Katsurayama Nobusada


Katsurayama Clan


Suruga Province

Lifespan:  15xx to third month of Tenshō 10 (1582)

Other Names:  Toshihisa, Rokurō, Jūrō

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Kai-Takeda → Katsurayama

Lord:  Takeda Shingen → Takeda Katsuyori

Father:  Takeda Shingen

Adoptive Father:  Katsurayama Ujimoto

Mother:  Aburakawa Fujin

Siblings:  Takeda Yoshinobu, Unno Nobuchika, Takeda Nobuyuki, Ōbai-in (wife of Hōjō Ujimasa), Kenshōin (wife of Anayama Nobutada), Takeda Katsuyori, Shinryūin (wife of Kiso Yoshimasa), Nishina Morinobu, Nobusada, Takeda Nobukiyo, Shinshōni, Kikuhime (wife of Uesugi Kagekatsu)

Wife:  Ofuchi (daughter of Katsurayama Ujimoto)

Children:  Mishuku Masatomo (?), Mishuku Sadatomo

Katsurayama Nobusada served as a bushō from the Sengoku to Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a district landowner in the Katsurayama territory in Suruga Province.  Nobusada was the lord of Kazurayama Castle.

Nobusada was born as the sixth son of Takeda Shingen, a sengoku daimyō and the nineteenth head of the Kai-Takeda clan.  His mother was Aburakawa Fujin.  His birth year is uncertain but surmised to be before 1559.  The character “Nobu” in his name was used for generations in the Takeda family.

Later, Nobusada was adopted by Katsurayama Ujimoto, a landowner in the Suntō District of Suruga located on the border with Sagami Province.  He received Ujimoto’s second daughter, Ofuchi, as his formal wife and succeeded to the territory of the Katsurayama.

In the early period of Shingen’s role as the head of the Kai-Takeda, he implemented a policy of having his sons become the designated successors of powerful families in Shinano who were subjugated during the Invasion of Shinano.  This was a means to pacify the families in conquered lands.  Takeda Katsuyori (Nobusada’s older brother of a different mother) became the successor to the Suwa clan while Nishina Morinobu (Nobusada’s older brother of the same mother) succeeded to the Nishina clan.  Meanwhile, Nobusada’s succession to the Katsurayama clan of Suruga was another example of Shingen’s policy.

Based on the Three-Party Alliance between Kai, Suruga, and Sagami Provinces, the Takeda clan engaged in conflicts against Nagao Kagetora (later known as Uesugi Kenshin) of Echigo Province in an ongoing contest for control of Kawanakajima in the northern portion of Shinano Province.  In 1561, in connection with the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, relations between the Takeda and the Imagawa clan deteriorated.

In the twelfth month of 1568, the Takeda and Imagawa severed relations, leading to an advance by the Takeda army into the territory of the Imagawa known as the Invasion of Suruga.  In 1565, Takeda Yoshinobu, the eldest son and designated heir of Shingen and advocate within the Takeda family of promoting ties with the Imagawa was removed from the line of succession and incarcerated in connection with an event known as the Yoshinobu Incident.  Thereafter, he died.

After the Takeda forces invaded Suruga, some of the retainers of the Imagawa, including Katsurayama Ujimoto, a kunishū, or provincial landowner in the Suntō District of eastern Suruga, colluded with the Takeda.  The Gohōjō of Sagami, based on their alliance with the Imagawa, deployed forces to Suruga so the territory of the Katsurayama was seized by the Gohōjō.  Ujimoto fled to the Fuji District of Suruga and, from the third month of 1570, his whereabouts are unknown.

In 1571, after the Takeda recaptured Fukasawa Castle in the Suntō District of Suruga, the former territory of the Katsurayama clan was recovered.  In the same year, owing to a revitalization of the alliance between the Takeda of Kai and the Hōjō of Sagami, governance stabilized.  In 1572, the Takeda issued documents in the Katsurayama territory.  Around this time, Nobusada is deemed to have been dealing with challenges in the territory.

Nobusada is surmised to have succeeded to the Katsurayama clan between the age of ten and fifteen.  Many documents were issued in the territory under the seal of Shingen and Nobusada did not reside in Kazurayama Castle.  Instead, he conducted his governance from Kōfu while Mishuku Tomotsuna, a retainer of the Katsurayama, served as his political representative based at Kazurayama Castle in Suruga.  The prevalence of documents concerning the Katsurayama territory issued in the name of Shingen and Katsuyori suggest that Nobusada’s status as a district-level governor was not stable or complete.

In the third month of 1582, Nobusada’s older brother, Takeda Katsuyori and the Kai-Takeda clan were decimated by Oda Nobunaga in the Conquest of Kōshū.  Nobusada took his own life at the Zenkō Temple in Kōfu.  This marked the end of the Katsurayama clan.

Details regarding his children

There is a story that Mishuku Masatomo, the son of a retainer of Nobusada named Mishuku Tomotsuna who was killed in action at the Battle of Tennō and Okayama (the final battle of the Summer Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka) was in fact the natural son of Nobusada.  If this was true, then Masatomo would have been a lineal grandson of Shingen.  According to genealogical records of the Takeda family, when Masatomo went to Ōsaka, he accompanied Katsurayama Sadatomo (Nobusada’s son).  This suggests that Sadatomo followed Masatomo to serve in the Siege of Ōsaka.  Sadatomo survived the Summer Campaign and then served Kuroda Tadayuki, a daimyō.  After adopting the name of Mishuku Sadatomo, he entered the priesthood and lived to be eighty years old.  Therefore, Sadatomo would also have been the natural child of Nobusada.