He initially served the Saitō clan of Mino province, but later plotted an uprising and took over the Saitō clan's castle at Mount Inaba. He then directed the defense against the forces of Oda Nobunaga during the Siege of Inabayama Castle. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was so impressed by him that he invited Shigeharu to join his forces as a strategist. Shigeharu made many contributions to Hideyoshi with his exceptional talent in that field.
Takenaka Shigekado, Shigeharu's son and successor, continued to serve Hideyoshi after his father's death. At the Battle of Sekigahara, he fought on the side of Tokugawa Ieyasu, and his holdings at Bodaisan were secured. The Takenaka family thus became a family of hatamoto, and would soon move from their old castle of Bodaisan to the new Iwate Castle. The holdings of the Takenaka included Sekigahara Village.
- He is a playable character in Pokémon Conquest (Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition in Japan, with his partner Pokémon being Pikachu and Raichu), in the Samurai Warriors games from Samurai Warriors 3 and in the game Warriors Orochi 3. A young female version of Takenaka Hambei is in The Ambition of Oda Nobuna. He appears in the Sengoku Basara series.
- Information on Iwate Castle (in Japanese)
- Information on Bodaisan Castle (in Japanese)
- Woodblock print
- Photo of Shigeharu's Grave
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