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  51 Famous Takeda Generals  

(Names in RED indicate one of the '24 Generals')



Takeda Shingen
Shingen was the eldest son of Takeda Nobutora and was known at first as Harunobu. Learning of his father's intent to disinherit him in favor of Nobushige, Shingen gave his support to a 'bloodless revolution' (as the affair is sometimes called) that overthrew Nobutora and sent him to exile in Suruga in 1541. He afterwards began to expand into Shinano and had secured that province by 1560. He fought with Uesugi Kenshin numerous times and made in-roads in Hida and Kôzuke Provinces. The last few years of his life were taken up fighting Tokugawa Ieyasu, whom he defeated at Mikatagahara in January 1573 (12/72 by lunar reckoning). His death is often attributed to a sniper's bullet but was most likely due to a respiratory ailment from which he had been suffering for some time. In addition to his military endeavors, Shingen is well remembered for his sound administration and public works.
Takeda Nobushige
Sama no Suke
Nobushige was a younger brother of Shingen. Though Shingen had derailed their father's plans to make Nobushige heir, the latter proved a vaulable help to his elder brother. He was known for both military prowess and wisdom. Sadly, he was killed at 4th Kawanakajima (1561) fighting the troops of Uesugi general Kakizaki Kagaie, though his head was recovered by Yamadera Nobuaki. He wrote the Kyûjukyu Kakun, a set of ninety-nine precepts for Takeda house members, some of which are erroneously attributed to Shingen himself from time to time. He is also known as Takeda Tenkyû (Tenkyû being another rank he held).
Takeda Nobukado
Nobukado was a younger brother of Takeda Shingen. While not known as a great captain, he was an avid painter (examples of his work survive to the present day, including a portrait of his mother) and a man of learning in general. He also acted as his brother's double from time to time. After Shingen's death, he served as an advisor to Katsuyori and fought at Nagashino (1575). He held Takato Castle in Shinano until his nephew (and in fact son-in-law) Nishina Morinobu came of age and took over the position. When Oda Nobunaga invaded the Takeda lands in 1582, Nobukado attempted to flee but was captured and beheaded by Oda troops at the Zenkoji in Shinano province.
Takeda Nobuzane
Hyôgo no suke
Nobuzane was a younger brother of Shingen. He was killed in an attack led by Sakai Tadatsugu and Kanamori Nagachika during the Battle of Nagashino. The Koyo Gunkan records that he occasionally acted as a double for his elder brother Shingen. His son Nobutoshi entered the service of the Tokugawa after the fall of the Takeda in 1582.
Ichijô Nobutatsu
Nobutatsu was a brother of Shigen, though he had a different mother then his elder brothers. He held Ueno Castle and served in a number of Shingen's battles, including Mikatagahara, and took part in the fighting at Nagashino in 1575 under his nephew Katsuyori. In 1582 he was captured by the Tokugawa and was put to death along with his son Nobunari.
Takeda Yoshinobu
Izu no kami
Yoshinobu was Shingen's eldest son. His mother was the daughter of court noble Sanjô Kinyori and Yoshinobu himself was married to a daughter of Imagawa Yoshimoto in 1552. He argued with his father over the conduct of the Battle of 4th Kawanakajima (1561), where he was wounded, and relations between father and son soured after this. In 1565 he was accused of plotting against Shingen and was confined to the Toko Temple. In 1567 he was made to commit suicide. Another theory has it that he died of illness, though most historians accept that Shingen ordered his death. He was also known as Takeda Taro.
Takeda Nobuchika
?? ??
Nobuchika was Shingen's second son. He was born blind and so was not fit for leading men in battle, though he acted as heir to the Unno family of Shinano. He commited suicide when Kai was invaded by the Oda and Tokugawa in 1582. His son Nobumitsu was afterwards protected by Tokugawa Ieyasu from harm.
Takeda Katsuyori
?? ??
