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Hanbei Takenaka
Samurai Warriors 5 artwork
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Takenaka
160 cm (5'3")
Weapon(s): Bladed sundial (SW3~4)
Drum (5)
Kagami Mochi
Moveset Type:
Special (SW3)
Hyper (SW4)
Significant Battle(s):
Playable Debut: Samurai Warriors 3
Historical Information
Real name:
Takenaka Shigeharu
Japanese name:
September 27, 1544
July 6, 1579
Birthday is debatable but most sources accept the same birth year.
Warriors Orochi Info
Hanbei Cadre
Initially available (WO3) Chibi (WO4)
Character Type:
Wonder (WO3)
Speed (WO4)
Sacred Treasure:
Geten no Hana Info
September 27
165 cm (5'5")
Shigechika Takenaka (adopted father)
Hideyoshi's strategist
Reading strategies, strategizing
Examining his surroundings
Favorite Flower:
Spotted bellflower

Hanbei Takenaka (竹中 半兵衛, Takenaka Hanbē) is a retainer from Mino who eventually serves under Hideyoshi. His known historical exploits are plain and commonplace for the era, but he has been celebrated after his death to be Hideyoshi's genius strategist. Folklore states that he was known as "The All-knowing Hanbei" (知らぬ顔の半兵衛) who traded wits with his friend, Kanbei.

Before his playable Samurai Warriors appearance, he was a generic character since the first entry. Hanbei is sixth place with Samurai Warriors fans in Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires character popularity poll. According to the Sengoku Musou Seiyuu Ougi 2012 Aki questionnaire, he ranked ninth for the character fans would want as a lover and fourth for fans' ideal co-op partner for playing Samurai Warriors. He is voted seventh in the Samurai Warriors 4 poll. The first character popularity poll for Sengoku Musou Shoot has him at fourth place.

This persona has one image song titled Oreteki Senpou and a character duet with Kanbei that is titled Kaze to Kumo no Okite. The fifth anniversary PlayStation 3 version of Dynasty Warriors: Online allows players to acquire Hanbei's weapon as an in-game accessory for male avatars.

Hanbei's Nobunaga's Ambition counterpart is eleventh place in Gamecity's character popularity ranking for 2015. The Nobunaga no Yabou 201X poll for 4-star officers puts him in fourteenth place. He placed ninth in the Nobunaga no Yabou Taishi poll for most favorite father; fans voted him first for the best subordinate poll.

His Geten no Hana counterpart has an image song called Yami ni Mau Hana.

Role in Games[]

Samurai Warriors[]

In Samurai Warriors, Hanbei was a non-playable generic who serves under Yoshitatsu Saitō. After having been fed up with his old master decides to join Nobunaga and take down the entire Saito clan. Mitsuhide and Ranmaru notice the mutiny and knock Hanbei out. He appears in Katsuie's army at Tedorigawa in Samurai Warriors 2; his other few appearances are mostly limited to dream stages.

Hanbei starts as a vassal under Tatsuoki Saitō in Samurai Warriors 3. Seeing his lord become greedy with indulgence, however, Hanbei captures Inabayama Castle by himself to have Tatsuoki finally listen to him. By this time, the Oda army is invading their lands and the incompetent Tatsuoki wails for Hanbei to save him. Realizing that the Saitō are at the end of their rope, the young strategist decides to test the "fool's" worth. Asking the generals about their lord, Hanbei more becomes fascinated by Hideyoshi's wit and abandons his half-cocked interest in Nobunaga.

After the Saitō family falls, the strategist accepts Hideyoshi's invitation and aids his new lord at Anegawa. With Hideyoshi, he meets Kanbei and the two geniuses unite their intellect for victory. When news of Shingen's death spreads, Nobunaga uses this grand opportunity to eliminate the Takeda at Nagashino. As Kanbei and Hanbei's tactics begin to corner Katsuyori, the supposedly dead Shingen returns to defend his family. Hanbei directs the Oda army to ensure that Shingen dies a real death and the Takeda fall. When Motonari joins with the resistance against Nobunaga, Hanbei looks forward to testing the Mōri strategist and aids the naval battle at Kizugawa.

While Nobunaga stays behind to deal with the central part of the land, he sends Hideyoshi west to take care of the Mōri in Chūgoku. Motonari joins forces with Motochika and resist Kanbei and Hanbei. The older strategist believes that the serene world he desires is beginning to take its shape and looks forward to carrying out his plan once the battle ends. Although the Mōri leader calls upon his Kyushu allies for assistance, he is defeated by Hanbei. Kanbei expects Hanbei to slay their adversary to end the conflict, but the older strategist instead chooses to negotiate with Motonari. Believing in Motonari to honor his word with a peace treaty, he declares the three strategists to get along henceforth. Swearing with his two friends to create a world where everyone can laugh and sleep, Hanbei is confident that no one can defeat the new trinity of geniuses.

In Sengoku Musou 3: Empires, Hanbei forms a camaraderie with Toshiie due to their shared dislike of Nobunaga's cruelty and Ranmaru's fanaticism. His distaste for the warlord stems from the latter's habit of dehumanizing others which explains why the other clans vehemently oppose the Oda's rise to power. He also criticizes Ranmaru for blindly following orders without any regard for his own well-being. However, the strategist sincerely believes the younger swordsman can change if he has someone to open his heart to. Before long, he falls dangerously ill and urges Toshiie to save Ranmaru with his passion. Hanbei's posthumous letter allows his comrade to discover the Anti-Oda coalition's attack on the capital and thwart it.

The strategist's rivalry with the Mōri becomes a source of conflict in Motochika and Motonari's respective stories. During Motochika's route, he cons Gracia and her friends to attack Motonari so they can find the missing Mitsuhide. Motonari's route has him pity Shikanosuke Yamanaka for playing into the Oda's hands while he himself looks forward to countering the Mōri leader's tactics.

Samurai Warriors 4 Hanbei begins serving the Saitō clan as a strategist. Hoping to avenge the pain he thinks is being inflicted upon , he is among the many who opposes Nobunaga's march towards the capital. Though they meet as foes, he is impressed with Hideyoshi for concocting the one-night-castle strategy and for besting Kanbei. When Hideyoshi comes to plead for his service, Hanbei has three distinct conditions for his loyalties: to allow him time to nap, to hire Kanbei as his strategist, and to abandon everyone and everything for his dream. Hanbei particularly stresses that he is working for Hideyoshi, not Nobunaga by joining the Oda.

