The Baba of Kai were descended from Minamoto Yorimitsu and were hereditary retainers of the Takeda clan. Following the destruction of the Takeda in 1582, one branch of the Baba survived to serve Tokugawa Ieyasu.
(Baba Nobuharu, Baba Mino)
Mino no Kami
Nobufusa was the son of Baba Nobuyasu. He was one of the most competent of the Takeda generals and served three generations of that family - Nobutora, Shingen, and Katsuyori. He assisted in the removal of Takeda Nobutora in 1541 and in 1546 was elevated to the rank of taisho. Shingen awarded him the use of the charactor 'haru', so he became known as Baba Nobuharu. He was given Fukashi Castle in Shinano in 1550. He fought in most of Takeda Shingen's battles, including 4th Kawanakajima (1561), Minowa (1566), Mimasetoge (1569), and Mikatagahara (1573). He had been in the vanguard of the 1568 invasion of Suruga and endeavored to protect the cultural treasures of the Imagawa from destruction. He opposed Takeda Katsuyori's intention to attack the Oda and Tokugawa at Nagashino (1575) but at the end of the battle he turned back to hold off Oda troops so that Katsuyori could escape and was killed. Until his death at Nagashino, he is reputed to have fought in no less then 21 battles without being wounded once. After the death of his son Masafusa in 1582, Nobufusa's lands went to his younger brother Nobuyori.
Son: Masafusa (d.1582)
Takeda, Tokugawa retainer
Nobushige was the grandson of Baba Nobufusa's brother Nobuyori. Following the fall of the Takeda in 1582, he went on to serve Tokugawa Ieyasu and fought at Nagakute (1584).
The Baba of the Kiso region of Shinano claimed descent from Minamoto Tameyoshi. Baba Toshishige and his father Masatsugu supported the Tokugawa during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) and served at the Siege of Ueda Castle. Toshishige afterwards served shôgun Tokugawa Hidetada.
Yorichika nominally served the Shôni of western Kyushu but in 1544 he secretly communicated with Ôuchi Yoshitaka and plotted against Ryûzôji Iekane. He attacked Iekane's household and killed a number of its members, including Ryûzôji Chikaie (father of Ryûzôji Takanobu). Iekane fled to Chikugo and returned the following year. Yorichika's forces were defeated and Yorichika was killed.
The Bessho of Harima Province were descended from Akamatsu Enshin (1277-1350), a staunch supporter of Ashikaga Takauji. The Bessho were defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1580. They are also known as the Betsusho.
Nagaharu was the son of Bessho Yasuharu. He was a damiyô of Harima whose family had expanded following the decline of the Akamatsu. He initially aligned himself with Oda Nobunaga but following the rebellion of Araki Murashige severed his ties with Nobunaga. His domain was subsequently invaded by Oda forces under Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After resisting the Oda at Miki Castle for two years (1578-1580), Nagaharu and his brother Tomoyuki committed suicide and thereby surrendered Miki to spare the lives of his men. Nagaharu had been married to a daughter of Hatano Hidemichi of Tamba Province.
Harusada was a younger brother of Bessho Nagaharu. He stoutly defended Hirayama Castle against Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1578-1579) and committed suicide when the garrison could no longer resist.
Bessho, Toyotomi retainer
Toyoharu, a son of Bessho Nagaharu, was spared by Hideyoshi following the fall of Miki Castle in 1580. He was later given Ayabe in Harima Province, worth some 20,000 koku. In 1628 he was deprived of his lands by the Edo bakufu for misconduct.
The Bitô were a minor daimyô in Sanuki Province. They submitted to the Chosokabe and were later confirmed in their lands after Hideyoshi's invasion of Shikoku in 1584. The Bitô sent troops to serve in the invasion of Kyushu (1587) and in the course of the campaign performed in a cowardly manner, losing their homelands as a result.
The Chiba of Shimôsa Province claimed descent from the Taira family. They became vassals of the Hôjô in the mid-16th Century.
Tanetomi was a vassal of the Hôjô family and held Sakura Castle. He lost some of his holdings to Satomi retainer Masaki Tokishige but was later able to regain them.
