Samurai Archives HOME
Biographical Dictionary HOME



The Nabeshima mon

The Nabeshima of Hizen Province were descended from the Shôni and during the sengoku period became valued supporters of the Ryûzôji family. When the Ryûzôji went into decline after 1584, Nabeshima Naoshige secured his independence and lived to see his family established as Edo Period daimyô. A Nabehima retainer, Yamamoto Tsunetomo, would later produce the famous Edo work, Hagekure.

Nabeshima Kiyosada

Kiyosada was a son of Nabeshima Kiyoshige. He became a trusted retainer of Ryûzôji Iekane and was of especial use during the war with Baba Yorichika (1545-46).
Son: Naoshige

Nabeshima Naoshige
(Nabeshima Nobumasa)
Ryûzôji retainer
Hida no kami, Kaga no kami

Naoshige was a son of Nabeshima Kiyosada and was known for the first half of his career as Nobumasa. He proved himself one of Ryûzôji Takanobu's most talented generals. In 1570 he was with Takanobu in Saga Castle when it was surrounded by a 60,000-man Ôtomo army. Despite having only 5,000 men on hand, Naoshige suggested a bold night attack on the Ôtomo's headquarters and led a force that slipped out and made the raid which routed the enemy force. In February 1575 he attacked Suko Castle in western Hizen and forced its commander, Hirai Tsuneharu, to commit suicide. He was present at the Battle of Okitanawate but was unable to prevent the rout that followed Takanobu's death. He took advantage of the weakness of Takanobu's heir, Masaie, to draw away from the Ryûzôji and lent his support to Hideyoshi when his armies invaded Kyushu in 1587. Afterwards he was given much of the old Ryûzôji territory, including Saga Castle, and led 12,000 men to Korea in the 1st Korean Campaign. Naoshige sent his son Katsushige to serve Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sekigahara Campaign, and recalled him when Katsushige indicated a desire to serve Ishida Mitsunari instead. His 357,000-koku fief went untouched by Ieyasu following the Tokugawa victory. Numerous stories about Naoshige survive, thanks in part to attention the Nabeshima received in the later work Hagakure. He had been married to a daughter of Ishii Tsunenobu and one of his granddaughters married Ryûzôji Takafusa.
Sons: Katsushige, Tadashige

NABESHIMA Katsushige
Lord of Hizen
Shinano no Kami

Katsushige was a son of Nabeshima Naoshige and was born in Saga Castle in Hizen Province on 4 December 1580. He was sent by his father to serve Tokugawa Ieyasu in the 1600 Sekigahara Campaign but was nearly talked into joining Ishida Mitsunari instead. He was recalled to Kyushu by his father as a result, and was able to inherit the Nabeshima's Saga fief. He served in the suppression of the Shimabara rebellion in 1637 and was eventually succeeded by his grandson Mitsushige (1632-1700), the son of Nabeshima Hizen no Kami Tadanao. He died on 7 May 1657.
Sons: Tadashige, Tadanao

NAGAI Naokatsu
(Nagai Denpachiro)
Tokugawa retainer

Naokatsu was a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu and at first served Tokugawa Nobuyasu. Naokatsu achieved some notoriety for cutting down Ikeda Nobuteru at the Battle of Nagakute (1584). He was later awarded Kasama Castle in Hitachi Province (1615) after taking part in the Osaka Summer Campaign, then Koga Castle in Shimôsa Province (1622). He was a close friend of another well-known Tokugawa retainer who distinguished himself in conjunction with the Battle of Nagakute, Ando Naotsugu.

NAGANO Narimasa
Shinano no kami

Narimasa was a retainer of Uesugi Norimasa and held Minowa Castle in Kôzuke Province. He was reknowned as a great warrior. He gave shelter to Sanada Yukitaka of Shinano Province after Yukitaka was defeated in battle by Murakami Yoshikiyo.
Son: Narimori

NAGANO Narimori
Uesugi retainer

Narimori was the son of Nagano Narimasa and inherited Minowa Castle after the latter's death in 1561. He soon found himself under pressure from Takeda Shingen.


