Suganuma Sadanori


Suganuma Clan


Mikawa Province

Lifespan:  Meiō 2 (1493) to 2/14 of Tenbun 16 (1547)

Other Names:  Takechiyo (childhood), Shinhachirō (common), Fushun (monk’s name)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Chief of the Weaving Office

Clan:  Noda-Suganuma (inherited the Tominaga clan but retained his original surname)

Father:  Suganuma Sadatada

Wife: [Formal] Adopted daughter of Okudaira Sadamasa

Children:  Daughter (wife of Saigō Masakatsu), Sadamura, 定円, Sadayori, 定貴, Sadamitsu

Suganuma Sadanori served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was the first head of the Noda-Suganuma clan.

Sadanori was born as the third son of Suganuma Sadatada.  He was the younger brother of Suganuma Sadahiro.

According to the genealogical records of the Suganuma family, on 11/1 of Eishō 2 (1505), the Tominaga clan who governed the Shitara District made a request for a successor.  Suganuma Sadahiro, as the eldest son of Sadatada, was the heir to the Damine-Suganuma (the main branch of the Suganuma) so he could not be offered as a successor.  Ordinarily, the second son would be offered, but he had health problems and later entered the priesthood.  As a result, the responsibility came to the third son, Takechiyo (later known as Sadanori) to serve as the designated successor to the Tominaga.

Within the Tominaga clan, however, one faction was resolutely opposed on the basis the status of the Suganuma would be lowered so they demanded that Takechiyo become the heir under the Suganuma surname.  After Takechiyo and his party departed from Damine Castle, they were blocked by the opposition camp from entering the Tominaga residence.  For a temporary period, he borrowed a room within the residence of those supporting him to serve as his new quarters which included a new well for his own use.  He then waited for more favorable circumstances.  The year passed, however, without further progress between the opposing camps.

On 2/11 of Eishō 2 (1506), he entered the residence and, perhaps to remove any signs of the Tominaga, changed the name to Noda Castle.

In the first month of 1508, Takechiyo began the construction of a new Noda Castle so he could leave the existing premises.  Prior to the Tominaga clan, from a time when the Senshū clan of the Heian period ruled the area, the location of the residence on flatlands did not change, and also after Takechiyo entered, the defenses were neglected.  Moreover, the site was frequently exposed to damage from flooding when the Toyo River overflowed its banks.

In this same month, at his coming-of-age ceremony, he changed his name from Takechiyo to Shinhachirō Sadanori.  In 1516, Sadanori, acting in concert with the Imagawa for the Conquest of Enshū (Tōtōmi Province), participated in the capture of Hikuma Castle.  On 8/19 of Eishō 13 (1516), the castle fell.  For his contributions, Imagawa Ujichika granted to Sadanori the townships of Kawai and Takabe in Tōtōmi.  In the twelfth month, after eight years of work, the new Noda Castle was finally completed.  On 1/4 of Eishō 14 (1517), he moved into his new residence.

From 1528 to 1531, Sadanori temporarily departed from the Imagawa clan to serve in an assault on Uri Castle for the campaign of Matsudaira Kiyoyasu to pacify eastern Mikawa.  After the death of Kiyoyasu in 1535, Sadanori returned to the service of the Imagawa.

In the eighth month of 1541, Sadanori received the monk’s name of Fushun (householder) from Tainen Zenkei, the third abbot of the Iō Temple in Shinshiro.  On 12/18 of Tenbun 11 (1543), perhaps seeking the goodwill of the abbot, Sadanori, together with his nephew, Suganuma Daizen-no-suke Sadatsugu from the Damine-Suganuma clan, donated a bonshō, or Buddhist temple bell, to the Iō Temple.

In the first month of 1544, after transferring headship of the clan to his lineal heir, Suganuma Sadamura, he built and resided in a hall for the study of Zen Buddhism in front of the gate to the Ryūsen Temple on Mount Ōbora.  After retiring around the end of 1545, he hosted Sōboku, a master in renga, or linked-verse poetry.

In the summer of 1546, after falling ill, he made a request to Kōkoku Shungyoku, the eleventh abbot of the Senryū Temple, and was permitted respite until the following spring.

On 2/14 of Tenbun 16 (1547), Sadanori died at the age of fifty-five.  He was buried at the Senryū Temple.