Katsuyori was the 4th son of Shingen and was also known as Shirô. His mother was the daughter of Suwa Yorishige (whom Shingen had destroyed) and he was made heir to the Suwa house. He married an adopted daughter of Oda Nobunaga in 1565, though she was to die after delivering Katsuyori's son, Nobukatsu, in 1567. Nobukatsu was chosen as the heir to the Takeda house by Shingen, with Katsuyori to act as his guardian. Katsuyori effectively became the Takeda daimyô when his father died in 1573 and while he held an impressive record as a warrior prior to this, his defeat at Nagashino in 1575 doomed the clan. He continued to fight with the Tokugawa and Hôjô after that disaster, but when his enemies launched a joint invasion of the Takeda domain in 1582, the Takeda crumbled. Katsuyori commited suicide near Temmokuzan, largely abandoned by his retainers. A brave man, he lacked his father's talents as an administrator and strategist.
Nishina Morinobu
Satsuma no kami
Morinobu was another son of Shingen and was adopted into the Nishina family of Shinano in 1561. When he came of age he held Takato Castle in Shinano Province, and this he defended, along with Oyamada Masayuki, against the Oda army in 1582. When the castle was about to fall, Morinobu informed the Oda soldiers that he predicted the coming downfall of Oda Nobunaga, then commited suicide. Morinobu was also known as Takeda Harukiyo.
Takeda Nobutoyo
Nobutoyo was the second son of Takeda Nobushige (his eldest son was Mochizuki Nobumasa, d.1575 at Nagashino). He held Komoro Castle in Shinano and assisted his cousin Katsuyori in taking Kanbara Castle from the Hôjô in 1569 and played an important role in the attack at Nagashino in 1575 and the action around Numazu in 1579 against the Hôjô. He was killed in the Oda/Tokugawa invasion of the Takeda lands.
Morozumi Torasada
Bungo no kami
Torasada was the son of Takeda Nobumasa and was Takeda Shingen's great-uncle. He served three generations of Takeda and was finally killed in the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima. He is sometimes referred to as Morozumi Masakiyo.
Katanuma Nobumoto
?? ??
Nobumoto was Shingen's cousin and the son of Takeda (Katanuma) Nobutomo, who was killed fighting the Hôjô. In 1560 it was revealed that Nobumoto was plotting against Shingen and so he was made to commit suicide.
Abe Katsutoshi
Kaga no kami
Katsuyoshi was a retainer of Takeda Katsuyori who began his career as an aide and ended it as a general. He died during his lord's last stand at the Temmokuzan in 1582.
Akazawa Tsuneyasu
?? ??
Tsuneyasu was at first subordinate to Ogasawara Nagatoki of Shinano but joined Takeda Shingen and assisted him in his campaigns in that province. After the downfall of the Takeda in 1582, Tsuneyasu became a retainer of Ogasawara Nagayoshi. The following year he plotted to overthrow his lord but was discovered and made to commit suicide.
Akiyama Nobutomo
Hoki no kami
Nobutomo held Takato Castle in Shinano Province for many years. He captured Iwamura for Shingen in 1572, taking the castle after its castellan, Tôyama Kagetô, died of illness. He resisted the Oda's attempts at recapturing Iwamura until 1575, when, following the Takeda defeat at Nagashino, Oda Nobutada arrvived with a large army and surrounded the fort. Nobutada withdrew after a brief seige, but returned later that year and finally brought Iwamura down. Nobutomo was executed and his holdings in Shinano passed to his eldest son Katsuhisa (d.1582)
Amari Torayasu
Bizen no kami
Torayasu was a noted retainer first of Takeda Nobutora and then Takeda Shingen. He was reknowned for his bravery but was killed at the Battle of Uedahara.
Amari Masatada
Masatada was the eldest son of Torayasu. He fought in the Battle of Usuigatoge and Musashi-Matsuyama (1563) but was killed the following year by a riding accident. He is probably best known for an incident involving one of his wounded retainers. When the man's bleeding did not stop, Masatada advised him to drink horse feces and water to help clotting (a folk remedy). When the wounded man was hesitant to do so, Masatada himself consumed some of the concoction for him. Encouraged, his retainer drank from the same cup and it is said he recovered.