The Nagao mon

The Nagao of Echigo claimed descent from the Taira. For many years they ruled Echigo for the Uesugi, by the early part of the 16th Century being pillars of the Yamaouchi Uesugi line. The main line of the Nagao became Uesugi in 1561, when Uesugi Kenshin assumed that name.

Nagao Tamekage
Uesugi retainer
Shinano no kami

Tamekage was the son of Nagao Yoshikage (1459-1506). He was nominally the Uesugi's governor for Echigo but clashed with his overlords in 1509. He also fought with Jojo Sadanori in 1513. In 1520 he attacked Etchû Provnce and defeated the Shiina family, soon afterwards defeating and forcing the suicide of Jinbo Yoshimune. He became involved in a conflict with the ikko-ikki of Kaga and was defeated and killed at Sendanno (Etchû province) by Enami Kazuyori sometime around 1536. He was succeeded by his eldest son Harukage. His wife, known to us as Tora gozen, and the mother of Uesugi Kenshin, lived to 1568 in Kasugayama Castle.
Sons: Harukage, (Kuroda) Kageyasu, Kagefusa, Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin)

Nagao Harukage
(Nagao Yarokurô)
Lord of Echigo
Shinano no kami

Harukage succeeded his father Tamekage as the governor of Echigo. He became involved in a civil war with a number of Echigo warlords who supported his younger brother Kagetora (the future Uesugi Kenshin). He was reputedly a sickly and weak character who allowed himself to be influenced by his retainers. Following the defeat of his allies (including Kuroda Hietada), Harukage was replaced by Kagetora in 1547. His fate is unclear - the popular view is that Harukage committed suicide, while another, somewhat more reliable, version has him being made to adopt Kagetora and name him the new lord.

Nagao Kageyasu
(Kuroda Kageyasu)
Nagao retainer

Kageyasu was a son of Nagao Tamekage. He was killed at Kasugayama Castle in 1545 on Kuroda Hidetada's orders.

Nagao Kagetora
See Uesugi Kenshin

Nagao Masakage
Nagao, Uesugi retainer
Echizen no kami

Masakage was a son of Nagao Fusanaga (Fusakage) and was married to Uesugi Kenshin's elder sister. He held Sakado Castle and initially fought against Kenshin (known at the time as Nagao Kagetora) when the latter was attempting to wrest control of Echigo from Nagao Harukage. After Harukage's allies suffered a number of reverses, Masakage submitted to Kenshin in 1549 and afterwards supported him. In 1564 he went on a boating trip on Nojiri Lake and became intoxicated to the extent that he fell overboard and drowned. A long-held theory is that he had in fact been murdered on Kenshin's orders by Usami Sadamitsu - who also died in this incident. Masakage's wife, Acha no tsubone, lived until 1609. One of his daughters was married to Uesugi Kagetora when he was adopted by Uesugi Kenshin in 1970
Sons: Yoshikage, (Uesugi) Kagekatsu

Nagao Kagenao
Uesugi retainer

Kagenao was a cousin of Uesugi Kenshin and was named as a hatamoto by the latter. He was an adopted son-in-law of Shiina Yasutane.

(Nagasaka Hikogorô)
Tokugawa retainer

Nobumasa served three generations of the Matsudaira/Tokugawa house - Kiyoyasu, Hirotada, and Ieyasu. Reknowned for his skill with a spear, he was a great warrior and nicknamed 'Bloody Spear Kurô' - supposedly slaying over 90 enemy warriors in his lifetime.


The Naitôo were related to the Takeda of Kai and served them until the latter's downfall in 1582. Another branch of the Takeda-Naitôo served the Takeda of Wakasa Province.

