Ishikawa Takanobu


Ishikawa Clan


Mutsu Province

Lifespan:  Meiō 4 (1495) or Eishō 14 (1517) to 5/5/ of Genki 2 (1571) or 6/8 of Tenshō 9 (1581)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Lieutenant of Outer Palace Guards of the Left Division

Clan:  Nanbu → Ishikawa

Father:  Nanbu Masayasu (under another theory, Nanbu Yasunobu)

Siblings:  Nanbu Yasunobu, Takanobu, Minami Nagayoshi, Ishigame Nobufusa, Kemanai Hidenori

Wife:  Daughter of Ikkatai Yasumasa

Children:  Nanbu Nobunao, Masanobu

Ishikawa Takanobu served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Nanbu clan.  Takanobu served as the lord of Ishikawa Castle in Hirosaki in Mutsu Province.

In 1495, Takanobu was born at Sannohe Castle as the second son of Nanbu Masayasu, the twenty-second head of the Nanbu clan.

According to historical records of the Morioka domain, Takaknobu was well-known as a smart and courageous commander.  He was deeply trusted by his older brother, Nanbu Yasunobu and delegated governance of the Tsugaru region from his base at Ishikawa Castle.  After Yasunobu was succeeded by his nephew, Nanbu Haurmasa, Takanobu continued to maintain trust while performing an important role for the Nanbu clan.  Harumasa inherited the headship of the clan at a young age so Takanobu provided him vital support.

In 1569, Takanobu defeated the forces of Andō Chikasue after an invasion of the Kazuno District in territory controlled by the Nanbu.  In 1572, Takanobu made a significant contribution by suppressing a rebellion in Tsugaru.

The year of his demise is uncertain, but the governance by the Nanbu clan of Tsugaru owed in large part to the skills of Takanobu so, after his death, the Nanbu lost the ability to maintain control over Tsugaru and the region was taken away by Tsugaru Tamenobu, a daimyō and the first lord of the Mutsu-Hirosaki domain in the early Edo period.

Genealogical issues

It is established theory that Takanobu was the younger brother of Nanbu Yasunobu and the uncle of Nanbu Harumasa.  Nevertheless, according to the oldest genealogical record of the Nanbu clan presented to the Edo bakufu in 1641, Nanbu Nobunao is noted as the younger cousin of Nanbu Harutsugu (the son of Nanbu Harumasa).  In other words, Takanobu and Harumasa were brothers.  In later genealogical records of the Nanbu clan, Takanobu is identified as the younger brother of Harumasa.  Based on these records, the birth years of his sons, Nanbu Nobunao and Ishikawa Masanobu, appear correct because, as the younger brother of Yasunobu, Takanobu would have been too old at that time to be the younger brother of Harumasa and he had children.

Many generations later, according to the genealogical records of the Nanbu clan presented to the Edo bakufu in 1799, Takanobu is noted as the younger brother of Nanbu Yasunobu.  The theory of Takanobu as the younger brother was thereby widely accepted.

The year of Takanobu’s demise is uncertain.  Based on civilian records known as the Eiroku Diaries, on 5/5 of Genki 2 (1571), Takanobu was killed during a surprise attack by Tsugaru Tamenobu on Ishikawa Castle.  However, according to other accounts, he survived this attack and, instead, died on 6/8 of Tenshō 9 (1581), while other records indicate that Tamenobu captured the castle while Takanobu was away.  Meanwhile, based on records kept at the Daikō Temple in Hirosaki, Takanobu was alive in Tenshō 2 (1574).