Tada Sanpachirō


Tada Clan

Tada Sanpachirō

Kai Province

Lifespan:  15xx to Eiroku 6 (1563)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Awaji

Clan:  Tada

Lord:  Takeda Nobutora → Takeda Harunobu (Shingen)

Wife:  Daughter of Kanemaru Chikuzen-no-kami (younger sister of Tsuchiya Masatsugu)

Children:  Arakura, Hisakura, Shinhachirō, Masatoshi

Tada Sanpachirō served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.

He was a retainer of the Takeda clan of Kai Province serving two generations of the family – Takeda Nobutora and Takeda Harunobu (later known as Shingen).  Sanpachirō was a general of the ashigaru, or foot soldiers of the Takeda army.

Sanpachirō was named as one of the Five Famed Retainers of the Takeda – meritorious retainers from other provinces who served under Takeda Nobutora and his son, Takeda Harunobu, the sengoku daimyō of Kai.  The other members of the Five Famed Retainers of the Takeda included Hara Toratane, Obata Toramori, Yokota Takatoshi, and Yamamoto Kansuke.

Sanpachirō was also known as Sanpachi or Awaji-no-kami.  His real name was Masazumi.  According to another source, it was Mitsuyori, but not confirm from writings.  His posthumous name was Sōhan.  His wife may have been the younger sister of Tsuchiya Masatsugu.  Children may have been Arakura or Hisakura, or, based on other sources, Shinhachirō (Hachiemon) and Masatoshi.  In addition, Jibuzaemon, a general of foot soliders in the Takeda family appeared to have been related.

Sanpachirō was called a descendant of the Tada-Genji, members of the Settsu-Genji clan.  He may have descended from a grandson of Minamoto no Yorimitsu named Tada Yoritsuna or from the younger brother of Minamoto no Mitsunaka named Minamoto no Mitsusue, but this cannot be confirmed from the genealogies.

Sanpachirō was born in Mino Province and went to Kai Province to receive archery training where he served Takeda Nobutora and became a general of the foot soldiers, although the number of peers as well as soldiers under his command is uncertain.  He also served Nobutora’s son, Takeda Harunobu, receiving twenty-nine commendations for valor.  According to anecdotes, he sustained injuries in twenty-seven locations on his body.

Based on authenticated records, in the eighth month of 1547, Sanpachirō participated in attacks on Shiga Castle and in the Saku District in Shinano Province.  He joined with Itagaki Nobukata at the Battle of Otaihara with reinforcements under Uesugi Norimasa, the deputy shōgun of the Kantō.  In 1548, he received a written commendation from Shingen in a battle against Ogasawara Nagatoki, the military governor and sengoku daimyō of Shinano.

There is a legend that, when Sanpachirō was guarding Kokuzōsan Castle in Shinano, he exterminated a ghost in the form of a demon on a fiery chariot.

In 1561, around the time of the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, Sanpachirō was ill in bed so he sent his son into battle in his place.  Two years later he died of illness.  Sendatsu Castle, which is identified as the base of Tada Awaji-no-kami, is located on the border of the town of Fujimi in the Suwa District of Nagano Prefecture.


According to one source, his son, Tada Arakura, died at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575.  Tada Masatoshi martyred himself at the time of decimation of the Takeda family in 1582.

According to another source, his eldest son, Shinhachirō (Hachiemon) died of illness in 1570 and the son of Shinhachirō, Tada Masayoshi (Sanpachirō) served as a hatamoto under Tokugawa Ieyasu.

His second son, Tada Masatoshi, absconded from the Takeda family and served the Gohōjō clan of Sagami Province.  In the twelfth month of 1567, he was killed in action in Iwase in Musashi Province.

Tada Masatsuna, the son of Tada Masatoshi, was adopted and raised by Tsuchiya Masatsugu, Masatsuna’s uncle and a hereditary retainer of the Takeda family.  After the end of the Takeda clan, Masatsuna served the Tokugawa, participating in numerous battles.  In 1601, he became a guard of Tokugawa Yoshinao (a daimyō and the ninth son of Ieyasu) while, in the Edo period, his descendants became hatamoto of the Tokugawa clan.