Emperor), and Asano, who was in charge of the entertainment, was introduced then. It was the beginning of the duty of the person in charge of entertaining Imperial envoy. On April 19, Imperial envoys and Inshi (a messenger from the retired Emperor) came to the castle and participated in the ceremony held in Siroshoin to give Seishi (the order or policy of Emperor) and Inshi (that of retired Emperor) to Shogun Tsunayoshi as an imperial grant (grant as an imperial gift), and the Imperial envoys and Inshi were invited to the event of Noh sponsored by Shogun on April 20. He had been doing his duty perfectly until that day.
It was then that the fateful day of April 21, 1701 came. It was a day which was regarded as the day of the highest social status of all bakufu's rites and festivals of the year, in which the ceremony of Shogun's answering to Seishi and Inshi given him before was held. However, around 11 a.m. just before the ceremony, Naganori approached Yoshinaka KIRA from behind while Kira was having a meeting about the ceremony with hatamoto (bannermen) Yoriteru KAJIKAWA at the Great Corridor of the main ward of Edo-jo castle (common name; matsu no roka [literally, a corridor of pine trees]), and Naganori slashed Kira with a short sword. According to 'Kajikawa hikki' written by Yosobei KAJIKAWA, Asano screamed 'This is for revenge' while cutting him down. However, Asano only cut Yoshinaka's forehead and back, having slashed with short sword which was supposed to thrust, and besides, Asano was apprehended by Yosobei KAJIKAWA before attacking Kira a third time. Muratoyo DATE, a person in charge of entertaining Inshi (a messenger from the retired Emperor), a group of koke and chabozu (tea-server) ran to support in apprehending Asano, having seen the turmoil, and Koreuji SHINAGAWA and Yoshiyasu HATAKEYAMA, who were koke (a master of ceremony), carried Kira to Sotetsuno-ma Chamber. Thus, Asano's attack failed. It is likely the room Naganori was carried was the room of Nakanokuchi bozu (Buddhist priest), though it varies depending on the document ('the room of bozu' is clearly written in such as "Goseki-kenbunki" [Record of personal experiences of Goseki] and "Tamurake oazukari ikken" [Record of the Tamura family's having the custody of Natganori ASANO]).
'Interrogation' of Naganori
No verifiable evidence remains about Naganori said at that time. Moreover, it is unclear whether the interrogation itself was conducted, unable to confirm from documents. However, according to 'Okado hikki' written by metsuke (inspector of foot soldiers) of bakufu Shigetomo OKADO (That is, Tamon's self-description. Okado's document required careful attention because he was said to be habitually lying), Okado conducted the interrogation of Naganori ASANO as metsuke (inspector of foot soldiers). According to 'Okado hikki,' Naganori only said, "I attacked him for my own personal revenge because I was extremely angry. I have nothing to say no matter what crime I am accused of. All I can say is that I highly regret failing to kill Kozuke no suke." In other words, he only described his attempt to kill Kira using his sword arising from a personal grudge, but he never described his motive or the background. He only seemed to be concerned what would happen to Kira. Okado gently said, "He is an old man, he will not be around long" out of any respect for Naganori, and Okado also wrote that Naganori had a satisfactory look on his face.
Around 1 p.m. it was decided Naganori was to be placed under the custody of the Yashiki (mansion) in Shiba Atago, the territory of Tatsuaki TAMURA (the lord of Ichinoseki Domain, Mutsu Province), a sojaban (an official in charge of the ceremonies), and Tamura returned his own Yashiki in haste, dispatching 75 feudal retainers of Ichinoseki Domain such as Gengo HINOKIGAWA, Heiemon MUKI, Genshiro HARADA and Jizaemon KAN to transfer custody. Around 3 p.m. Naganori, who was put in the cage by feudal retainers of Ichinoseki Domain, was carried to Tamura mansion in Shiba Atago (current Shinbashi Minato Ward, Tokyo), leaving Edo-jo Castle through Hirakawaguchi-mon gate, which was Fujo-mon gate (Fujo-mon gate means that the gate using to carry out the dead or criminals).
