Yamamoto Kansuke


Yamamoto Kansuke

Infobox Person
name = Yamamoto Kansuke
山本勘助



image_size = 180px
caption = Yamamoto Kansuke fighting a giant boar, in a woodblock print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
birth_date = 1501
birth_place = Ushikubo, Mikawa Province, Japan
death_date = October 18, 1561
death_place = Shinano Province, Japan
education =
occupation = Strategist
spouses = none

nihongo|Yamamoto Kansuke|山本勘助|Yamamoto Kansuke (1501 – October 18, 1561) was a Japanese samurai of the 16th century who was one of Takeda Shingen's most trusted Twenty-Four Generals. Also known by his formal name, Haruyuki (晴幸). [http://f11.aaa.livedoor.jp/~chirori/takeda/ya/yamakan.php 武田家臣団人事ファイル 山本晴幸(山本勘助)] ] He was a brilliant strategist, and is particularly known for his plan which led to victory in the fourth battle of Kawanakajima against Uesugi Kenshin. However, Kansuke never lived to see his plan succeed; thinking it to have failed, he charged headlong into the enemy ranks, dying in battle.

Biography

Kansuke's origins are not known for certain, but he is believed to have originated from Ushikubo, a town in Mikawa Province, which was then under the suzerainty of the Imagawa clan. [http://www.globetown.net/~hara_1962/SENGOKU/sengoku_12.html; http://f11.aaa.livedoor.jp/~chirori/takeda/ya/yamakan.php; http://www.zephyr.dti.ne.jp/~bushi/siseki/kansuke-tanjou.htm] He came to Kai and began to serve Takeda Shingen in 1543, receiving a position as an infantry commander ("ashigaru-taishō" 足軽大将). [http://www.globetown.net/~hara_1962/SENGOKU/sengoku_12.html ; http://f11.aaa.livedoor.jp/~chirori/takeda/ya/yamakan.php] Legend says that Kansuke was blind in one eye and lame, but a fierce warrior nevertheless. In various works of art, he is depicted holding a naginata as a support for his weak leg. Kansuke was also involved in bringing the defeated Suwa Yorishige's daughter to Shingen as a concubine.

He led the pincer movement at the fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, but as he believed it to be a failure, he charged into the enemy ranks, being killed in action with his two chief retainers, Osaragi Shōzaemon (大仏庄左衛門) and Isahaya Sagorō (諫早佐五郎). [http://f11.aaa.livedoor.jp/~chirori/takeda/ya/yamakan.php Pronunciation for "Osaragi" as noted on this page] Kansuke's adopted son Yamamoto Kanzō Nobutomo, was killed at the Battle of Kawanakajima.

Kansuke was an ancestor of Yamamoto Yaeko of Aizu, a famed Bakumatsu period woman warrior. [Many notable Aizu families were descendants of Takeda retainer families. Even the daimyo, the Hoshina (Matsudaira) lord, was the descendant of one of Shingen's generals.]

The "Heihō Ōgisho" (兵法奥義書), a treatise on strategy and tactics attributed to Kansuke, is included in the Takeda family chronicle, the "Kōyō Gunkan". [ [http://www2.harimaya.com/sengoku/html/yama_kan.html 武家家伝_山本氏] ] In it, he focuses particularly on the strategic behavior of individual warriors.

Popular culture

For more information on Yamamoto Kansuke, see People of the Sengoku period in popular culture.

References

*Turnbull, Stephen (1998). 'The Samurai Sourcebook'. London: Cassell & Co.

Further reading

*Emiya Takayuki 江宮隆之 (2006). "Yamamoto Kansuke to wa nanimono ka: Shingen ni chōyō sareta riyū" 山本勘助とは何者か: 信玄に重用された理由. Tokyo: Shōdensha 祥伝社.
*Ueno Haruo 上野晴朗 (1985). "Yamamoto Kansuke" 山本勘助. Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ōraisha 新人物往来社.
*Watanabe Katsumasa 渡辺勝正 (1988). "Takeda gunshi Yamamoto Kansuke no nazo" 武田軍師山本勘介の謎. Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ōraisha 新人物往来社.

External links

* [http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Yamamoto_Kansuke Yamamoto Kansuke] at Samurai-Archives.com
* [http://www.yamamotokansuke.com/index.htm yamamotokansuke.com]


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