Anayama Nobukimi
Genba no Kami
Anayama was the son of Anayama Izu no kami Nobutomo (d.1560). He became Takeda Shingen's brother-in-law and saw service in many Takeda campaigns, later being given Ejiri Castle. He was present at 4th Kawanakajima (1561), Minowa (1566), Odawara (1569), Mikatagahara (1573), and Nagashino (1575). In 1582 he betrayed Takeda Katsuyori and joined Tokugawa Ieyasu, though he was assassinated shortly after the death of Oda Nobunaga, possibly by former Takeda retainers. He is said to have acted as a gunnery expert of sorts for Shingen during his career and was also known as Anayama Beisetsu.
Asahina Nobuoki
Suruga no kami
Nobuoki was from Suruga Province and originally a retainer of the Imagawa family. He joined Shingen after the fall of Imagawa in 1569 and was confirmed in his lands in Suruga. He fought in the Battle of Nagashino and later against the Tokugawa in 1582. Once the Takeda had fallen, he was ordered to commit suicide by Oda Nobunaga.
Asari Nobutane
Nobutane served Shingen as a leader of cavalry and was killed by gunfire at the Battle of Mimasetoge in 1569. His death is said to have grieved Shingen.
Ashida Nobumori
Shimotsuke no kami
Nobumori held Mitake Castle until the Battle of Mikatagahara (1573), at which point he was given Futamata in Tôtômi. Futamata was quickly surrounded by the Tokugawa after Nagashino and Nobumori himself died of illness during the siege. His sons Nobushige and Nobunori both died battle in 1583, after the fall of the Takeda.
Atobe Katsusuke
Katsusuke became one of Takeda Katsuyori's closest advisors and is well-known (or perhaps infamous) for supporting Katsuyori's decision to attack the Oda and Tokugawa at Nagashino in 1575. He assisted Katsuyori in his later campaigns and commited suicide after the Oda invaded Kai and Shinano in 1582. One of his sons, Masakatsu, would go on to serve Tokugawa Ieyasu and fight in the Nagakute Campaign.
Baba Nobufusa
Mino no kami
Nobufusa was the son of Baba Torasada and is also known as Baba Nobuharu. He was one of the most famous Takeda generals and served Nobutora, Shingen, and Katsuyori. He assisted in the removal of Takeda Nobutora in 1541 and was awarded Fukashi Castle in Shinano in 1550 and the title 'Mino no kami' in 1564 (after which he was always referred to as Baba Mino). Nobufusa fought in most of Takeda Shingen's battles and was known for his wisdom both on and off the battlefield. He was one of the last Takeda commanders to fall at Nagashino, being cut down as he covered Takeda Katsuyori's retreat. Prior to his death at Nagashino, he is reputed to have fought in over 21 battles and was never wounded once. After the death of his son Masafusa in 1582, Nobufusa's estates went to his younger brother Nobuyori.
Hajikano Masatsugu
?? ??
Masatsugu was the son of Hajikano gengorô Tadatsugu (killed at 4th Kawanakajima, 1561). He was famed for testing the depth of the Sasao River during Shingen's advance on Odawara in 1569 by fearlessly riding into the waters himself. He fought at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575 and survived the fall of the Takeda in 1582 to die of illness in 1624, perhaps the last of the famous Takeda retainers to die.
Hara Toratane
Mino no kami
Toratane's family were at one time vassals of the Chiba of Shimosa before entering the service of Takeda Nobutora. He assisted in the defeat of Fukushima Masashige in 1521 and earned a reputation as one of the most skilled Takeda generals. Interestingly, he deserted the Takeda briefly in 1553 to the Hôjô, though he was convinced to return shortly after. He was active in the Takeda's wars in Shinano Province and died of wounds suffered at Warikadake in 1561. He was reputed to have been wounded no fewer then 53 times over the course of some 30 battles. Ironically, after his death his title of Mino no kami went to Baba Nobufusa - who was equally famed for never having been injured once in battle prior to his own death.
Hara Masatane
Hayatô no Suke
Masatane was a relative of Toratane, though from a different branch of the family, and was also a skilled commander. He was present at the Battle of Mimasetoge (1569) and was killed in the forefront of the fighting in the Battle of Nagashino in 1575.
Imafuku Masakazu
Chikuzen no kami
Masakazu served Shingen and Katsuyori as a commander of infantry, haven been given a fief in the Suwa area of Shinano in 1563. He was killed during the Oda/Tokugawa invasion of the Takeda domain in 1582.
