Ogiwara Masakatsu


Ogiwara Clan


Kai Province

Lifespan:  Kanshō 1 (1461) (?) to 9/13 of Tenbun 4 (1535)

Other Names:  Katsumasa

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Deputy Governor of Hitachi

Clan:  Ogiwara (branch of the Kai-Takeda descended from the Seiwa-Genji)

Lord:  Takeda Nobumasa → Takeda Nobutora

Father:  Ogiwara Bitchū-no-kami (?)

Wife:  Aunt of Obu Toramasa and Yamagata Masakage (?)

Children:  Masayuki

Ogiwara Masakatsu served as a bushō during the late-Muromachi and Sengoku periods.  He was a retainer of the Kai-Takeda clan.  He is regarded as one of eight major generals of the Takeda and, under another theory, counted among the Twenty-Four Generals of the Takeda.  The name of Masakatsu appears in military chronicles of the Takeda and, in another account on the history of Kai Province, as Katsumasa.  Neither one, however, can be confirmed from other sources.

The Ogiwara clan was founded by Ogiwara Yoshitada, the son of Imai Nobukage, who, in turn, was the second son of Takeda Nobumitsu, the tenth head of the Takeda clan and thirteenth head of the Kai-Genji.  Yoshitada adopted his surname from the placename of his landholdings in the village of Ogiwara in the Yamanashi District of Kai.

Masakatsu is deemed to be the son of Ogiwara Bitchū-no-kami but it is noted the generations may be reversed.  His wife is regarded as the aunt of Obu Toramasa and Yamagata Masakage (siblings) but, under this theory, there are also issues with respect to the generations of those involved.

Masakatsu is said to have received one of the characters in his name from his lord, Takeda Nobumasa.  According to the military chronicle known as the Kōyō-gunkan, Masakatsu learned archery from Takeda Nobutora and he later shared stories of these activities with Nobutora’s successor, Takeda Harunobu (Shingen).  After Nobutora became the head of the Takeda clan, he was appointed as a chief retainer.  On 1521, during the Battle of Iidagawara when the Imagawa clan invaded Fuchū in Kai, Masakatsu deployed as a military strategist for Nobutora, formulating plans to repel the Imagawa.  In later years, Masakatsu was assigned to provide instruction to Harunobu.

The Ogiwara clan acted to defend the Chichibu gateway on the provincial border of Kai and Suruga in Ogiwara in the Yamanashi District of Kai.  Descendants of Masakatsu served Takeda Shingen and, after the demise of the Takeda in the third month of 1582, Ogiwara Masayuki obtained official recognition from Tokugawa Ieyasu of his rights to his landholdings in Ogiwara.  Thereafter, members of the Ogiwara clan participated in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and served as hatamato, or direct retainer of the Edo bakufu.

He died at the age of seventy-five.  There is a stone monument for him at the Eirin Temple at Enzan-Koyashiki in the city of Kōshū.


Ogiwara Shigehide, a member of the Ogiwara clan, served as a financier for Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the fifth shōgun of the Edo bakufu.  Members of the clan served as the head of the Hachiōji Sennin-dōshin, hereditary hatamoto and hereditary bushi under their command stationed in Hachiōji in the Tama District of Musashi Province performing a wide variety of duties for the Edo bakufu until the Meiji Restoration.