The punishment on Naganori had already been decided in Edo-jo Castle while he was being carried. Tsunayoshi TOKUGAWA, who was known for his reverence for the emperor, drew a quick conclusion of Naganori's immediate Seppuku and abolishment of the Ako Asano family 50,000 koku crop yields, being enraged about the spoiled ceremony held for Imperial Court. According to 'Okado hikki', Okado protested to say, "He must have had so much grudge as to abandon takumi-no-kami (the head of Bureau of Skilled Artisans) 50,000 koku crop yields daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) and kamei (family name), it is difficult to clear whether he was mad or there was a fault on the part of Kozuke no suke (snip) I think this case should be reconsidered. Kozuke no suke answered when he was investigated that takumi-no-kami could be beside himself to slash him because he had done nothing to be held a grudge, forcing takumi-no-kami to Seppuku on the same day is too easy and quick decision." when Akihide KATO and Shigetomi INAGAKI, who were wakadoshiyori, informed that decision of Okado. Kato and Inagaki said, "That is quite right. We'll tell roju (senior councilor) about it," asking roju for thorough investigation, but Yoshiyasu YANAGISAWA, Tairokaku (chief minister class)sobayonin (lord chamberlain), rejected to pass along that to Tsunayoshi, making the decision of Naganori's Seppuku on the same day conclusive.
Asano Takumi no Kami was the first to be ordered to Seppuku on the same day, though affairs of sword fights had occurred several times before. It appears Tsunayoshi made a quick decision with political purpose, he wanted to prevent his real mother Keisho-in's being granted Juichii (Junior First Rank) from being washed out, displaying his allegiance to the Imperial Court by carrying out Naganori's execution. (Tsunayoshi was appealing to the Imperial Court for Keisho-in about Juichii [Junior First Rank] and it is highly likely she will be granted it in that year) Also, it is highly possible the weak punishment of the past contributed to that incident because despite Tadakatsu NAITO, the uncle of Asano Takumi no Kami, had committed the same crime, this time his close blood relatives did.
The following is according to "takumi-no-kami oazukari ikken" (Record of Natganori ASANO in custody). Around 4 p.m. Naganori reached Tamura mansion, being held in the enclosure of Deai-no-ma chamber, then was taken off his daimon (shogun or daimyo's formal costume consisting of wide sleeved jacket with family crests) first. Naganori wanted two yuzuke (hot water on cold rice) though one soup and 5 dishes were served. The Tamura family never thought of Seppuku on the same day, thinking they were to hold him for a while instead, nailing the fusuma of Naganori's zashiki (a Japanese style guest room with tatami flooring). Around 5 p.m. Yasutoshi SHODA (Ometsuke[a chief of inspector of foot soldiers]) as Kenshi (inspector) of Bakufu, Denpachiro OKADO and Tadashige OKUBO (metsuke [inspector of foot soldiers]) as assistant Kenshi reached Tamura mansion, sentencing Asano Seppuku and Kaieki (change or forfeit of ranks) at Deai-no-ma chamber. It is said Asano replied, "I'm honored to be ordered Seppuku of all punishments."
After that sentence, Seppuku was carried out immediately, shoji was opened and Naganori was carried to the place of Seppuku in the yard with two Kachi-metsuke title (job to do night duty and inspection) of bakufu behind him. Naganori died by Seppuku with Kaishaku (to assist someone in committing hara-kiri by beheading him) by Takedayu ISODA (bakufu Kachi-metsuke title [job to do night duty and inspection]) in the presence of bakufu Kenshi (inspector) such as Shoda, Okado and Okubo. He was 35 years old.
According to 'Okado hikki', Naganori left a death song 'Flowers taken away by wind, I also can't help feeling a vestige of the spring more than them.' when he carried out Seppuku. And it also said Gengoemon KATAOKA could meet his lord Naganori thanks to Okado's arrangement.
However, these descriptions are found only in 'Okado hikki'. As it has been stated earlier, the view that Okado was a habitual liar is very strong and the theory that these death poem and arrangement are doubtful is widely accepted.
