Uesugi Kagekatsu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Uesugi Kagekatsu
上杉 景勝
Uesugi Kagekatsu.jpg
Lord of Yonezawa
In office
Succeeded byUesugi Sadakatsu
Lord of Aizu
In office
Preceded byGamō Hideyuki
Succeeded byGamō Hideyuki
Personal details
BornJanuary 8, 1556
Echigo Province, Japan
DiedApril 19, 1623(1623-04-19) (aged 67)
Yonezawa, Japan
FatherNagao Masakage
RelativesUesugi Kenshin (adoptive father)
Uesugi Kagetora (brother-in-law)
Military service
AllegianceJapanese Crest Uesugi Sasa.svg Uesugi clan
Goshichi no kiri inverted.svg Toyotomi clan
大一大万大吉.svg Western Army
Flag of the Tokugawa Shogunate.svg Tokugawa shogunate
UnitJapanese Crest Uesugi Sasa.svg Uesugi clan
Battles/warsBattle of Tedorigawa
Siege of Ōtate
Siege of Odawara
Korean Campaign
Siege of Hataya
Siege of Hasedō
Siege of Osaka
Letter from Uesugi Kenshin to Uesugi Kagekatsu.

Uesugi Kagekatsu (上杉 景勝, 8 January 1556 – 19 April 1623) was a Japanese samurai daimyō during the Sengoku and Edo periods.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kagekatsu was the son of Nagao Masakage, the head of the Ueda Nagao clan and husband of Uesugi Kenshin's elder sister, Aya-Gozen. After his father died, he was adopted by Kenshin. His childhood name was Unomatsu.


Upon Kenshin's death in 1578, Kagekatsu battled Kenshin's other adopted son Uesugi Kagetora for the inheritance, defeating him in the 1578 Siege of Ōtate. He forced Kagetora to commit seppuku, and became head of the Uesugi clan. Kagekatsu married Takeda Katsuyori's sister (Takeda Shingen's daughter) after the Siege of Ōtate.

As a general under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Kagekatsu took part in the Odawara and Korea campaigns, and rose to prominence to become a member of the council of Five Elders. Originally holding a 550,000 koku fief in Echigo Province, Kagekatsu received the fief of Aizu, worth a huge 1.2 million koku when Hideyoshi redistributed holdings in 1598. After Hideyoshi's death, that year, Kagekatsu then allied himself with Ishida Mitsunari, against Tokugawa Ieyasu, as the result of some political dispute.

The Sekigahara Campaign can be said to have begun, at least in part, with Kagekatsu, who was the first daimyō to plan a revolt against the Tokugawa. He built a new castle in Aizu, attracting the attention of Ieyasu, who ordered him to Osaka, to explain his conduct. Kagekatsu refused, and Tokugawa began plans to lead a 50,000 man army north against him. Ishida and Uesugi hoped to occupy Tokugawa Ieyasu with this fighting in the north, distracting him from Ishida Mitsunari's attacks in and around Osaka. Anticipating this, Ieyasu remained in Osaka to engage Mitsunari; his generals Mogami Yoshiaki and Date Masamune would fight Kagekatsu in Tōhoku (northern region Honshū, Japan's main island). Kagekatsu had intended to move his force south, attacking the Tokugawa from the north-east while Ishida attacked from the west, but he was defeated very early in the campaign, at the siege of his castle at Shiroishi.

Declaring his allegiance to Tokugawa following his defeat, Kagekatsu became a tozama (outsider) daimyō; he was given the Yonezawa han, worth 300,000 koku, in the Tōhoku region. Kagekatsu fought for the Tokugawa shogunate against the Toyotomi clan in the 1614–15 siege of Osaka.

See also[edit]


The emblem (mon) of the Uesugi clan

Further reading[edit]

  • Frederic, Louis (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  • Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan: 1334–1615. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
  • Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co.
Preceded by
Uesugi Kenshin
Uesugi family head
Succeeded by
Uesugi Sadakatsu