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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Guides & Articles » History of Clan Takeda
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Topic Subject:History of Clan Takeda
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 01-18-11 08:04 AM EDT (US)         
Hear, oh traveler, the tale of the Takeda, once a mighty daimyo clan from Kai Province in eastern Honshu. It is a mountainous, land-locked place, but has a castle at Kofu. Thus it is strange that the Takeda developed the finest cavalry in all of Japan, but it is true. And mostly due to Takeda Shingen, the greatest of the Takeda.

The Takeda were an old clan, descendants of the Emperor Seiwa from the Heian Period. Thus we too are Sons of Heaven. Our branch of the Divine Family was given the name Minamoto, signifying our descent from the Heavens but formally excluding us from the Throne. This we bless, for it relieves us of the burden of remotenessa nd allows us to freely engage in mortal politics and warfare, in which we excel. Over time, three centuries or so to be exact, Yoshikiyo, son of Yoshimitsu, became the first of our line to adopt the name of Takeda. It is interesting to note that the Minamoto clan, to which we belong, was also the clan from which the Ashikaga shoguns descend.

We came to the province of Kai, as mentioned, and from there we grew strong, slowly but surely. We aided the Hojo against their upstarts- and were rewarded with Aki Province. Later, we earned Wakasa province as well. Then we feuded with the Uesugi, when they rebelled against the shogun. This feud ended around the time our greatest leader was born.

His official name was Minamoto-no Harunobu. Nobu was from his father, Nobutora, and Haru came from the name of the shogun Yoshiharu. This name would follow him throughout his life, but he chose another by which to be known. This was Shingen, and Takeda Shingen would be a name the histories would remember.

It was summer in 1541, and twenty-one-year-old Harunobu defied the virtue of familial duty to seize his fatherís throne in a bloodless revolution and become the ruler of Kai Province himself. His father, who had intended to relegate the prodigal son to a life of nothingness by naming another son as heir, was himself exiled to Suruga Province under the eyes of the Imagawa clan. This cemented an alliance with the Imagawa that would serve young Shingen well as he turned his eyes to the much larger province of Shinano to the north.

Other daimyo opposed this upstart who would exile his own father. They gathered to do battle, but Shingen defeated them- handily. He pressed north and defeated these others again and again, sometimes suffering a reversal, but most often victorious. These victories came as a shock to most daimyo- not because of Shingenís youth, but because of his innovations and tactics. The way of the day was heavy infantry, and large quantities of those backed by archers- lots and lots of archers. Shingen removed the bows from his horsemen, and replaced them with lances. This heavy cavalry charge brushed aside all in its path to its target- those lots and lots of archers. With no missiles and hounded by cavalry, most armies broke beneath his churning hooves. Thus Shingen fought, and conquered, and by the time he was thirty nine, Shinano Province was his.

During his battles, he made a rival out of another famous general: Uesugi Kenshin- the Tiger of Echigo. He and Shingen fought no less than five battles at Kawanakajima, and their feud became legendary.

Shingen even defeated the legendary Tokugawa Ieyasu, his one-time ally, at the Battle of Mikatagahara. This was one of the first battles using firearms recorded in Japanese history. Oda Nobunaga was overrunning Japan on his way to the shogunate, and Ieyasu was his ally now. Takeda Shingen was seen as one of the few daimyos who could stop the steamroller. He did so decisively at Mikatagahara.

It is unknown whether Tokugawa Ieyasu thought too much of his new thunderous weaponry, or if he underestimated the fury of a Takeda charge. Regardless, his forces met those of Shingen at Mikatagahara in 1572. The Takeda cavalry charge overran the Tokugawa gunners and slaughtered almost the entire army. What few escaped did so by ruse, not battle. Ieyasu got away, and went on to become Shogun himself. Shingen died the next year, to infection, illness, or as some say, a sniper's bullet.

Shingen had gutted the Takeda during his rise in power. Some of his clan had died in battle- including two of his famous Twenty Four Generals in a single battle, while he ordered others-including family members- to commit seppuku for plotting against him. But for all his faults, he was an excellent adminstrator and a very capable general. Had Death not claimed him at the age of fifty-three, he might have become shogun himself.