Also according to 'Okado hikki', Okado protested Shoda, the governor of Shimousa Province, that Asano's seppuku taking place in the garden would have been extremely dishonorable to a Daimyo like Asano. However, Shoda dismissed it, saying, "Don't protest against me, because I'm seishi (senior envoy) and you are just an assistant." It seems also doubtful since it was written by Okado himself, but there seems little doubt that Shoda acted in favor of Kira because he was summoned along with hatamoto of Kira party such as koke Yoshitaka OTOMO (a comrade and friend of Yoshinaka KIRA) and Fuyushige TOJO (a real younger brother of Yoshinaka KIRA) and was removed as 'not working properly' the following year.
In addition, it is written in more reliable material "takumi-no-kami oazukari ikken" (Record of Naganori ASANO in custody) that Naganori left his will to his sobayonin (lord chamberlain), Takafusa KATAOKA and Masahisa ISOGAI.
According to that document, the will said 'I should have told you my motive of that incident, I know you are getting suspicious'
The will is mysterious and left unfinished. It is also unclear whether it is the original or something that followed was deleted by the Tamura family being in awe of bakufu.
After that, Naganori's body was taken by vassals of the Asano family informed by the Tamura family such as Gengoro KATAOKA, Kanzaemon KASUYA (250 koku crop yields yojin[lord chamberlain] and 20 koku crop yields yakuryo[executive allowance]), Kiroku TAKEBE (250 koku crop yields Edo rusuiyaku [a person representing the master during his absence]), Sadashiro TANAKA (150 koku crop yields kinju [attendant]), Masahisa ISOGAI (150 koku crop yields kinju [attendant]) and Seiemon NAKAMURA (100 koku crop yields kinju [attendant]), and buried in Takanawa Sengaku-ji Temple.
See the section on the Genroku Ako Incident for details on what became of the remaining subjects such as Kuranosuke OISHI.
Cause of Ninjo (an attack using sword)
The reason for Naganori's attack remains unclear; he never explained the reason for his grudge. He only responded that he had a grudge when he was interrogated by Denpachiro OKADO. Therefore, there are many theories, though every theory remains a matter of speculation.
The following are some famous conjectures.
Cause of the Confrontation
His shinmotsu (gift) was fewer than Muratoyo DATE, the lord of Iyo-Yoshida Domain and Inshi (a messenger from the retired Emperor) Gochisonin (in charge of entertaining Inshi) (several documents).
The Asano family was stingy on the budget of Imperial envoy banquet (several documents).
Kira fell in love with the wife of takumi-no-kami, Aguri (spread due to Kanadehon Chushingura [The Treasury of Loyal Retainers]).
Asano, who was a disciple of sonnoka (person with reverence for the emperor) Soko YAMAGA, was enraged because Kira interfered in the matter of succession to the Imperial Throne (Genroku kaikyo roku [Record of the Valiant Vendetta of Genroku]).
Kira asked for the pretty pageboy of Asano and Asano rejected it (Masatada Bukan [a book of heraldry]).
Kira asked for the treasured chaki (tea set) of the Asano family and Asano rejected it (Chouso zassan [collection]).
About a shoga (calligraphic works and paintings) introduced in a tea party, Asano said 'It is a fake' while Kira appraised it as 'The genuine work of Ikkyu' (Ako seigi sanko Naishidokoro).
Asano wanted to give infamous Kira a heaven's punishment (Sekijyo Meiden).
Among those, the theory of a bribery is most popular, most of the movies, dramas, novels about Chushingura (The treasury of Loyal Retainers) adopts it. Even though it is written in Tokugawa jikki (The True Tokugawa Records) that Kira loved to be bribed and was humiliated when Asano refused to give Kira a bribe, it must be said its credibility is not clear because the document has not much value as a historical material.
And the theory proposed in recent years has it that Kira wanted to ask the production method of Ako salt, which was renowned for its good quality, because Aeba salt made in a part of Kirasho, Mikawa Province was not good quality, and was rejected, or it ended up a fight in Edo salt market. However, it also remains a matter of speculation.