Itagaki Nobutaka
Suruga no kami
Nobutaka was first a retainer of Takeda Nobutora, but became one of the chief conspirators in the plot that led to his removal in 1541. He afterwards became a close advisor to Takeda Shingen. He was known as much for his stratagems and schemes as he was for his talents as a warrior, and was behind the plot that allowed Suwa Yorishige to be tricked into submitting to Shingen in 1542. He was killed at the Battle of Uedahara in 1548 by the Murakami due to apparent carelessness on his part. Itagaki was known to have fielded one of Shingen's spy units.
Kiso Yoshimasa
Iyo no kami
Yoshimasa was the son of Kiso Yoshiyasu (1540-1595) and a vassal of Takeda Shingen. He held Fukushima in the Kiso region of Shinano. He was married to one of Shingen's daughters but deserted the Takeda cause in 1582, severing his ties with Katsuyori in favor of Oda Nobunaga. He held off a Takeda army sent to bring him to submission and provided the Oda with assistance in their invasion of Kai and Shinano soon afterwards. He was later deprived of his holdings by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Komiyama Tadamoto
?? ??
Tadamoto's family had once been daimyô in Shinano Province. He served Yamagata Masakage and might have been a cousin or other relative. He fought at the Battles of Mimasetoge and Nagashino, afterwards becoming a commander of infantry. He attempted to lead a relief force to Takato Castle in 1582 but was killed in the attempt.
Kosaka Masanobu
Danjô no jô
Masanobu, the son of a certain Kasuga Ôsumi no kami, served Takeda Shingen first as a page, and then as a general, guarding the northernmost reaches of the Takeda domain at Kaizu Castle. He played an important role during the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima (1561) by leading a raid on the Uesugi positions at Saijô Mountain. Discovering that the Uesugi had already departed (to attack Shingen himself on the Hachiman Plain), Masanobu fought his way to attack Kenshin's army from behind and rescue his lord's faltering army. During the Nagashino Campaign (1575) he was probing Uesugi Kenshin's defenses in northern Shinano and hastily marched south to protect Takeda Katsuyori's retreat when he learned of the latter's defeat. Nonetheless, he seems to have been generally ignored by Katsuyori and left to gaurd the fringes of Takeda territory. He died of illness in 1578 and none of his sons would survive the fall of the Takeda in 1582. He is attributed with at least part of the preperation of the Koyo Gunkan, a record of the events surrounding the Takeda since the rise of Shingen. He was also known as Kosaka Toratsuna.
Naitô Masatoyo
Shuri no suke
Masatoyo was one of Takeda Shingen's most reliable generals and fought in many of his battles (including 4th Kawanakajima (1561), Minowa (1566), and Mimasetoge (1569)). He was given Minowa Castle in 1566. Later, at Mikatagahara, he distinguished himself by leading a charge into the Tokugawa ranks. He was at the forefront of the fighting at Nagashino (1575) and was shot many times by arrows before being beheaded by Asahina Yasukatsu. Oddly, the Koyo Gunkan records that Masatoyo was never given a special commendation for his services - and some have suggested that he opposed Shingen's handling of the 1565 Takeda Yoshinobu affair.
Obata Toramori
Yamashiro no kami
Toramori first served Takeda Nobutora, from whom he was granted the use of 'tora' in his name. He fought in many battles for Takeda Shingen under the leadership of Baba Nobufusa and was said to have been wounded no fewer then forty times over the course of career, which came to an end when he died of illness in June 1561 at Kaizu Castle.
Obata Masamori
Bungo no kami
Masamori was the son of Obata Toramori and fought at Mimasetoge (1569), Mikatagahara (1573), and Nagashino (1575) as a commander of infantry. He was wounded at Nagashino and eventually died of illness. His son Mitsumori would survive the fall of the Takeda, escaping to Echigo. Masamori was married to a daughter of Hara Toratane.
Obata Nobusada
?? ??