Naitô Masatoyo
(Kudô Genzaemon)
Takeda retainer
Shuri no suke

Masatoyo was one of Takeda Shingen's most reliable generals and fought in many of his battles. In 1566 he was given Minowa Castle in Kôzuke Province after it fell to the Takeda. At Mikatagahara he led a charge into the Tokugawa ranks and was at the forefront of the fighting at Nagashino (1575). He had opposed the attack at Nagashino and in the course of the battle was shot many times by arrows before being beheaded by Asahina Yasukatsu. He had been noted for his warm disposition and his equally impressive talents in warfare and administration.


The Naitô served the Ôuchi family until the latter's demise in 1557. They afterwards served the Môri into the Edo Period.

Naitô Okimori
Ôuchi retainer
Danjô, Shimotsuke no kami

Okimori was the son of Naitô Hiroharu. He was a chief retainer of Ôuchi Yoshioki and Yoshitaka. When Sue Harukata overthrew Yoshitaka, Okimori went along with the latter and died three years later.

NAITÔ (Mikawa)

The Naitô of Mikawa Province claimed descent from Fujiwara Hidesato and served Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sengoku period.

Naitô Kiyonaga
Matsudaira retainer

Kiyonaga was the eldest son of Naitô Yoshikiyo. In 1542 he was forced to defend Ueno Castle against Oda Nobuhide's army. He was considered an expert at the bow and arrow and, indeed, is reputed to have shot dead a great many Oda soldiers during the battle.
Sons: Ienaga, Nobunari (adopted)

Naitô Ienaga
Tokugawa retainer

Ienaga was a son of Naitô Kiyonaga. He first served Tokugawa Ieyasu in the suppression of the 1565 Mikawa monto riot and went on to fight at Mikatagahara, Nagashino, and elsewhere. After the Tokugawa were moved to the Kanto in 1590, he was given a 20,000-koku fief at Sanuki in Kazusa Province. He was one of the defenders of Fushimi in 1600 under Torii Mototada and committed suicide when the castle fell to the forces of Ishida Mitsunari. His son Masanaga later fought for the Tokugawa at Osaka Castle (1615)
Son: Masanaga

Naitô Nobunari
Tokugawa retainer

Nobunari was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada and was adopted by Naitô Kiyonaga. He served his step-brother Tokugawa Ieyasu first as a page and fought in the 1565 Mikawa monto riot and later distinguished himself at the Battle of Mikatagahara (1573). He was given the castle of Nirayama in Izu (10,000 koku) and would end his career with a 50,000-koku fief at Nagahama in Ômi Province.
Son: Nobumasa

NAITÔ Masanaga
Tokugawa retainer

Masanaga was a son of Naitô Ienaga. He served Tokugawa Ieyasu and participated in the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) and the Osaka Summer Campaign (1615)
Sons: Tadaoki, Masashige, Masaharu

Naitô Masanari
Tokugawa retainer

Masanari was a nephew of Naitô Kiyonaga and. like his uncle, an expert at archery. He at first lived in Ueno Castle in Mikawa Castle and came to serve Matsudaira Hirotada, then Tokugawa Ieyasu.

NAITÔ Yukiyasu
Toyotomi retainer
Hida no Kami

Yukiyasu was the son of Naitô Genzaemon and held Hachiboku Castle in Tamba Province. Though he was dispossessed by Nobunaga in 1573, he was later restored to his domains by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. During the Korean Campaigns he acted as a negotiator with the Chinese government. He was a Christian and joined Takayama Ukon in taking up with Maeda Toshiie in Kaga Province when their faith brought them under Hideyoshi's suspicion. In 1614 he departed for Manila in exile and there died of illness. His Christian name was John.

Araki, Toyotomi retainer
Sebyôe no jô

Kiyohide was at first a retainer of Araki Murashige and originally held Ibaragi in Settsu Province. In 1578 he joined with his neighbor and fellow Christian Takayama Ukon in following Araki Murashige in rebellion against Nobunaga. Both Kiyohide and Ukon were convinced by the Jesuits to surrender their castles to the Oda and kept their holdings in the aftermath of the rebellion. Nakagawa joined Hideyoshi's army following the death of Nobunaga in 1582 and fought at the Battle of Yamazaki. He was afterwards assigned to hold Shizugatake Castle in N. Ômi Province and was there killed in 1583 under attack by Shibata general Sakuma Morimasa.
Sons: Hidemasa, Hidenari (1570-1612)

Nakagawa Hidemasa
Toyotomi retainer

Hidemasa was the eldest son of Nakagawa Kiyoshide. He was married to a daughter of Oda Nobunaga and was given Miki Castle in Harima by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He died during the first Korean Invasion after being wounded in battle.