When Nobunaga leaves Nō behind at Kannonji Castle, Hanbei attempts to convince her of the conqueror's callousness towards her. He regrets to see his words fall on deaf ears and reluctantly gives up on convincing the princess to change. Hanbei concentrates his efforts on protecting Hideyoshi's vision from harm at Kanegasaki, Nagashino, Noda-Fukushima, and Kii Province. During the course of these battles, Hanbei's health worsens due to illness. He is unable to conceal it from Kanbei during the last conflict.

Nobunaga's power in the center is stabilized, and Hideyoshi and his strategists are ordered to deal with the westward Mōri. Despite his frailty, Hanbei insists on fighting in the front lines at Aka to save Kanbei. He is soon fascinated by Takakage's character and brilliance. Since he feels his end nearing, he expresses his wishes for Takakage to someday befriend and understand Kanbei. Hanbei is unable to hide his illness from Hideyoshi at Kōzuki Castle and requests permission to stay in active duty. He and Kanbei work together a final time to answer their lord's benign if futile wish to protect the isolated Amago. The strategist's body breaks down completely due to the stress and, after he conveys his final worries for his friend's feelings, perishes in bed.

In the DLC stage, Test of Wits, Hanbei and Kanbei test their strategies against the alliance led by Motonari.

Samurai Warriors 5 once more places Hanbei as Dōsan's strategist during Nobunaga's invasion of Mino, where Yoshitatsu's reckless charge nearly costs them the battle. Nonetheless, Hanbei would aid during the assassination attempt on Nobunaga during his marriage to Nō, and Hanbei notices the even poorer relationship between Dōsan and Yoshitatsu. When this culminates with Yoshitatsu's rebellion at Nagaragawa, Hanbei takes Dōsan's side but is forced to surrender when Yoshitatsu slays his father.

Against his will, Hanbei would help Yoshitatsu in battling the defiant Akechi clan, and Hanbei's strategies painfully allow him to slaughter the clan and its retainers save for Mitsuhide and Toshimitsu. After Nobunaga prevails at Okehazama and moves for Inabayama Castle once again, Hanbei and Yoshitatsu defend the castle, but Hanbei is quick to react against Hideyoshi's plan to build Sunomata Castle. Despite his attempts, and, to his amazement, the Oda forces successfully create the castle overnight and are able to now cross into the highlands that defended Inabayama.

Hanbei quickly surrenders to Hideyoshi after his defeat, and would aid the Oda's march into Ōmi, where he is relieved to see Mitsuhide still alive and well, albeit in the enemy ranks. He is then left as part of Hideyoshi's forces during the campaigns against the Rokkaku, Azai and Asakura clans. When Hisahide Matsunaga betrays the Oda at Shigisan Castle, Hanbei is introduced to Hideyoshi's new retainer, Kanbei Kuroda, and the pair fear that Nobunaga's brutal methods would only lead to more rebellions from other vassals.

In the campaign against the Mōri, Kanbei is captured after failing to convince the Araki to not switch sides, and Hanbei would battle his growing illness through Kizugawaguchi to reach Kanbei at Arioka Castle. Though he manages to rescue his new friend, Hanbei's body finally gives out, and he passes away shortly after reuniting with Kanbei.

Warriors Orochi[]

Warriors Orochi has Hanbei sometimes serves as Hideyoshi's replacement officer when players assume the latter's role. The sequel sees him join the Oda-Wei coalition's showdown against Orochi at Guan Du.

In Warriors Orochi 3, Hanbei is one of the stranded survivors of the original timeline. He was spared from the massacre at Dongkou by leaving and attending to an ill-fated cause at Odawara Castle. Managing to band together with Sima Zhao and Ma Chao, the trio are saved by Kaguya. With the mystic's power, Hanbei plans their counterattack to rescue Odawara Castle. After he gives his comrades their orders, the strategist returns to the past to save Kanbei and company at Dongkou. His following strategies increases the coalition's numbers in the future. Later Hanbei agrees to Himiko's pleas to rescue Da Ji and, despite his suspicions, keeps them safe from anti-Orochi forces.

During the events of Ultimate, Hanbei is first seen at Hinokawa pursuing Da Ji. Despite his best efforts, he and his allies are forced to retreat while the demon army slips doppelgangers of Jiang Wei and Nagamasa into their ranks. Later, he joins Fu Xi in entering the mystic realm to prevent the Heavenly Emperor's death. Hanbei later joins Fu Xi in recruiting the other mystic generals at the Wuhang mountains, but Tamamo, having been freed from the mirror, causes chaos within the mystic ranks. Hanbei is still able to track her down, and they defeat her to keep her from interfering in the next battle at Koshi Castle.

In Warriors Orochi 4, Hanbei was traveling alongside Lu Su and Pang Tong when trio were attacked by the Ares's allies at Chibi. Receiving reinforcements from Zhuge Liang, they are able to defeat Ares himself with a fire attack and archer ambush. After the battle, he joins the Coalition. As part of the Coalition, he is tasked with helping defend Fan Castle alongside Sima Zhao and Ma Chao from Kanbei's forces. When the Coalition attempts to retrieve Zeus's weapon at Baidi Castle, Hanbei sees Kanbei's unnaturally faulty orders and is able to move the allied army appropriately to adjust to odd behaviour. True to his perception, Kanbei defects over to the Coalition and helps them defeat Loki's army.

Hanbei later accompanies Goemon and Zhang Fei for the hunt for the supposed "ultimate weapon" that Goemon had found in one of Ares's castles. At the conclusion, he playfully warns Goemon that he ended up creating the "ultimate weapon" himself right before the thief is punched by an enraged Zhang Fei.

Pokémon Conquest[]

Hanbei is a playable character in Pokémon Conquest. While not present in the main story, he makes his debut in Hideyoshi's story, "Happily Ever After", as an adviser. His own story, "The Reluctant Genius", has him compete with the other junior warlords for control over Ransei, and he is alluded to be sick at the end of his story. In Kanbei's scenario, he helps the strategist collect over 100 Pokémon.


In Kessen III, there is a chance that he might join Nobunaga's army after the Inabayama Castle conflict. Players must navigate Hideyoshi to the rear quarters of the castle walls, break down the barricade, and meet with him. He leads an army of archers and has excellent intelligent statistics. However, since he has naturally low defense and war ratings, he is probably best used as a support unit.

