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Kabasawa-jou (樺沢城)

Also known as: Mariko-jou (鞠子城)

Kabasawa Castle is a mountain castle located in Echigo (now Niigata Prefecture) said to be the place where Uesugi Kagekatsu was born. Its inner citadel was built at the mountain summit at an elevation of 300 meters (~984 feet).

During the 14th century, the castle was the stronghold of a vassal of Nitta Yoshisada. Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) became master of the castle during the Sengoku Period and commanded his brother-in-law Nagao Masakage to make alterations to it.

Since Kabasawa Castle lay on the three-province highway that was the shortest distance between Echigo and the Kantou, it was used as a communications base during Kenshin's Kantou expeditions. Masakage and his wife Sentouin seemed to have lived in the castle as well, and their son (later Uesugi Kagekatsu) was born there in the fifth year of their marriage.

After Kenshin's death, Houjou Ujiteru and Houjou Ujikuni dispatched by Houjou Ujimasa to aid their brother Uesugi Kagetora in the Otate no Ran crossed Mikuni Pass and captured Kabasawa Castle. The Houjou army made Kabasawa their base from which to attack Sakato Castle, but withdrew with the advent of winter.

Kagekatsu took the castle upon his victory in the Otate no Ran. He later abandoned the castle upon receiving the 120,0000-koku territory of the Aizu from Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Kabuki-chou (歌舞伎町)

Kabuki-chou, nicknamed the "Sleepless Town" is a world-famous entertainment and red-light district located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It houses over three thousand bars, nightclubs, love hotels, massage parlors, host and hostess clubs, shops, nightclubs, restaurants, and movie theaters.

Kadowaki Ayako (門脇綾子)

Birthday: Dec. 9
Height: 5'5"
Weight: unknown
Blood type: A
Possessed by: Kakizaki Haruie.

Kakizaki Haruie's current incarnation: a female college student about four years older than Takaya who rides a Yamaha FZR400 motorcycle called Ecchan. She is described as a beauty with sauvage-style long hair and long, slim legs. She lives in Yokohama with her parents.

Notes: She appears as 'Ayako' in narration. Naoe and Nagahide call her 'Haruie', and Takaya calls her 'Nee-san'.

Kaga-no-kuni (加賀国,)

A province of ancient Japan that is today a part of southern Ishikawa Prefecture which once bordered on the provinces of Echizen, Ecchuu, Hida, and Noto. The priest Rennyo of Hongan Temple arrived in the 15th century to preach the tenets of True Pure Land Buddhism, which spread rapidly among the samurai and peasants of the region. They banded together into the Ikkou Sect to create a "Peasant's Kingdom", which lasted for a hundred years until Sakuma Morimasa overthrew it by order of Oda Nobunaga in 1580.

Three years later, Maeda Toshiie invaded the province and took it for Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The Maeda Clan ruled it thereafter, focusing on culture and art instead of military and warfare, and developed the province into the richest domain outside of Tokugawa Shogunate. Kaga was famous for its gold-leaf, inlaid work, and calligraphy, promoted by its Maeda lords.

Kagoshima-ken (鹿児島県)

Formerly the provinces of Osumi and Satsuma, Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwestern tip of Kyuushuu Island.

Kagoshima-shi (鹿児島市)

The capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture, it is the city in which Francis Xavier, the first Christian to arrive in Japan, landed in 1549.

Kai-no-Kuni (甲斐国)

Also known as: 甲州 (Koushuu)

An ancient province in central Japan which was ruled by Takeda Shingen during the Sengoku Period. Now known as Yamanashi Prefecture.

Kaidu-jou (海津城)

Also known as: Matsushiro-jou (松代城)

The castle protected by Kousaka Masanoubu, and where Takeda made his stronghold during the battle of Kawanakajima. It is now called Matsushiro-jou (松代城).

Kaisen-kokushi (快川国師)

Historically: Abbot and Zen Master of Erin Temple of Kai who was burned alive in his temple by Oda Nobunaga's soldiers during the invasion of Kai.

In Mirage of Blaze: The priest who bound Takeda Shingen's spirit after his death.

Kaji Hidetsuna (加地秀綱)
? - 1587

Son of Kaji Harutsuna, vassal of the Uesugi Clan. His mother was Uesugi Kenshin's younger sister. Master of Kaji Castle.

