Takeda Shingen - The Tiger of Kai II

Shinngenn Takeda武田信玄

Shingen is known for being a talented general in battles like Kawanakajima. However, he is also known for his great reputation as governor of Kai Province. He had a series of levees built which protected his country from flooding. Shingen worked hard to guarantee that the people living in his lands did not lose their lives and property. The levees are known even today by Shingen’s name. He is also known for his ideology when it came to the rule of law. He set down laws that followed ‘natural judgement’. These laws included administrational practices as well as criminal law. The most famous of which is known as “Kenka Ryoseibai”. The law states that if two people fight, both are to be punished equally. Also, if someone breaks the law, even Shingen himself, they must be punished. During his time Shingen was respected as a fair leader who strove to improve the lives of those in his domain. Even people living in modern Yamanashi prefecture still hold a lot of respect for him and the efforts he made for his people.

Shingen was one of the strongest samurai both as a general and as a governor. At the end of the 16th century Shingen went to battle against Oda Nobunaga and his ally, Tokugawa Ieyasu. This battle is known as the Battle of Mikatagahara. (Mitakagahara is located in present Shizuoka Prefecture.) Shingen won this battle and it was the only defeat that Tokugawa Ieyasu, who later went on to create the Edo government, would ever face. However, when Shingen made his move to eliminate Nobunaga he suddenly took ill and passed away. Shingen, having analyzed the situation, instructed his son to hide his death for three years. Shingen knew that if Nobunaga and Ieyasu found out about Shingen’s death, they would surely attack the Takeda immediately. Shingen’s son, Katsuyori, obeyed his promise to his father and did not hold a funeral for him until three years had passed. Before his death, Shingen also warned his son to never attack Uesugi Kenshin. Kenshin was too honor-bound to take advantage of Shingen’s death to attack the Takeda but should not be taken lightly. He had great respect for his rival and believed that only Kenshin had the ability to defeat Oda Nobunaga.

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