Takeda Nobutsuna

武田信縄

Takeda Clan

Sengoku Daimyō

Kai Province

Lifespan:  Bunmei 3 (1471) to 2/14 of Eishō 4 (1507)

Other Names:  Gorō

Rank:  shugo daimyō, sengoku daimyō

Title:  Junior Fourth Rank (Lower), Master of the Eastern Capital Office, Governor of Mutsu

Clan:  Takeda

Bakufu:  Muromachi – military governor of Kai Province

Father:  Takeda Nobumasa

Mother:  Daughter of Atobe 明海 (under another theory, she was a daughter of the Anayama clan)

Siblings:  Nobutsuna, Aburakawa Nobuyoshi, Katsurayama Nobukuni, Iwate Tsunayoshi, Matsuo Nobukata, Kiunken Sōson

Wife:  Sōshōin-den (Kōgonin-den), [Consort] Daughter of the Iwashita clan

Children:  Nobutora, Katsunuma Nobutomo, Sakurai Nobusada, Kyūkō Eishin (second priest of the Daisen Temple), daughter (wife of Oyamada Nobuari), daughter (wife of Aburakawa Nobumori)

Takeda Nobutsuna served as a shugo daimyō and sengoku daimyō of Kai Province.  Nobutsuna served as the military governor of Kai, the seventeenth head of the Kai-Genji, and the fourteenth head of the Takeda clan.  He was the father of Takeda Nobutora, the grandfather of Takeda Harunobu (Shingen), and the great-grandfather of Takeda Katsuyori.  His wife was Sūshōin-den (real name unknown).  His mother is unknown but there is a theory that she was a daughter of the Kurihara clan, kokujin, or provincial landowners, in the Yamanashi District.  She died on 6/19 of Tenbun 14 (1545).  In the eleventh month of 1556, Nobutsuna’s grandson, Takeda Shingen, donated the land of the Ichinomiya township to the Kōgon Temple to pray for the soul of Sūshōin-den and changed her posthumous name to Kōgonin-den.

He had a consort who was the daughter of Iwashita Echizen-no-kami, a jizamurai, or provincial samurai who also engaged in agriculture, from the village of Iwashita in the Yamanashi District.  Her real name and date of birth are unknown but is deemed to have died on 10/17 of Eishō 3 (1506) (based on the record of her thirteenth death anniversary on the same date in 1518).  There is a theory that Nobutora’s natural mother originated from the Iwashita clan.

In 1471, Nobutsuna was born as the lineal heir of Takeda Nobumasa, the sixteenth head of the Kai-Genji.  His place of birth and residence are unknown.  In the era of Nobumasa, the Takeda were at the Kawada residence in Isawa and, after his retirement, at the Ochiai residence in the Yamanashi District.  In Kai, in 1416, an event known as the Revolt of Uesugi Zenshū weakened the Takeda clan serving as military governors of the province.  The Atobe clan serving as the deputy military governors, along with kokujin, or provincial landowners, inside and outside of Kai gained prominence.  In the era of Nobumasa, the repudiation of the Atobe permitted new powers including the Oyamada (the landlords of the Gunnai territory) and the Anayama (the landlords of the Kōchi territory) to acquire influence.

In 1491, Nobumasa retired to Ochiai and his lineal heir, Nobutsuna, inherited the headship of the clan.  Around this time, conflict raged in Kai among the Takeda clan (the military governors), the Anayama clan, and powerful kokujin including the Kurihara clan of eastern Kai and the Ōi clan of western Kai.  Amidst this situation, hostilities ignited with external powers including the Imagawa clan of Suruga.  After the succession by Nobutsuna, Nobumasa sought Nobutsuna’s younger brother of a different mother, Aburakawa Nobuyoshi (Hikohachirō), to become his successor.  Conflict within Kai escalated owing to clashes between provincial landowners in addition to the succession struggle within the Takeda family between Nobutsuna on one side and Nobumasa and Nobuyoshi on the other side.

On 6/24 of Entoku 4 (1492), after Kurihara Taifu (Kurihara Nobutō) of eastern Kai evacuated to the base of Anayama Nobutō of Kōchi, Nobutsuna pursued him.  On 7/22, Nobutsuna and members of the Anayama clan clashed at Ichikawa.  On 9/9, the Imagawa clan of Suruga invaded Kai.

Based at Katsuyama Castle, Nobuyoshi allied with his father, Nobumasa, and the Oyamada clan (serving as the landlords of the Gunnai territory) to oppose Nobutsuna.  In 1495, Ise Moritoki (later known as Hōjō Sōun) who aimed to advance from Sagami to Izu invaded the Tsuru District in Kai.  Thereafter, a series of clashes occurred on the provincial border.  The era of Nobutsuna witnessed ongoing conflicts in Kai so he did not have full control over his own territory and there are no records of his deployment to the Tsuru District.  The Oyamada clan led the Kōshū forces in opposition to the Hōjō clan.

In 1496, Nobutsuna posted roadside prohibition-edict boards at the Kumano Shrine in the Sakaigawa township and issued a tax exemption certificate to the Kōgon Temple, endeavoring to strengthen his control over the territory.  In 1498, after the Great Meiō Earthquake, he temporarily reconciled with Nobumasa and Nobuyoshi.  In 1505, Nobumasa died and conflict with Nobuyoshi flared again.

In 1506, Nobutsuna, seeking to convalesce from an illness, offered a written prayer to a goddess known as Fuji Sengen-Daibosatsu, but he died of the illness on 2/14 of Eishō 4 (1507).  Nobutsuna was thirty-seven years old and succeeded by his lineal heir, Takeda Nobunao (later known as Takeda Nobutora).  In 1508, after Nobutora defeated Aburakwa Nobuyoshi at the Battle of Katsuyama and Oyamada Yatarō at the Battle of Bōgamine, he nearly unified Kai Province.