Kunitane was the son of Chiba Tanetomi and was married to an elder sister of Hôjô Ujinao.
Shigetane was a vassal of the Hôjô family. He was besieged in Sakura Castle during Hideyoshi's Odawara Campaign (1590) by Honda Tadakatsu and Sakai Ietsugu. He was afterwards dispossessed.
Tadaharu was a minor daimyô of Ise Province. He was attacked by the Rokkaku in 1555 but managed to negotiate a peace. His son Tadamono would later submit to Oda Nobunaga.
Tsushima no kami
Tsugutsura was the adopted son of Cho Hidetsura. He served the Hatakeyama of Noto Province and held Anamizu Castle. In 1577 Uesugi Kenshin invaded Noto and captured Anamizu, forcing Tsugutsura to commit suicide .
Sons: Tsunatatsu, Tsuratatsu
Tsunatatsu was the eldest son of Cho Tsugutsura and was a retainer of Hatakeyama Yoshitaka. He was involved in Yoshitaka's murder in 1574 and later attempted to resist the invasion of Noto Province by Uesugi Kenshin. Kenshin took Anamizu and forced Tsunatatsu and his father to commit suicide.
Tsuratatsu was the second son of Cho Tsugutsura. He was at first a monk, but returned to secular life in 1577 and joined Oda Nobunaga in 1579. He assisted Shibata Katsuie with suppressing Kaga monto in 1580 and was subsequently granted land confiscated from the Isurugi Shrine in Echizen.
The Chosokabe were respected Jitô (deputy administrators) of Tosa from the 12th Century and entered the 16th Century as vassals of the Ichijô Clan, who were based in western Tosa. Chosokabe Motochika succeeded in taking all of Shikoku by 1584 but submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi when the latter invaded the island the following year. The Chosokabe lost their lands after Sekigahara (1600) to the Yamaouchi.
Shinano no kami
Kunichika was the son of Chosokabe Kanetsugu. His father was attacked by the Motoyama in 1508. Okô Castle fell and Kanetsugu was captured and killed after attempting to flee. However, he had earlier sent Kunichika, then 4 years old, to Ichijô Fusaie. According to the Chôgen monogatari, about three years later Ichijô Fusaie is said to have offered the young Kunichika a deal: he proposed, after a bit of drinking, that if Kunichika were to jump off side of the castle they were presently sitting on, he would help retake Okô. To his great surpirse, Kunichika promptly lept off the edge, an act of fearlessness that moved the Ichijô men who saw it. Around 1518 the Ichijô secured Okô and handed it over to Kunichika. Nominally a vassal of the Ichijô, he strengthened his position on the Kôchi Plain through alliances, timely aggression, and adoptions into other families. Kunichika clashed with his long-time rivals the Motoyama family (who had contributed to the fall of Kanetsugu in 1508) around Nagahama Castle in June but died on 8 July of a sudden illness
Sons: Motochika, (Kosokabe) Chikayasu, (Kira) Chikasada, (Shima) Chikamasu
Lord of Tosa
Tosa no kami, Kunai no sho
Motochika was the eldest son of Chosokabe Kunichika and was born at Okô Castle in Tosa Province. A quiet and thoughtful youth, he was dubbed 'Himewakako', or 'Young Princess'. He proved himself a worthy heir in the Battle of Nagahama in 1560 by leading a charge of 50 horsemen against the center of Motoyama Shigetoki's army and helping to decide the day in the Chosokabe's favor. His father died soon afterwards and Motochika succeeded to leadership of the clan. He defeated the Motoyama again in 1562 at the Battle of Asakura and they afterwards submitted. With his position in central Tosa secure, he moved west to defeat the Aki clan, doing so in 1569. To this point he had displayed at least nominal deference to the Ichijô of eastern Tosa but now took advantage of unrest within their domain to move against them. He defeated Ichijô Kanesada at the Battle of Shimantogawa in 1575 and captured Nakamura, with Kanesada fleeing to the Ôtomo domain on Kyushu. In 1578 he invaded Awa Province and clashed with the Sogo family at Hakuchi Castle, and again at the Battle of Nakatomigawa in 1582. He moved against Sanuki Province and in 1583 defeated Sengoku