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Uesugi Kenshin's Generals

Posted January 13th, 2011 at 11:18 AM by leakbrewergator

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Since I posted earlier about Takeda Shingen's 24 Generals, I thought it would only be fair to spend some time discussing the leadership of Shingen's greatest rival, Uesugi Kenshin,

The most common Edo-Period moniker associated with these men is "Uesugi Kenshin's 28 Generals." Because of this, I will list the 28 generals that I think figured the most prominent in Kenshin's battles. There are a few individuals that I really don't know too much information on. So you'll have to forgive my brevity when discussing these subjects.

Kakizaki Kageie - Kageie was one of Uesugi Kenshin's most famous generals. He was known as an extremely ferocious warrior that I like to compare to Kato Kiyomasa. He fought at 3 of the Kawanakajima battles against the Takeda and led the vanguard force for the Uesugi at the 4th battle. For some reason, Kenshin suspected Kageie of treason and ordered his death. Something that he would regret for the rest of his life.

Naoe Kanetsugu - Kanetsugu was one of Uesugi Kenshin's chief retainers, serving him as a top councilor. Kanetsugu may have been the greatest logistical tactician of his day. His command in this arena led to much of the success of the Uesugi during his career.

Murakami Yoshikiyo - Yoshikyo was an independent daimyo before joining the ranks of the Uesugi after losing his lands to the Takeda. Prior to this defeat, however, the Murakami were perhaps the chief rival of Shingen. Even more so than the Uesugi. He handed Shingen several defeats before eventually capitulating to a much larger force. He was perhaps the most "independent" of all the Uesugi generals.

Jojo Masashige - Masashige served both Uesugi Kenshin as well as Uesugi Kagekatsu. He fought with distinction in the wars against the Oda and also served Tokugawa Ieyasu at Sekigahara. Obviously he is one of the later names to appear on this list.

Suda Chikamitsu - Much like Murakami Yoshikiyo, Suda Chikamitsu was an independent daimyo before losing his lands to Takeda Shingen. In order to seek revenge on the Takeda, Chikamitsu decided to join the Uesugi clan in their effort to oppose him. He fought at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima and is known to have been the guardian of Sanada Yukimura at a later stage in his life.

Saito Tomonobu - Tomonobu fought in several campaigns for the Uesugi throughout his career. After Kenshin's death, he supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran. He is often considered to be one of the most capable generals for the Uesugi and he was highly regarded for his administrative capabilities as well as a being a terrific warrior.

Uesugi Kagenobu - Kagenobu was a very respected retainer under Kenshin. He fought in the Uesugi campaigns in the Kanto region as well as at the Battles of Kawanakajima. He made the unfortunate mistake of supporting Uesugi Kagetora during the Otate no Ran.

Irobe Katsunaga
- Katsunaga was highly respected within the Uesugi clan. He fought during the Uesugi campaigns in Kozuke and participated in the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima, where he fought in the headquarters division. Katsunaga is often known as being one of the "Countrymen of Northern Echigo."

Amakusa Kagemochi
- Kagemochi distinguished himself in the fighting at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima. At the battle he commanded the rearguard for the Uesugi and clashed with the famed Takeda warriors, Kosaka Masanobu and Baba Nobufusa. This skirmish took place in what is called Amenomiya.

Naoe Sadatsuna - Sadatsuna fought at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima, where he commanded the supply division.

Honjo Shigenaga - Shigenaga was a very experienced retainer for the Uesugi. He is also somewhat of a controversial figure. During the wars with the Takeda, Shigenaga switched his allegiance to Shingen. However, he switched back to the Uesugi and was forgiven. Some years later, during their wars with the Oda, Shigenaga again defected the Uesugi to join their enemy. However, once again Shigenaga switched back and was forgiven.

Shibata Naganori
- Naganori began serving Kenshin at a very young age and fought in many of his battles. He fought on the right flank at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima and supported Uesugi Kagekatsu during the Otate no Ran.

Yasuda Nagahide
- Nagahide was a trusted retainer of Kenshin's. He fought in the left flank at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima and received a personal commendation from Kenshin for his bravery in the action. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu during the Otate no Ran.

Usami Sadamitsu - Also known as Sadakatsu, Sadamitsu was one of Uesugi Kenshin's chief retainers. He was placed in charge of the messengers during the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima.

Suibara Takaie
- Takaie was a noted retainer of both Uesugi Kenshin and Uesugi Kagekatsu. His military career spanned several years and many engagements. He most notably fought at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima and the Osaka Winter Campaign. That's a 53 year difference in case you're wondering.

Takanoshi Masayori - Once again, Masayori provides another example of a once independent daimyo forced to join the Uesugi after he is removed from his lands by the Takeda. His service with the Uesugi did not last very long, however, He served at the 3rd and 4th Battles of Kawanakajima and then abruptly left the clan.

Takemata Hirotsuna
- Hirotsuna fought in the vanguard at Kawanakajima. He is credited with being one of the first men to make contact with the Takeda forces.

Matsumoto Kageshige
- Kageshige was a close retainer of Kenshin and was active in many of his campaigns, including the Battles at Kawanakajima. He is credited with playing a crucial role in the peace negotiations between the Uesugi and the Hojo.

Naoe Kagetsuna
- Kagetsuna was also very close to Kenshin. He was a logistics genius and was extremely effective in coordinating supply lines during the Uesugi battles.

Nagao Masakage - Masakage was Kenshin's brother-in-law as well as the father of future clan leader, Uesugi Kagekatsu.

Ayukawa Kiyonaga - Kiyonaga fought at Honjo Castle in 1539 as well as in the headquarters division at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima.

Shibata Hironaga - Hironaga fought in the vanguard at Kawanakajima.

Nagao Fujikage - Fujikage fought in the left flank at the 4th Battle of Kawanakjima.

Inoue Kiyomasa - Kiyomasa fought in the headquarters division at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima.

Shimonjo Saneyori - Saneyori fought at Kawanakajima.

Nakajo Fujikasuke - Also known as Fujikashi, he distinguished himself at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima where Kenshin personally commended him for his bravery.

Yamayoshi Toyomori
- Also known as Toyouji, he played a vital role in the negotiation of a peace treaty between the Uesugi and the Hojo in 1570.

Shimazu Norihisa
- Norihisa fought in the vanguard at Kawanakajima.
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