Saturday, 7 June 2014

Nobunaga's List of Valets

While browsing the internet I found a page dedicated to Nobunaga that offerend some lists on interest.
One of them regarded the many kosho (valets) that serviced Nobunaga during his life. It's a subject that intrigues me, so I'm going to "decypher" this page for you guys, adding further infos when possible.
Regarding this, the original article doesn't list the pages employed in Nagoya Castle (那古野城) because the author said that besides the "big names" they couldn't find infos about it. I decided to include them anyway for the sake of completion.
Following the format of the original article, I'm going to categorize them "by castle", implying their period of service as valets.
A gruesome portrait of Mori Rikimaru by Yoshitoshi for his collection of muzan-e "Selection of One-Hundred Warriors" --Just to remind you that valets were not just pretty boys!

Nagoya Castle
► Ikeda Tsuneoki (1536 – 1584) - Also known as Nobuteru, Tsuneoki was pretty much Nobunaga's "first retainer" ever. Since his mother was Nobunaga's foster mother, they shared a strong bond and intimate relationship, as strong as to make Nobunaga recognize him as his brother. His father, Toshitsune, was one of the direct retainers of Nobuhide (Nobunaga's father).
► Niwa Nagahide (1535 - 1585) - Nagahide entered Nobunaga's service as a kosho in 1550, when he was around 15 years old.
Nobunaga trusted him enormously: he's frequently mentioned as taking care of Nobunaga's administrative duties or PR affairs.
He was allowed to marry Nobunaga's adopter daughter Keihou'in in 1563, and his son Nagashige would marry Nobunaga's fifth daughter Houon'in in 1580, as another proof of the strong bond between the two clans.
► Maeda Toshiie (1538 – 1599) - Toshiie moved from Arago village to Nagoya to serve Nobunaga as a valet in 1551, at the age of 13.
He was known for sharing the eccentric tastes of his lord, being a kabukimono in his youth.
Toshiie entered Nobunaga's akahoro elite corps in 1558 and he's famous for mentions about his wakashudo relationship with Nobunaga.
For his loyalty he was allowed to become the heir of the Maeda clan despite being the fourth of six sons.
► Sassa Narimasa (1536 – 1588) - Narimasa entered Nobunaga's service as a page in 1552 at the age of 16 (but according to other sources he was born in 1538, making him 14 at the time of his employment). He was the third of five brothers, and he inherited the Sassa household when his two older brothers died at the Battle of Okehazama.

Kiyosu Castle
► Iwamuro Shigeyasu (?? – 1561) - Also known as Nagato-no-kami, he was Nobunaga's favourite during his stay in Kiyosu. In 1559 he managed to be promoted in akahoro ranks but he still served as Nobunaga's valet.
He survived the Battle of Okehazama where he accompanied Nobunaga but he met his end at Oguchi Castle in 1561, during a battle against the Saito in Mino.
It's said that Nobunaga mourned his death grievously.
► Kato Yasaburou (?? – 1573) - The son of Kato Kiyomori, like Shigeyasu above, he took part in the Battle of Okehazama in the same unit. He was dismissed by Nobunaga in 1563, so he served under Ieyasu Tokugawa. He died in the Battle of Mikatagahara.
► Sawaki Yoshiyuki (?? – 1573) - Also known as Touhachi (藤八), he was the son of Maeda Toshiharu and the younger brother of Toshiie. As above, he took part in the Battle of Okehazama in the same unit (he entered it in 1558, though, with his brother). He was dismissed by Nobunaga in 1563, so he served under Ieyasu Tokugawa. He died in the Battle of Mikatagahara.
► Hasegawa Kyousuke (?? – 1573) - Also known as Ukon (右近). In 1552 he took part in the Battle of Akatsuka, against an Imagawa force in Owari, he entered the akahoro in 1558 and took part in the Battle of Okehazama.
He was dismissed by Nobunaga in 1564, entered in Ieyasu's service and died in the Battle of Mikatagahara.
► Yamaguchi Hida-no-kami (?? – 1573) - He entered the akahoro in 1558, he took part in the Battle of Okehazama in 1560 and he was dismissed in 1563 too.
He joined the ranks of Ieyasu yet he took part in the siege of Okawachi Castle in 1569 as a member of the the Oda army against the Kitabatake clan of Ise.
He died in the Battle of Mikatagahara.

