Akiyama Nobutomo

Akiyama-Nobutomo

Akiyama Nobutomo (jap. 秋山 信友; b. 1531; December 23, 1575) was a Japanese samurai of the Sengoku period. He is known as one of the 24 generals.

Nobutomo was a general of the Takeda clan and served under Takeda Shingen and under his son Takeda Katsuyori. He also bore the name: Angry Bull of the Takeda (武田の猛牛, Takeda no mogyū).

Among others, he fought in the first siege of Iwamura Castle, in the Battle of Nagashino, as well as in the second siege of Iwamura.

Akiyama Nobutomo Youth and Rise

He was born in 1531 in Tsutsujigasaki Hall (躑躅ヶ崎館) in Kai Province, the son of Akiyama Nobutō, who belonged to a prestigious house in the Takeda retinue.

As a youth, he entered the service of his feudal lord, Takeda Shingen, in the mountainous region in the middle of Honshū. In 1547, during the campaign for the Ina area, he was decorated for his outstanding fighting skills and received a fief as thanks.

It covered the northern half of Ina, now the district of Kamiina in Nagano Prefecture. Nobutomo continued to serve, mostly entrusted with defensive duties, for example defending castles such as Takato Castle and Iida Castle.

It was during this time that he was given his nickname, Angry Bull of the Takeda (武田の猛牛, Takeda no mogyū).

Akiyama Nobutomo Peak of his career

By 1568, Nobutomo was a highly respected vassal entrusted with diplomatic duties. In that year, he was sent to Gifu Castle to represent his lord Takeda Shingen on the occasion of the wedding ceremony of Oda Nobutada, the eldest son of Nobunaga, and Takeda Matsuhime, the natural daughter of Shingen.

He was also sent to the castle to represent his lord Takeda Shingen.

In 1571, Takeda Shingen prepared a campaign against Tokugawa Ieyasu with the intention of capturing the flat coastal areas of Tōtōmi Province and advancing further west to the fertile fields of Mikawa Province.

Nobutomo was summoned from Iida Castle and ordered to lead the invasion of Mino Province. His advance was hindered by Saigo (clan) troops, led by Saigo Yoshikatsu. The two armies met at the Battle of Takehiro, and although Yoshikatsu was killed during the engagement, Nobutomo was forced to retreat.

In 1572, preparations were made for another campaign into Mikawa Province, which eventually led to the great Battle of Mikatagahara in January 1573.

The plan was for Takeda Shingen to advance south and west, and Nobutomo to descend into the area from the mountains in the north at the same time, in order to block the enemy's escape route and stop the reinforcements.

To accomplish this, Nobutomo laid siege to Iwamura Castle. When Toyama Kagetō, the lord of the castle, died of a sudden illness, the defenders' morale collapsed, and Otsuya no Kata, Kageto's widow (also an aunt of Oda Nobunaga), began negotiations with Nobutomo.

They agreed in a treaty to surrender the castle without bloodshed. Otsuya married Nobutomo to ensure the safety and protection of the surrendering defenders.

Oda Nobunaga's then seven-year-old biological son, (御坊丸, Gobomaru), an adopted son of Kagetō, also fell into enemy hands. Nobutomo sent him back to the Takeda homeland, Kai Province, as a hostage; the boy would later become known as Oda Katsunaga.

With the terms of the treaty fulfilled, Nobutomo declared Iwamura Castle to be his headquarters and a defensive line directly on the front from which he supported the Takeda.

Akiyama Nobutomo His last days

After the death of his lord Shingen in the spring of 1573, he loyally supported his son Takeda Katsuyori in carrying out his war campaigns. In 1575, Katsuyori lost the Battle of Nagashino, a disaster for the Takeda, leaving Nobutomo in his castle without reinforcements.

Under repeated siege by Oda Nobutada, he and his troops were able to hold out until November, when Nobunaga finally marched in with his main army. Realizing that he had no chance of holding the castle any longer, Nobutomo signed a truce giving up the castle.

However, Nobunaga, in keeping with his aggressive approach, broke the truce and ordered the execution of Nobutomo, his consort (his own aunt), and the castle garrison.

On December 23 in 1575, Nobutomo and his consort, Otsuya, died by crucifixion on the banks of the Nagara River.