Nobutoyo TAKEDA (the Kai-Takeda clan) (武田信豊 (甲斐武田氏))

Nobutoyo TAKEDA was a military commander in the period of warring states. He was a family member of the Takeda clan in Kai Province, and was the second son of Nobushige TAKEDA who succeeded the branch family line of the Yoshida clan. He was a nephew of Shingen TAKEDA. Since his older brother Yoshikatsu TAKEDA became an adopted child of the Mochizuki family (Nobuyori MOCHIZUKI) and died young right after his father, Nobutoyo succeeded the household.


In 1549, he was born as the second son of Nobushige TAKEDA, who was the real younger brother of Shingen TAKEDA, the lord of Kai province. His birth year was counted backward from his age of death 34, which was stated in "Todaiki". Nobushige had three sons, among them, Nobuyori, who was two years older than Nobutoyo, succeeded the family name of the Mochizuki clan in Shinano Province and became a territorial lord's relative who become the head of his own family. It is thought that he was treated as a legitimate son, since Nobutoyo's mother was the lawful wife of Nobushige (based on Motoki KURODA's theory).

After his father Nobushige died in the fourth battle of Kawanakajima in 1561, Nobutoyo took over his father's post and became a territorial lord's relative who become the head of his own family. Among the Mochizuki clan, Nobuyori (Yoshikatsu) died in the battle of Kawanakajima, and Nobutoyo's younger brother Nobunaga took over the post.

In 1567, Yoshinobu incident occurred, thereby Yoshinobu TAKEDA, the legitimate son of Shingen of the Takeda family was disinherited. To calm down vassals who were upset, a sworn oath was sent to Ikushima Tarushima-jinja Shrine. In a first appearance in Nobutoyo's documents, it was Nobutoyo and his uncle Nobukado TAKEDA who submitted sworn oaths among the relative members. After the Yoshinobu incident, Nobutoyo's cousin Katsuyori TAKEDA was designated as the heir in 1571. According to the "Koyo Gunkan", Nobutoyo was in the position of assisting Katsuyori with Nobukimi ANAYAMA among the TAKEDA vassals. He served as an officer at Shinano Takato-jo Castle at the time of the Suruga invasion in the latter half of the reign of Shingen and in the strategy to conquer westward in 1572. According to a theory, the military under his command would be dressed all in black.

Incidentally, it is the most widely believed theory that Nobutoyo's core position in the Takeda family was the lord of Shinano Komoro-jo Castle, which was Nobutoyo's base to rule the eastern Shinano region; however, any documents to prove Komoro territory ruled by Nobutoyo were not found. In the "Shinchoko-ki", the "Koranki", and the "Gunkan", the lord of Komoro-jo Castle was stated as the Shimosone clan, indicating that Nobutoyo fled to Komoro-jo Castle when the Takeda clan was on the downfall.

In the Katsuyori period, the Battle of Nagashino took place in 1575, and Nobutoyo went into battle as the fourth soldier on the left wing, but withdrew soon after he learned that the Takeda side was inferior. Masanobu KOSAKA was furious at that Nobutoyo's behavior more than Katsuyori was.
Masanobu even stated in one of the five articles of the report that was submitted to Katsuyori in mid-June, 'Please have Nobutoyo order ANAYAMA (Nobukimi ANAYAMA who deserted the army along with Nobutoyo) to commit Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment) and have Nobutoyo follow Nobukimi.'

In the Katsuyori period, Nobutoyo took charge of negotiation in the alliance with Sagami and Echigo formed through Shogun Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA's good offices. In the Otate War, which took place after the death of Kenshin UESUGI, he was first dispatched to the border of the Shinetsu region for the purpose of supporting Kagetora UESUGI; later, he worked as a liaison for the Koetsu Alliance with Kagekatsu UESUGI, who won the war. According to the "Gunkan", Katsuyori called off his second daughter's engagement with Katsuchiyo ANAYAMA, the legitimate son of Nobukimi ANAYAMA, which was his promise with ANAYAMA, and had her marry the son of Nobutoyo in 1581.

In March 1582, Yoshimasa KISO, the lord of Kiso Valley, secretly communicated with Nobunaga ODA and rebelled against the Takeda clan. Katsuyori TAKEDA dispatched a punitive force led by the commander Nobutoyo to Kiso Valley, but he was defeated by KISO, which was supported by the Nobutada ODA's force in Torii Pass. The "Shinchoko-ki" and the "Koranki" stated that Nobutoyo fled to Komoro-jo Castle with about 20 horesemen to attempt a comeback after the defeat in the subjugation of Takeda. However, the keeper of Komoro-jo Castle Nobutsune SHIMOSONE rebelled against Nobutoyo and fired the secondary enclosure of the caslte; Nobutoyo committed suicide with his legitimate son, his birth mother, and his vassals. He died at the age of thirty-four.

The severed heads of Nobutoyo, Katsuyori, and Morinobu NISHINA were transported to Kyoto, and buried within the Myoshin-ji Temple. The object of worship housed in the Kobe Gongen (Ohira-jinja Shrine) in Achi-mura, Nagano Prefecture was the skull--some people have said that it was the Nobutoyo's skull.

Personal Profile

Nobutoyo had a positive assessment as a senior vassal of Katsuyori. The "Koranki" describes Nobutoyo as a person who was in the same generation as Katsuyori and was so close to Katsuyori that he assisted Katsuyori in his governance. In the "Gunkan" and the "Takeda Sandai Gunki", he was referred to as the 'vice-shogun of TAKEDA'.

Since Nobutoyo's nickname Tenkyu (Minister of Horses indicated in Chinese) was the same as that of his father Nobushige, Nobushige was called Ko-tenkyu (old Tenkyu) while Nobutoyo was simply called Tenkyu or Go-tenkyu (latter Tenkyu).