Hidehisa at the Battle of Hikita. With much of Shikoku now under his control, Motochika pressed into Iyo Province and attacked the Kono family, whom he forced to submit. Motochika would himself submit to Toyotomi Hideyoshi after the latter's invasion in June 1585 and was allowed to retain Tosa. In late 1586 Motochika was tasked with co-leadership of a Toyotomi force assigned to assist the Ôtomo in holding Funai Castle in Bungo Province against the invading Shimazu. Once in Funai, Motochika's co-commander, Sengoku Hidehisa, and the resident daimyô, Ôtomo Yoshishige, elected to take the field against Hideyoshi's instructions. The result was the Battle of Hetsugigawa, where the Toyotomi and Ôtomo were defeated. Motochika, who had opposed moving their forces from Funai, lost his heir Nobuchika and a number of old retainers in the fighting. While he was able to secure the return of Nobuchika's body from the Shimazu, he was despondent at his son's death. Afterwards, he declined an offer by Hideyoshi to move his fief to Ôsumi Province, although he accepted the gift of the 'Hashiba' surname. He named his 4th son Morichika heir, passing over Chikakazu and Chikatada, and this controversial decision would create divisions within the Chosokabe family that lingered for years. He commanded ships in the Odawara Campaign of 1590 and led 3,000 men in the 1st Korean Campaign. He moved his capital a number of times (from Okô to Otazaka in 1588 to Urado in 1591) seeking a stable economic base and, along with Morichika, composed the Chosokabe-shi okitegaki (100-Article Code of the Chosokabe) in 1596. He died at Fushimi on 11 July 1599.
Sons: Nobuchika, (Kagawa) Chikakazu, (Tsuno) Chikatada (d.1600), Morichika, (Yoshida) Yasutoyo
Nobuchika was Chosokabe Motochika's eldest and favorite son, and was popular with the Chosokabe retainers owing to his warm and genial nature. His coming of age ceremony coincided with Motochika's communications with Oda Nobunaga, who provided the 'nobu' in Nobuchika's name, along with a sword and his ceremonial headgear. He was struck down in the retreat from the defeat at Hetsugigawa, on 1/20/1587. The Shimazu honored Motochika by sending the body of his son to him and allowing him to flee to Shikoku. Nobuchika's death was lamented by the Chosokabe, and especially Motochika, who had now to chose a successor. His decision to name Morichika as his heir would create deep rifts within the clan that contributed to its ultimate fall.
Chosokabe (Kagawa) Chikakazu
Chikakazu was the second son of Chosokabe Motochika and in 1581 became the head of the Kagawa family, succeeding Kagawa Nobukage. He was given Amagiri Castle in Sanuki Province. When his elder brother Nobuchika was killed in 1586, Chikakazu was a potential heir to the Chosokabe house, and in fact Toyotomi Hideyoshi gave his approval for Chikakazu to be named as Motochika's successor. In the event, Motochika elected not to obey Hideyoshi in this and instead named his 4th son, Morichika, heir. Despondant and bitter, Chikakazu withdrew from active life and died the following year. Actually, one story goes that it was specifically because of Chikakazu's weak constitution that Motochika had him given to another house and not kept on as a possible heir.
Chosokabe (Tsuno) Chikatada
Chikatada, who was also known as Magojirô, was the third son of Chosokabe Motochika. He was adopted by Tsuno Katsuoki and was later sent as a hostage to Toyotomi Hideyoshi following the latter's conquest of Shikoku in 1585. He was passed over as heir to the Chosokabe following the death of his elder brother Nobuchika in 1586 and his lingering displeasure, combined with slanderous attacks by Hisatake Chikanao (who favored Morichika as heir), compelled Motochika to have him confined to a temple in 1599. Following the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), Chikatada was accused of colluding with the Tokugawa and was murdered on Chosokabe Morichika's orders. Tokugawa Ieyasu harshly judged Morichika for this and used it as a basis to deprive him of his domain.
