Takeda Katsuyori (1546 – April 3, 1582) was a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku period, renowned as the head of the Takeda clan and successor to the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen. He was also the son-in-law of Hojo Ujiyasu. Katsuyori was born to Shingen and the daughter of Suwa Yorishige, known posthumously as Suwa-goryonin and by her real name, Koihime. His children included Takeda Nobukatsu and Takeda Katsuchika.

Initially known as Suwa Shiro Katsuyori, he succeeded to his mother's Suwa clan and established Takato Castle as his domain's seat. After the death of his elder brother Takeda Yoshinobu, Katsuyori's son Nobukatsu became the heir to the Takeda clan, making Katsuyori the de facto ruler. In 1581, Katsuyori built Shinpu Castle at Nirasaki and transferred his residence there.

Katsuyori's military career was marked by several significant battles:

  • In 1569, he defeated Hojo Ujinobu during the Siege of Kanbara.
  • In 1572, he captured a Tokugawa clan possession in the Siege of Futamata and participated in the Battle of Mikatagahara against the Oda-Tokugawa alliance.
  • In 1573, following Shingen's death, Katsuyori led the Takeda family and continued to confront the Tokugawa clan.
  • In 1574, he captured Takatenjin Castle, earning substantial support from the Takeda clan.
  • In 1575, he suffered a severe defeat at the Battle of Nagashino, where Oda Nobunaga's innovative use of volley fire by 3,000 guns decimated Katsuyori's forces and killed many Takeda generals.
  • In 1578, Katsuyori angered the Hojo family by supporting Uesugi Kagekatsu against Uesugi Kagetora, leading to the Battle of Omosu in 1580 against Hojo Ujimasa.
  • In 1581, Katsuyori lost Takatenjin fortress to Tokugawa Ieyasu, resulting in the deaths of 680 men of the Okabe Motonobu garrison.

In 1582, Katsuyori faced further setbacks:

He lost Takato Castle to Oda Nobutada, marking the only Takeda stronghold in Shinano province to resist Nobunaga's final invasion.

Following these defeats, support from many clans, such as Kiso and Anayama, dwindled.

As the Oda-Tokugawa alliance advanced into Kai Province and laid siege to Shinpu Castle, Katsuyori, unable to hold the castle with his remaining men, set it ablaze and fled to Tenmoku Mountain. His forces were ultimately defeated at the Battle of Tenmokuzan. Katsuyori, his wife, and his son then committed ritual suicide (seppuku), marking the end of the Takeda clan. The nun Rikei documented his wife's suicide and composed several verses in their honor.

Katsuyori's personal life included two marriages. He first married Toyoma Fujin, the adopted daughter of Oda Nobunaga, who died giving birth to their son Nobukatsu in 1567. Katsuyori later married Keirin'in, the daughter of Hojo Ujiyasu, with whom he had a son and two daughters. In 1582, during their escape following Katsuyori's defeat by Oda Nobunaga, Keirin'in chose to die alongside Katsuyori rather than flee, committing jigai during the Battle of Tenmokuzan. Both of Katsuyori's sons also perished in the battle.


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