Date retainer
Ise no kami

Muneyasu was a son of Nakajima Munetada and served Date Terumune and, later, Date Masamune. On the occasion of campaign against the Sôma family, Muneyasu was given Kanayama Castle and a stipend of 2,000 koku.

Nakajima Munemoto
Date retainer

Munemoto was a retainer of Date Masamune. He received a stipend of 1,000 koku following the capture of Otemori Castle in 1588. The following year he part of a relief force sent to aid Tamura Muneaki at Miharu Castle and was there killed in personal combat with an enemy general.

NAKAJÔ Fujisuke
Uesugi retainer
Echizen no Kami

The Nakajo mon

Fujisuke held Tosaka Castle in Echigo and sided with Uesugi Kenshin during the latter's attempts to wrest Echigo from his elder brother. He fought at 4th Kawanakajima (1561) and was given a commendation for his bravery there. He died without a son and so was succeeded by a son of Yoshie Kagechika, Kageyasu.

Nakajô Kageyasu
Uesugi retainer
Echizen no kami

Kageyasu held Tosaka Castle in Echigo. A son of Yoshie Kagechika, he succeeded Nakajô Fujisuke in 1574. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Ôtate no ran and was later to die fighting Oda forces at Uzu Castle in Etchû Province.


The Nanbu mon

The Nanbu of northern Mutsu Province were descended from the Takeda of Kai. During the Sengoku Period they became powerful in northern Mutsu, competing with the Akita, Tozawa, and others for territory. Nanbu Yasunobu destroyed the Namioka clan in 1523 and under the leadership of his son Harumasa the family expanded their power greatly. They later submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, supported the Tokugawa during the Sekigahara Campaign, and resided at Morioka Castle until the end of the Edo Period.

Nanbu Harumasa
Mutsu warlord

Harumasa was a son of Nanbu Yasunobu and succeeded him in 1540. He was granted the use of 'Haru' in his name from the shôgun Ashikaga Yoshiharu in 1539. He attacked the Tozawa clan to the south and captured Iwate district. In the late 1550's he went to war with the Akita family of the Ugo region. His effective leadership and rapid attacks assured the Nanbu a status as one of the most powerful clans in northern Mutsu Province. In 1581, however, he suffered the rebellion of the Ôura (Tsugaru). He was succeeded by his son Harutsugu, but as the latter died soon afterwards, Harumasa's adopted son and nephew, Nobunao, was named the heir.
Sons: Harutsugu (d.1582),Nobunao (adopted)

Nanbu Nobunao

Nobunao was the son of Ishikawa (Nanbu) Takanobu and the adopted son of Nanbu Harumasa (Takanobu's brother). When Harumasa's son Harutsugu died in 1582, Nobunao was named the head of the family. He submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590 by sending 100 horses and 50 hawks as tribute. He helped defeat Kunoe Masazane, the last independent Japanese daimyô, in early 1591. He began work on Morioka Castle in 1597.
Son: Toshinao

Nanbu Toshinao
Mutsu warlord

Toshinao was the son of Nanbu Nobunao and resided at Morioka Castle. He supported Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sekigahara Campaign, leading his men to aid Mogami Yoshiaki and Date Masumune against the forces of Uesugi Kagekatsu. After the campaign was concluded, Toshinao was confirmed in his 100,000 koku fief.


The Naoe mon

The Naoe of Echigo Province were descended from the Nakahara family, which had served Minamoto Yoritomo (another branch formed the basis for the Ôtomo daimyô of Kyushu). They became important retainers to the Nagao (and later the Uesugi).

