Takeda Clan

Takeda Clan
Mon of the Takeda Clan.
  • First Ruler: –
  • Final Ruler: Takeda Katusyori
  • Dissolution: Suicide of Katsuyori in 1582.
  • Cadet Branches: Aki, Kai, Wakasa
  • For a full list of Japanese Clans see: Clans.

Takeda Clan

The Takeda Clan (武田氏) was a prominent clan and military house during the Kamakura, Muromachi and Azuchi-Momoyama Periods, taking their name from Takeda in Kai Province.1

Kamakura Period

The Clan fought during the Taira-Minamoto war (1180) for Minamoto no Yorimoto, as well as taking part in the Jōkyū Disturbance of 1221. Takeda Nobumitsu became shugo of Aki Province for his involvement in the 1221 disturbance, establishing the Aki Branch of the family.1

Muromachi Period

During the Eikyō Disturbance in 1438 they helped the shogunate in destroying Ashikaga Mochiuji.1

Takeda Shingen, after displacing his father Nobutora in 1541 aimed to conquer much territory, attacking the provinces of Shinano and Echigo Province. A series of later attempts at failed alliences led to the Battle of Mitakagahara in 1573 against Oda Nobunaga, of which the Takeda were victorious.2

During the Sengoku Period, to help fuel their battles and other exploits, the Takeda gained much of their money from a secret mine located in the Kurokawa Kinzan Mountain (see Oiran Buchi). The gold mining peaked during Takeda Shingen, who used the gold to build a large spy network, adept at using female ninja ‘ku-no-ichi‘. These women posed as anything from, holy women, to servants, to prostitutes who gained intel from his rivals.3

Azuchi-Momoyama Period

After Shingen’s death, his work was left to his son Katsuyori. Katsuyori would eventually fail as his allies left to side with Nobunaga, causing him to eventually flee and commit suicide in 1582.1

Both main branches of the Takeda (the Kai and Wakasa branches) were destroyed within four months and one week of one another,1 with the death of Takeda Katusyori marking the end of the family.2

Branch Families

Aki

There were at least 10 Takeda shugo during the Muromachi Shogunate from Aki Province, this lineage started by Takeda Nobumitsu after his involvement in the Jōkyū Disturbance.1

Kai

This branch fell to Oda Nobunaga in 1582 folowing the exploits of Shingen and his son Katsuyori.1

Wakasa

An offshoot of the Aki Branch, this lineage of military governors dwelled in Wakasa Province from 1440. These Takeda were known for cultural pursuits, including a compiled set of rules of chivalrous bearing, especially of mounted archery (yabusame). This branch developed a Takeda school of military ettiquette (kyūba kojitsu).

By the late 16th century they fall under the sway of Oda Nobunaga, with the exploits of Takeda Motoaki leading to the destruction of the Wakasa branch.1

Members of the House

Aki Branch

Kai Branch

Wakasa Branch

Footnotes

1. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
2. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
3. Yoda, H & Alt, M. (2012) “Yurei Attack: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide” Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing.

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