Takanashi Masayori


Takanashi Clan


Shinano Province

Lifespan:  Eishō 5 (1508) to Tenshō 4 (1576)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Junior Fourth Rank (Upper), Assistant Vice-Minister of Justice

Clan:  Takanashi

Lord:  Independent landlord → Uesugi Kenshin

Father:  Takanashi Sumiyori

Mother:  Daughter of Nagao Yoshikage (?)

Siblings:  Masayori, Ofune (consort of Murakami Yoshikiyo), Kiyohide (?)

Wife: [Formal] Daughter of Iwai Shikibu-Taifu Shigeyoshi (?)

Children:  Yoriharu, Hidemasa, daughter (formal wife of Nakajō Kagesuke), Yorichika, Okita (formal wife of Sanada Nobutsuna), Naiki (?)

Takanashi Masayori served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  Masayori joined Uesugi Kenshin in battle against Takeda Shingen.  The Takanashi clan was a kokujin, or provincial family of influence, based in the Nakano township of the Takai District in Shinano Province.

Masayori was born as the son of Takanashi Sumiyori.  His mother was the daughter of Nagao Yoshikage.  Masayori’s grandfather, Takanashi Masamori, oversaw the years of peak prosperity of the Takanashi clan.  Masamori established the main base for the clan known at the Nakano-Otate and branch castle known as Kamogatake Castle.  After Masamori’s death, the Takanashi clan confronted difficult circumstances for a period owing to attacks by the Shinano-Murakami clan and conflicts with supporters of Uesugi Sadazane including the neighboring Naganuma-Shimazu clan and the Inoue and Suda clans.

In 1524, Masayori was temporarily driven out of his territory.  Later, he received support from Nagao Tamekage of Echigo Province and either settled with powerful local families (referred to as gōzoku) or eliminated those forces opposed to him.  In 1530, Masayori served Tamekage by deploying to the Sanbunichi Plain to defeat a rebellion by the Jōjō-Uesugi clan.

In response to an invasion of Shinano by the Kai-Takeda clan, Masayori reconciled and allied with the Murakami clan to mount two counterattacks.  Even after the Murakami were defeated by a subordinate family, the Yashiro clan,  the Takanashi joined with other landlords from northern Shinano to continue resistance against the Takeda.  However, in the second month of 1557, the Takeda toppled Katsurayama Castle in the Minochi District approaching near the main base of the Takanashi in Nakano.  In the fourth month, Nagao Kagetora deployed to northern Shinano, but landlords aligned with the Takeda such as the Ichikawa from the Shikumi township in the northern part of Nakano appeared, posing the treat of a pincer attack against the Takanashi.  This led to the Third Battle of Kawanakajima.

Preceding the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, in the third month of 1559, Nakano-Otate was felled in an attack by Kasuga Toratsuna, the chamberlain of the Kaizu Castle allied with the Takeda.  Ousted from his main base, Masayori was compelled to retreat to Iiyama Castle.  The Takanashi gradually lost their power as independent kokujin and increased their dependence upon the Nagao family (who changed their surname to the Uesugi the following year).  In 1561, after Uesugi Masatora invaded the territory of the Gohōjō in the Kantō, Masayori is believed to have remained in Iiyama Castle.  In the ninth month of 1561, Masayori participated, along with his sons, Takanashi Hidemasa and Takanashi Yorichika, in the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, but was unable to recover his former territory.

Information concerning Masayori’s later years is scarce.  There is also a theory that he died before the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima.  Takanashi Naiki, a retainer of Sanada Nobushige, may have been a son or grandson of Masayori, but it cannot be confirmed.