Naoe Kagetsuna
(Naoe Sanetsuna, Naoe Masatsuna)
Uesugi retainer
Yamato no kami

Kagetsugu was the son of Naoe Chikatsuna. He served Uesugi Kenshin as a councilor and lived in Yoita Castle, receiving the title Yamato no kami in 1562 (the same year he received the gift of the character 'Kage' to use in his name and changed his name from Masatsuna to Kagetsuna). He became one of Kenshin's principal retainers and as a bugyô was relied on in diplomatic and administrative affairs. He accompanied Kenshin on his campaign into Etch&uicrc; Province in 1576 and was that winter entrusted with the newly constructed Sekidôsan Castle in Noto Province. He died in the 3rd month of the following year and was succeeded by his adopted son (and son-in-law), Nobutsuna.
Son: Nobutsuna (adopted)

Naoe Nobutsuna
(Naoe Tôkurô)
Uesugi retainer
Yohei no jô

Nobutsuna was the adopted son-in-law of Naoe Kagetsuna and succeeded him in 1577. Lord of Yoita Castle, he supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the 1578-79 Ôtate no ran. However, in 1581 he was killed by Yasuda Hidehiro at Kasugayama Castle. As Nobutsuna had no sons, Kagekatsu ordered that his widow marry Higuchi Kagetsugu, who became the head of the Naoe (as Naoe Kagetsugu).

Naoe Kanetsugu
(Higuchi Kagetsugu)
Uesugi retainer
Yamashiro no kami

Kanetsugu was a son of Higuchi Sôemon Kanetoyo (a retainer of Nagao Masakage). He succeeded Naoe Nobutsuna in 1581 and due to his intelligence and skill in military affairs rose to become a chief retainer of Uesugi Kagekatsu. He was largely responsible for the Uesugi maneuvers against Tokugawa's allies in the north. He captured Hataya Castle but was defeated at Hasedo Castle. After the Uesugi were transferred to Yonezawa in 1601, Kanetsugu received an income of 60,000 koku but retired soon afterwards.
Sons: Katsushige (Awa no kami; adopted, son of Honda Masanobu and also known as Masashige), Kageaki

NARITA Nagayasu
Hôjô retainer

Nagayasu held Oshi Castle in Musashi Province. He was originally an ally of Uesugi Kenshin but after being offended by the latter joined Hôjô Ujiyasu.
Sons: Ujinaga, Nagachika

Narita Ujinaga
Hôjô, Tokugawa retainer

Ujinaga succeeded his father Nagayasu after a struggle for power with his younger brother Nagachika. He served the Hôjô in the Seige of Odawara and but was afterwards given a fief by Tokugawa Ieyasu at Karasuyama in Shimotsuke Province worth some 35,000 koku. His son Ujimune died without an heir and so the Narita fief passed to the Tokugawa.
Son: Ujimune (d.1623)

NARITOMI Shigeyasu
(Naritomi Jûemon)
Ryûzôji, Nabeshima retainer

Shigeyasu was at first a retainer of Ryûzôji Takanobu. He distinguished himself in battle at a young age and was given the name Jûemon by Takanobu not long before the death of the latter. Shigeyasu went on to serve Nabeshima Naoshige and accompanied him on the Korean Campaigns and in the Sekigahara and Osaka Campaigns. Afterwards he proved himself an able administrator, overhauling flood control and irrigation systems along the Chikugo River and elsewhere. He was also adept at castle construction and his civic accomplishments were studied long after his death.

NASU Takasuke
Shimotsuke warlord

Takasuke was the eldest son of Nasu Masasuke. He clashed with the Utsunomiya and when he got the upper hand, Utsunomiya Hirotsuna resorted to a trick, luring Takasuke out of Karasuyama Castle in 1551 and then having him murdered. Takasuke was succeeded by his younger brother Suketane.

