Lifespan: Eiroku 5 (1562) to Unknown
Rank: bushō, daimyō
Title: Junior Fifth Rank (Lower), Chief of the Palace Table
Clan: Kasuya (originated from the Shimura clan)
Lord: Bessho Nagaharu → Toyotomi Hideyoshi → Toyotomi Hideyori → (Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Father: Shimura (Unknown) or Kasuya Noriyori, or Kasuya Tadayasu
Mother: Daughter of Kodera Masamoto (under the theory his father was of the Shimura)
Siblings: (Tomomasa, Takenori) or (Tomomasa, Takenori, Muneaki) or (Masayasu, Jirō-Saburō, 正観, Kazumasa, 見智, Aiyoshi – under the theory his name was Kazumasa)
Children: Munetaka, Hachibei (Yasunaga), Jūzaemon, Gonzaemon
Kasuya Takenori served as a bushō and daimyō during the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods. In later eras, he was named as one of the Seven Spears of Shizugatake owing to his contributions at the Battle of Shizugatake in the fourth month of 1583.
The Kasuya were a military family based at Kakogawa Castle in the Innami District of Harima Province that continued from the Kamakura period. During the Sengoku period, the Kasuya served as retainers of the Bessho clan. In 1562, Takenori was born as the son of an individual with the surname of Shimura in Harima. His mother was the younger sister of Kodera Masamoto. She first wed Kasuya Tomosada, and after giving birth of Tomomasa, separated and remarried to an individual in the Shimura clan, a kokujin, or provincial landowner, of Harima Province, and gave birth to Takenori. Thereafter, her husband died so she entrusted Takenori to her eldest son, Tomomasa. While serving as the head of the Kasuya clan, Tomomasa raised Takenori as an adopted younger brother of a different father. Owing to this gratitude, Takenori dropped the Shimura surname in exchange for the Kasuya surname.
There is an alternative theory that Takenori was the second son of Kasuya Noriyori (Genba-no-jō).
Rising to become a daimyō
In 1577, at the time of the invasion of Harima by Hashiba Hideyoshi, Takenori followed Bessho Nagaharu and, together with Tomomasa and Tomomasa’s son, Tomokazu, and entered Miki Castle, but was persuaded by Kodera Yoshitaka to withdraw and he returned to Kakogawa Castle.
That same year, upon the recommendation of Yoshitaka, Takenori became the head of the servants for Hashiba Hideyoshi and participated in the Battle of Miki. Takenori participated in battle for the first time during an attack on the outlying site of Noguchi Castle. During a siege of Miki Castle, he protected Midai-no-uetsuke Castle, performing a role in the encirclement.
On 2/6 of Tenshō 7 (1579) at the Battle of Hiraiyama (one of the clashes associated with the Battle of Miki), Tomomasa was killed in action so, in 1580, Takenori succeeded him as the head of the clan. Thereafter, he joined in the Invasion of Chūgoku and, after the coup d’état against Oda Nobunaga on 6/2 of Tenshō 10 (1582), Takenori joined the Great March from Chūgoku by which Hideyoshi hurriedly marched his army from the western provinces toward Kyōto to confront Akechi Mitsuhide. On 6/13, Takenori participated in the Battle of Yamazaki. On 10/15, Takenori attended as a subordinate of a retainer at the memorial services for Oda Nobunaga held at the Daitoku Temple.
In 1583, at the Battle of Shizugatake, Takenori charged out with his war banner to engage in a spear duel against Yadoya Shichizaemon who was in the command of Sakuma Morimasa. Shichizaemon had held his ground to the south of Toriuchizaka to fight against Sakurai Sakichi Iekazu. After Iekazu was cut-down by Shichizaemon, Takenori rushed to help him, and as Shichizaemon thrust his spear, Takenori killed him with one stab of his own spear. In a cut through hilly terrain to the west, Takenori continued to fight valiantly under the watch of Hideyoshi. Owing to his achievements, on 6/5, Takenori, along with Fukushima Masanori and Katō Kiyomasa and the other valorous warriors, received praise as the top spear fighters referred to in later eras as the Seven Spears of Shizugatake. On 8/1, Takenori was awarded a fief of 2,000 koku in the Kako District of Harima Province, and 1,000 koku in the Kawachi District of Kawachi Province, comprising a total fief of 3,000 koku.