Lord of Tosa
Morichika was the 4th son of Chosokabe Motochika. He was named the heir to the Chosokabe following Chosokabe Nobuchika's death in 1587 and fought in the Odawara (1590) and 1st Korean Campaigns (1592-93). He sided with Ishida Mitsunari in 1600 and commanded 6,600 men at Sekigahara (though he saw very little action) and was afterwards deprived of his fief despite sending an apology to Tokugawa Ieyasu. That same year, he had ordered the execution of his elder brother Tsuno Chikatada, who had questioned his right to be Motochika's heir. After losing Tosa, Morichika lived quietly in Kyoto until 1614, at which time he went to join the defenders of Osaka Castle, arriving there the same day as Sanada Yukimura. His Chosokabe contingent fought very well in both the Winter and Summer Campaigns. After the fall of Osaka, Morichika attempted to flee but was apprehended at Hachiman-yama by Hachisuka men and was beheaded in Kyoto along with a number of his sons. He had assisted his father with the preparation of the Chosokabe-shi okitegaki (100-Article Code of the Chosokabe) in 1596
Sons: Moritaka (d.1615), Morinobu (d.1615), Moriyasu (d.1615)
See TONAMI CHIKATAKE
The Daidoji became important retainers of the Hôjô and served as senior advisors until the fall of Odawara in 1590.
Suruga no Kami
Masashige was the son of Daidoji Suruga no kami Shigeoki. He was one of Hôjô Ujimasa's chief advisors and came to hold authority over both Kawagoe in Musashi and Matsuida in Kôzuke. He was present for the Battles of Mimasetoge (1582) and Kanagawa (1582) and was one of those that urged Hôjô Ujinao to both resist Hideyoshi and avoid an open battle. Following the fall of Odawara, Masashige was made to commit suicide for having advocated the course Ujinao chose. His 4th son Naotsugu eventually became a retainer of Tokugawa Iemitsu.
Son: Naoshige, Naotsugu
In 1189 Isa (Fujiwara) Tomomune was awarded the Date district of Mutsu Province by Minamoto Yoritomo for loyal service and adopted the name of his new home. In the period of the Northern and Southern Courts in the 14th and 15th centuries the Date initially fought for the Southern Court but eventually submitted to the Ashikaga. They expanded their influence during the Sengoku Period and reached their height under Date Masamune. The Date ruled the Sendai area into the Edo Period.
Lord of Rikuzen
Tanemune was named the shugô of Mutsu in 1522. He composed the Date family House Code, the Jinkaishu, in 1536. Soon afterwards he intervened on behalf of the Ôsaki family, who were suffering internal strife and thereby brought them under his influence by giving his second son as heir to that house. In 1542 Tanemune announced his intention to send his 3rd son Sanemoto to be adopted by the Uesugi, a plan his heir, Harumune, strongly opposed. The antagonism between Tanemune and Harumune escalated into what is called the Tenbun no ran, in which the Date retainers and neighboring clans lined up behind one or the other. Tanemune enjoyed an initial advantage but, eventually, and with the aid of the Sôma and Ashina families, Harumune gained the upper hand and in 1548 Tanemune was compelled to retire in favor of Harumune. The Tenbun no ran, however, had created rifts within the Date retainer band that would linger for years and left the Date much weakened.
His daughter was the wife of Sôma Akitane.
Sons: Harumune, (Ôsaki) Yoshinori, Sanemoto, Munemoto, (Kasai) Harutane, Tsunamune
Lord of Rikuzen
Harumune was eldest son and eventual heir of Date Tanemune who succeeded to power following a feud with him that lasted for over half a decade and is remembered as the Tenbun no ran. After securing his positon, Harumune had moved his headquarters to Yonezawa Castle, and this became the Date capital. His time as daimyô was spent working to reestablish the influence of the Date, which had been considerably eroded by his conflict with his father. He came to disagree with his son Terumune on various matters but rather than risk a repeat of the Tenbun no ran he retired. He died on 12 January 1578.
Sons: Terumune, (Rusu) Masakage, (Ishikawa) Akimitsu, Naomune
Sanemoto was the 3rd son of Date Tanemune and supported Date Terumune in his campaigns. He was to be adopted by Uesugi Sadazane but resistance to this within both the Date and Uesugi houses not only caused the proposed union to be scrapped but triggered internal strife within the Date clan (the so-called Tenbun no ran). Sanemoto afterwards went on to be a valued retainer of his brother Harumune and nephew Terumune.