Nasu Suketane
Shimtosuke warlord

Suketane was a younger son of Nasu Masasuke and succeeded his murdered elder brother Takasuke (a paternal half-brother, specifically). He held Karasuyama Castle in Shimotsuke Province and starting in 1560 clashed with the allied forces of the Ashina, Satake, and Utsunomiya.
Son: Sukeharu

Nasu Sukeharu
Shimotsuke warlord

Sukeharu was the son of Nasu Suketane. He inherited a rivarly with the Utsunomiya and the Satake and defeated the local Senbon family. He was established in a 20,000-koku fief at Fukuwara (in Shimotsuke) by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and later supported Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600).
Son: Sukekage

Ryûzôji retainer
Tôtômi no kami

Nobukatsu served Ryûzôji Takanobu and was reknowned as a valiant warrior. When he learned that Takanobu had been killed in the course of the Battle of Okinawadate, Nobukatsu followed his lord in death by throwing himself into the enemy and, the story goes, cutting down some eight of the enemy before being himself killed.

(Nazuka Masaie)
Toyotomi retainer
Ôkura Tayû

Masaie was known for his skill as a quartermaster, first under Niwa Nagahide and then Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He was a key element in the logistical success of Hideyoshi's 1590 Odawara Campaign and received a 50,000-koku fief in Ômi Province at Minakuchi. In 1595 he was named one of the Go-bugyô (Five Magistrates), responsible for the administrative tasks associated with Hideyoshi's rule. He sided with Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign of 1600 and was involved in the siege of Anotsu and the Battle of Sekigahara itself, where his 1,500 men saw little action. He was afterwards besieged in Minakuchi by Ikeda Terumasa and committed suicide.

NATSUME Yoshinobu
(Natsume Sôen)
Tokugawa retainer

Yoshinobu was a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu, though for a time he was a follower of the Mikawa monto. Forgiven for that association after the monto were defeated in 1564, Yoshinobu came to hold Hamamatsu Castle in Tôtômi Province for Tokugawa Ieyasu. At the end of the Battle of Mikatagahara he gave his life so that Ieyasu might escape the advancing Takeda army by rushing into the latter's ranks pretending to be Ieyasu.

See Ône


The Neshima of Ôsumi were descended from Taira Koremori, whose grandson Kiyoshige took the name Neshima. During the Nambokuchu Perod they supported the Northern Court and supported Imagawa Sadayo. They came under the influence of the Kimotsuki but in the later years of the sengoku period became a Shimazu retainer family.

Neshima Shigenaga
Shimazu retainer

Shigenaga was a son of Neshima Kiyotoshi. He was the 16th head of his family and was at first a retainer of the Kimotsuki of Ôsumi (Shigenaga's Neshima Castle being located in that province). He later became a retainer of Shimazu Yoshihisa and was an active in various economic development projects.
Son: Shigehira

Neshima Shigehira
(Neshima Shigetora)
Shimazu retainer
Aki no kami

Shigehira was a son of Neshima Shigenaga and served three generations of Shimazu: Yoshihisa, Yoshihiro, and Iehisa (Tadatsuna). He held Neshima Castle in Ôsumi Province.

NIINO Chikanori
Imagawa retainer

Chikanori resided in the Ogasa District of Tôtômi Province and served the Imagawa, to whom he was related. He cared for the infant son of Ii Naochika (killed on the orders of Imagawa Ujizane in 1562), who later became the famous Ii Naomasa. In 1564 Chikanori was killed fighting the forces of Iio Tsurutatsu after the latter defied Imagawa authority.


The Niiro mon
The Niiro of Satsuma Province were descended from a branch of the Shimazu family, whom they served for many generations. In the Edo Period they became one of the principal Shimazu retainer families.

Niiro Tadamoto
(Niiro Jiroshirô)
Shimazu retainer
Musashi no kami

Tadamoto held Oguchi Castle in Satsuma Province. In the service of Shimazu Yoshihisa he fought in many battles and in 1586 was responsible for bringing down the Ôtomo's Toshimitsu Castle. He played a notable role in the following Battle of Hetsugigawa (January 1587) and earned fame during Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasion of Kyushu the following year. At the Battle of the Sendai River he led a gallant charge against the enormous Toyotomi army preparing to drive on Kagoshima. In the course of the bitter battle he fought a personal duel with Kato Kiyomasa. He was unhorsed but spared, and Hideyoshi himself expressed admiration for his courage. In addition to his skills as a warrior, Tadamoto was a man of cultural acuity and was adept in the composition of waka (31-syllable poetry) and tanka.

