Takeda Katsuyori

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Takeda Katsuyori

Takeda Katsuyori (武田 勝頼, 1546 – 3 April 1582) was a Japanese daimyō of the Sengoku period,who was famed as the head of the Takeda clan and the successor to the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen. He was the son of Shingen by the daughter of Suwa Yorishige (posthumous name:Suwa-goryōnin (諏訪御料人, real name, Koihime)).[1] Katsuyori's children included Takeda Nobukatsu and Katsuchika.[2]

He defeated Hojo Tsunashige in the 1569 Siege of Kanbara and successfully took a Tokugawa clan possession in the 1572 Siege of Futamata, participated in the Battle of Mikatagahara, and initiated the Battle of Omosu in 1580.[3]


Katsuyori, first known as Suwa Shirō Katsuyori (諏訪四郎勝頼), succeeded to his mother's Suwa clan and gained Takatō Castle as the seat of his domain.

After his elder brother Takeda Yoshinobu died, Katsuyori's son Nobukatsu became heir to the Takeda clan, making Katsuyori the true ruler of the Takeda clan.[4]

He took charge of the family after the death of Shingen and fought Tokugawa Ieyasu at Takatenjin in 1574 and at Nagashino in 1575, he captured Takatenjin, which even his father could not; this gained him the support of the Takeda clan, but he suffered a terrible loss at Nagashino, succumbing to one of the earliest recorded uses of volley fire (Oda Nobunaga's 3000 guns), in which he lost a large part of his forces as well as a number of his generals.[5]

Katsuyori incurred the wrath of the Hōjō family by helping Uesugi Kagekatsu against Uesugi Kagetora who was Hōjō Ujiyasu's seventh son, adopted by and heir to Uesugi Kenshin.

He lost Takatenjin in 1581 and this led clans like Kiso and Anayama to withdraw their support, his forces were destroyed by the combined armies of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu at Temmokuzan in 1582, after which Katsuyori, his wife, and his son committed their ritual suicide, known as seppuku.[4][3]:231

The nun Rikei wrote an account of his wife's suicide and, pitying them, wrote several verses in their honour.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Takeda Katsuyori married Toyoma Fujin, the adopted daughter of Oda Nobunaga, she died while giving birth to their son Nobukatsu in 1567. Katsuyori later married Hojo Masako, daughter of Hojo Ujimasa, she bore a son and two daughters. In 1582, at the age of 19, she killed herself (jigai), along with her husband, their daughters married and had families. Their son, Takeda Katsuchika, lived to the age of 103.


Father: Takeda Shingen (1521–1573)




  • Tei-hime, married Miyahara Yoshihisa
  • Kougu-hime, married Naitō Tadaoki


Media related to Takeda Katsuyori at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Sato, Hiroaki (1995). Legends of the Samurai. Overlook Duckworth. p. 209. ISBN 9781590207307.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 219,222–223,230. ISBN 1854095234.
  4. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen (1987). Battles of the Samurai. London: Arms and Armour Press. pp. 79–94. ISBN 9780853688266.
  5. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1977). The Samurai. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 156–160. ISBN 9780026205405.
  6. ^ Sato, Hiroaki (2008). Japanese Women Poets. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, Inc. pp. 137–139. ISBN 9780765617842.

References and further reading[edit]

This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.