Nobusada joined the Takeda around 1560 after fleeing his lands in Kôzuke. He had his old fief restored to him by Shingen the following year and proved to be one of the most dependable Takeda generals. He led large forces at the Battles of Mimasetoge and Mikatagahara and was very useful in the Takeda's Kôzuke campaigns. He commanded somewhere around 500 men at Nagashino for Takeda Katsuyori and managed to survive the battle even as many other senior men were killed. His father Norishige was not so lucky, however - he was killed in the fighting. When the Takeda fell in 1582, he joined first Takigawa Kazumasa and then the Hôjô, finally ending up with Sanada Masayuki (1590).
Obu Toramasa
Hyô Bushô Yû
Toramasa was adopted into the Obu from the Iitomi. He first served Takeda Nobutora, then his son Shingen. He later acted as a tutor to Shingen's eldest son Yoshinobu. He was given Uchiyama Castle in Shinano and here he and 800 of his men once held off an attack by 8,000 men under Uesugi Kenshin. Though a general of some reknown, Toramasa was implicated in a plot along with Shingen's son Yoshinobu and was made to commit suicide. He was the elder brother of Yamagata Masakage and was well-known for dressing his warriors in red - a habit borrowed by Yamagata, and by extension, Ii Naomasa.
Oyamada Nobushige
Sahyô no jô
Nobushige was the son of Oyamada Nobunari (d.1552). He served Shingen well and fought in a number of his battles, including 4th Kawanakajima (1561), Takiyama (1569), and Mikatagahara (1573). Although a distinguished general, Nobushige abandoned Takeda Katsuyori in 1582 when the latter was pressed by an invasion by Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was criticized by Oda Nobunaga for his treachery and so was executed depsite his desertion.
Oyamada Masatatsu
Bitchû no kami
Masatatsu began a branch of the Oyamada seperate from that of Nobushige. He was said to have been a expert of defensive warfare but was killed in battle with the Murakami in 1552. He was the father of Oyamada Masayuki and Masasada.
Oyamada Masayuki
Bitchû no kami
Masayuki was the son of Oyamada Masatatsu. He was the veteran of many Takeda battles and became one of Shingen's senior retainers. In 1582 he defended Takato against the Oda along with his younger brother Masatada and Nishina Morinobu. When the castle fell he was killed, one of the few senior Takeda men to both survive Nagashino and fight the Oda to the death - unlike his cousin Nobushige.
Saigusa Moritomo
Kageyuzaemon no Jô
Moritomo was an important Takeda retainer and the son-in-law of Yamagata Masakage. He fought at Mimasetoge (1569), Mikatagahara (1573), and was killed at Nagashino in 1575 in the same Oda/Tokugawa raid that killed Takeda Nobuzane.
Sanada Yukitaka
Danjô no Jô
Yukitaka was native of Shinano Province and may have been the son of Unno Munetsuna. After being defeated along with Unno around 1541 by the Murakami and Suwa, Yukitaka took up with the Nagano of Kôzuke. When Shingen heard of his ability, he managed to convince Yukitaka to join his retainer band around 1544. As a result, Yukitaka was able to reclaim Sanada Castle around 1550. He was a noted strategist and assisted Shingen on numerous occasions, most notably in the capture of Toishi in 1550. he went on to fight at 4th Kawanakajima (1561) and died of illness a year after Shingen passed away.
Sanada Nobutsuna
Gentazaemon no Jô
Nobutsuna was the eldest son of Sanada Yukitaka and rose to become a noted Takeda general. A veteran of numerous actions, he led 200 horsemen at the Battle of Nagashino and was killed in the fighting along with his younger brother Masateru (Hyobû)
Sanada Masayuki
Awa no kami
Masayuki was the 3rd son of Yukitaka and first saw battle at Kawanakajima in 1561. He became head of the Sanada after his two elder brothers were killed at Nagashino. As the power of the Takeda declined, Masayuki expanded into Kôzuke and took Numata from the Hôjô in 1580. He elected to remain neutral as the Takeda were falling in 1582. In 1585 Tokugawa Ieyasu demanded that Numata be returned to the Hôjô as part of a Tokugawa-Hôjô agreement. Masayuki refused and defeated a Tokugawa army sent to chastise him near Ueda. He made peace with the Tokugawa by sending his son Nobuyuki as a hostage, and secured an alliance with the Uesugi by sending his son Yukimura as hostage to Echigo. In 1600 Masayuki initially acted as if in support of Tokugawa, then declared for the 'western' cause. He and his son Yukimura were besieged in Ueda by Tokugawa Hidetada but succesfully resisted the Eastern forces. After the Sekigahara Campaign was concluded, Tokugawa Ieyasu banished both Masayuki and Yukimura to Kûdoyama in Kii Province.