Niiro Nagasumi
Shimazu retainer

Nagasumi was a son of Niiro Yasuhisa. He entered the priesthood and adopted the name Ryoan, traveling as far as Kyoto at the age of 16 in his pursuit of learning. On his return he became the head priest of a yashiro (Shintoist temple). In 1587 he returned to secular life at the order of Shimazu Yoshihisa and served Yoshihiro in the Korean Campaigns and at the Battle of Sekigahara.

see Hatakeyama Yoshitsugu NIKI

The Niki of Iga Province were founded in Mikawa Province by Ashikaga Sanekuni, the great-grandson of the first of the Ashikaga line, Yoshiyasu (d.1157). They supported Ashikaga Takauji in his bid for hegemony and were granted a domain in Kwatchi. They later assumed control of Iga, which they held tenuously into the early 16th Century.

NISHINA Morinobu
(Takeda Harukiyo)
Takeda retainer
Satsuma no kami

Morinobu was a son of Takeda Shingen and was adopted into the Nishina in 1561. He presented the only real resistance to Nobunaga's drive into the Takeda lands in 1582, and made a valiant stand at Takatô Castle in Shinano Province against forces under Oda Nobutada before committing suicide on the castle walls. Morinobu had at first been married to the daughter of a certain Nishina Echizen no kami, then married in turn his cousins, first the daughter of Takeda Nobushige, then the daughter of Nobukado (though the details are obscure). Morinobu's mother was the daughter of Yugawa Nobumori.
Sons: Nobutomo, Nobusada,


The Niwa mon

The Niwa of Owari Province were descended from the Kodama family. They came to serve the Oda and during the time of Nobunaga rose to some prominence. They lost a good deal of their influence after the death of Nobunaga but survived into the Edo Period as daimyô.

Niwa Nagahide
(Korezumi Gorozaemon)
Oda retainer
Echizen no kami, Gorozaemon no jô

Niwa Nagahide, as depicted on the Shizugatake Screen

Nagahide was the second son of Niwa Nagamasa and was born on 16 December 1535. He came to serve Oda Nobunaga at the age of 15 and in time became one of his chief retainers, as well as a husband to one of Nobunaga's nieces. He was present at many of Nobunaga's battles and was named one of the administrators of Kyoto after Nobunaga entered that city in 1568. He took the Asai's Sawayama Castle in Ômi Province in 1571 and this was afterwards given to him. In 1572 he changed his name to Korezumi Gorozaemon. He was present for the fall of Odani Castle in 1573, the Battle of Nagashino (1575), and the reduction of the Echizen ikko-ikki) (also in 1575). Nagahide was also given the task of building Azuchi Castle for Nobunaga and for his efforts had the province of Wakasa added to his domain. He was chosen in 1582, after returning from the invasion of the Takeda domain, to support Oda Nobutaka in a planned invasion of Shikoku and went to Settsu Province to begin preparations. When Akechi Mitsuhide suddenly killed Nobunaga in June 1582 (the same year Niwa had been given the honor of riding at the head of Nobunaga's army in a parade in Kyoto), Nagahide hesitated in attacking Mitsuhide himself but did join Hideyoshi's army in Osaka and took part in the Battle of Yamazaki. At the Kiyosu Conference he supported Hideyoshi and added land in Ômi to his holdings. He supported Hideyoshi in the latter's war with Shibata Katsuie (1583) and although he was too ill to personally take part in the Komaki Campaign he dispatched his son Nagashige to fight Sasa Narimasa. He died shortly afterwards of illness on 15 May 1585, although there is a theory that he in fact committed suicide, as Nobunaga's death had left him despondant. To be sure, Nagahide was one of the few top Oda retainers that Nobunaga showed genuine respect and affection for. Nagahide's brothers included Nagatada (his elder brother) and Hideshige.
Sons: Nagashige, Nagamasa, Takayoshi, Naomasa,

