Battle of Takatō
Date: From the tenth month of Tenbun 13 (1544) to the sixth month of Tenbun 14 (1545)
Location: Takatō in Shinano Province
Outcome: The Takeda prevailed after capturing or destroying Uehara, Fukuyo, and Takatō castles and Ryūgasaki fortress.
The Battle of Takatō occurred from the tenth month of Tenbun 13 (1544) to the sixth month of Tenbun 14 (1545) in Takatō in Shinano Province. The battle was waged between the armies of Takeda Harunobu of Kai Province and Takatō Yoritsugu of Shinano.
Following a loss to the Takeda at the Battle of Miyagawa on 9/25 of 1542, Takatō Yoritsugu was driven back to Takatō. In the tenth month of 1544, he launched a counterattack with the support of Fujisawa Yorichika (the lord of Fukuyo Castle) and Ogasawara Nagatoki (an older brother-in-law of Yorichika and military governor of Shinano). On 10/16, Takeda Harunobu entered Uehara Castle in Suwa, then converged with soldiers from the Suwa District and Itagaki Nobukata and, on 10/28, marched to Fukuyo Castle. Yorichika positioned Kusama Hizen (the commander-in-chief of the Ogasawara army) and soldiers from the Ina District in the Kōjinyama fortress and strengthened the defenses.
The next day, the army of Takeda Nobushige (the younger brother of Takeda Harunobu of the same mother) took aim at Kōjinyama fortress and, from 11/1, initiated attacks. The Ogasawara forces abandoned the fortress and retreated. These forces served as a rear guard for Fukuyo Castle and then converged at Matsushima-hara, halting the advance of the Takeda army. On 11/6, after Takatō Yoritsugu saw that the main force of the Takeda army was struggling to attack Fukuyo Castle, he commenced a march to Suwa.
Takeda Harunobu stayed in Suwa until 11/8 with the intention of keeping in check the Takatō and Fujisawa; however, recognizing the disadvantage of fighting against two enemy forces, after a while he withdrew from Suwa and returned to Kōfu in Kai. After Harunobu departed, Yoritsugu proceeded to burn down the residences of supporters of the Takeda in upper Suwa.
In the fourth month of 1545, Harunobu directed his main force to attack Takatō. Fukuyo Castle was close to the base of Ogasawara Nagatoki in the Tsukama District so support could readily be obtained, but it would be difficult to obtain support from the Ogasawara while defending Takatō on its own. On 4/11, Harunobu deployed in the rain with a main force comprised of soldiers from Kawachi including Anayama Nobutomo (a family member of the Takeda) and soldiers from the district under Oyamada Nobuari and, on 4/14, entered Uehara Castle. While it rained throughout the duration of this deployment, on 4/15, the Takeda army traversed the Tsuetsuki Pass and launched a surprise attack against Takatō Castle. Owing to a period of inclement weather, the Takatō army failed to remain vigilant and was caught off-guard. On 4/17, Yoritsugu abandoned Takatō Castle and fled. Later, Yoritsugu ended up serving the Takeda family.
Riding momentum from the fall of Takatō, on 4/18, Harunobu entered Takatō Castle. On 4/20 (between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM), the Takeda forces surrounded Fukuyo Castle and launched attacks. The Ogasawara army served as a rear guard and, on 4/29, engaged in a bitter fight resulting in losses including Kamada Nagato-no-kami. From 5/21, Harunobu had the soldiers from the district including the Oyamada attack Ryūgasaki fortress, but this also led to a strenuous battle. On 5/22, reinforcements from Imagawa Yoshimoto, an ally, arrived, and, in the sixth month, an attack by Itagaki Nobukata led to the fall of Ryūgasaki fortress.
Owing to the fall of Ryūgasaki, Fujisawa Yorichika became less capable of holding out against attacks by the Takeda army at Fukuyo Castle. He then took steps via Anayama Nobotomo and Oyamada Nobuari to initiate a settlement with Harunobu. On 6/10, Yorichika’s younger brother was tendered as a hostage to Anayama Nobutomo and Fukuyo Castle burned down. As a result, enemy forces were expelled from the southern portion of Suwa.