Takita Shōtetsu

田北紹鉄

Takita Clan

Bushō

Bungo Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to 4/13 of Tenshō 8 (1580)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Yamato

Clan:  Takita

Lord:  Ōtomo Yoshiaki → Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin) → Ōtomo Yoshimune

Father:  Takita Chikakazu

Siblings:  [XX], Akinari, Akishige (Shōtetsu), Akimasu, Shigekane

Children:  Akiyasu

Takita Shōtetsu served as a bushō and retainer of the Ōtomo clan of Bungo Province during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.

Shōtetsu was the son of Takita Chikakazu, a retainer of the Ōtomo.  He adopted the name “Shōtetsu” after entering the priesthood, whereas he was formerly named Akitomi and then Akishige, having received the first character in his name from his lord, Ōtomo Yoshiaki.

The Takita clan originated from Ōtomo Chikayasu, the third son of Ōtomo Chikahide, becoming a powerful branch of the Ōtomo.  The Takita were based in the village of Takita in the Naoiri District of Bungo.  The Takita began in the role of jitō, or land stewards, appointed by the Muromachi bakufu, and then occupied the area.  In the era of Shōtetsu, the clan settled in the Ōita and Hayami districts, while Shōtetsu resided in Kumamure Castle.

Based on the account of a Portuguese missionary known as Padre Lorenzo [Messiah], Shōtetsu was known as the most capable and strategic landowner in Bungo.  In 1556, he suppressed the rebellion by Obara Akimoto, and, from 1561, battled against the Mōri clan.  In 1562, Shōtetsu deployed for the Battle of Moji Castle against the Mōri, and, in 1565, he made contributions in a conflict in the Kiku District against the Nagano clan of Buzen Province.

Notwithstanding the meritorious results, Shōtetsu’s lord, Ōtomo Yoshishige (later known as Sōrin), did not offer him much reward.  Yoshishige may have been threatened by the prowess demonstrated by Shōtetsu.  Yoshishige did not appoint Shōtetsu as a member of the group of elder advisors, excluding him from the inner circle.  Instead, he trusted and relied upon Takita Shigekane, Shōtetsu’s younger brother who had been adopted into the Takita clan.  Shigekane, however, died in 1578 at the Battle of Mimikawa.  This made the Ōtomo vulnerable, leading Shōtetsu to conspire with Tabaru Chikatsura and Akizuki Tanezane to launch a rebellion in 1580.  The rebellion gave rise to numerous accusations, including that Tabara Chikakata was the ringleader.  Other clans from the southern districts such as the Ichimata and Shiga were sympathetic to Shōtetsu, and not interested in suppressing the acts.  However, the forces of Ōtomo Yoshimune commenced attacks and Shōtetsu was warned to flee while others mediated the situation with Yoshishige.  After departing Kumamure Castle, Shōtetsu clashed with the Ōtomo in Asono of the Naoiri District, and then aimed to seek protection from Akizuki Tanezane in Chikuzen Province, but Shōtetsu and eighty of his men were slayed in the Hita District en route to Chikuzen.