Nobunaga's Ambition[]

Samurai Cats has Hanbei's kitty counterpart appear as a prominent character in the cat war chronicle event, Chisou Bombay. He first meets Bombay during the Oda's invasion of Mino as a devilishly perceptive roadblock to their progress. Hanbei agrees to serve Hideyoshi due to his awe for Bombay's cunning. As they work together as allies, Hanbei proudly disciplines his junior and works in sync with his strategies. He is aware of Bombay's inner dilemma for his future and Nobunyaga's distrust for Bombay; his concern for protecting his friend's future leads to Hanbei hiding his illness from Bombay. Before Bombay leaves to negotiate peace with Nyaraki Murashige, Hanbei swears to do their share beside Hideyoshi and to defend Bombay's son, Manjumaru. He remains faithful to his pledge to his final days and dies off-screen; Hideyoshi hands Bombay his friend's last will. Hanbei encouraged his friend to believe in the Kuroda clan's future over their lords' livelihood. His final request is for his friend to look after his own son, Shigekado. Bombay later renames Manjumaru in honor of the town he lived in exile to remember his departed friend's devotion.

Nobunaga no Yabou 201X Hanbei once offered his talents to Dōsan. The Saitō lord's deplorable stubbornness soon became appalling to the strategist who voluntarily left for hermitage. Hideyoshi's whimsy and forthright wit amuses Hanbei enough to serve him. He is only interested in being Hideyoshi's strategist, but the dimensional shifts caused by UMA portals frequently separates them.

Geten no Hana[]

Background Story[]

Geten no Hana Yumeakari establishes Hanbei's origins as a rogue shinobi of Iga. He once lived in the same village as Hotaru and was once known as Kageroumaru (蜉蝣丸). Unlike the other named ninja from Iga, he was born in a lower class family, which are roughly viewed as expendable cannon fodder in the ninja world. He was raised in a different sector of the village than Hotaru so they were not acquainted with one another during their childhood. Training and missions were hard on his frail constitution, and he despised the soulless lifestyle the elites expected for him to live. With no future or friends to call his own, the boy comforted himself by reading books. Kageroumaru was fascinated by books like Sonshi and Sangokushi Engi, eventually inspired by them to become a samurai and make his mark on the world.

After years of reading and planning, he decided to gamble for his future and stole an elite ninja scroll. When he was fourteen years old, Kageroumaru fled the village and covered his flight with several well placed traps. Momoji overcame them and cornered the runaway shinobi. The elite was able to injure his arm with his kunai, a scar which would never heal for Kageroumaru. A ruse threatening the village's safety called off his pursuer and created an opening for the boy's escape. His theft of the elite ninja scroll remains the secret shame of Hotaru's home.

The rogue went into hiding in Mino and eagerly studied various texts to improve his intelligence. In his fervor, Kageroumaru eventually discovered how to properly use the scroll in his possession, gaining the ability to manipulate animals on his command. Confident in his abilities, the rogue left his hideaway and used his reconnaissance to find a daimyou. It's implied he uses his ninja abilities to trap and stage a rescue for the heir-less Shigechika Takenaka. By exploiting the debt the daimyou owed him, Kageroumaru was adopted as his son into the Takenaka clan. From then on, he would be known as Hanbei.

His adopted father served the Saitō clan so Hanbei soon found official service at Inabayama Castle. The castle was under siege by the Oda one day, yet Hanbei's lazy and dimwitted master refused to take responsibility to defend his station. To awaken his master's eyes to his duties, Hanbei took the castle by himself in a single night and shouted a song from Sangokushi Engi to inspire his master –specifically the one said by Shan Fu to get close to Liu Bei in chapter 35. Among the listeners, the then undecorated officer, Tokichiro Kinoshita, recognized the reference and the youth's brilliance. Tokichiro privately blocked Hanbei's path back to his master to share his admiration for the youth, offering a place where his talents could be appreciated and used.

Tokichiro meant to convince him to become Nobunaga's strategist, but Hanbei's heart was swayed by Tokichiro's honest praise for him. Believing he had a place to call his own with the no-named officer, Hanbei swore loyalty to Tokichiro alone as his strategist. He eventually received the fond nickname "The Kongming of the Age" by his master, who would later be promoted and named Hideyoshi. Hanbei has appreciated his lord's trust since and dreams of granting Hideyoshi the right to rule the land. He will use any means necessary for Hideyoshi's leadership.

While serving Hideyoshi, Hanbei quickly befriended Kanbei and collaborated with him. About two years before the main story, Kanbei's negotiations failed and he was held prisoner within Arioka Castle's prison. The Hashiba army wished to save him, but other matters needed their direct attention and their rescue was delayed for one year. When the Hashiba forces finally laid siege to Arioka Castle, the damage the castle received narrowly collapsed the prison level with debris. Hanbei infiltrates the castle alone and uses his ninja scroll to save Kanbei from fallen rubble. Seeking to use his debt to his advantage, Hanbei reveals and explains his shinobi origins to him. He mentions the rescue to manipulate Kanbei into serving his private agenda.

Several months before the main story, Hanbei contracted a deadly illness. The strategist knows no cure for it and believes his ambition is living on borrowed time. He keeps his condition a secret and forces himself to persevere in Hideyoshi's service. Eventually he cannot hide his violent coughing fits from his master and Kanbei. Much to his friend's frustration, Hanbei scoffs the herbalists' advice and lies that he is taking their medicine. Hideyoshi and Kanbei continue to voice their concern for him during the main story.

During the events of the previous title, Hanbei and Kanbei's tactics were being used to subjugate the Chugoku region in Hideyoshi's absence. When their lord returned to command after his one month break, the Hashiba army push westward but hit a roadblock at Takamatsu Castle. Hideyoshi wished to take the castle without bloodshed for his planned peace treaty with the Mōri. Since that ideal proved difficult through conventional methods, Hanbei discreetly used his ninja spells to command an army of rats to devour the castle's food supply in a single night. With nothing to sustain them and scared by the bizarre occurrence, the Mōri defenders regretfully surrendered to Hideyoshi the next day.

With their objective in the west completed, the entire Hashiba army is ordered to return to Azuchi Castle for a one month reprieve. They are scheduled to subjugate the Chōsokabe clan in Shikoku after they have rested. Hanbei calculates that the traveling time and stress for the campaign would be too much for his ill body to handle, surmising that he will likely perish before his dream can become a reality. Therefore, the strategist wishes to utilize the vacation as his first and last chance to assassinate Nobunaga, the giant obstruction for Hideyoshi's succession to dominance.

Story Events[]

When the Hashiba army arrive in Omi, Hanbei is forced to see another herbalist about his condition before attending the celebratory banquet at Azuchi Castle. After he introduces himself to the Oda retainers, he is given his room within the Hashiba manor and uses the first few days of his stay to gather intelligence. While he spends one day together with Hideyoshi to chat with the maids, he has Kanbei assist his plans by surveying and charting the castle area.