In 1584, at the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute, based on records of the battle formations, Takenori, along with others from the Seven Spears of Shizugatake, led a battalion of 150 umamawari, or mounted soldiers, to guard the main base. In 1586, he served as a magistrate for the construction of the Hōkō Temple in Kyōto including a hall to house a Great Buddha in place of the Great Buddha at the Tōdai Temple in Nara that was burned in 1567 during one-half year of fighting involving Matsunaga Hisahide and Miyoshi Yoshitsugu against the Miyoshi Group of Three, Tsutsui Junkei, and Ikeda Katsumasa. Later in 1586, Takenori was invested with the title of Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Chief of the Palace Table. In 1587, he mobilized 150 soldiers to participate in the Subjugation of Kyūshū. In the third month, he was ordered by Hideyoshi to procure enough boats so the troops could traverse the Kako River without delay.
On 4/14 of Tenshō 16 (1588), upon a visit by Emperor Goyōzei to the palace of Hideyoshi in Kyōto known as the jurakutei, Takenori accompanied the Emperor’s procession. In 1590, he mobilized 150 soldiers to participate in the Conquest of Odawara. For almost all of the battles leading up to Hideyoshi’s unification of the country, Takenori served as his rear guard protecting Hideyoshi from nearby threats or with logistical support.
In 1591, Takenori served, along with Mashita Nagamori, as magistrates for the conduct of a land survey of Ōmi Province. He was appointed as the official in charge of territory totaling 1,200,000 koku under the direct control of Hideyoshi in the Sakata District of Ōmi. Takenori performed in a similar capacity to administer surveys and manage territories under the direct control of Hideyoshi in Uda in Yamato Province.
In 1592, at the Bunroku Campaign on the Korean Peninsula, Takenori served as an inspector and, together with Katagiri Katsumoto, took a battalion of 200 troops for a deployment to Nagoya Castle. Takenori joined the Ninth Division under Oda Hidenobu and sailed to Korea. While in Korea, together with Katsumoto, he served as an officer of the occupation under a bureaucracy led by Ishida Mitsunari among others. In addition, he joined Ōta Kazuyoshi and Shinjō Naotada by issuing directives to Korean residents who had dispersed from occupied areas to return. He also participated in the Siege of Shinshū Castle. The following year, he returned to Japan after an armistice led toward peace.
Upon his return, in 1593, Takenori was appointed as the official in charge of territory under the direct control of Hideyoshi totaling 10,000 koku in the Miki District located near Takenori’s own fief in Harima Province. After the transfer of Nakagawa Hideshige, Takenori ‘s name appears in records as one of a succession of chamberlains at Miki Castle. In 1594, Takenori assisted in the construction of Fushimi Castle.
In 1595, after the downfall of Toyotomi Hidetsugu, Takenori detained him in his residence in Fushimi until Hidetsugu went to Mount Kōya. Immediately after Hidetsugu committed seppuku on Mount Kōya in an event known as the Hidetsugu Incident, on 8/17, as later recognition for his contributions at the Battle of Shizugatake, Takenori received an increase of 6,000 koku to his fief in Harima and, as the lord of Kakogawa Castle with a fief of 12,000 koku, became a daimyō.
In 1598, upon the death of Hideyoshi, Takenori received ten pieces of gold during the distribution of mementos.
