Asakura Kagetake

朝倉景健

Asakura Clan

Bushō

Echizen Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 8/21 of Tenshō 3 (1575)

Rank:  bushō

Clan:  Asakura

Lord:  Asakura Yoshikage → Oda Nobunaga → The Hongan Temple

Father:  Asakura Kagetaka

Asakura Kagetake served as a retainer of the Asakura clan in Echizen Province and lord of Ago Castle in Ōmi Province.  Kagetake was the youngest son of Asakura Kagetaka「朝倉景隆」.  His family ranked after the governors of the Tsuruga District and the Ōno District.

In 1570, he became head of the family following the death of his father and older brother.  That same year, he defended against an invasion by Oda Nobunaga into Echizen, and served as the commanding general of the Asakura at the Battle of Anegawa on behalf of Asakura Yoshikage, lord of the clan.  At the Battle of Shimosakamoto, his forces killed over 750 soldiers in the Oda army including Mori Yoshinari and Oda Nobuharu (Nobunaga’s younger brother).

On 8/13 of 1573, an Asakura army of 20,000 soldiers confronted as many as 30,000 troops under the direct command of Nobunaga at the Battle of Tonezaka.  Lacking commanders and in low spirits, Yoshikage decided to retreat, with the Oda in hot pursuit.  Yoshikage aimed to flee from Hikida Castle to Tonezaka, but encountered Oda forces en route from Yogo to Tonezaka and into Tsuruga, incurring thousands of casualties. Some of the Asakura men attempted to hold their ground, while others reversed course and attempted to push back against the Oda in a valiant defense.  Numerous commanders forming the nucleus of the Asakura army, including Asakura Kageyuki, lord of Kitanoshō Castle, were lost. Kagetake and a small contingent of retainers enabled Yoshikage to escape to Ichijōdani in Echizen.

Following the death of Yoshikage after betrayal by Asakura Kaegakira, Kagetake surrendered to Nobunaga and changed his family name to Ago.  In 1574, he responded to uprisings by monks of the Ikkō sect by surrendering, despite the ongoing struggle between the Ikkō sect and the Oda.  In 1575, the Oda army once again invaded Echizen, and observing the inferior position of the monks, he betrayed them in favor of the Oda, bringing the heads of Shimotsuma Raishō and Shimotsuma Raishun to Nobunaga and pleading for forgiveness.  Nobunaga responded by ordering Mukai Hisaie to have them kill themselves.  Soon thereafter, three retainers of Kagetake committed seppuku.