Takano Taizen


Takano Clan


Chikugo Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 16xx

Other Names:  Taizen-no-suke, Genba-no-jō

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Takano (descended from the Ōgashi-Ogata clan from Takano in Fujikita)

Bakufu:  Edo

Domain:  Yanagawa

Lord:  Bekki Akitsura (Tachibana Dōsetsu) → Bekki Shigetsura → Tachibana Muneshige (?)

Takano Taizen served as a bushō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods.  He was a retainer of the Tachibana clan and, in the Edo period, of the Yanagawa domain.  Taizen is counted among the Four Guardian Kings of the Tachibana, the others being Yufu Korenobu, Andō Ietada, and Totoki Tsuresada.

The clan descended from the Ōgashi-Okata family from Takano in Fujikita in Bungo Province.

On 8/22 of Tenbun 4 (1535), during a rebellion by kokujin, or provincial landowners, in Higo Province including the Higo-Kikuchi clan, Taizen obeyed his lord, Bekki Akitsura (later known as Tachibana Dōsetsu), and, together with Bekki Chikamune, Yufu Koretaka, Watanuki Yoshimoto, Adachi Sakyō, Andō Tsurayuki, Ebina Hizen, Ono Akiyuki, deployed to Higo Province and fought valiantly at the Battle of Kurumagaeshi to suppress the rebellion.

In 1556, Taizen obeyed his lord Akitsura to deploy for a rebellion by Obara Akimoto, Honjō Shinzaemon Munetsuna, Nakamura Shinbei Naganao (Shigenobu), and Kaku Kii-no-kami Koreshige known as the Confrontation of Surnames.  On 5/19, Taizen, together with Yufu Korenobu, Adachi Sakyō, Andō Iesada, and Takano Kurōbei received written commendations from Akitsura for their exemplary service during this conflict.

Beginning on 4/27 and into the fifth month of 1565, when Yoshihiro Akimasa and Dōsetsu attacked Tachibana Akikoto (the lord of Tachibanayama Castle) who rebelled against the Ōtomo, Taizen served with the utmost valor in the front line of spear-wielding soldiers.

In 1568, when attacking Akikoto after he was lured away by Mōri Motonari, Taizen served as the commander of the Sixth Battalion of Dosetsu’s army to battle below Tachibanayama Castle against the allied forces of Shimizu Munetomo of the Mōri army, Etō Owari-no-kami (a retainer of Takahashi Akitane), and Harada Chikatane.  During this battle, he took the head of Owari-no-kami.

Around this time, Taizen, along with Yufu Korenobu, Totoki Tsuresada, and Andō Ietada, while serving as retainers of the Bungo-Bekki clan prior to Bekki Akitsura inheriting the Tachibana clan, were called the Four Guardian Kings of the Tachibana and known as prominent bushō in Kyūshū.

In 1578, in the wake of the Battle of Mimikawa, Dōsetsu and Takahashi Jōun deployed to suppress a rebellion by clans in Chikuzen including the Munakata, the Asō, and the Harada.  Further, Taizen, along with Yufu Korenobu, Totoki Tsuresada, and Andō Ietada, engaged in battle against Akizuki Tanezane, Tsukushi Hirokado, and others seeking to expand their influence in Chikuzen.  Throughout his career, Taizen received twenty-seven written commendations and was praised by his lord, Dōsetsu, as an exceptional bushō of unparalleled valor.

On 12/5 of Tenshō 10 (1582), letters were issued by Bekki Shigetsura (a nephew of Dōsetsu based in Bungo) recognizing the rights of Takano Genba-no-jō (Taizen) and Kuroki Ienaga, a kokujin from Chikugo, to their landholdings.

On 9/11 of Tenshō 13 (1585), after Dōsetsu died while on deployment at the height of the attack on Yanagawa Castle, Taizen served Shigetsura.  Later, when suspected of plotting a rebellion against the Ōtomo, Shigetsura took his own life.  After Shigetsura’s son, Bekki Munetsune, was killed at the Battle of Hetsugigawa, or after the Ōtomo were removed from their position, it is surmised that Taizen and his family served Tachibana Muneshige.

After Toyotomi Hideyoshi recognized Muneshige as a daimyō with a fief of 132,000 koku in Yanagawa, Taizen obeyed Hideyoshi and deployed for the Pacification of Kyūshū, the Conquest of Odawara, and the Bunroku-Keichō Campaign on the Korean Peninsula.  Among those who sailed to Korea were individuals deemed to have been members of Taizen’s family including Takano Shikibu-no-jō and Takano Yagenji.  In 1562, during the construction of Yanagawa Castle, Takano Shikibu looked after the Tachibana residence in Fushimi.

In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Taizen joined the Western Army and participated in the Siege of Ōtsu Castle (including Takano Shirōzemon and Takano Kyūemon) and the Siege of Yanagawa Castle so, after the war, he was removed from his position and became a rōnin, or wandering samurai.

In 1620, when Muneshige received under the governance of the Tokugawa family his former territory in Yanagawa in Chikugo Province with a fief of 109,200 koku, the territory was granted to an individual under the name of Takano Kizaemon.