Takagi Tanenori


Takagi Clan


Shimōsa Province

Lifespan:  Genki 2 (1571) to 8/17 of Keichō 8 (1603)

Other Names:  Tatsuchiyo (childhood), Genjirō (common)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Shimōsa-Takagi

Lord:  Chiba Kunitane → Hōjō clan

Father:  Takagi Tanetoki

Wife:  Adopted daughter of Shibata Katsuie

Children:  Taneshige 

Takagi Tanenori served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.  He was a retainer of the Chiba and Hōjō clans and served as the lord of Kogane Castle in the Katsushika District of Shimōsa Province.

In 1571, Tanenori was born as the son of Takagi Tanetoki.  He was the grandson of Takagi Taneyoshi who first built Kogane Castle in 1537.  When Tanenori was twelve years old, his father died so Tanenori succeeded him as the lord of Kogane Castle.  In 1585, after his lord, Chiba Kunitane, was murdered by a retainer, his lineal heir, Chiba Shigetane, was still in his youth so Kunitane’s son-in-law, Chiba Naoshige (the seventh son of Hōjō Ujimasa) inherited the headship of the Chiba clan as a proxy.  Shigetane lived as a hostage at Odawara Castle while the Hōjō in fact took over the Chiba clan.  Thereafter, Tanenori, in name and in substance, served as a retainer of the Hōjō.  In the second month of 1584, upon appeal from the Funabashi Grand Shrine, he permitted an exemption from levies.  In the tenth month, the Yanada clan in the territory in Mitsukai in Shimōsa, acted on their own accord to issue exemptions so Tanenori made an urgent request to the Hōjō to intervene on the grounds that this harmed the residents of the territory of the Takagi clan.

In 1587, upon orders of Hōjō Ujimasa, he was sent to assist Okami Muneharu under attack by Tagaya Shigetsune, a retainer of the Satake clan.  Despite coming from another province, Tanenori, along with a senior retainer of the Hōjō named Tōyama Naokage, served in the nucleus of forces on the front lines of battle in Jōsō in Hitachi Province.  Thereafter, Tanenori cultivated friendly relations with Sakuma Yasumasa (the nephew of Shibata Katsuie) who, after a defeat at the Battle of Shizugatake, turned to the Hōjō for support.  He then wed the adopted daughter of Katsuie who was accompanied Yasumasa when they came to the Hōjō.  Her father was Nakamura Bunkasai, a retainer of Katsuie who martyred himself when Katsuie took his own life after a defeat in the Siege of Kita-no-shō Castle in the aftermath of the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583.

In 1590, upon the launch of the Conquest of Odawara by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tanenori left some of his retainers in Kogane Castle and then holed-up in Odawara Castle.  After enduring hardship including the loss of his uncle, Takagi Tanemasa, in the face of the overwhelming military power of the Toyotomi army, he secretly sent a messenger to Shimōsa to order that Kogane Castle be vacated.  The garrison then surrendered to Asano Nagamasa of the Toyotomi army and the castle fell to the Toyotomi.  Soon thereafter, the Hōjō clan also surrendered.  The custody of Tanenori was given to Gamō Ujisato and move to a disparate portion of territory in Shinano Province.

Thereafter, Tanenori awaited an opportunity to revive the family name, but by nature had frail health and missed several chances so was unable to do so.  After the formation of the Edo bakufu, Tanenori relied upon the deep trust of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Tanenori’s uncle (Shōyo Ryōgaku) and close friend (Sakuma Yasumasa) and recommenced efforts to revive the family.  Just before attaining his goal, Tanenori fell ill and died at Fushimi Castle at the age of thirty-three.  Later, Tanenori’s lineal heir, Takagi Taneshige, attended his coming-of-age ceremony and was then invited by Ieyasu to serve as a hatamoto, or direct retainer of the bakufu.