Gifu/Azuchi Castle
► Aoki Tsuru (??) - He escorted Takayama Tomoteru to the north in the custody of Shibata Katsuie after the Takayama betrayed Nobunaga by siding with Araki in 1578.
► Ichiwaka (??) - He took part in the Battle of Saika (1577) and in the umazoroe in Kyoto of 1581.
► Kanamori Shinjirou (?? – 1579) - He's mentioned because of his fight with Saji Shintarou. He was stabbed by his fellow valet.
► Saji Shintarou (?? – 1579) - See above. After he killed Shinjirou in a fit of rage, he committed seppuku to take responsibility for his crime.
► Nakanishi Gonbee (??) - He assisted Ranmaru when he was sent as an envoy to Shiokawa Nagamitsu to compensate him with 1000 pieces of silver. He had his residence at Azuchi Castle (1579).
► Hasegawa Hidekazu (?? – 1594) - Also known as Take (竹). The nephew of Hasegawa Kyousuke, mentioned above. He served Nobunaga during the campaign of Harima in 1578 and he kept serving him as his emissary, supervisor, messenger and administrative deputy. During the Incident of Honnoji he was assigned by Nobunaga to take care of Tokugawa Ieyasu during his trip to Osaka. Later he'd enter into Toyotomi Hideyoshi's service. He met his death during the Invasion of Korea.
► Hori Hidemasa (1553 – 1590) - Also known as Kikuchiyo (菊千代) and Kyuutarou. Originally serving Hideyoshi, he entered in Nobunaga's service as a valet in 1566 at the age of 13. He was extremely capable in both administrative and military fields. He was granted the fief of Sakata, in Omi province, in 1581.
He took part in many battles, and after Nobunaga's death he joined Hideyoshi's army, where he kept fighting. He died of illness in 1590.
► Manmi Shigemoto (?? – 1578) - Also known as Senchiyo. He served Nobunaga in the Harima campaign in 1578 and on the same year he was one of the envoys who were asked to inquiry to Araki Murashige about his betrayal.
He died in the attack of Arioka Castle.
► Mori Naritoshi (1565 - 1582) - The famous Ranmaru (蘭丸), also referred to as Ran (乱), third son of Mori Yoshinari, entered Nobunaga's service in 1577. He's probably the most rapresentative valet of the Sengoku era, and his name is still a metaphor for an extremely beautiful young man.
He assisted Nobunaga his whole life, on the battlefield as with administrative duties.
He died by his side at Honnoji.
► Mori Boumaru (1566 - 1582) - Ranmaru's younger brother and Yoshinari's fourth son. He entered Nobunaga's service together with his older brother in 1577. He died at Honnoji.
► Mori Rikimaru (1567 - 1582) - Ranmaru's younger brother and Yoshinari's fifth son. He entered Nobunaga's service together with his older brothers in 1577. He died at Honnoji.
► Ogura Shoujo (1567 - 1582) - Also known as Matsuchiyo. Son of Ogura Sanefusa. When his father died in 1570, his mother Onabe-no-kata served Nobunaga as his concubine. Nobunaga took her sons as his valets. He died at Honnoji.
► Ogura Jingorou (?? - 1582) Younger brother of Shoujo. He died at Honnoji.
► Takahashi Toramatsu (?? - 1582) - He moved to Azuchi in the late 1570s. In 1579 he was given the old residence of Hasegawa Hidekazu in Azuchi. In 1581 he was presented a fief by Nobunaga after the victory of Nobukatsu against Iga. He died at Honnouji.

List of Valets who died at Honnoji (this is just a list of the valets who died during the Incident of Honnoji, besides those above mentioned, about which I [and the original author of the article] couldn't find any certain, further informations)
► Iikawa Miyamatsu (飯河 宮松)
► Itou Hikosaku (伊藤 彦作)
► Imagawa Magosaburou (今川 孫三郎)
► Uozumi Shoushichi(魚住 勝七)
► Oida Kame (種田 亀)
► Ootsuka Magouzo (大塚 孫三)
► Ogawa Aihei (小河 愛平)
► Ochiai Kohachirou (落合 小八郎)
► Kanamori Ginyou (金森 義入)
► Kashiwabara Nabemaru (柏原 鍋丸)
► Kashiwabara's little brother
► Kanou Matakuurou (狩野 又九郎)
► Kukuri Kame (久々利 亀)
► Sugaya Kakuzou (菅谷 角蔵)
► Susukita Yogorou (薄田 与五郎)
► Sobue Mago (祖父江 孫)
► Takeda Kitarou (武田 喜太郎)
► Yamada Yatarou (山田 弥太郎)

The original article also mentions the valets of Nobutada who died with him at Nijo castle... But maybe we can talk about it another time!


  1. O_________o

    That's an impressive list. I want the website too! (again XD)

    I never knew Toshiie was in shudo with Nobunaga as well, but then again... I've only read very minimal resources about Nobu's pages/underlings. I was mostly reading the things about Nobu himself.

    1. I linked the websites in the text of the post... Unfortunately purple is not such a visible colour next to black text >_>; !!

    2. Ah, yes, now I find it @___@

      Say, do you know where I can read more about Toshiie or Ranmaru? I just know that they're famous, but that's it. They're not mentioned too much in Shinchoukoki and I don't know where to look for :/

    3. As you should know by now, my only other source is the Japanese Wikipedia ;__;

      I found the mentions of wakashudo and Toshi over there!
      It's said that he was very pretty when young, and once that he grew up he got extremely tall for the age (over 180 cms, given the proportion of his armoirs). It's said that during a banquet Nobu remembered the good old days when Toshi was his lover, and everyone got jealous of Toshi XD
      This stuff is recorded on one of those chronicles. It's called "亜相公御夜話", but I can't find much about it (but fangirls discussing over the wakashudo part XD).

    4. Haha, he's taller than Nobu! XD

      I see, I see. Google translate really fails when translation Japanese to English, so for me the page was a huge mess :(
      I don't understand anything >.<

    5. I use Weblio: ! The translation is still a FAIL, but it's somehow easier to understand. I copy/paste each phrase there and translate it piece by piece; I noticed that it's easier to give sense to shorter sentences than trying to translate whole pages.
      Also, sometimes the page lets out random translations with the words you used, and sometimes, if you're lucky, you can get a correct translation of the Wikipedia part that you just tried to translate, 'cause the system looks through Wikipedia by defaults, for examples :D