He fought several times in the Battles of Kawanakajima and distinguished himself in battle. He supported Uesugi Kagetora in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death. He surrendered to Kagekatsu's side when Shibata Shigeie and Ijimino Nobumune attacked Kaji Castle, but later fought against Kagekatsu once more when Shibata Shigeie rebelled against Kagekatsu in 1581. Before Kagekatsu attacked Shibata Castle, he first attacked Kaji Castle, and Hidetsuna died in battle in 1587.

kaki (火鬼)

Lit.: "Fire demon"; clumps of pathos left behind by those who died in fires. They are an immaterial type of tsukumogami which invite disasters associated with fire.

Kakizaki Haruie (柿崎晴家)
? - 1578?

Titles: Izumi no Kami

Historically: the son of Kakizaki Kageie. He was sent to Odawara Castle in Sagami when the Kenshin and the Houjou clans struck a peace treaty in an exchange of hostages with Houjou Saburou (Uesugi Kagetora). The fate of Kakizaki Haruie was unknown when his father was accused of treason. There are theories that he either died in 1575 along with his father, or that he was murdered by Uesugi Kagekatsu's faction in 1578 during the Otate no Ran.

In Mirage of Blaze: He was one of Uesugi Kagetora's most loyal followers as well as the leader of his faction in the Otate no Ran, and was killed by Uesugi Kagekatsu's followers. He is now one of the Yasha-shuu under Kagetora's command. Haruie possesses female bodies (the only member of the Yasha-shuu to do so) in search of a lover who died two hundred years ago.

Of the Yasha-shuu, he is the one who excels most at the spiritual sensing ability called reisa.

Kakizaki Kageie (柿崎景家)
1513? - 1575

Title: Izumi no Kami

Historically: A general of Uesugi Kenshin who also served Kenshin's father, Nagao Tamekage. His son, Kakizaki Haruie, was sent to Odawara Castle as hostage to the Houjou Clan when an alliance was formed between the Uesugi and Houjou Clans. He was famous for his bold assault strategies in battle. However, he was accused of plotting treason against Kenshin with Oda Nobunaga and was made to commit suicide. (Though there are also theories that he died a natural death).

Kakizaki Noriie (柿崎憲家)
? - 1633

Title: Noto no Kami

Son (and apparently grandson) of Kakizaki Kageie, vassal of Uesugi Kenshin. When his father was executed for colluding with Oda Nobunaga, Noriie was spared, but the Kakizaki family was given a lower rank. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death from Saruge Castle. His brother Haruie supported Uesugi Kagetora in the conflict and was killed. Kagekatsu revived the Kakizaki family after his victory.

He was awarded a 2861-koku fief in 1594, but was exiled from the Uesugi Clan in 1597. He returned to the Uesugi Clan when Uesugi Sadakatsu succeeded his father as head of the clan.

Kamaitachi (窮奇/鎌鼬/かまいたち)

Also known as: cutting whirlwind, razor whirlwind

A wind demon commonly depicted in Japanese folklore as a trio of weasels with sharp claws, riding on a gust of wind to cut into the skin of their victims at lightning speed.

Kamakura Shogunate (鎌倉幕府)

A military dictatorship which ruled Japan from 1185 (formally recognized in 1192) to 1333. The Kamakura Shogunate began when Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power from the imperial court in 1158 and made himself de factor ruler of the country. This militant goverment gave rise to a powerful warrior class, which had previously been considered subordinate and inferior.

After Yoritomo's death, Houjou Tokimasa, head of the Houjou Clan, claimed the title of regent over Yoritomo's son and heir Minamoto no Yoriie. He eventually made the title hereditary, and the Houjou Clan became the real power behind the shogunate. in 1333, the Kamakura Shogunate came to an end when its most powerful general, Ashikaga Takauji, sided with the emperor and destroyed the Houjou Clan. Ashikaga Takauji then established the Ashikaga Shogunate.

Kamakura-jidai (鎌倉時代)
1185 - 1333

A feudalistic period in Japan's history during which the Kamakura Shogunate ruled Japan and relegated the emperor and court to ceremonial functions.

Kamikouchi (上高地)

Lit: "upper highlands", a popular scenic area in the Japanese Alps.

