Ryūzōji Naganobu


Ryūzōji Clan

Hizen Province

Ryūzōji Naganobu

Lifespan:  10/28 of Tenbun 7 (1538) to 10/26 of Keichō 18 (1613)

Name Changes:  Keihōshi (childhood) → Naganobu

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Izumi, Director of the Bureau of Military Storehouses

Clan:  Ryūzōji

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Hizen-Saga

Lord:  Ryūzōji Takanobu → Ryūzōji Masaie → Ryūzōji Takafusa → Nabeshima Katsushige

Father:  Ryūzōji Kaneie

Mother:  Keigin-ni (?)

Siblings:  Sister (wife of Yae Muneteru), Takanobu, Nobukane, sister (second wife of Inuzuka Naoshige), Naganobu

Wife:  Daughter of Oda Masamitsu

Children:  Taku Yasutoshi, daughter (wife of Gotō Ietada), Shinkōin

Ryūzōji Naganobu served as a bushō from the Sengoku to early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Ryūzōji clan and, later, the Nabeshima clan.

In 1538, Naganobu was born as the third son of Ryūzōji Kaneie and the younger brother of Ryūzōji Takanobu.

In 1558, Oda Masamitsu deployed for the purpose of eliminating Egami Taketane (the fifteenth head of the Egami clan) but was killed in fighting against Kumashiro Katsutoshi (who supported Taketane) at the Battle of Chōjarin.  During this battle, Takanobu disregarded urgent requests from Masamitsu for reinforcements and, after making certain of the demise of Masamitsu, captured the base of the Oda clan at Hasuike Castle.  Later, Masamitsu’s orphan, Oda Shigemitsu, was pardoned and permitted to become its lord.

In 1559, Takanobu and Chiba Tanetsura forced Shōni Fuyuhisa to take his own life at Seifukuji Castle, threatening to extinguish the Shōni clan, but Fuyuhisa’s younger brother, Shōni Masaoki, aimed for a revival of the clan by launching a rebellion.

In 1563, the Ryūzōji forced the surrender of Taku Munetoshi who had collaborated with Masaoki and took over the base of the Taku clan (the early Taku clan) at Kajimine Castle whereupon Naganobu became its lord.

In 1568, Naganobu transferred Kajimine Castle to Shigemitsu and moved his own base to the former residence of the Oda clan at Hasuike Castle.  To foster deeper relations with the Oda, he wed the younger sister of Shigemitsu.  Owing to increased pressure from the Ōtomo clan of Bungo Province, however, Shigemitsu defected to the Ōtomo so was ousted from Kajimine Castle and Naganobu became its lord again.  Gotō Takaakira of the Hizen-Gotō clan attempted to attack Kajimine Castle but he repelled them.

Naganobu aimed to stabilize his governance by establishing friendly relations with traditional religious powers by building the Shōkō Temple and Ganshōken Temple and renovating the Ōe Grand Shrine in Saga.

Artifacts uncovered at the remains of Kajimine Castle are surmised to have been from the era of Naganobu.

In the territory of the Ryūzōji, Naganobu was responsible for procuring military provisions.  In particular, this included the procurement of lumber.  Naganobu’s base in Taku was adjacent to forests that served as a source for lumber.  Naganobu also managed groups of laborers involved in the production of lumber and associated construction work so Naganobu performed a key role in the advance by Takanobu into western Hizen.  In the course of their military operations, the Ryūzōji were able to construct numerous fortifications, establishing the foundation for their power in Hizen.

When the Ryūzōji invaded western Hizen, Naganobu participated in the use of the Takeo onsen, or hot springs, and served in the defense of the border.

His lineal heir, Taku Yasutoshi, became the first landlord of the hamlet of Taku and founded the late Taku clan.  After serving in the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign, Yasutoshi brought craftsmen of porcelain to Japan and began the manufacture of porcelain in Hizen known as imariyaki.