Takeda Shingen

Takeda Shingen

Takeda Shingen

Takeda Shingen (武田 信玄) was a daimyo of Kai Province living from 1521-73. Also going by the name of Takeda Harunobu, he was from long line of shugo of this province since Kamakura times.1

In 1541 he expelled his father Nobutora and so succeeds him as Head of the Kai Branch of the Takeda Clan.12

After doing so he starts to conquer his neighbours. The following year in 1542 he overwhelmed the lords of Shinano and was appointed shugo of the province by Ashikaga Yoshiteru. His next attack was centered against Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo province, where after a series of battles between 1553-1564 Shingen was the victor.

He made attempts at alliances with Imagawa Yoshimoto but ultimately failed, and following a victory against him in 1560 he attempted an alliance with Oda Nobunaga.  Making oppositions against the Hōjo Clan caused Tokugawa Ieyasu to ally with Uesugi Kenshin against him and so he reconciled with the Hōjo Clan and moved to attack Uesugi once more.

This led to him defeating Nobunaga and Ieyasu in the Battle of Mitakagahara in 1573, but he ultimately died of disease the same year on May 13th. It was left to his son, Katsuyori, to continue his work.1

During his lifetime the Clans hidden gold mine in the Kurokawa Kinzan Mountain reached its peak, with Shingen using the gold to build a large spy network, adept at using female ninja ‘ku-no-ichi‘.3


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

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