Kamiyama (神山)

Lit.: Holy Mountain; Kamiyama is the highest peak of Mt. Hakone at 1,438 meters (~4717.8 feet) and is located to the east of Lake Ashi. It has been worshiped as a sacred mountain since ancient times.

It takes around an hour and thirty minutes to hike to Kamiyama from the top of Komagatake.

Kamo-gawa

A 31 km (~19 miles) long class A (protected) river which flows through the city of Kyoto.

Kan (貫)

A measure of currency used in the Sengoku Era, equivalent to 2 koku.

Kanagawa-ken (神奈川県)

A prefecture located in the southern Kantou Region of Honshuu, Japan which was composed of the ancient provinces of Sagami and Musashi.

Kanamari Chikatsuna (神余親綱)
? - 1580

Also known as: Kojirou (小次郎)

Vassal of the Uesugi Clan who mainly served as a magistrate under Uesugi Kenshin in Kyoto. He acted as negotiator for the Uesugi Clan in the Imperial Court and Shogunate in such matters as trade in commodities particular to Echigo.

He became master of Sanjou Castle after the death of Yamayoshi Toyomori. In the Otate no Ran, he apparently joined Uesugi Kagekatsu's side at first along with Yamayoshi Kagenaga, but later fought on Uesugi Kagetora's side with Honjou Hidetsuna. After Kagetora's death, he continued to oppose Kagekatsu, but in the end was betrayed and killed by one of his vassals within Sanjou Castle who was in collusion with Yamayoshi Kagenaga.

Kanazawa-shi (金沢市)

Kanazawa is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture and sits on the Sea of Japan. It was formerly a castle town known as Ishiura Village, which was built around Kanazawa Castle, a center of power for the Ikkou-ikki.

kanchou (灌頂)

Lit.: "pour onto the head"; a mikkyou ceremony wherein water is poured onto the head to anoint the successor to a position. Originally from India, where this ceremony was held at the enthronement of a king or the investiture of a crown prince. In Japan, this ceremony was held at the entronement of the Emperor from the Kamakuri Period to the end of the Edo Period.

Kanhasshuu Kosenroku (関八州古戦録)

The Records of Ancient Battles of the Eight Kanto Provinces was a 20-volume war chronicle written by Makishima Terutake and finished in 1726. It covers battles from the Battle of Kawagoe Castle in 1546 to the fall of the Later Houjou Clan.

Since the work was mainly compiled 200 years after the battles it describes, it is not thought to be a highly accurate piece of work. But since few documents remain from that era, it is still used as a reference.

Kanhou (観法)

One of the intuitive truth-seeking methods of Buddhism where one focuses one's consciousness upon imagining a particular image.

Kanmangafuchi (憾満ケ淵)

Kanman Abyss, located along the Daiya River, was known from ancient times as a spot sacred to the mountain ascetics and a place where they went to practice and train.

Kanmurigatake (冠ヶ岳)

Komagatake is one of the lava domes in the central dome of the Hakone Volcano and stands 1409 meters (~4622.7 feet). It is located to the north of Kamiyama and Komagatake.

Kannon (観音)

Also known as: Kanzeon, Kwannon (Japan), Kuan Shi Yin, Kuan Yin (China), Avalokiteśvara, Avalokiteshvara, Lokeshvara (India)

Kannon, represented in both male and female forms, is the Goddess and Bodhisattva of mercy, or Lord of Compassion whose name means "observing the sounds of the world". She is one of the most widely worshiped divinities in Japan and mainland Asia, and has many manifestations, such as Fukuukenjaku Kannon, Juuichimen Kannon, Juntei, Senjuusengan Kannon, etc. According to the Mahayana school of Buddhism, Kannon made a vow to listen to the prayers of all sentient beings in times of strife and to postpone his own perfect enlightenment until he has helped every being on earth achieve nirvana.

During the Tokugawa Shogunate, when Christianity was punishable by death in Japan, some underground Christian groups disguised the Virgin Mary as statue of Kannon; these statues are known as "Maria Kwannon".

Kanou Hideharu (狩野秀治)
? - 1584?