Lord of Rikuzen
Terumune was the son of Date Harumune. When he rose to power, the Date had few allies and was still suffering from the effects of the 1542-1548 Tenbun no ran. He worked to expand Date power in the Rikuzen area of Mutsu, coming into conflict with neighboring clans such as the Ashina and Hatakeyama. He corresponded with Oda Nobunaga and made a show of friendship to the faraway warlord, who in 1575 sent him gifts of tiger pelts and silk damask. In 1584 he retired in favor of his son Masamune. The following year, Hatakeyama Yoshitsugu, who was being hard-pressed by Masamune's advances, agreed to discuss peace with the Date. Masamune's peace conditions were severe and Yoshitsugu asked to speak to Masamune on his behalf. When Terumune did so, he was kidnapped by Yoshitsugu when the two came face to face in what was to have been a social meeting. Masamune, learning of the news, gave pursuit and managed to overtake the Hatakeyama and their hostage. In the course of the confrontation that ensued, Terumune called out to his son to forget about his (Terumune's) safety and to open fire with the arqeubuses he had on hand. Terumune drew his own sword and in the melee was cut down. This transpired on 29 November 1585. Terumune had been known for his gentle disposition and was well-loved by many Date retainers, some of whom elected to commit suicide and follow him in death. He had been married to a daughter of Mogami Yoshimori of Dewa Province.
Lord of Rikuzen
Echizen no Kami, Mutsu no Kami
Masamune was born on 15 September 1567 at Yonezawa Castle and was first called Bontenmaru. He was the eldest son of Date Terumune and his mother was the daughter of Mogami Yoshimori of Dewa Province. His father had taken special attention to his training, to this end inviting Confucian scholars to Yonezawa to tutor the young Masamune. In 1578 he received the name Tojirô Masamune and the following year was married to the daughter of Tamura Kiyoaki. His first campaign came in 1581, when he helped his father fight the Sôma clan. Afterwards Terumune elected to retire and Masamune became the 16th lord of the Date. In 1585 Masamune took advantage of strife within the Ashina family to attack their lands, having been given a pretext to do so by the defection of his ally, Ôuchi Sadatsuna. The Date advance was halted at Hibara by Ashina forces led by Iwashiro Morikuni and Masamune was forced to retreat. Around three months later, Masamune resumed his efforts and captured the Ôuchi's Otemori Castle, whose inhabitants (some 800 people) he put to the sword. Hearing of the slaughter, the Ôuchi burned their own Obama Castle and fled to the Ashina capital. During this same period, Masamune had been pressing into the domain of the Hatakeyama and their lord, Yoshitsugu, offered peace. Masamune's initial terms were considered harsh ones and Yoshitsugu turned to the retired Terumune to mediate. While Terumune did convince his son to lessen the severity of his demands, Yoshitsugu took the unusual step of kidnapping Terumune. In the course of the incident, Terumune and Yoshitsugu were killed, although various versions of the sequence of events surrounding this incident have been recorded. An alliance of anti-Date daimyô was formed (including Hatakeyama, Ashina, Sôma, and Satake) and this coalition pressed into Masamune's domain. Masamune suffered the loss of a number of forts and failed in a counterattack at the Hitadori Bridge. Masamune was surrounded in Motomiya Castle. Satake, however, was compelled to withdraw from the area as a result of a crisis at home. The remainder of the coalition soon followed suit. The following year (1586) Masamune marched on Nihonmatsu and forced the Hatakeyama to surrender. Fighting continued with the remainder of the anti-Date coalition. In 1589, Masamune defeated the Sôma, and bribed an important Ashina retainer, Inawashiro Morikuni, over to his side. He then assembled a powerful force and marched straight for the Ashina's headquarters at Kurokawa. The Ashina army was crushed at the Battle of Suriagehara and Masamune occupied Kurokawa and absorbed the Aizu area into his domain.
He submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590 but was forced to relinquish Aizu. 1591 Masamune was compelled to put down a riot of samurai and farmers brought about by the poor administration of Kimura Hidetoshi and afterwards received the latter's fief, which had once been the Kasai domain. He expanded Sendai and became the most influential daimyô of northern Japan. In 1592, Masamune served in Hideyoshi's headquarters at Nagoya on Kyushu during the Korean invasion. Three years later, he found himself implicated in the suspected treason of Toyotomi Hidetsugu and was ordered to move his household to Iyo Province. This punishment was averted with the assistance of Tokugawa ieyasu. Masamune readily supported Ieyasu in the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) and joined Mogami Yoshiakira in containing the Uesugi army. His forces distinguished themselves at Hataya and Fukushima castles and after the defeat of the Western Army the Date domain was enlarged to 600,000 koku. Masamune built a new castle, Aoba, in Sendai. In 1613 he dispatched a diplomatic mission to Europe headed by Hasekura Tsunenaga that would travel as far as Rome. He fought for Tokugawa at Osaka Castle and helped defeat Sanada Yukimura at the Battle of Tennôji (1615). He was one of the last great lords to see Tokugawa Ieyasu as the latter lay on his death bed (1616).
At around the age of five, Masamune suffered an infection that cost him the use of an eye - thanks to this and his great bravery, he received the nickname 'One-Eyed Dragon'. He was also known for outfitting his entire army in one particular type of armor which thus became known as 'Sendai-do'. He was considered an inscrutable and highly colorful character, adding a wealth of anecdotes to an already legendary reputation. In one famous story, Masamune acquired an expensive tea item, which he took to showing off to his retainers and visitors. Once, it happened that in attendance with some of his men, he fumbled the item and nearly dropped it - causing him to let out an exclamation. Masamune frowned and then smashed the item to bits on the ground, remarking that a man who is ready to die on the battlefield ought hardly to worry about something as trivial as a tea item. An excavation of Masamune's grave revealed a number of interesting facts about his physical nature, including that he stood at 159.4 centimeters and that his blood type was B (BO). He died on 27 June 1636.
Sons: Hidemune, Tadamune, Munekiyo, Munetsuna, Munetaka, Munekatsu
Awa no kami
Shigezane was a son of Date Sanemoto and was at first known as Tôgorô. After distinguishing himself at the Battle of Hitadori (1585) he was given Nihonmatsu Castle and an income of 38,000 koku. He played an active role in the defeat of the Ashina family in 1589. In 1595, for hazy reasons, he suddenly fled to Mount Koya but re-entered Masamune's service in 1600 and went on to fight at Osaka Castle. He later produced a written work on the Date family.
The Dodo were the holders of Sawayama Castle in Ômi Province. They rebelled against the Rokkaku around 1559 and were defeated by Rokkaku Yoshikata and lost Sawayama. They then aligned with the Asai and a certain Dodo Kuranosuke was present at the Battle of Norada (1560), where Asai Nagamasa defeated the army of Rokkaku Yoshikata. Sawayama Castle would go on to have a distinguished series of owners after Nobunaga defeated the Rokkaku in the early 1570's: Niwa Nagahide (1573), Hori Hidemasa (1583), and eventually Ishida Mitsunari.
Hyogo no kami
Michitake was the son of Doi Izu no kami Michinao. He served Kôno Michinobu, to whom he was related, and held Doi Castle in Iyo Province. He fought against the Ôtomo at Wake Beach in 1565 and in 1572 against both the Môri and Miyoshi. He surrendered to Kobayakawa Takakage when Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Shikkoku in 1585.
Michitoshi held Takai Castle in Iyo Province and served the Kôno. He joined in the attempt to suppress the rebellious Ôno Noayuki but was killed at the Battle of Hanase.
copyright 2005 F. W. Seal
Oi no kami
Toshikatsu was a son of Mizuno Nobumoto and was adopted into the Doi family of Mikawa Province. He served as an advisor to both Tokugawa Hidetada (with whom he spent his childhood) and Tokugawa Iemitsu, and was highly regarded by the latter. He served at the sieges of Osaka Castle (1614,1615), having been made a daimyô in Shimôsa Province in 1601.
Sons: Toshitaka, Toshinaga, Toshifusa
copyright 2005 F. W. Seal