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Siege of Takatenjin

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Takatenjin castle was an important Tokugawa possesion in Totomi Castle held in 1574 by Ogasawara Ujisuke. In 1571, Takeda Shingen had encircled the castle but withdrew when his men could make no impression on the defenses. In 1574, a year after Shingen's death, Takeda Katsuyori led some 25,000 men into Totomi and once more Takatenjin was besieged. The Takeda had two advantages in this campaign: firstly, Tokugawa Ieyasu's army had not recovered from its defeat at Battle of Mikatagahara in January 1573; secondly, Oda Nobunaga's army was tied up fighting with the Nagashima monto. Thus, when Ogasawara sent a messenger to Ieyasu urging immediate relief (in view of the powerful Takeda army), nothing concrete could be offered. Ujisuke therefore surrendered the castle and threw open the gates, much to the chagrin of his kinsmen serving elsewhere in the Tokugawa domain. Takatenjin's capture, something even Shingen had not been able to achieve, marks the height of the Takeda's power. The following year, many of the men who had surrounded Takatenjin would be killed at Nagashino and the Takeda badly weakened. Nonetheless, Takatenjin would remain in Takeda hands until its fall in 1581. When Takatenjin was back in Tokugawa hands, Ieyasu could finally claim complete control of Totomi.

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