His overarching strategy is to find an inconspicuous opening to the main keep. Using the map Kanbei made and his own observations, he finds two viable paths which can serve his needs. One is deep within the forest area around Azuchi and the other is in the north near Azuchi Mountain. He hires a group of bandits to dig two underground paths and transport the dirt to another location. Hanbei gathers hundreds of wild canines and orders them to wander within the vicinity. Once the mountain tunnel is completely finished, he uses his spell to store the dogs within it and tips their claws with a potent poison. He obscures the exit within the castle grounds with a fake wall to fool the normal patrol. The strategist wishes to send his packs of wild canines through the tunnel once he sees Nobunaga is vulnerable and devises the following back up plans to protect his true objective from detection.

Hanbei's first strategy is a water attack during the water lantern festival. He uses Kanbei to locate an adequate area and commands the bandits to place mounds of dirt upriver. The strategists build a miniature dam in order to build up pressure and unleash a deadly wave along the bay. It is positioned to hit in the same banquet area for Nobunaga and his inner circle. While this strategy is set, Hanbei discovers an enemy shinobi within Azuchi Castle during one of his nightly strolls and learns from the trapped man that the "Shield of Azuchi" is a woman. Once the shinobi is finished talking, Hanbei kills him and hides his body to conceal evidence of his whereabouts.

Since his tactic as a strategist fails, Hanbei decides to rely on his ninja magic to achieve his goal. He manipulates Nobunaga's pet hawk, Akatsuki, to attack him during his hunting outing. He talks with Hotaru in one of Azuchi's gardens during the attack as an alibi for his ignorance. He jokingly suggests for her to fall in love or at least find an answer to Kanbei's feelings for her. Hanbei later captures Yamabuki, a local monkey adored by locals of the castle town and arms it with a hidden dagger. The strategist orders the monkey to act normally and only attack once Nobunaga is in sight.

Seeking to plague Azuchi with confusion, Hanbei then orders Kanbei to deliver a secret scroll to the "Shield of Azuchi" which entails plans to attack Azuchi with Iga and the protector's names on it. When this fails to draw immediate results, the strategist decides to act during the spontaneously staged martial arts tournament. He uses the tournament prize and Nobunaga's prized horse, Kurogane, to threaten the Oda lord's life. Hanbei is nearly successful, but he instantly dispels his magic when Hideyoshi throws himself in harm's way to calm the horse. Using the panic generated from Hotaru's kunai as cover, the strategist flees the training grounds to place a replica of the forged Iga scroll where it can be found by the normal patrol. Hanbei then feigns concern and insists that the scroll be held for council, a proclamation which is devoured by the majority of the Oda vassals.

A conference to decide whether the Oda will attack Iga or not is held the following day. In the default route's ending, the Oda decide to lay waste to the ninja village. Hanbei uses their misled hatred for Iga to distract the masses away from the main keep. He ends Nobunaga's life sometime off-screen. The matter of whether Hideyoshi is made his successor or not is left open-ended.

The majority of the character routes instead has Nobunaga place his judgment on hold until more evidence can be found. Hanbei often suspects Kanbei of betrayal so he imprisons his friend away from Azuchi to keep him from talking. While the circumstances for staging his final strategy varies on the character, Hanbei generally tries to use his ninja magic once more and his identity as the real insurgent is exposed to the public. He is returned to Nobunaga to receive his punishment. The Oda lord declares that he should continue his service under Hideyoshi to pacify Shikoku. He often warns that he hasn't forgiven Hanbei and will not tolerate any future incidents. Hanbei either leaves Azuchi a few days afterwards to carry out his "punishment" with the rest of the Azuchi army or stays bedridden to recover from his illness.

During the Yumeakari ending, Hideyoshi confronts Hanbei directly and gets him to confess about his goal before the martial arts tournament. The strategist is convinced by his lord's compassion to stand down and live to accept his punishment. Nobunaga gives the same decree as the character routes but allows the Hashiba army to stay for a second water lantern viewing before they depart. While he watches Hideyoshi bonding with his lord from afar, Hanbei remarks that he will try to believe in Nobunaga's dream.

Personal Route[]

Following Mitsuhide's orders, Hotaru keeps her kunoichi identity a secret and socializes with Hanbei under her Kikyou disguise. Hanbei is aware of his friend's infatuation for her so he keeps a respectful distance from her. He playfully draws her face onto one of Hideyoshi's urns as a light-hearted gift to her. During her early interactions with the strategist, she learns about his first meeting with Hideyoshi and is made aware of his sickly condition when he unintentionally suffers an attack in front of her. He tells her to not worry about him when he recovers, telling her that it is merely summer fatigue. Hotaru worries for him and decides to make medicine for him from Chinese plantain she finds during training.

After she plucks the herb and receives her master's reprimand for dabbling in unnecessary affairs, Hotaru senses a presence deeper in the forest. She investigates and finds a frail Hanbei surrounded by wild canines. To hide her identity and to save him, she transforms into her Shichisuke disguise to drive the dogs back. Hanbei regains his strength and helps her. Although he questions the young man he sees before him, he thanks the warrior for doing his job to beat the dogs. Hotaru is concerned by his pale visage and suggests for the strategist to be more concerned about his health. She masks her familiarity with Hanbei by commenting that it's common knowledge for the Oda retainers to admire him for their future. Hanbei amicably answers that every subject is expected to give their all for their master, stating that his condition shouldn't matter in the name of duty. Hotaru excuses herself, wondering if she really is meddling too much.

The kunoichi grinds the medicine in her spare time and decides to give it to Hanbei. She meets Kanbei at the front gate of the Hashiba manor, someone who she still can't understand nor associate with on a friendly basis. He tells her that her medicine is wasted on Hanbei, but she remains undeterred and is allowed to enter. When Hanbei sees the medicine, he tries to refuse it and insist his health is his own responsibility. He jokes that he will only drink it if she gives it to him mouth-to-mouth. Hotaru is so worried about his self-apathy that she tries to actually do it. An embarrassed Hanbei stops her and is moved by her honest desire to help him. He complains about the bad taste, yet drinks it and promises to keep taking the daily doses to appease her. Upon seeing her smile and leave content, Hanbei mentally slaps himself for falling for the woman.

By the third week, Hotaru suspects Kanbei could be the true villain and feels uneasy leaving him with Hanbei. She interrupts one of their conversations in the belief that she is standing in Hanbei's defense. Kanbei explains they were merely talking about her and is curious to know she convinced him to take the medicine. When she explains she almost forced him to do it through mouth-to-mouth, an understanding Kanbei is hurt and leaves them. Hanbei, sorry about the revelation, asks Hotaru her reasons for caring about him. She answers with her straightforward concern for him, stating that he is loved by too many to be lost now. Hanbei struggles to convey his newfound affections for her, vaguely implying that her presence impedes his plans.

