Haga Takatake


Haga Clan


Shimotsuke Province

Lifespan:  Genki 3 (1572) to Keichō 16 (1612)

Other Names:  Utsunomiya Tokitsuna

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Lieutenant of Imperial Guards of the Left Division

Clan:  Utsunomiya → Haga

Father:  Utsunomiya Hirotsuna

Adoptive Father:  Haga Takatsugu

Mother:  Nanryoin (second daughter of Satake Yoshiaki)

Siblings:  Utsunomiya Kunitsuna, Yūki Tomokatsu, Takatake

Children:  Takanari

Haga Takatake served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Utsunomiya clan and served as the eleventh head of the Haga clan and as lord of Mooka Castle in Shimotsuke Province.

In 1572, Takatake was born as the third son of Utsunomiya Hirotsuna, a daimyō in Shimotsuke.  His mother, Nanryoin, was the second daughter of Satake Yoshiaki.

Takatake became an adopted heir of an influential retainer named Haga Takatsugu.  In 1592, after the death of Takatsugu, he succeeded him.  Takatake cooperated with his older brother, Utsunomiya Kunitsuna, to exercise control over the band of retainers.  That same year, during the Bunroku Campaign, he was stationed along with Kunitsuna at Nagoya Castle in Hizen Province.  In 1596, he was assigned the role of an official of Kunitsuna, serving as his right-hand man.  Owing to these measures, senior retainers of the Utsunomiya such as the Shionoya clan who had served for generations lost their homes and were forces to live in concentrated areas in Utsunomiya, losing a degree of operational autonomy.  Meanwhile, Takatake received official recognition of his rights to his base at Mooka Castle and his landholdings and, owing to his status as the younger brother of Kunitsuna, Takatake and the Haga became the most powerful members of the Utsunomiya clan.  Takatake himself ironically became the most significant impediment to control of the band of retainers, inviting conflict with close associates of Kunitsuna attempting to suppress their power.

Kunitsuna did not have a natural heir.  In 1597, Takatake fiercely opposed a plan for Kunitsuna to adopt as his heir Asano Nagashige, the third son of Asano Nagamasa, one of the gobugyō, or Five Commissioners, of the Toyotomi administration.  Consequently, he murdered Imaizumi Takamitsu and Hōjō Katsutoki, senior retainers of Kunitsuna forging the adoption plans.  As a result, Takatake and Kunitsuna were removed their positions by Hideyoshi.

Takatake endeavored to revive the Utsunomiya clan, participating in the Keichō Campaign on the Korean Peninsula and coming under the command of Ishida Mitsunari.  He traveled to the Ise Shrine in Ise Province to submit a written wish for revival, but it could not be realized and, in 1612, he died.  His son, Haga Takanari, served the Mito-Tokugawa family.