Takanashi Yorichika


Takanashi Clan


Shinano Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 16xx

Rank:  bushi

Clan:  Takanashi

Domain:  Dewa-Yonezawa

Lord:  Uesugi Kenshin → Uesugi Kagekatsu → Uesugi Sadakatsu

Father:  Takanashi Masayori

Siblings:  Yoriharu, Hidemasa, sister (formal wife of Nakajō Kagesuke), Yorichika, Okita (formal wife of Sanada Nobutsuna), Naiki (?)

Children:  Yorikiyo

Takanashi Yorichika served as a bushi in the Sengoku period and, later, as a samurai for the Yonezawa domain in the early Edo period.

Yorichika was born as the son of Takanashi Masayori.  During the Eishō era (1504 to 1521), after defeating the Nakano clan, Takanashi Masamori (Yorichika’s great-grandfather) established a residence known as the Nakano-Otate and branch castle known as Kamogatake Castle in the township of Nakano in the Takai District of northeast Shinano Province.  This served as the base for the Takanashi clan over the course of three generations, from the era of Masamori until Masayori (Yorichika’s father).  However, owing to an invasion of northern Shinano by Takeda Harunobu (Shingen) of Kai Province, the Takanashi were no longer able to defend their base in Nakano so Masayori retreated to Iiyama Castle while depending upon Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) for protection.

Accounts concerning the latter years of Masayori’s life are scarce, so the period when Yorichika succeeded him as head of the clan is also unclear, but, at a minimum, it is likely to have occurred after the clan moved to Iiyama Castle.  In 1561, Yorichika participated in the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima.

The death of Uesugi Kenshin on 3/13 of 1578 unleashed a succession struggle between two adopted sons, Uesugi Kagetora and Uesugi Kagekatsu in an event known as the Otate Conflict.  Yorichika sided with Kagekatsu without incident.  In the third month of 1582, the Takeda were eliminated by allied forces of the Oda, the Tokugawa, and the Hōjō during the Conquest of Kōshū.  Soon thereafter, in the sixth month of 1582, Oda Nobunaga died in a coup d’état orchestrated by one of his senior retainers, Akechi Mitsuhide, in an event known as the Honnō Temple Incident.  This immediately gave rise to a contest for control of Kai, Kōzuke, and Shinano provinces known as the Tenshō Jingo Conflict from the sixth to tenth months of 1582.  While this battle was primarily between the Tokugawa and the Hōjō clans, owing to its location it also involved the Uesugi as well as former retainers (such as the Sanada) of the Takeda clan.  As an outcome, the Uesugi gained control of northern Shinano and Yorichika recovered his former territory in the Nakano township.

Nevertheless, at the time that his father, Masachika, became head of the clan, the Takanashi were an independent kokujin family.  In the era of Yorichika, the clan became retainers of the Uesugi.  Yorichika participated in the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign on the Korean Peninsula and constructed a castle in Unchon.  In 1597, together with Saitō Kagenobu and Kakizaki Noriie, Yorichika was purged from the family.  Thereafter, Yorichika’s  movements are unclear, and it is not certain whether he may have transferred to Aizu in Mutsu Province.

After the Battle of Sekigahara, the Uesugi family was subject to a reduction of their territory receiving the Yonezawa domain of 300,000 koku.  On 3/20 of 1624, after Uesugi Sadakatsu succeeded Kagekatsu, Yorichika (who was residing under reduced circumstances), along with Saitō Kagenobu and Kakizaki Noriie who all had been earlier demoted, were engaged as retainers to restore their honor, after which the Takanashi family revived.  Thereafter, descendants of Yorichika served as a samurai for the Yonezawa domain until the time of the Meiji Restoration.