Takagi Taneyoshi

高城胤吉

Takagi Clan

Bushō

Shimōsa Province

Lifespan:  Bunmei 16 (1484) or Bunki 1 (1501) (?) to 3/12 of Eiroku 8 (1565)

Other Names:  Denshō-genshin (monk’s name)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Shimotsuke

Clan:  Shimōsa-Takagi

Lord:  Hara clan → Chiba clan → Hōjō clan

Father:  Takagi Tanetada

Siblings:  Taneyoshi

Children:  Tanetoki, Tanetomo, Shōyo Ryōgaku

Takagi Taneyoshi served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Chiba clan and served as the lord of Kogane Castle in the Katsushika District of Shimōsa Province.

His origins are the subject of various theories but generally he is surmised to have been a senior retainer of the Hara clan while the Takagi were a cadet family of the Hara who, in turn, served as chief retainers of the Chiba clan.  When Taneyoshi was twenty-five years old, he built Negiuchi Castle in Kogane.

In 1517, after the Hara clan was defeated by Ashikaga Yoshiaki and lost Oyumi Castle, Taneyoshi moved to Kurigasawa Castle in Kogane under the control of the Hara and was received by Hara Tanekiyo.  Initially, he is surmised to have served in the capacity as a local governor on behalf of the Hara clan, but later built Ōtaniguchi Castle (Kogane Castle) as his own base in Kogane.  Later, he earned the trust of Chiba Masatane and wed Masatane’s daughter as his formal wife.  He strengthened ties with the main branch of the Chiba and the Hōjō clan to oppose Yoshiaki and the Satomi clan.  He contributed to a victory by the Hōjō at the First Battle of Kōnodai in 1538 and, decades later, at the Second Battle of Kōnodai from 1563 to 1564.

Taneyoshi assumed governance of the eastern portion of the Katsushika District in Shimōsa.  As the local landlord, he solidified his foundation such as, in 1548, by issuing a deed to the Nakayama-Hokekyō Temple to prohibit entry by the military governors.  The seal used by Takagi Tanetoki (Taneyoshi’s eldest son) and Takagi Tanenori (Taneyoshi’s grandson) used a black-ink seal with the name of Taneyoshi.  Its use as a family seal substantiates Taneyoshi’s role to build the foundation of the Takagi clan.  Meanwhile, a subordinate relationship also evolved with the Hōjō clan who exerted increasing influence over the Takagi.  Hōjō Ujiyasu granted landholdings to Taneyoshi in Kozono in Sagami Province and Taneyoshi received orders via Tōyama Tsunakage, the chamberlain of Edo Castle.  In records of landholdings of members of the Odawara group drafted in 1559, the Takagi clan is identified as members from other provinces.  During the deployment to the Kantō by Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) from 1560, Taneyoshi surrendered for a period of time to the Uesugi.  In accounts of the Nagao family (later known as the Uesugi) from 1561, the Takagi are noted as the only member of the kunishū from Shimōsa.  Nevertheless, after Kagetora returned to Echigo Province, Taneyoshi affiliated with the Hōjō again.

In 1565, Taneyoshi died and was buried at the Kōtoku Temple.  His eldest son, Takagi Tanetoki, inherited the headship of the clan while his third son, Shōyo Ryōgaku, became the seventeenth head of the Zōjō Temple.