Sone Masayo
Shimotsuke no kami
Masayo distinguished himself in the Battle of Mimasetoge in 1569. He survived the fall of the Takeda in 1582 and afterwards served the Tokugawa. A somewhat obscure figure, Masayo is nonetheless occasionally counted among Shingen's 'Twenty Four Generals'.
Shimojo Nobuuji
Izu no kami
Nobuji was from Shinano Province and became a Takeda vassal around 1552. He abandoned the Takeda in 1582 and later entered the service of the Tokugawa.
Tada Mitsuyori
Awaji no kami
Mitsuyori, a native of Mino Province, first served Takeda Nobutora and later Takeda Shingen under Itagaki Nobutaka. He acted as a captain of infantry and is said to have fought in 29 battles in this capacity, including Sezawa (1542) and Uehara (1542). He was known for his skills at night warfare, which Shingen put to good use at Sezawa. He died of illness in 1563.
Tsuchiya Masatsugu
Uemon no jô
Masatsugu was the second son of Kanamaru Chikuzen no kami Torayoshi (d.1572). He fought in many of Shingen's battles, notably the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima. He contemplated killing himself when Shingen died in 1573 but Kosaka Masanobu managed to convince him to carry on in the service of the Takeda. He was killed just two years later, shot to death in the Battle of Nagashino. His three sons were among the final supporters of Takeda Katsuyori and died fending off Oda troops while their lord commited suicide at Temmokuzan.
Urano Shigenari
?? ??
Shigenari was from Shinano province and served Shingen at the battles at Kawanakajima and the Seige of Minowa (1566). His younger brother Shigehide was killed in the Battle of Mimasetoge in 1569 and his son Shigetsugu would die fighting the Hôjô in 1582.
Yamagata Masakage
Saburô Byoue no Jô
Masakage was the younger brother of Obu Toramasa and entered active Takeda service around 1565. He became one of Takeda Shingen's closest retainers and helped defend Ejiri Castle after 1569. Like his elder brother, he dressed many of his personal troops in uniformly red armor, thus earning his men the nickname 'fire' or 'red' regiment/unit. A veteran of many battles, he was instrumental in the Takeda victory at Mimasetoge in 1569. He was killed leading the left wing of Takeda Katsuyori's army at Nagashino in an attack he - along with Baba and others - had opposed. According to legend, Tokugawa Ieyasu commented years later that he had feared Masakage more then any other Takeda warrior. Some have suspected that he was the one who revealed the plotting of Takeda Yoshinobu and Obu Toramasa in 1565. Early in his career, Masakage was known as Iitomi Genshirô.
Yamamoto Haruyuki
Haruyuki was from Mikawa and was originally a minor retainer of the Imagawa. He was introduced to Shingen by Itagaki Nobutaka, and Shingen was so impressed with Yamamoto that he gave him a stipend on the spot. Kansuke became one of Shingen's chief advisors and assisted him in capturing a number of castles in Shinano despite being partially lame and blind in one eye. He produced the plan the Takeda employed at 4th Kawanakajima and commited suicide after suffering numerous wounds in the fighting. He is said to have written the Heiho Okugi Sho, a book of strategy, and was remembered for being questioned by Shingen on many matters. On the other hand, modern historians have suggested that many tales of Yamamoto's services to Shingen were probably embellished or even made up.
Yakota Takatoshi
Bitchû no kami
While not at first a retainer of high rank, Takayoshi attracted Shingen's attention for his bravery in battle and his skill at bow and arrow. He was killed in close combat with the Murakami at Toishii in 1550. His death came as a blow to Shingen, who had advised his younger retainers to follow Takatoshi's example. Takayoshi's house was succeded by Yasukage (1524-1575, killed at Nagashino), a son of Hara Toratane.