Takeda Katsuyori

Takeda Katsuyori (武田 勝頼, 1546 – 3 April 1582) was a Japanese daimyō of the Sengoku period, who was famed as the head of the Takeda clan and the successor to the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen.

Takeda Katsuyori
武田 勝頼
Takeda Katsuyori.jpg
Head of Takeda clan
In office
Preceded byTakeda Shingen
Succeeded bynone
Personal details
Kai Province
DiedApril 3, 1582(1582-04-03) (aged 35–36)
Tenmoku Mountain, Kai Province
Spouse(s)Toyama Fujin
Hojo Masako
ChildrenTakeda Nobukatsu
Takeda Katsuchika
MotherSuwa Goryōnin
FatherTakeda Shingen
RelativesTakeda Yoshinobu (brother)
Takeda Nobuchika (brother)
Nishina Morinobu (brother)
Hōjō Ujiyasu (father-in-law)
Military service
AllegianceTakeda mon.svg Takeda clan
UnitJapanese crest Suwa Kajinoha(Black background).svg Suwa clan
Battles/warsSiege of Kanbara
Siege of Futamata
Battle of Mikatagahara
1st Siege of Takatenjin
Siege of Yoshida
Battle of Nagashino
Battle of Omosu
Battle of Tenmokuzan

Early lifeEdit

He was the son of Shingen by the daughter of Suwa Yorishige (posthumous name:Suwa-goryōnin (諏訪御料人, real name, Koihime)).[1] Katsuyori's children included Takeda Nobukatsu and Katsuchika.[2]

Statue of Takeda Katsuyori

Katsuyori, first known as Suwa Shirō Katsuyori (諏訪四郎勝頼), succeeded to his mother's Suwa clan and gained Takatō Castle as the seat of his domain.

After his elder brother Takeda Yoshinobu died, Katsuyori's son Nobukatsu became heir to the Takeda clan, making Katsuyori the true ruler of the Takeda clan.[3] Takeda Katsuyori built Shinpu Castle, a new and larger castle at Nirasaki and transferred his residence there in 1581.

Military lifeEdit

In 1569, Katsuyori defeated Hojo Ujinobu at Siege of Kanbara[4] and successfully took a Tokugawa clan possession in the 1572 Siege of Futamata, and participated in the Battle of Mikatagahara.[5]

In 1573, He took charge of the family after the death of Shingen and fought Tokugawa clan. He captured Takatenjin in 1574, which even his father could not; this gained him the support of the Takeda clan, but he suffered a terrible loss at Battle of Nagashino in 1575, succumbing to one of the earliest recorded uses of volley fire (Oda Nobunaga's 3000 guns), in which he lost a large part of his forces as well as a number of his generals.[6]

In 1578, Katsuyori incurred the wrath of the Hōjō family by helping Uesugi Kagekatsu against Uesugi Kagetora who was Hōjō Ujiyasu's seventh son, adopted by and heir to Uesugi Kenshin and initiated the Battle of Omosu in 1580.


He lost Takatenjin in 1581 and this led clans like Kiso and Anayama to withdraw their support. Later in 1582, his forces were destroyed by the combined armies of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu at Battle of Tenmokuzan, after which Katsuyori, his wife, and his son committed their ritual suicide, known as seppuku.[3][5]:231

The nun Rikei wrote an account of his wife's suicide and, pitying them, wrote several verses in their honour.[7]

Ukiyoe of Takeda Katsuyori at Tenmokuzan

Personal lifeEdit

Hojo Masako (Katsuyori's wife) carrying a naginata in the Battle of Tenmokuzan.

Toyama FujinEdit

Takeda Katsuyori married Toyoma Fujin, the adopted daughter of Oda Nobunaga. She died while giving birth to their son Nobukatsu in 1567.

Hojo MasakoEdit

Katsuyori later married Hojo Masako, daughter of Hojo Ujiyasu. She bore a son and two daughters. In 1582, Masako at the age of 19, Katsuyori was defeated by Oda Nobunaga and had to flee, she going with him. However, Katsuyori was resigned to die and prompted her to leave. She refused and killed herself (jigai), along with Katsuyori in the Battle of Tenmokuzan. All their children died in the battle.


Father: Takeda Shingen (1521–1573)




  • Tei-hime, married Miyahara Yoshihisa
  • Kougu-hime, married Naitō Tadaoki


  Media related to Takeda Katsuyori at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Sato, Hiroaki (1995). Legends of the Samurai. Overlook Duckworth. p. 209. ISBN 9781590207307.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen (1987). Battles of the Samurai. London: Arms and Armour Press. pp. 79–94. ISBN 9780853688266.
  4. ^ "蒲原城" (in Japanese). じゃらん. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 219,222–223,230. ISBN 1854095234.
  6. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1977). The Samurai. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 156–160. ISBN 9780026205405.
  7. ^ Sato, Hiroaki (2008). Japanese Women Poets. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, Inc. pp. 137–139. ISBN 9780765617842.

Further readingEdit

This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.