Hotaru later sees Hanbei declining to enter the martial arts tournament to two pages. Spotting his sickly complexion from afar, she wishes she could do more for him. When Hanbei leaves the castle gates, she follows him. Hanbei is aware of her presence and leads her to Lake Biwa for a private chat. Hotaru reveals herself and is pleased when he invites her to share a leisurely sunset stroll with him. She feels guilty for doubting Kanbei, believing that she'll drive the friends apart if she apprehends him as the threat to Azuchi's safety. Hanbei snaps her out of her reverie by mentioning that the Hashiba army will be leaving for Shikoku after the martial arts tournament. They will be gone for a year, but she looks forward to his return from the campaign. Hanbei then reveals his incurable illness to her, stating that he will not live to see next year's cherry blossoms bloom. Staying cheerful in spite of her shock, he asks her to keep it their secret and wipes away her tears since he is content to have found a purpose for his life by serving Hideyoshi. While he appreciates her company, Hanbei believes her kindness is better spent on someone who can live to return it.

The strategist's fourth attack proceeds in the same manner as the default route, and the conference concludes with a notion to await more evidence about the scroll's authenticity. Hanbei returns to the Hashiba manor, advising Hideyoshi to give up the search for the missing Kanbei. His master surprises him with his stubbornness and wishes to continue in the late evening hours with the rest of the Hashiba army. Hotaru wishes to visit Hanbei and is told by Sakichi that he is excused from the search in order to rest. She believes she can trust Hanbei about her suspicions for Kanbei and Iga's innocence, revealing her kunoichi identity and her status as the "Shield of Azuchi". The strategist is vexed by the knowledge and asks permission to burn incense to soothe his nerves. It is actually a sleeping drug and he uses it on Hotaru. He can't will himself to kill her so he locks her inside his room and proceeds to order his dogs to attack.

In her dreams, Hotaru vaguely remembers her brief encounter with Kageroumaru. She figures that boy must have been Hanbei, aware of his ninja origins through the drug's usage. When she realizes that Hanbei is prepared to throw his life away for his revolt, she steels herself to stop him. The kunoichi regains her senses and transforms into Shichisuke to break through the lock. Meanwhile, as his legion of canines endanger the castle residents, Ranmaru grants Hanbei an audience with Nobunaga in the main keep. As he explains his mock strategy for dealing with the threat, the strategist uses the same sleeping drug on both of them. Since they lack the ninja training to fight its effects, they are both knocked out cold.

Hanbei drags the unconscious Nobunaga with him to the rooftop to hurl him off the sky-high tower. Hotaru finds him before he can, demanding that he step away from her master. Since neither is willing to back down from their duties, Hanbei uses a few moments to thank her for her generosity towards him. When they clash blades, Hotaru emerges victorious and drags Nobunaga to a safer distance on the rooftop. Feeling that he is thoroughly defeated by her, he calls off the dogs. Hanbei doesn't want to drag Hideyoshi into his selfish crusade and steps closer to the rooftop's edge. He reveals the location of Kanbei's imprisonment, gives a last request for her to rescue his friend and leaps off to his death. Hotaru transforms into a bird to try to stop his fall, but she feels her avian frame won't be enough to break his fall. Desperate to save his life, she decides to use the powerful scroll her elder gave her nearly two months prior in spite of the dangers it poses on herself. She transforms into a giant cherry blossom tree and safely cushions Hanbei's landing. He is amazed by the starking beauty of the flowers around him, never expecting to ever see them again. Hotaru dispels the transformation when he drops to ground, happy to see him alive. She asks for his real name and encourages him to keep living, a request which he modestly accepts.

The next morning, Kanbei is freed from his prison and Mitsuhide covers the tunnel leading towards the main keep. Hideyoshi and Kanbei agree to face punishment together with Hanbei, each claiming to have responsibility for failing to stop him sooner. During the hearing, Hotaru insists to receive punishment as well due to her close association with Hanbei. She voices her faith in Hanbei's convictions for carrying out his dreams, even if he is a shinobi. Impressed by her gall and owing a debt to her, Nobunaga strikes the revolt from the record for Shikoku's subjugation. He agrees to grant her request to find medicine for Hanbei and orders for the strategist to take a variety remedies to cure his ailment. As Hanbei gripes about the command and being excused from departure, Kanbei playfully warns he might try to take Hotaru away from his friend if he isn't honest about his affections. He leaves him when Hotaru visits to prepare for the campaign. Hanbei decides to take his friend's advice and confesses his infatuation to Hotaru. Since she hasn't felt anything wrong with her after using the scroll, she answers his affections with her own on a clean conscious. He repeats his fondness for her and calls her his first and last love.

His downloadable scenario takes place a month after these events. Hotaru visits him one night and realizes he is hiding something from her. Hanbei promises to be honest with her if she burns incense for him. Once she does, he presents his concern that caring for his ailing body might be robbing Hotaru of her happiness. Regardless of the possible replies, Hotaru puts his mind to ease by reasserting her devotion for him. He is moved by her kindness, thanking her for giving him to courage to keep living.

Oda Nobunaga Den[]

As a contrast to Mōri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi, Hanbei is Hideyoshi's main strategist in Oda Nobunaga Den rather than Kanbei. He is only seen in cutscenes for dealing with Murashige Araki and the Mōri.

Character Information[]

Hanbei's artwork in Samurai Warriors 4.


The producer is happy to add him to the cast and notes that he is a character completely different than history. He originally wanted to make an intelligent character with a "good face" to match Kanbei, but didn't want to make them too similar to one another. Instead, Hanbei was adjusted to be the "smart yet comical" character to contrast Kanbei's suspicious persona.


Hanbei is a bright, sarcastic yet relatively composed youth who believes in alternatives. Outgoing and confident in his talents, he looks forward to testing his skills and finding some source of entertainment in each battle. He is quick to judge people based on their appearances and can't restrain himself from letting a snide comment slip, especially with the women he faces. He gets offended when people confuse him for a mere child, telling them that he is a legitimate genius. While his skills impress Nagamasa, the just yet naive general fails to catch Hanbei's attention.

