Shibata Katsuie

Shibata Katsuie
柴田 勝家
Shibata Katsuie large.jpg
Shibata Katsuie
Lord of Kitanosho Castle
In office
Personal details
Kamiyashiro, Owari Province
DiedJune 14, 1583(1583-06-14) (aged 60–61)
Kitanosho Castle, Echizen Province
Military service
Nickname(s)Demon Shibata (oni-shibata)
AllegianceMon-Oda.png Oda clan
UnitAshikaga mon.svg Owari-Shibata clan
Battles/warsBattle of Ino
Battle of Okehazama
Siege of Inabayama
Attack on Shōryūji Castle
Siege of Chōkō-ji
Siege of Nagashima
Battle of Nagashino
Battle of Tedorigawa
Kaga Campaign
Siege of Uozu
Battle of Shizugatake

Shibata Katsuie (柴田 勝家, 1522 – June 14, 1583) or Gonroku (権六) was a Japanese samurai and military commander during the Sengoku period. He served Oda Nobunaga as one of his trusted generals, was severely wounded in the 1571 siege of Nagashima, but then fought in the 1577 Battle of Tedorigawa.[1]

Early life

Myōtoku-ji(birthplace of Shibata Katsuie at Meitō-ku, Nagoya)

Katsuie was born in the village of Kamiyashiro (present-day Meitō-ku, Nagoya), a branch of the Shiba clan (who descended from the Ashikaga clan, and were the former suzerains of the Oda clan). Note the differences between Shibata (柴田), Shiba (斯波), and the Shibata clan of Echigo (新発田).

Katsuie was the retainer of Oda Nobuyuki. When control of the Oda clan was contested, Katsuie initially supported his lord, Nobuyuki, against his elder brother Oda Nobunaga. In 1556, Katsuie launched a coup d'état against Nobunaga. He was defeated at the Battle of Inō, and in the aftermath Nobunaga had his brother executed, but impressed with the retainer's loyalty and bravery, spared the life of Katsuie. Katsuie pledged his services to Nobunaga, earning his praises.

Military life

In 1560, he fought against Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama.

In 1567 he participated in the siege of Inabayama, in the first division of Oda Nobunaga's forces.

In late 1568, Katsuie along with Hosokawa Fujitaka, Hachiya Yoritaka, Mori Yoshinari and Sakai Masahisa attacking Iwanari Tomomichi at Shōryūji Castle.

In 1570, while OdaTokugawa coalition fought at the Battle of Anegawa against the Asakura and Azai clans, Katsuie was at Chōkō-ji castle, under siege by 4,000 soldiers of the Rokkaku clan. Katsuie eventually won via an all-out attack, forcing the Rokkaku to retreat.[1]: 220  This action, along with a series of brilliant victories, gained him renown as the "Oni Shibata", or "Demon Shibata".

In 1571 he fought in the siege of Nagashima and was severely wounded.

In 1575 he fought in the Battle of Nagashino against Takeda Katsuyori.[2] After gaining control of Echizen, he took command of Kitanosho Castle (Hokujō) and was ordered to conquer the Hokuriku region.

In 1577 Nobunaga sent an army led by Shibata Katsuie and some of his most experienced generals to reinforce Shigetsura from Noto province against Uesugi Kenshin at Battle of Tedorigawa.

In 1580, he led an army, which included his general Sakuma Morimasa in a fight against the Kaga Ikko-ikki at Kanazawa Gobo.[1]: 230  After controlling Noto, he began a campaign against Etchū Province in 1581.

In 1582, he and Sassa Narimasa successfully laid siege to Uozu and Matsukura Castle.[1]: 231  In the mean time, Nobunaga was betrayed and killed at Honnō-ji by Akechi Mitsuhide.


Later in 1582, after the death of Nobunaga, in a meeting at Kiyosu Castle to determine Nobunaga's successor, Katsuie initially supported the choice of Samboshi, Nobunaga's grandson.[3] but he later supported Oda Nobutaka, Nobunaga's third son, for whom Katsuie had performed the genpuku ritual. He then allied with Oda Nobutaka and Takigawa Kazumasu against Toyotomi Hideyoshi who was allied with Oda Nobukatsu. Tension quickly escalated between Hideyoshi and Katsuie, and the following year they clash at the Battle of Shizugatake.[4]

Battle of Shizugatake

In 1583, Katsuie sent his nephew Sakuma Morimasa to besiege Takayama Ukon and Nakagawa Kiyohide at Shizugatake. Morimasa ignored Shibata's orders to withdraw to Ōiwa, Morimasa was captured and beheaded by Toyotomi Hideyoshi's returning forces.[5] Later, Katsuie's was defeated and retreated back into Echizen, all the way to Kitanoshō castle, which was taken in 3 days. Later, Katsuie committed seppuku, after killing his wife, Oichi, and other members of his household, and set fire to the castle. He implored Oichi to take their daughters and leave, but she decided to follow his death, while letting her daughters escape.[6][7][1]: 234 

His death poem was:

夏の夜の 夢路儚き 後の名を 雲井にあげよ 山不如
Natsu no yo no
yumeji hakanaki
ato no na o
kumoi ni ageyo
"Fleeting dream paths, in the summer night! O bird of the mountain, carry my name beyond the clouds."
Grave of Shibata Katsuie


  • Wife: Oichi
  • Step-daughters:
    • Yodo-dono
    • Ohatsu
    • Oeyo
  • Adopted sons:
    • Shibata Katsutoyo
    • Shibata Katsumasa

In popular culture

Shibata Katsuie is a playable character in Koei Tecmo's Samurai Warriors 2: Empires and all subsequent Samurai Warriors, the Warriors Orochi games, and Sengoku Basara 4. He appears in Nioh 2 and Fate/Grand Order as a side character.

See also

  • People of the Sengoku period in popular culture § Shibata Katsuie
  • The Kiyosu Conference (2013 film)


  1. ^ a b c d e Turnbull, Stephen (2000). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & C0. p. 78,221,228. ISBN 1854095234.
  2. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1977). The Samurai. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 156–160. ISBN 9780026205405.
  3. ^ Berry 1982, p. 74
  4. ^ Berry 1982, p. 78
  5. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co. p. 76,234. ISBN 9781854095237.
  6. ^ "Fukui Castle, Kitanosho Ruins". 2009-03-24. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  7. ^ Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan, 1334-1615. Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 311-313. ISBN 0804705259.

External links

This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.

Media files used on this page

Ashikaga mon.svg
Author/Creator: Ash Crow, Licence: CC BY 2.5
二つ引両、 足利家
Author/Creator: Bariston, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Grave of Shibata Katsuie.jpg
Author/Creator: 立花左近, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Grave of Shibata Katsuie, Oichi, Katsutoyo, Sakujirō at Saikō-ji in Fukui, Fukui.
Author/Creator: No machine-readable author provided. AlexK~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5