Asari Nobutane


Asari Clan


Kai Province

Lifespan:  15xx to 10/8 of Erioku 12 (1569)

Rank:  bushō

Title:  Assistant Captain of the Bureau of Cavalry of the Right Division, Assistant Vice Minister of Education, Secretary of the Bureau of Education (honorary)

Clan:  Kai-Asari

Lord:  Takeda Shingen

Father:  Asari Toraari

Mother:  Daughter of Takeda Nobutsuna (?)

Siblings:  Nobutane, Yoshimasu

Children:  Masatane

Asari Nobutane served as a bushō during the Sengoku period.  He was a retainer of the Kai-Takeda clan and a member of the group of hereditary chief retainers.

The Asari clan was an illegitimate branch of the Kai-Genji originating from the Asari township in the Yatsushiro District of Kai.  Nobutane’s lineage came from the Kai-Asari clan among these descendants.

Nobutane was born as the eldest son and designated heir of Asari Iyo-no-kami Toraari.  Toraari served as a retainer during the era of Takeda Nobutora and received one of the characters in his name from Nobutora.  It is surmised that Nobutane received the character “nobu” in his name from Takeda Harunobu (Shingen).

Nobutane served as a samurai general, leading the Red Corps and commanding a battalion of 120 mounted soldiers.  He participated in the invasion of Shinano Province.  Nobutane’s name first appears in historical records in a written oath by Saigusa Masasada and others from the eighth month of 1566 in the aftermath of an assassination plot against Takeda Shingen known as the Yoshinobu Incident in 1565.  Nobutane’s name appears as a magistrate.  In 1567, he continued to serve as a magistrate in a subsequent written oath submitted by retainers of the Takeda.  That same year, Nobutane, together with Atobe Nobuaki, administered (on behalf of the Takeda clan) licenses for horses and sealed orders for individuals to return to farming addressed to the Uminokuchi township in Shinano Province.

In 1561, the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima led to an end of the conflict between the Takeda and the Uesugi clan of Echigo Province in regard to the area of northern Shinano.  In 1568, the alliance with the Imagawa clan of Suruga Province was severed and the Takeda commenced the Invasion of Suruga against the territory of the Imagawa.  The separation from the Imagawa led to a breakdown of the alliance between the Takeda and the Gohōjō clan of Sagami Province.  After the Battle of Kawanakajima, the Takeda clan invaded and annexed the western portion of Kōzuke Province.  Until 1568, Nobutane served as the chamberlain of Minowa Castle and, in battle against the Gohōjō, led forces from western Kōzuke.

In 1569, the Takeda launched an offensive against Odawara Castle aimed at containing the Gohōjō clan, but, on the route back to Kai following the operation, the Takeda forces were blocked by Hōjō Ujiteru and Hōjō Ujikuni (siblings).  On 10/8 of Eiroku 12 (1569), at the Battle of Mimasetōge, the Takeda forces climbing the pass aimed for a pincer attack against the Hōjō forces camped on the peak.  While commanding troops on horseback, Nobutane was struck by a stray bullet and died.  He was replaced by a commander named Sone Masatada who consolidated the Asari battalion after their loss of Nobutane.

After this battle, there are not later records with respect to the outcome of Nobutane or the Asari family.  Nobutane had just one son, Asari Masatane who appeared to have inherited the headship of the clan.  In 1570, however, a hereditary chief retainer named Naitō Masahide became the chamberlain of Minowa Castle while 60 mounted soldiers comprising one-half of the Asari battalion were taken over by Tsuchiya Masatsugu.

Local residents worship at the Asari Shrine near the site of the Battle of Mimasetōge.