Arakawa Nagazane


Arakawa Clan


Echigo Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 15xx

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Governor of Izu (honorary)

Clan:  Arakawa

Lord:  Uesugi Kenshin

Arakawa Nagazane served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Uesugi clan.

Nagazane was the landlord of the Arakawa neighborhood.  He is counted among the Seventeen Bushō of Echigo, a select group of retainers of the Uesugi clan.  There is a theory that he served as a kagemusha, or body double, for Uesugi Kenshin, but this is not authenticated.

In 1561, at the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, hatamoto from the Uesugi and Takeda camps clashed in a major battle.  Nagazane served in the vanguard forces for the Uesugi.  According to accounts of the Uesugi family, after the defenses around Takeda Shingen thinned, Nagazane charged on horseback against the main division of the Takeda army, striking Shingen with a long sword.  Arising from his camp stool, Shingen sought to deflect the blows with a war fan, but sustained injuries in two places on his arm while surviving the attack.  A defender nearby aimed to stab Nagazane with a spear which got stuck in his shoulder armor, and as he beat back the spear the horse raised up and ran off at full speed.  According to the military account of the Takeda clan known as the Kōyō Gunkan, the individual who charged Shingen, adorned in a light-yellow sleeveless ceremonial robe with a white cloth headwrap, was none other than Uesugi Kenshin.  A later inspection of Shingen’s war fan shows seven marks from a sword.  This gave rise to a legend of a duel between the two leaders of their respective clans where a stone monument stands to this day.

His whereabouts after the battle are unknown.  It is said that he could not return to his home province but the details are uncertain.