'Asanoshi metsubou no ransho (story of the beginning of fall of the Asano family)' in "Sentoku zuihitsu (essay)" written by Sentoku MIZUMA (the Haikai master of feudal retainers of Ako Domain Gengo OTAKA, Yogoro KANZAKI, Sukeemon TOMINOMORI and Sanpei KAYANO) adopted the theory the Asano family was stingy on the budget, saying as follows: "The Asano family paid only 700 ryo for the expenses to entertain Imperial envoy, which cost 1200 ryo every year, and Kira protested against it, setting them in feud and ended up in Ninjo." It is noted as the most likely theory so far because it was told by the person who was a contemporary of Naganori ASANO's and close to feudal retainers of Ako Domain.
Details about "Bullying"
Kira told a lie that the formal dress at the ceremony of Emperor's reply was long kamishimo, in fact it was eboshi (formal headwear for court nobles) daimon (shogun or daimyo's formal costume consisting of wide sleeved jacket with family crests).
Kira told a lie about the time of the ceremony of Emperor's reply.
Kira told a lie about the food: "You must serve a vegetarian meal because it is a day for Imperial envoy to adhere to a vegetarian diet."
Asano was the only person that Kira did not inform of the fact that the tatami had to be renewed for Imperial envoy's visiting Zojo-ji Temple.
Kira had the Japanese ink painting Asano prepared changed to a gilded folding screen, saying "It is disrespectful to Imperial envoy."
Kira didn't show the instruction from the top to Asano.
Kira didn't tell about the position to welcome Imperial envoy when Asano asked.
Many researchers on gishi (loyal retainer) think it is unlikely for Kira to do such things because Kira was responsible for Naganori's failure and there are many questionable point considering that it was Asano's second time as a person in charge of the entertaining Imperial envoy. In the private record of Yahei HORIBE, it is written as follows: "Kira Kozuke no Suke made a derogatory remark on items in residence for imperial envoys in Edo." Only that part of the private record of Yahei describes the exact confrontation between Kira and Asano. It is unclear whether it is indicating the Sumie (Ink painting) and the gilded folding screen.
It is said he had a hot temper by nature. Such a description can be found in several documents.
Dou KURISAKI, who had treated Kira's wound, wrote that Asano was a hot-tempered person in 'Record of Dou KURISAKI'.
And Sadatake ISE wrote in '46 feudal retainers' Ronpyo (comment)' (Ise said he had the story from Naganori's brother Nagahiro ASANO [or Nagazumi ASANO, depending on the theory]) that Takumi-no-kami tended to go such extremes that he answered to say, "I can't offer bribes with flattery and do public work having negative side" when his vassal suggested he should give a bribe to Kira,
indicating Naganori was adamant.
Also, Kyuso MURO described Naganori's personality that he didn't like to bow his head, writing "Naganori was belligerent (or 'cave man' in marginal note) and never compromised" in his 'Ako gijin roku.'
In 'Dokai Koushuki', which is a record secret agent of bakufu investigated behaviors of daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) around the country, Naganori is praised that he was bright with knowledge. Maintaining his people well, his land and peasants were rich, whereas Naganori is also written he really liked women. Those vassals who found Naganori good women were promoted as flattering vassals were always favored by the lord. Needless to say, such vassals became tired of gold and silver, receiving big salary. He stayed in bedroom with women, having left the politics with his Karo (chief retainer) since he was a child, that is, Naganori loved women and promoted only vassals who offers him good women. He had left the politics with his Karo (chief retainer). However, such description is not true because actually takumi-no-kami had no concubine. It is unwise to take every such thing on faith because Dokai Koshuki (1690 compilation of reports of 243 daimyo) is one of the curiosa not having great value as a historical material.
There is an anecdote that Naganori had a psychiatric disease called 'Tsukae,' which made his chest heavy when he was enraged, but whether it was truth or not is uncertain.
There is a theory that his maternal genes are the cause because Naganori's maternal uncle Tadakatsu NAITO was forced into Seppuku and Kaieki (forfeit rank of Samurai and properties) due to attempt to cut Naonaga NAGAI during the funeral ceremony of the 4th Shogun Ietsuna TOKUGAWA in Zojo-ji Temple on June 26, 1680. However, that theory remains a matter of speculation.