Ohara Takanobu


Ohara Clan


Suō Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 15xx

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Aki, Secretary of Central Affairs

Clan:  Ohara (a branch of the Takaya clan of the Seiwa-Genji Mitsusue)

Lord:  Ōuchi Yoshitaka → Ōuchi Yoshinaga → Mōri Motonari

Children:  Shirō

Ohara Takanobu served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  Takanobu initially served the Ōuchi clan and later became a retainer of the Mōri clan.  He was a magistrate of Ōuchi Yoshitaka and served as one of the commanders of the naval forces for the Ōuchi.  In a record of renowned members of the Ōuchi, he is identified as a general of samurai and member of the vanguard units.  His first name was 隆名.  In a letter dated 6/2 of Tenbun 16 (1547), his name first appears as Takanobu.

In the eighth month of 1540, Takanobu led naval forces to Nakajima in Iyo Province.  On 8/13, he engaged in  battle on the Kutsuna shoal.  On 6/18 of Tenbun 10 (1541), Takaknobu deployed to Iyo Province, and, by 7/26, fought in Mishima, Amazaki, Okamurajima, Noshima and Innoshima.  In the eighth month, upon orders from Ōuchi Yoshitaka, we went to Aki Province where he continued to engage in numerous battles.  After meeting with Mōri Motonari of the Kamo District in Aki, he battled against the forces of Amago Haruhisa in Bingo Province.  In the twelfth month, the Amago army withdrew so Takanobu returned to Yamaguchi.

In the summer of 1548, Takanobu followed orders from Ōuchi Yoshitaka to participate in the Kannabe Conflict in Bingo.  Sue Takafusa (Sue Harukata) served as the commander-in-chief while Takanobu, along with Sugi Kai-no-kami and Hironaka Takakane served as army commanders.  During attacks against Kannabe Castle defended by Yamana Tadaoki, Takanobu was ordered in the seventh month to cut-down rice fields as a tactic to threaten the food supply of the opposition.  Ōuchi soldiers from Saijō in Aki along with members of the Umayabara clan, a kokujin from Bingo, were mobilized for a large-scale undertaking.

In the seventh month of 1550, when Mōri Takamoto obtained consent from Ōuchi Yoshitaka for Mōri Motonari to purge the Aki-Inoue clan, Takanobu served as an intermediary.  On 9/1 of Tenbun 20 (1551), after Yoshitaka was killed by Sue Harukata in the Tainei Temple Incident, Takanobu served Ōuchi Yoshinaga but, after the demise of the Ōuchi clan, he served under Mōri Motonari.

In the seventh month of 1562, at the Battle of Moji Castle, Takanobu joined Kuwabara Tatsuaki to repel the Ōtomo army led by Bekki Shigetsura (later known as Tachibana Dōsetsu) and Yoshihiro Akitada.

Takanobu’s movements thereafter are unknown.


According to the Legend of Tsuruhime associated with the Ōyamazumi Shrine in Ōmishima, in the tenth month of 1541, Ohara Takanobu attacked Ōmishima and was killed by Tsuruhime of the Ōhōri clan, but, in fact, Takanobu continued to live and be active after this time.  Moreover, the Legend of Tsuruhime became generally known on the basis of a novel written by Mishima Yasukiyo (a descendant of the Ōhōri clan) published in 1966 entitled The Sea, the Lady, the Armor:  Joan of Arc of the Seto Inland Sea.  The story of Tsuruhime is understood as fictional.