Lifespan: Tenshō 1 (1573) to 10/9 of Kanei 8 (1631)
Title: Junior Fifth Rank (Lower); Governor of Tango
Lord: Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Toyotomi Hideyori → Tokugawa Ieyasu → Tokugawa Hidetada
Father: Takenaka Shigeharu
Mother: Tokugetsu-in (daughter of Andō Morinari)
Siblings: Shigeyuki, Shigeharu, Shigenori, Hikohachirō
Wife: [Formal] Woman related to Katō Mitsuyasu
Children: Shigetsune, Shigetsugu
Takenaka Shigekado served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods. Shigekado was known as a military scholar of the Sengoku period.
In 1573, Shigekado was born as the eldest son of Takenaka Shigeharu. Following the death by illness of his father in 1579, Shigekado was raised by his uncle, Takenaka Shigetoshi (Shigeharu’s younger brother), and served on behalf of Hashiba Hideyoshi (later known as Toyotomi HIdeyoshi).
Shigekado participated in the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute in 1584 and the Conquest of Odawara in 1590.
In 1588, Shigekado was conferred the title of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Governor of Tango.
In 1589, he was awarded a fief of 5,000 koku in the Fuwa District of Mino.
During the Bunroku Expedition to the Korean Peninsula, he was stationed at Nagoya Castle. During the subsequent Keichō Expedition, he crossed the Sea of Japan to the Korean Peninsula to serve as a military inspector. After the war, his fief was increased with an award of 1,000 koku in Kawachi Province in recognition of his contributions.
In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Shigekado originally sided with the Western Army and supported Ishikawa Sadakiyo, the lord of Inuyama Castle, but, through the intermediation of Ii Naomasa, he changed sides to join the Eastern Army. Similar to other principal bushō of the Eastern Army, Shigekado provided his main base at Bodaisan Castle to Tokugawa Ieyasu. In the battle, Shigekado combined forces with Kuroda Nagamasa (a childhood acquaintance) and fought valiantly on the battlefield. Soon after the battle, on 9/19, he captured Konishi Yukinaga on Mount Ibuki and received a letter of commendation personally written by Ieyasu.
Sekigahara was located in territory controlled by the Takenaka clan, so Shigekado was given 1,000 koku for fees for memorial services for those fallen in battle. In the Edo period, for his service as a hatamoto, the bakufu recognized his rights to landholdings with a value of 6,000 koku on Mount Iwade in Mino which was maintained for generations. Later, after producing cadet families, the fief was set at 5,000 koku. One illegitimate son, owing to an association with Nagamasa, served as a senior retainer of the Kuroda family for the Fukuoka domain.
After the war, Shigekado moved his base to the Takenaka Lodge. Shigekado also participated in the construction of the Nijō Castle in Kyōto and in the Siege of Ōsaka. He died in Edo in 1631 at the age of fifty-nine.