Kuki Takanao (九鬼隆直)

Takanao KUKI (1687 - Sep.11, 1752) was a daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) of the Edo period. He was the third lord of Ayabe Domain in Tanba Province.

He was the eleventh son of Nobusada MATSUDAIRA (of the Okochi Matsudaira family), who was a taishin hatamoto (greater vassal). His lawful wife was a daughter of Tadashige AOYAMA. Takahide KUKI was his son (the eldest son). His official court rank was Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) and his duties were Buzen no kuni no kami (Governor of Buzen Province) and Nagato no kuni no kami (Governor of Nagato Province).

On 1696, he became an adopted heir of Takatsune KUKI, who was the former lord of the domain. On 1698, he succeeded the adoptive father upon his death. The domain's financial position was worsened, however, when the administration of the domain suffered a series of setbacks, including the destruction of its hantei (residence maintained by a daimyo in Edo) in a fire and damage caused by a rash of natural disasters such as storms, floods, and fires. On February 24, 1713, he yielded the position of head of the family to his adopted heir, Takanobu KUKI, and changed his own name to Zuio. On September 11, 1752, he died at the age of 66. His hogo (a Buddhist name) was Zuio Yokan Seiteiin.

Even though he was a daimyo, he was also a high-caliber disciple of Yuken TAKINO, who was the master of Kito-ryu school. As a result, Kito-ryu school became the school of Japanese martial art handed down in the Kuki family after Takanao.