Ueno Takanori


Ueno Clan


Bitchū Province

Lifespan:  15xx to Tenshō 3 (1575)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Hizen

Clan:  Ueno

Father:  Ueno Takanao

Siblings:  Takanori, sister

Wife:  Tsuruhime (daughter of Mimura Iechika)

Children:  Takahide

Ueno Takanori served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was the lord of Tsuneyama Castle in Bizen Province.


The Bitchū-Ueno clan began when Ueno Takanao (a younger brother of Ueno Nobutaka) succeeded Nobutaka and entered Kimurasan Castle.  Takanao then revitalized the Manjusan-Hōon Temple (affiliated with the Rinzai sect) in the village of Ichiba in the Katō District to serve as the family temple.  Takanao was succeeded by Ueno Hizen-no-kami Takanori who became the lord of Kimurasan Castle.  Between 1555 and 1558, Kimurasan and surrounding castles were abandoned when Takanori moved to Bizen-Tsuneyama Castle and made it his base.

Meanwhile, Ueno Yorihisa entered Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle and revitalized the Ankoku (Yorihisa) Temple (affiliated with the Rinzai sect) at Bitchū-Matsuyama to serve as a family temple.  After Yorihisa, his lineal heir, Ueno Izu-no-kami Yoriuji, inherited the headship of the clan and became the lord of Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle but in 1533 was ruthlessly attacked and eliminated by an archrival, Shō Tamesuke (the lord of Sarukake Castle).


Takanori was born as the lineal heir of Ueno Takanao, a member of a gōzoku, or wealthy family, in Bitchū.  He wed Tsuruhime, the daughter of Mimura Iechika and younger sister of Mimura Motochika.  Iechika was the lord of Bitchū-Matsuyama who killed Shō Takasuke, the lineal heir of Shō Tamesuke.  Although subordinate to the Mōri, the Mimura clan expanded their influence across Bitchū.

While serving as the lord of Bizen-Tsuneyama Castle, Takanori revitalized Toyogakesan-Kyūshō Temple (affiliated with the Rinzai sect) but the mortuary tablets of Takanori and his wife, Tsuruhime, remain enshrined at the Hōon Temple (the family temple of the Ueno clan).

In 1568, Takanori returned the manors of Hayashi, Hiuchi, and Sobara in the territory of Mōri Terumoto. 

Originally, Ueno Nobutaka forged a strong relationship of mutual trust with the Mōri clan, but after the end of the era of Nobutaka and Motonari, Takanori opposed the will of the shōgun family and the main branch of the Ueno by joining forces with Mimura Motochika (the lineal heir of Iechika) to collude with the Oda in opposition to the Mōri.

In the sixth month of 1575, after an attack by the Mōri army, Motochika took his own life.  Takanori continued to resist and was surrounded at Tsuneyama Castle by the forces of Kobayakawa Takakage commanded by Nomi Munekatsu.  After attending to his second son and younger sister, Takanori and his first son, Ueno Takahide, took their own lives.  This event is known as the Siege of Tsuneyama.

Last stand by Tsuruhime

Just before the fall of the castle, Tsuruhime charged out of the castle with a contingent of 34 attendants to launch a fierce attack against the besieging forces.  Caught off guard, the Mōri were routed.  Amidst the chaos, Tsuruhime spotted Munekatsu and challenged him to a bout, but Munekatsu refused to fight against a woman.  Giving up the call for a challenge, Tsuruhime tendered her precious sword (known as the Kunihira Long Sword) to Munekatsu, returned to the castle, and took her own life. 

The fall of Tsuneyama Castle marked the last chapter of the Bitchū Conflict.