Unaffected by Kanbei's apathetic nature, Hanbei acts as his friend's affable and charming critic. Hanbei is a bit lazier than his counterpart, as the older strategist talks at a slower pace than Kanbei and likes to take naps in his spare time. Also unlike Kanbei, Hanbei is willing to take more practical-peaceful measures if bloodshed is deemed as needless, as he states he wants to focus on plans that make people happier in the long run. He shares an affinity with Deng Ai, Jia Xu, and Zhuge Liang in his Warriors Orochi appearance. The fourth installment has him become friends with Sima Zhao, and the two are noted to escape their respective supervisors in order to slack off and nap. He admires Sun Jian's ancestry from Sun Wu and devotion to surpassing his own limits. Hanbei is noted to get along with Xiahou Ba, with both giving their grievances to being treated younger than they actually are.

Geten no Hana Hanbei presents himself as a radiant youth. He treasures small animals, loves to chat with the maidens, and humors his audience with good cheer. True to his famed reputation, Hanbei may catch people off-guard with his sudden perceptiveness, noting aloud his acute observations and suspicions without reservations. To keep his audience from shying away, he welcomes them back with a pleasant smile, joke, or chuckle. His approachable behavior adds to his popularity with the Hashiba army, especially with those who are frightened by Kanbei. Hanbei truly wishes the best for Kanbei and often translates his behavior to others; he frequently chides his friend to fix his eccentricity to alleviate further misunderstandings.

Sociable and modest as he may seem, Hanbei can coldly lie, threaten, and kill with the same happy grin plastered onto his lips. In his mind, he convinces himself that he cares only for Hideyoshi. He prides his position beside Hideyoshi as the better strategist of the duo and a masterful user of his ninja scroll. He is trapped in his sheer adulation for Hideyoshi, swearing to sacrifice anything and everything for his lord's leadership. Nothing is considered too underhanded for his means, and his death is an expected price to pay. Hanbei thinks he will only hesitate if his actions somehow place Hideyoshi in a bad light. In his heart, he knows his civil mask is not a complete act; he does feel guilty betraying others and using Kanbei for his schemes. For the sake of his orchestrations, he tries to silence his inner inhibitions. His conduct may be practiced and trained, but he isn't perfect. Mentioning his short stature, his childish refusal to eat bitter foods, or criticizing him of hypocrisy causes him to snap back with his hidden sarcasm and anger. Endangering his friends also sends fearful cracks through his resolve.

At first, Hanbei treated Hotaru with the same facetious regard as he would with the other maidens in the castle. He enjoyed their banter to entertain himself and sought to encourage her to open up to Kanbei. For his friend's sake, he tried to keep a respectful distance from her. She is worried by his harmful regard for himself, convinced that she has to save him from destroying himself. When he realizes her attention is for him, Hanbei is taken aback by her unexpected innocence and honesty. Her persistent attempts to reach out to him, even through his humiliated rebuttals, causes him to fall for her. Setback or not, Hanbei can't bring himself to shun or crush his intimacy for her. Even after learning her true identity and declaring themselves enemies, he hopes to avoid hurting her feelings. He may tease Hotaru's naivety as a fellow ninja when he does reciprocate her love yet fondly thinks of her as the only woman who knows the real him.

Character Symbolism[]

He is symbolized by the characters "talented" (俊) and "worthy" (賢) within the Samurai Warriors series.

All of Hanbei's weapons in Samurai Warriors 3 deal with the constellations or stars. It's part of a commonly believed mannerism for strategists to perform divinations based on the stars, an archaic method for creating essential strategies. His Normal weapon is named after a "cross of stars" which could either refer to Northern or Southern Cross. A "pole star" forms the namesake of his Power types. "Seven stars" act as the namesake for his Speed, which is often interpreted as the Big Dipper.

His third weapon in Chronicles 3 is named after Tora Gozen, a Kamakura era prostitute who fell in love with Soga Juro Sukenari. When her lover perished during his quest for revenge, she either avenged him or became a nun to pray for his soul.

Hanbei's Unique weapon references two terms found within astrology. The first is the Twelve Branches, which is an archaic Chinese method of telling time. It's the source of the Chinese Zodiacs, twelve beasts who are commonly celebrated during the Chinese New Year and with various fortune telling stalls. The second part of his weapon's name references the Eight Generals -or alternatively the Eight Princes or the Cycle Gods. Like the Chinese Zodiacs, they are representations of the Twelve Branches and rotate in a new direction each new year. The Eight Generals who are celebrated within Onmyōdō are:

  1. Tai Sai - mirror image of Jupiter
  2. Tai Shougun - originally a god of Venus in China, adapted as a guardian of metal in Japan. Cardinal direction doesn't change for three years.
  3. Tai Onjin - entity of Saturn who is a compassionate bodhisattva. May be ill-willed towards women, but fortunate for those pursuing arts and studies.
  4. Sai Gyoshin - deity of Mercury, he governs different types of punishments. An earth deity who favors warriors.
  5. Saiha - spirit of Saturn who is responsible for shifting earth for the gods. Forebodes ill futures for long lasting relationships (such as pets, homes, marriages, etc.)
  6. Saisetsu - spirit of Venus, he seeks to destroy and kill. It's best to avoid making important decisions while he's facing a person. Apparently likes military affairs.
  7. Ōban - Japanese interpretation of Rahu who causes solar eclipses. Invokes death and confusion.
  8. Hyōbi - Japanese interpretation of Ketu who has a nasty temper and hates dirty things. Can cause harm and defilements to anything it faces.

Sagara forms the namesake of his secondary Unique weapon. He is one of the Eight Dragon Lords who defends Buddha. A god of the ocean, he is known as a dragon minister amongst the other lords. He is a muscular deity who acts as a messenger for divine goddesses. According to the Lotus Sutra, he is actually a woman or young girl who reigns over rain and large bodies of water. It's also argued that the female Sagara is actually one of his daughters. Another legend surrounding Sagara is his ability to shape-shift into different female figures to apprehend a bandit. He could turn into an elderly woman or a young maiden to heal those hurt by the thief.

Geten no Hana Hanbei's gift for the protagonist on White Day is a cherry blossom kimono. Cherry blossoms double as his symbolic item for this continuity, and they are popularly known as symbols of transience and beauty due to their argued association with Konohanasakuyahime. Iga is filled with rows of the flowers in various locations. There are many urban legends for the "blizzards" of cherry blossoms petals within the area. One myth, which has been floating around since the Edo period, states that someone will meet the person of their dreams in the midst of Iga's cherry blossom storms.