In 1600, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Takenori led a battalion of 360 troops and joined the Western Army led by Ishida Mitsunari. After the death of Hideyoshi, the leaders of the administration separated into two factions, one comprised of individuals who had been in charge of civil matters and the other comprised of individuals in charge of military matters under the Toyotomi administration. Mitsunari led the faction comprised of those in charge of civil matters. Other key leaders of the Western Army included Ōtani Yoshitsugu and Konishi Yukinaga. Takenori joined another bushō from Harima named Kinoshita Nobutoshi to participate in the Battle of Fushimi Castle. At the main Battle of Sekigahara, Takenori fought valiantly for the division led by Ukita Hideie. In the aftermath of the Battle of Sekigahara, having fought for the defeated army, Takenori’s hereditary stipend was confiscated and he was removed from his position.
Regarding his latter years, there are assorted theories but the facts are not certain.
According to one theory, after the Battle of Sekigahara, Takenori was removed from his position but later pardoned. In 1602, he was brought into service as a hatamoto, or direct retainer of the shōgun, and given a small stipend of 500 koku while serving as a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Alternatively, Takenori retired and positioned his son, Kasuya Hachibei, to carry on the family name, but, owing to the death of Takenori in the autumn of 1601, followed by the death of Hachibei in the spring of 1602, his former territory was seized on 9/15 of Keichō 7 (1602). The next month, his younger brother, Kasuya Masatada (the son of Kasuya Tajima-no-kami Aiyoshi), a retainer of the Imagawa clan of Suruga Province was, at the time, serving the Tokugawa family, so he inherited the Kasuya family and received a fief of 500 koku.
In records from Kakogawa, Takenori was poisoned during the Bunroku era (1593 to 1596) and was succeeded by his son, Munetaka. At the Battle of Sekigahara, Munetaka joined the Western Army but, following the defeat, was removed from his position. In 1602, he recovered territory of 12,000 koku but was then killed in action at the Summer Campaign of Ōsaka in 1615. The records of the Shōmyō Temple (which served as the family temple for the Kasuya clan), however, indicate that Munetaka died on 8/14 of Genna 9 (1623).
Under another theory, between 1602 and 1610, Takenori and his son, Kasuya Hachibei (Yasunaga), were assigned to Kuniyoshi Castle in Bitchū Province.
On one occasion, Kuroda Yoshitaka requested Takenori to serve as an instructor for Kuroda Nagamasa. As a demonstration of his ready consent, Takenori attempted to give the spear that he used at Shizugatake as a gift to Nagamasa, whereupon Nagamasa said he had never heard of anyone achieving merit in battle based on instruction with a such an honored spear so he declined. Impressed by his response, Takenori praised Nagamasa as an individual who would achieve great things.
It is noted that the Goshin Temple in Nara was restored in 1595 by Kasuya Naizen-no-kami (one of the titles received by Takenori, indicating a reference to him) and there is also a donation certificate from the Kasuya.
At a museum in Shiga Prefecture (formerly Ōmi Province), there is a long spear inscribed with the name of Sukemitsu (a sword manufacturer from the Kamakura period) that is said to have belonged to Takenori. According to archives of the Matsudaira family, a daughter of the Matsudaira family who married into the Kasuya family brought it home after cutting ties with them.
Takenori was among the Twenty-Four Mounted Soldiers of the Kuroda. The wife of Masuda Masachika was the daughter of Katō Gonzaemon who was the second son of Takenori.
After the removal of Takenori from his position, in 1607, his son, Kasuya Jūzaemon, was engaged by Maeda Toshinaga (the head of the Kaga domain) to serve with a fief of 500 koku.
Takenori had a younger brother named Kasuya Sukebei. Sukebei’s son, Kasuya Takenari, was brought on by Hoshina Masayuki (the head of the Aizu domain) and became the founder of the Dōsetsu branch of the Hekiryū style of archery, later being revered as one of “the top three archers on Earth.”
Members of the lineage associated with Takenori also served the Ikeda family of the Tottori domain. Family heirlooms include brocade headgear that Takenori is said to have received from Hideyoshi.
After the Summer Campaign of Ōsaka, Takenori’s younger brother, Kasuya Takemasa, returned to farming in Sendō in Yoneda in Kakogawa.