Amano Takashige


Amano Clan

Amano Takashige

Aki Province

Lifespan:  Bunki 3 (1503) to 3/7 of Tenshō 12 (1584)

Rank:  bushō

Titles:  Junior Assistant Minister of Central Affairs; Governor of Kii

Clan:  Kinmeizan-Amano (a branch of the Kudō clan descended from the Fujiwara-Nanke)

Lord:  Ōuchi Yoshioki → Ōuchi Yoshitaka → Mōri Motonari → Mōri Takamoto → Mōri Terumoto

Father:  Amano Motosada

Siblings:  Takashige, Takayoshi

Wife:  [Formal] Daughter of Fukubara Hirotoshi 

Children: Motoaki, Takehiro, Motosuke, Mototomo, Motoyoshi, Motonobu

Amano Takashige served as a retainer for the Ōuchi and Mōri clans.  During his long life, Takashige served a succession of lords, including Ōuchi YoshiokiŌuchi Yoshitaka, Mōri Motonari, Mōri Takamoto, and Mōri Terumoto.

The Aki-Amano clan descended from the Kudō clan, a branch of the Fujiwara Nanke family that moved from the capital to Aki Province and became a kokujin, or local family of influence. Takashige’s lineage began with Amano Masasada from the Kinmeisan-Amano clan.  Meanwhile, the kokujin family of Amano Okitsugu, Amano Okisada, and Amano Motosada in Aki came from the Ōgiyama-Amano clan.

Takashige served as lord of Kinmeizan Castle.  In 1551, Ōuchi Yoshitaka was killed in a rebellion by Sue Harukata (also known as Sue Takafusa) at the Tainei Temple Incident.   Takashige then served Mōri Motonari.  Takashige’s wife was the younger sister of Fukubara Sadatoshi.  Sadatoshi was a retainer of the Mōri, eleventh lineal head of the Aki-Fukubara clan, and eldest son of Fukubara Hirotoshi, an elder retainer of the Mōri.  Sadatoshi had significant influence in the Mōri clan and served Motonari in many battles, serving as the most senior of Motonari’s retainers. Through marriage to Sadatoshi’s daughter, Takashige benefited from Motonari’s strong bonds with Sadatoshi. Takashige maintained a degree of autonomy while serving the Mōri, participating in the Battle of Itsukushima and the Bōchō keiryaku, a campaign from 1555 to 1557 by Mōri Motonari against the Ōuchi for control of Suō and Nagato provinces.  Following the demise of the Amago clan of Izumo Province, Takashige was assigned to guard Gassantoda Castle.

In 1554, Amago Haruhisa, then-lord of the Amago clan, purged the vanguard of the Amago known as the shingūtō.  The organization had become a threat to his authority.  During the purge, a member of the shingūtō, Amago Katsuhisa, fled Izumo through the assistance of Ogawa Shigetō and became a monk at the Tōfuku Temple in Kyōto.  In 1566, the Amago clan was finally eliminated after an invasion by Mōri Motonari.  In 1568, Katsuhisa, with the support of Yamanaka Yukimori and Tachihara Hisatsuna, exited temple life to raise an army for the purpose of recapturing Izumo and restoring the Amago to power.  In 1569, he led the army from Oki Province into Izumo. Remnants of the Amago clan joined the cause with coordinated uprisings, swelling the supporters to over six thousand men.  At the time, the main force of the Mōri was engaged in battle against the Ōtomo clan in northern Kyūshū, with only three hundred men left behind to defend Gassantoda Castle.  Takashige consulted with Mōri Motoaki, lord of the castle, and devised a plan to send a letter of surrender.  This provided the set-up for a surprise attack against an army of two thousand soldiers led by Akiage Munenobu on their way to the castle, scattering the forces.

After this defeat, the Amago army planned an ambush to wipe-out the Mōri unit defending Gassantoda Castle. Yukimori positioned one thousand troops at the Jōan Temple below the castle.  Takashige scouted their position, and, following a stealthy approach, launched a barrage of fire from arquebuses and arrows into the temple grounds, overwhelming the enemy forces.  The dispirited survivors lost their will to capture Gassantoda, and the siege came to a standstill.  Thereafter, the main battalions of the Mōri army entered Izumo, broke the siege of the castle, and liberated the defenders.