Voice Actors[]

  • Adam Bobrow - Samurai Warriors 3 (English-uncredited)
  • Umeka Shōji - Samurai Warriors series, Warriors Orochi 3~4 (Japanese)
  • Hideo Ishikawa - Kessen III (Japanese)
  • Tetsuya Kakihara - Geten no Hana Yumeakari
  • Masumi Asano - Geten no Hana Yumeakari; as a child
  • Yuya Uchida - Nioh 2 (Japanese)

Live Action Performers[]


See also: Hanbei Takenaka/Quotes
  • "Fact is, I'm a genius!"
  • "Wow, I'm feeling great! How can I express my gratitude? To all the ladies and gents out there, thank you for rooting for me!"
  • "Seventh place... Well, the foreigners say seven is a super lucky number, so I guess that means I'm gonna live a long life! Thanks, everyone."
  • "Master Hanbei, I've heard much of your talents. Of how you felled Mt. Inaba Castle with just sixteen men. That must've taken some guts, huh? I mean, everyone knows you're a genius... But convincing one tiny unit to raid a castle? That too is quite a feat. yes, that's you, Sir Hanbei: smarts, guts, and leadership all rolled into one! My, what a waste it would be if you served anyone other then me..."
"Luckily for you, my lord, I happen to agree. Under your leadership, I believe a happy future is truly possible. You are well aware of my abilities... and you may make use of them as you please."
~~Hideyoshi and Hanbei; Samurai Warriors 2: Empires
  • "Hanbei, have you brought me Motonari's head?"
"Do you see it?"
~~Kanbei and Hanbei; Samurai Warriors 3
  • "Hanbei, aren't you sick? You have to rest a little."
"True, I am ill... But if I don't keep up this pace, the war's not going to end."
"If your body breaks down before then, it'll be all for nothing! Now, get some shuteye. You can rest your head on my lap."
"Ah... That doesn't sound too bad actually..."
~~Nene and Hanbei; Sengoku Musou 3: Empires
  • "Master Deng Ai, you're good at reading maps, right?"
"I have some confidence in my abilities."
"Your technique and my compass. The ultimate combination!"
~~Hanbei and Deng Ai; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "Hanbei, you really do sleep a lot, huh?"
"Yeah, there's nothing I like better than a good nap. They say those who sleep well grow up big and strong."
"Sure. I kind of thought you might sleep so much because it was the only way you could make it through the day. Y'know, like you might be a bit unwell..."
"Haha, you are a worrier, aren't you? I'm just lazy-- a lot like you, really. But if I were ill, hypothetically of course, I think I would try and keep it secret from my friends until the very end. I'd rather do what I can while I can than live out a long and boring life in security. Plus I want to stay with my friends and help them achieve their dreams."
"...Yes, that's exactly the kind of man you are. Still, like you say, that's all hypothetical. Let's forget about that for a while, and have another nap."
"Agreed! ...Thank you, Sima Zhao."
~~Sima Zhao and Hanbei; Warriors Orochi 4
  • "(Master Hanbei appears to be in a daze. Is he unwell?) Master Hanbei, excuse me!"
"Princess!? What're you-"
"Ah, pardon my rudeness. I thought you were coming down with a fever so I wanted to check."
"...Princess, don't you think you're leaving yourself too unguarded just because I'm invalid? I've been thinking about it since then... Have you even considered what could have happened if I hadn't stopped you from giving me mouth to mouth? For a moment there, you didn't even hesitate."
"Um, in other words?"
"Please stop acting so carelessly before me. Or are you going to take responsibility for leading a man's heart astray?"
"Wha!? (Does he mean to say that he is ill because of my behavior? Does he have another physical ailment I'm not aware of?) I understand. So, how would I go about doing that?"
"Of course I won't do anything you wouldn't like, and I'll try not to hurt you. In what way can I help soothe you?"
"(Hmm? W-Why are Hanbei's cheeks red?)"
~~Hotaru and Hanbei; Geten no Hana Yumeakari


Samurai Warriors 3[]

Keys: Square Normal Attack • Triangle Charge Attack Circle Musou X Jump/Mount

Ground Moveset[]

Triangle, (Triangle): Spins his blades twice. This move can break the target's guard.
Square, Triangle, (Triangle): Throws the enemy upward then the compass.
Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle): Knocks down the compass twice.
Square, Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle): Spins the compass twice.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle:
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square:
Circle: Extends his compass infront of him. The blades will spin, and Hanbei can direct the blade's position around himself.
Circle (Ultimate/Kaiden): Hanbei slowly starts to spin his compass aorund him using both arms. Evnetually he will speed up, creating a large tornado.
Dashing Square:
X, Square:
X, Triangle:
Spirit Cancel:
Special Skill 1: Holds his weapon in front of him, the blades spin, will spin continously with button pressing.
Special Skill 2: Blades spin, holds weapon above, Hanbei hovers. Press twice for faster movement. Hanbei will continue to hover until you press jump button, or if you turn the skill off. Useful when ground is poisonous, or if you need to get to places fast, because this skill is faster than running and horses.

Mounted Attacks[]

Square, Triangle:
Square, Square, Triangle:
Square, Square, Square, Triangle:
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: By swinging his weapon, the blade spins eight times.
Warriors Orochi 3
R1: Flies through the sky for a brief period of time. Similar to Hanbei's second skill from Samurai Warriors 3, but also hits foes while flying.
X, R1 (Ultimate only): Drags weapon around in varying directions while spinning furiously, ending the attack upon descent.

Samurai Warriors 4[]

Mighty strike is the same as Deadlock Attack. Character type changes to Hyper so his attacks are slightly altered.

Charge Moveset[]

Square, Triangle, (Triangle):
Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle):
Square, Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle):
Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle):
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square:

Hyper Moveset[]

Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Square:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle:
Circle: Finisher changes to him using his weapon to hover into the air like a helicopter before conjuring rocks to fall in front of him.
Circle (Ultimate/Kaidan):
Rage Attack/Musou Gokui effect:
Awakened Skill effect (4-II only):

Fighting Style[]

Hanbei is primarily a distance fighter since his weapon cannot exactly attack enemies close to him. He fights by hitting foes with his sundial's blunt edge and can twirl the blades as though they are automatic mechanisms. He throws his weapon in various degrees around him during his charge attacks and can use various escape methods with his Rengi attacks. His Musou Kaiden has his weapon hooked to a wire and uses it to spin it around him.


See also: Hanbei Takenaka/Weapons

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada[]

Northern Cross
Default Weapon - Hanbei Takenaka (SW4).png Base Attack:
Astral Conqueror
Rare Weapon - Hanbei Takenaka (SW4).png Base Attack: 238 Wind: 83 Lightning: 82
Attack Up: 76 Attack Range: 82 Attack Speed: 74
Underdog: 88 Verity: 85 Momentum: 88
Dragon Needle
DLC Weapon - Hanbei Takenaka (SW4).png Base Attack: 245 Ice: 86 Fire: 85
Attack Up: 79 Attack Speed: 83 Fury: 77
Underdog: 90 Insight: 81 Clarity: 86

Rare Weapon Acquisition[]

  • Stage: Battle of Kawanakajima - Skirmish at Mt. Saijo

Historical Information[]

Shigeharu's monument located in Tarui, Gifu Prefecture.

