If there is one thing that the Daimyo Takeda Katsuyori is famous for, it would be the fact that he was the one who replaced the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen.
As the head of the Takeda clan, Katsuyori was the son of Shingen and his mother was Suwa Goryonin. She was the daughter of Suwa Yorishige. Katsuyori’s mother was taken as Shingen’s mistress and then gave birth to Takeda Katsuyori.
Controversial Family History
Takeda Katsuyori was married to Toyoma Fujin. She was the adopted daughter of Oda Nobunaga. She died after giving birth to a son named Nobukatsu. As a widow, he remarried Hojo Masako who was the daughter of Hojo Ujimasa. She bore a son and two daughters.
Katsuyori’s given name was Suwa Shir? Katsuyori. However, his mother was a mistress and was not seen the way people saw Lady Sanjo. To avoid issues, he was named Takeda Katsuyori instead.
To be fair to his father, he was allowed to shine with his bravery as a warrior. Even documents including the Koyo Gunkan mentioned how Katsuyori was a fierce warrior. Katsuyori was said to be tough since he rose to every challenge that he was faced with.
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Life Lived By Takeda Katsuyori
As mentioned, Katsuyori was once known as Suwa Shiro Katsuyori. This name was inspired by the clan where his mother came from – the Suwa clan. He made the Takato Castle the seat of his domain.
On Shingen’s side, Katsuyori took charge of his clan after the former’s death. It was also Takeda Katsuyori who fought an equally famous enemy.
Tokugawa Ieyasu. The battles with Ieyasu took place at Takatenjin and Nagashino. The incidents happened one year apart from each other.
Suwa Yorishige: Katsuyori’s Grandfather
It was Takeda Katsuyori’s grandfather who once fought against Takeda Nobutora during the Battle of Shiokawa no Gawara. He was defeated in his fight with Takeda Shingen during the Battle of Sezawa and the Siege of Uehara.
Suwa Yorishige took his own life by committing seppuku or ritual suicide in the Siege of Kuwabara. In Japan, this is viewed as an honorable way to die instead of being killed by the hands of their enemies.
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Accomplishments Of Takeda Katsuyori
Takeda Katsuyori was victorious in a lot of battles. These included the Siege of Kanbara when Takeda Katsuyori was able to defeat Hojo Tsunashige.
In the Siege of Futamata, he was able to take over the Tokugawa clan. He was also triumphant in the Battle of Mikatagahara and the Battle of Omosu.
Going Against His Clan
The Hojo clan went against Katsuyori when he assisted Uesugi Kagekatsu. At this point, Katsuyori was viewed as having sided with the enemy.
He had suffered defeat several times. Among these defeats, the greatest one would be against the forces of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu at Temmokuzan.
Because of this defeat, Takeda Katsuyori’s committed seppuku along with his wife in 1582. At this time, his wife was only 19. Their daughters had their own families. Their son Katsuchika was able to live until the age of 103.
Image Source: 高野山持明院蔵 [Public domain]