The Takeda were left to the son of Shingen, Katsuyori. This man aspired to the heights his father had reached, but lacked the talent and drive of his sire. He fought several battles, using his fatherís tactics, but lost them all due to either his poor battlefield timing, the opponentís responses to Shingenís tactics, his own ambivalent decisions, or a combination of all. He fought the Tokugawa, the Uesugi, the Hojo, the Oda... There was hardly a clan with whom he did not go to war.

The casualties were also horrendous- especially among the clan. The invasion of Kai province by the Oda and the Tokugawa ended his unsuccessful rule. Mot members of Clan Takeda and their retainers were either killed in battle (like the many generals at Nagashino), committed seppuku like Katsuyori when he was trapped by the Tokugawa-Oda army after the invasion of Kai, or were ordered to commit seppuku after the fall of Katsuyori. Thanks to the bad luck and poor generalship of Katsuyori, there were not many left to accept the order. A few Takeda survived, but not many.

Our clan was crushed utterly.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamoto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperors_of_Japan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takeda_Shingen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mikatagahara
http://www.samurai-archives.com/takedaret.html
http://www.shibuiswords.com/takedaclan.htm
http://www.samurai-archives.com/ftk.html
http://www.samurai-archives.com/clantime.html

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[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 01-20-2011 @ 08:09 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
vampiric canniba
Ashigaru
posted 01-18-11 04:07 PM EDT (US)     1 / 5       
Another good article. You're probably going to be eligible for a new custom title before the game comes out

you like something both hardcore and whack
2009 RLT & ETWH Craziest Forummer Award!
I had to remove the excessive numbers of smilies I used Š la VampiricCannibal so as not to inconvenience low bandwidth users too much... - Edorix
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 01-19-11 04:24 AM EDT (US)     2 / 5       
I really like the way you're writing these. Lots of information in here about one of (if not the) most popular Clan. They already seem to be a fan favourite.

The Takeda rivalry with the Uesugi is particularly interesting.

It is a shame for the Clan, that Shingen's son could not live up to him, and made a series of bad decisions which resulted in the eventual destruction of the Clan. As one of the stronger factions, they might have been powerful enough to challenge Tokugawa's Shogunate and change the course of Japanese History.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
BastWorshiper
Sensei
posted 01-19-11 09:36 AM EDT (US)     3 / 5       
I recently read a really fascinating article about Minamoto no Yoritomo (the first shogun), his wife, Masako, and his half-brother, Yoshitsune. It was the first thing I thought of when I read your article.

I'm really enjoying your clan history articles.

If there's interest, I can find a couple more sources and write an article about the founding of the first shogunate.

"It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do.
Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen." -- Jerome K. Jerome

"Some people become so expert at reading between the lines they don't read the lines." -- Margaret Millar

ERADICATE CONDESCENSION! (That means don't talk down to people.)
vampiric canniba
Ashigaru
posted 01-19-11 06:51 PM EDT (US)     4 / 5       
Please do, bastworshiper, the more the merrier. I've already learnt a fair amount from these articles. (Incidentally, this forum already has more threads and posts than the M2TW one)

you like something both hardcore and whack
2009 RLT & ETWH Craziest Forummer Award!
I had to remove the excessive numbers of smilies I used Š la VampiricCannibal so as not to inconvenience low bandwidth users too much... - Edorix
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 01-20-11 05:19 AM EDT (US)     5 / 5       
If there's interest, I can find a couple more sources and write an article about the founding of the first shogunate.
That would be brilliant Bast! Of course there is interest.

And Vamp - I'm with you. Everyone is doing a great job, saves us having to write articles once the game is actually out. You can spend that time playing it (and writing strategy articles)

As for Shingen's death; isn't it a little strange that there is no consensus as to how he died? If you think about European leaders of the time equivalent to his stature their deaths tend to be pretty well documented. Fascinating that several leader's deaths from the Sengoku period are the same; Uesugi Kenshin springs to mind, as does Oda Nobunaga to a lesser extent. There is always some aura of mystery surrounding their demise, almost as if mythological creatures.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
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