Irobe Nagazane (色部長実)

Nagazane IROBE was a busho (Japanese military commander) from the Sengoku period (period of warring states) to the Azuchi Momoyama period. He was the vassal of the Uesugi clan in Echigo Province. He was the lord of Hirabayashi-jo Castle and governed the fiefdom of Koizumi, Iwafune County, Echigo Province. He later changed his first name to 'Nagamasa'. His legal wife was the younger sister of Shigeie SHIBATA.

Brief Personal History
In 1553, Nagazane was born the son of Katsunaga IROBE, the senior vassal of the Echigo Nagao clan (Uesugi clan). As he had an older brother, Akinaga IROBE, who was a heir, the family head was succeeded by his brother after the death of his father. In 1576, however, Akinaga went into retirement because of his delicate health and transferred the family responsibilities to Nagazane, who became the head of the Irobe clan and served Kenshin UESUGI.

In the Otate War, which occurred after the death of Shingen in 1578, he supported Kagekatsu UESUGI and fought against the army of Kagetora UESUGI. Afterwards, he became the vassal of Kagekatsu. When Shigeie SHIBATA staged a revolt in 1581, Nagazane was instructed to encounter Shigeie because his wife was the younger sister of Shigeie.

When an uprising took place in Senboku in 1590, he was stationed at Omori-jo Castle in Hiraka County by order of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, whereby together with Yoshitsugu OTANI, he contributed to the suppression of the uprising. When the invasions of Korea started under the order of Hideyoshi in 1592, he accompanied Kagekatsu to Nagoya-jo Castle in Hizen Province, but suffered illness on the way and died in Kyoto. He died at the age of 40.

Incidentally, Matajiro (Yasunaga) IROBE, who appears as a vassal in the story Chushingura (The treasury of Loyal Retainers), and Nagato IROBE, who served as a Karo (chief retainer) during the Boshin Civil War and died in battle in Niigata, were the descendants of Nagazane.
(They were not direct descendants because the clan had also been succeeded by adopted heirs etc.)