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Shibata Katsuie
1522–June 14, 1583
Shibata katsuie.png
Shibata Katsuie
Place of birth Owari Province
Place of death Battle of Shizugatake, Echizen Province

Shibata Katsuie (柴田勝家 ?, 1522 – June 14, 1583) or Gonroku (権六 ?) was a Japanese military commander during the Sengoku Period who served Oda Nobunaga.

Contents

Biography

Katsuie was born in the Shibata family, a cadet branch of the Shiba clan (who descended from the Ashikaga clan, and were the former suzerains of the Oda clan). Note the differences between Shibata (柴田 ?), Shiba (斯波 ?), and the Shibata clan of Echigo (新発田 ?).

He initially supported Oda Nobukatsu (Oda Nobuyuki), who was a young brother of Nobunaga, as he was his retainer. In 1556, he launched a coup d'etat against Nobunaga but after a loss at the Battle of Ino, he withdrew his support and served under Nobunaga. This change of heart, brought on by Nobunaga executing his brother and sparing him, would earn praise from Nobunaga and the hand of his younger sister, Oichi, in marriage. In 1564, however, Oichi was married to Azai Nagamasa, who would end up facing off against a joint OdaTokugawa coalition at Anegawa in 1570 (which he, along with his Asakura allies, would lose). A second battle, at Odani Castle in 1573, saw Nagamasa, and end up isolated after the Asakura were routed in an ambush; realising the end was a foregone conclusion, he sent Oichi and their three daughters out and committed suicide along with his son. Katsuie was not present at Anegawa, as he had been besieged at Chokoji Castle by 4000 Rokkakku soldiers. He eventually won via an all-out attack,forcing the Rokkakku to retreat; this, along with a series of brilliant victories, gained him renown as "Oni Shibata".

In 1575, after gaining control of Echizen, he gained the castle of Kitanosho Castle (Hokujō) and was commanded to conquer the Hokuriku region. After controlling Kaga and Noto, he began a campaign against Etchu Province in 1581. In 1582, Nobunaga was assassinated at Honnō-ji but in a Siege of Matsukura and facing Uesugi's army, Katsuie was unable to return.

Statue of Shibata Katsuie on display at Kitanosho Castle site, Fukui, Fukui.

In a meeting in Kiyosu to determine the successor to Nobunaga, he supported Oda Nobutaka, the third son, for whom Katsuie had performed the genpuku ritual. He allied with Oda Nobutaka and Takigawa Kazumasu to battle Hideyoshi. However, his domain was sealed off in the winter by snowfalls and this limited his ability. Both of his allies were defeated while Katsuie battled snowfalls and Uesugi. His forces, under the leadership of Sakuma Morimasa, besieged Nakagawa Kiyohide at Shizugatake in a move to turn the tide launching the battle of Shizugatake. Sakuma ignored Shibata's orders to merely test the enemy's defence and was destroyed by returning Toyotomi Hideyoshi's forces. He retreated to Kitanoshō castle but with the army destroyed, Katsuie had no option but to surrender. Katsuie committed seppuku and set the fire to the castle. He implored Oichi to take their daughters and leave, but she decided to follow his death, while letting her daughters escape.[1] Ironically, Katsuie had not so much as lifted a spear personally during the battle.

His death poem was:

夏の夜の 夢路儚き 後の名を 雲井にあげよ 山不如
Natsu no yo no
yumeji hakanaki
ato no na wo
kumoi ni ageyo
yamahototogisu
"Fleeting dream paths, in the summer night! O bird of the mountain, carry my name beyond the clouds."

See also

References

  1. ^ "Fukui Castle, Kitanosho Ruins". 2009-03-24. http://www.city.fukui.lg.jp/lang/english/kankou/castle.html. Retrieved 30 April 2009.  

External links

This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.

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