TAKEDA, Shingen (1521-73)

The daimyo (great lord) of Kai province, and military general known for his brilliant military strategy, political manipulations, and fierce fighting. At the height of his power he controlled Kai, Shinano, Suruga, Kozuke, Totomi, Mino, Hida and Mikawa provinces. Son of Nobutora, the provincial governor of Kai province, and the daughter of O'i Nobutatsu. After chasing his father to exile in Suruga province, and forming alliances, Shingen took control over Shinano province. However, because of constant threats from another brilliant military general Uesugi Kenshin, Takeda Shingen gathered his troops to protect the northern region of Shinano. Takeda's forces, known for being the best horse riders in Japan, and Uesugi forces engaged in battle at least five times at Kawanakajima without bringing the fighting to a conclusion, and remaining in a draw. Later, Takeda Shingen joined Oda Nobunaga's army, but then changed his allegiance and fought against Nobunaga at the battle of Honganji. In 1572, Takeda Shingen led his forces to Mikatagahara to fight Tokugawa Ieyasu. However, due to illness he suddenly died.