Takeda Shingen

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Statue of Takeda Shingen

Takeda Shingen (武田 信玄 Takeda Shingen) (December 1, 1521May 13, 1573) of Shinano and Kai Provinces, was a preeminent daimyo who fought for control of Japan during that country's Sengoku or "warring states" period.

He was the son of Takeda Nobutora. At some point in his life Shingen rebelled against his father and took control of the Takeda. Yoshimoto Imagawa helped him in this rebellion and an alliance was formed between the Imagawa, Hojo and Takeda families.

Shingen's first act was to gain a hold of the area around him. His goal was to conquer Shinano Province. He fought with many warlords and expanded his territory. However, the warlord was defeated at Uehara by Murakami Yoshioki, who won by utilizing firearms, which would play a prominent role in Sengoku-jidai warfare. Shingen managed to avenge this loss and the Murakami clan eventually was defeated as well. Murakami Yoshioki fled and later became a vassal of the Uesugi clan.

After he had conquered Shinano, Shingen faced another rival - Uesugi Kenshin. The conflict between the two culminated on the plain of Kawanakajima. These battles wavered back and forth between the two clans. Neither side gained complete victory until Shingen's death. In the fourth of these battles comes the famous tale of Uesugi Kenshin's forces clearing a path through the Takeda troops and Kenshin engaging Shingen in single combat. The tale has Kenshin attacking Shingen with his sword while Shingen defends with his iron war fan or tessen.

After Imagawa Yoshimoto (a close ally of the Takeda) was defeated, Shingen made a move against the weak Imagawa. He fought against Yoshimoto's heir and expanded his domain. After this he made a move against the Tokugawa. At Mikata-ga-hara, Takeda Shingen easily defeated the combined armies of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu; but he could not defeat old age. After Shingen died in 1573 (due to an illness that, according to one theory, resulted from a musket ball wound), Katsuyori Takeda took control of the Takeda. Katsuyori was ambitious and desired to continue the legacy of his father. He moved on to take Tokugawa forts. However an allied force of Ieyasu Tokugawa and Nobunaga Oda dealt a crushing blow to the Takeda in the Battle of Nagashino. Here Nobunaga Oda's gunmen destroyed the Takeda cavalry. Ieyasu seized the opportunity and defeated the weak Takeda led by Takeda Katsuyori in the battle of Tenmokuzan. Katsuyori committed suicide after the battle, and the Takeda clan would never recover. Upon Shingen's death, Kenshin reportedly cried at the loss of one of his strongest and most deeply respected rivals.

The Takeda were for the most part utterly destroyed from this battle. However Shingen had had a profound effect on the period in Japan. He influenced many lords with his law system, tax system and administration system. He was probably not as cruel as other warlords, but he was aggressive toward military enemies. There were many tales about Takeda Shingen including the one mentioned above. His war banner contained the famous phrase Fuu-Rin-Ka-Zan, taken from Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War.' This phrase refers to the idea of Swift as the Wind, Silent as a Forest, Fierce as Fire and Immovable as a Mountain. The phrase demonstrates both Shingen's policies and warfare strategy.

Retainers

During Edo period, 24 retainers who served under Shingen were chosen as a popular topic for Ukiyo-e and Bunraku. The names vary from a work to a work and the following list is the widely agreed version of retainers. They had not worked together as some had died before others served but they were noted for their exceptional contributions to Shigen and Takeda clan.

Takeda Shingen in fiction and drama

A dramatization of Shingen's life was made into a television series by NHK. Akira Kurosawa's 1980 movie Kagemusha was also inspired by his life.

Takeda Shingen is the player's persona in the NES game Shingen the Ruler. Shingen's conquest is also portrayed in the PC game, Takeda. Shingen appears as a character in the Samurai Warriors game series for the PlayStation 2.

Takeda Shingen also appears, although briefly, in Kessen 3. His depiction is as somewhat overconfident, but as a great warrior and strategist, well respected by his officers and foes alike. He is one of the few enemies one faces in the game who is not shown as a tyrant or a fool. His son, however, is shown as a stubborn and hotheaded warrior who tramples over his father's dying advice, and pays dearly for it.

The Takeda Clan also appears as one of the many warring clans in the game "Shogun Total War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shogun:_Total_War)", the first of the three games in the Total War series. Players may choose to take command of this clan (or any other clan) and fight against other clans for the title of Shogun and the right to rule all of Japan.ar:تاكيدا شين-غن ko:다케다 신겐 ja:武田信玄 zh:武田信玄

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