Lifespan: Unknown to 9/15 of Eiroku 7 (1564) (or 12/20 of Eiroku 7 (1565))
Other Names: Chikanori (written as 親規)
Title: Assistant Captain of the Bureau of Cavalry of the Left Division
Lord: Imagawa Yoshimoto → Imagawa Ujizane
Father: Ueda Harumasa
Adoptive Father: Niino Chikatane
Siblings: Brother, Chikanori, Yukichika, Yūchinni (wife of Ii Naomori)
Wife: Seihōin (daughter of Okuyama Chikatomo)
Children: Shingorō (Jingorō), daughter (wife of Miura Yoeimon), daughter (wife of Kanō Shuzen), daughter (wife of Ihara Tomomasa), others
Niino Chikanori served as a bushō during the Sengoku period. He was a retainer of the Imagawa clan and the lord of 新野新 Castle (Funagaya Castle) in Tōtōmi Province.
The Niino were an illegitimate branch of the Imagawa clan. The clan resided in the village of Niino in the Kitō District of Tōtōmi. Originally, the Niino were based at Hachimandaira Castle.
Chikanori was born as the second son of Ueda Harumasa, a bushō in Shinano Province. Chikanori was adopted by Niino Chikatane.
In the fifth month of 1560, Imagawa Yoshimoto, a sengoku daimyō and the eleventh head of the Imagawa clan, was killed by the Oda army in the Battle of Okehazama. Following the succession of Yoshimoto by his lineal heir, Imagawa Ujizane, the clan quickly declined. Despite ongoing defections including by Matsudaira Motoyasu (later known as Tokugawa Ieyasu) of Mikawa Province whose formal wife came from an offshoot of the Imagawa, Chikanori remained loyal to Ujizane, In 1562, owing to slander by Ono Michiyoshi, Ii Naochika, the head of the Ii clan, kokujin in Tōtōmi, was suspected of plotting a rebellion against the Imagawa. While heading toward Sunpu to apologize to Ujizane, Naochika was murdered near the Kake River. Ujizane also ordered the killing of Naochika’s lineal heir, Toramatasu (later known as Ii Naomasa), but pleaded with Ujizane to spare his life. He then protected Toramatsu along with Naochika’s widow, Ohiyo, in his residence. He was praised by the abbot of the Ryōtan Temple (the family temple of the Ii clan) for saving them from the most threatening crisis in the history of the Ii clan.
The Imagawa clan continued to deteriorate. From 1563, Inoo Tsuratatsu, the lord of Hikuma Castle and a kunishū, or provincial landowner, in Tōtōmi joined Amano Kageyasu and Amano Motokage (father and son) of Inui Castle and Matsui Munemasa of Futamata Castle to launch a rebellion against the Imagawa clan. This event, known as the Enshū Discord, swept across the entire province of Tōtōmi. At this time, Chikanori and his younger brother, Niino Yukichika, fought on the side of the Imagawa. While attacking Hikuma Castle, they were killed along with Miura Masatoshi and Nakano Naoyoshi.
There are alternate theories. According to one account, when Iinoo Tsuratatsu was executed as a criminal on 12/20 of Eiroku 7 (1565), he led an assault on the residence where Tsuratatsu had holed-up and was killed in the ensuing battle.
After his demise, Chikanori was enshrined at the Samatake Shrine. At the end of the Edo period, the tenth son of Ii Naonaka was adopted by Kimata Moriyasu, a descendant of Chikanori. Thereafter, the family name of the Niino was revived and he adopted the name of Niino Chikayoshi.
Chikanori had one son and seven daughters. His son, Shingorō (Jingorō) later served the Gohōjō clan but was killed in action during the Conquest of Odawara. One of his daughters wed a retainer of the Hōjō named Kanō Shuzen and later re-married Kimata Morikatsu, a chief retainer of the Ii clan. Under an alternate theory, Morikatsu married her older sister. Shuzen’s son, Kimata Moriyasu, succeeded Morikatsu who did not have a son and as noted above Chikanori’s descendants revived the Niino surname. One other daughter wed Ihara Tomomasa, a retainer of the Imagawa clan.