Personal Information[]

Takenaka Shigeharu was claimed by many to have been a natural genius at war who never hesitated to create a plan. The Bukōyawa adds that he had a graceful yet unmistakable ability for strategy. His skills and intellect were compared to Chén Píng (陳平), a talented politician and strategist for the Qin state. The Taikōki and the Jōzankidan states that he had a weak body and looked like a woman at first glance. Working together with Kuroda Yoshitaka, the two men were said to have been the true masterminds of the land and were unstoppable together. He had a habit of riding worn-down horses, which Hideyoshi later chided him for not befitting his great character.

A famous episode associated with Shigeharu is an incident recorded in the Taikōki. In the book, Nobunaga was going to offer Shigeharu service in Mino for his help in stopping Saitō Tatsuoki. However, Shigeharu refused and gave up his belongings to retreat to a life of seclusion. As he lived as a hermit, Hideyoshi was said to have personally visited him three times in order to make him his vassal. The story is modeled on the three visits that Liu Bei did for Zhuge Liang in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Shigeharu represented Zhuge Liang, Hideyoshi acted as Liu Bei, their "Guan Yu" was Hachisuka Masakatsu and their "Zhang Fei" was Maeno Nagayasu. A similar incident surrounding Shigeharu was also said to have taken place during the Battle of Nagashino.

However, the Nobunaga Kōki argues that Shigeharu's history and abilities may have been exaggerated over time since there is little actually recorded for him. There are also no records of him being Hideyoshi's vassal in his earlier accounts, and it is possible that he could have been an undecorated martial officer for the Oda family. He had one wife and one child, named Shigekado, to succeed him. His wife was the daughter of Andō Morinari and was formally known as Tokugetsu-In (得月院).

Other Names[]

Shigeharu's popular name in fiction is Hanbei and connects with Yoshitaka's nickname, Kanbei. Both names support the idea that neither men's talents were truly complete without the other with Hanbei meaning "half" (半) and Kanbei meaning "official" (官). In fiction, it was Hideyoshi who was the one who made this assessment of his two strategists, giving them these names as an entertaining tribute to his vassals. Historically, it's unclear if he actually called them as such. Some records support the notion, others argue that it was a later distortion of facts during the Edo period. Nevertheless, a name to describe both of these men at once exists, and it is known as Ryōbei (両兵衛) or Nihyōe (二兵衛).

Other pseudonyms include Ima Kusunoki (今楠木), Ima Kōmei (今孔明), and "The All-Knowing Hanbei" (知らぬ顔の半兵衛, Shiranu kao no Hanbē, lit. Hanbē of Feigning Ignorance), which are all rooted in the idea that Shigeharu was a genius. The very latter name became an idiom in Japan, in which the person assumes the state of his intelligence, gaining the ability to read any outcome instantly and without fail. Their intelligence is so great it's as if the person can make their every desire a reality, especially to the point of putting up a farce of lacking attentiveness.

Life and Death[]

Shigeharu was the second eldest son of Takenaka Shigemoto, a vassal of Saitō Dōsan and later Tatsuoki. His mother was Myōkai Taishi, one of Sugiyama Kyuzaemon's daughters. After his father's death in either 1560 or 1562, Shigeharu inherited the clan and served Saitō Yoshitatsu. He served Tatsuoki after his master's passing.

Around this time, Nobunaga was making plans to invade Mino province. Yoshitatsu had prevented his previous offensives, but Tatsuoki's new leadership had convinced Nobunaga to attack. An invasion became more likely when younger soldiers within Mino became disillusioned with Tatsuoki and defected to the Oda clan. As the Oda army marched within Mino, Shigeharu led an ambush on the Oda troops to try to drive them back. He led the Saitō army a second time with his tactics two years later in 1563. However, since his master drowned himself in liquor and ignored the state's affairs, Shigeharu and the Mino Trio began to distance themselves from the land's politics and Tatsuoki.

Shigeharu, his younger brother Shigenori, and Andō Morinari accompanied Tatsuoki to Inabayama Castle in February the following year. Armed with 16 other subordinates (17 in the Takenaka Heiki), Shigeharu was able to capture the castle in only one day. While written to have happened in five separate records, modern historians question the feat's validity as there are few details written about the incident. The Nobunaga Kōki and Saitō family records do not record the siege happening, so it's also possible that this entire event is fictional. In any case, Nobunaga soon wanted the position and ordered for a surrender. Shigeharu refused yet Tatsuoki gave in during August the same year. There is also a story that Shigeharu, who disliked his master by this time, staged a coup d'état to cause confusion in the Mino ranks, thus leading to Tatsuoki's surrender.

After he left the Saitō family, he went to serve Azai Nagamasa and was granted a striped of 3,000 coins. He barely served the Azai for a year before he returned his possessions and went back to his old homeland in Iwate Province.

When the Saitō family fell in 1567, it is said that Nobunaga remembered Shigeharu and offered him service. The popular account of Shigeharu's actions was that he refused but eventually served Hideyoshi. In reality, it is more than likely that Nobunaga wanted his younger brother, who created a great reputation for himself at Mino, as his vassal and not Shigeharu. He presumably joined his brother in the Oda service. Due to his previous servitude to the Azai, Shigeharu was not allowed to serve in political affairs after Nagamasa's betrayal.

He served in Andō Morinari's ranks during the Battle of Anegawa. After the conflict, Nobunaga ordered him to join Hideyoshi at Yokoyama Castle. He then became Hideyoshi's yoriki and followed Hideyoshi to the Chugoku region. During Araki Murashige's defection, Kuroda Yoshitaka was arrested and held prisoner in Orioka Castle. As a notion for surrender, Nobunaga was said to have ordered Hideyoshi to kill Yoshitaka's son, Matsujumaru. Shigeharu convinced Hideyoshi to spare the boy and wait for Yoshitaka's return. Matsujumaru's life was saved and, as thanks, there are a few stories that state Yoshitaka shared with his family crest with Shigeharu.

In 1579, Shigeharu fell due to illness while they were surrounding Miki Castle. Hideyoshi ordered his dismissal to Kyoto, but Shigeharu wanted to live his end as a warrior and stayed. He died at age 36. His death was said to have been caused by pneumonia or tuberculosis.



External Links[]

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