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Takenaka Hanbei

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Hanbei, also known as Shigeharu, was a son of Takenaka Shigemoto. He began his career as a retainer of Saitô Yoshitatsu and was a son-in-law of Ando Morinari. He led troops against the Asai clan of Ômi at the request of the Rokkaku and later joined the Oda family. He was present for the fall of Inabayama (1567) and became a retainer of Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi and was present in the Oda campaigns against the Asai and Asakura in 1570. He served Hideyoshi as an advisor, though he was forced to retire from active service due to illness. At this time he was given the temporary custody of the young son of Kuroda Yoshitaka. Yoshitaka was captured and imprisoned by the Araki family in 1578, an event that prompted Nobunaga to suspect that Yoshitaka was in fact colluding with his captors. He therefore ordered that Yoshitaka's son be put to death. Shigeharu is said to have put off carrying out this command until Nobunaga at length dropped the matter, and his ward, the future Kuroda Nagamasa, was spared. The following year Shigeharu's illness grew worse and he passed away. His son Shigetoshi served in the Kyushu Campaign and was afterwards given a fief in Bungo province. Shigetoshi initially supported Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign but quickly shifted his allegiance to Tokugawa. Shigeharu is better known as Hanbei--a title he does not appear to have used during his life--and is remembered as a clever strategist.

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