Niwa Nagashige
(Niwa Gorôzaemon, Hashiba Nagashige)
Toyotomi retainer
Kaga no kami

Nagashige was a son of Niwa Nagahide and was born on 11 May 1571. He participated in the Komaki Campaign in place of his ill father and engaged the forces of Sasa Narimasa. Following Nagahide's death, Nagashige was transferred to a 40,000-koku fief in Kaga, thus considerably reducing the power of the Niwa, though Hideyoshi's ulterior motivations for doing so are unclear. His domain, based at Komatsu, was increased to 100,000 koku in 1598. He elected to side with Ishida Mitsunari and fought against Maeda Toshinaga. After the Tokugawa victory he was deprived of his holdings but nonetheless went on to distinguish himself on the Tokugawa side at the Osaka Castle Campaigns. For this service he was given a 10,000-koku fief at Futto in Hitachi Province. He died on 1 April 1637.
Son: Mitsushige

NOBESAWA Mitsunobu
Tendô, Mogami retainer
Noto no kami

Mitsunobu held Nobesawa Castle in Dewa Province and was at first a prominent retainer of the Tendô clan. He later became a retainer of Mogami Yoshiakira. He accompanied Yoshiakira on a journey to pay homage to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Kyoto but died of illness in the process.

See Oda Nobunaga

NODA Masatomo
Ashikaga, Uesugi, Hôjo retainer

Masatomo was a son of Noda Naritomo. He held Kurihashi Castle in Shomosa and was at first a retainer of Ashikaga Haruuji. When the power of the Kanto Ashikaga waned, Masatomo came under the influence of Uesugi Kenshin. He later submitted to Hôjô Ujimasa.

NOMI Munekatsu
Môri retainer

Munekatsu served Môri Motonari and Môri Terumoto and was a leader of ships under the command of Kobayakawa Takakage. He helped bring the waterborne Murakami family into the Môri's camp during the campaign that culminated in the Battle of Miyajima.

NOMURA Naotaka
(Nomura Tôzaemon)
Asai, Toyotomi retainer
Higo no kami

Naotaka at first served Asai Nagamasa, then found employment with Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He had entered the priesthood and so was nicknamed Higo-Nyuudô.

NOSE Yoritsugu
Akechi, Toyotomi retainer
Settsu no kami

Yoritsugu at first served Akechi Mitshide, then Toyotomi Hideyoshi. During the 1600 Sekigahara Campaign he sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu and as a result had his lands in Settsu Province confirmed.


The Nukui of Noto Province served the Hatakeyama.

Nukui Kagetake
Hatakeyama, Oda retainer
Bitchû no kami

Kagetake was a chief retainer of the Noto branch of the Hatakeyama family. After the fall of the Hatakeyama at the hands of Uesugi Kenshin in 1577, Kagetake eventually came to serve Oda Nobunaga. He died suddenly and under suspicious circumstances in 1582.


The Numata of Kôzuke Province were descended from the Miura family During the middle of the sengoku period they allied with Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo, and many of the latter's raid into the Kanto would be staged from Numata Castle. In 1569 a succession issue created turmoil within the family, and years later they would be destroyed by Sanada Masayuki after the latter had Numata Kageyoshi murdered.

Numata Akiyasu
Uesugi retainer

Akiyasu was the son of Numata Kôzuke no suke Yasuteru and held Numata Castle in Kôzuke for the Uesugi. He favored his youngest son Kageyoshi to succeed him, to the point, it would seem, of having his eldest son Tomoyasu murdered in 1569. This created such strife within the Numata family that Akiyasu was forced to flee to Aizu, where he died.
Sons: Tomoyasu, Tsunayasu, Kageyoshi

copyright 2005 F. W. Seal