Title: Sanuki no Kami

Son of a retainer of the Jinbou Clan in Ecchuu, he entered the service of the Uesugi Clan around 1573. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death, in which he apparently distinguished himself; from 1583 onward he acted as diplomat for Kagekatsu. He was prone to illness, and probably died of such around 1584.

kanrei (管領)

"Shogun's Deputy", a high political post in feudal Japan.

Kansenden (感仙殿)

The mausoleum of Sendai-han's second-generation lord, Date Tadamune, which was burned down in a fire, along with the Zuihouden of Sendai-han's first-generation lord, Date Masamune and the Zenouden of Sendai-han's third-generation lord, Date Tsunamune, in World War II. It was rebuilt in 1985.

kanshou (換生)

To possess another's body, driving out their soul, so as to be reborn with memories intact. Only Naoe of all the kanshousha has the power to perform kanshou on another soul.

kanshousha (換生者)

Those who possess others by driving out the soul from a body and making it theirs.

Unlike normal spirits, kanshousha cannot exchange bodies at will; they can only switch to another host body when their current body dies. Because kanshousha become the owners of their bodies, choubuku does not work on them. It is, however, still possible to exorcise kanshousha when they are in spirit-form (i.e. between possessions).

Kantou-chihou (関東地方)

Lit.:"East of the Gate", the easternmost of five regions located on Honshuu Island which comprises of the seven prefectures of Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. This is the most highly developed and industrialized region of Japan and was the heart of feudal power during the Edo Period.

During the Edo Period, the area was also called the "Kanhasshuu" (関八州), or Eight Kantou Provinces: Musashi, Sagami, Kazusa, Shimousa, Awa, Kouzuke, Shimotsuke, and Hitachi.

Karbelnikoff (カーベルニコフ)

Karbelnikoff is a territory located in the southern part of Shinma Kingdom and is governed by the von Karbelnikoff family (currently Densham von Karbelnikoff). It is a resort destination known for its white sand beaches and arid wind, and its primary industry is tourism. It is divided from the Human territory of Conanxia by a wide river on its southern border.

Karin-dan (火輪壇)

Lit.: "fire-wheel platform"; a triangular goma platform constructed for the neutralization of the 'kinrin no hou' curse. Its colors are blue, black, and red.

Karuizawa-machi (軽井沢町)

Lit.: Light Well Marsh; a town in Nagano Prefecture located at the foot of Mount Asama which is a popular mountain resort for Tokyo residents, offering outdoor activies and a historic shopping street.

Kasahara Masataka (笠原政堯)
? - 1590

Kasahara Masataka was a vassal of the Houjou Clan and master of Izu-Tokura Castle. His father was Matsuda Norihide, and he was adopted into the Kasahara Clan. He served Takeda Katsuyori for a while, but after the fall of the Takeda Clan returned to the Houjou. When his younger brother Matsuda Hideharu discovered him and his father passing information to the Toyotomi side during the Siege of Odawara, Masataka was forced to commit suicide.

Kasai (葛西)

The counselor from the Family Court who mediated Takaya's parents' divorce. He is middle-aged, slim with broad shoulders, and wears glasses. He always carries caramels in his pockets, which he freely shares, due to which Miya gives him the nickname "Caramel Man". He smiles frequently and warmly and is one of the only adults the young Takaya tells his true feelings to. He has also taken charge of Mitsui several times on behalf of the Court.

Kasuga no Tsubone (春日局)
1579 - 1643

Historically: Lady Kasuga, born Ofuku, was the daughter of Saito Toshimitsu and was raised by her mother's relatives when her father died in 1582. She married Inaba Masanari. She was later employed by Tokugawa Ieyasu as the wet nurse of his grandson, Takechiyo. When Takechiyo became Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa shogun, in 1623, Ofuku was promoted to the title of "Tsubone", or "Court Lady", and controlled the shogun's harem of Edo Castle. She became the power behind the shogun and a major influence on his policies of Isolationalism and anti-Christianity.

In Mirage of Blaze: When Yuzuru says that he is feeling unwell, Takaya jokes that he's been possessed by the spirit of Kasuga no Tsubone.

Kasugayama-jou (春日山城)

Also known as: Hachigamine-jou

Kasugayama Castle was Uesugi Kenshin's primary fortress, located in present-day Niigata Prefecture. It was built by the Nagao clan, and Kenshin became its lord in 1548 (some say Kenshin built the castle). Uesugi Kagekatsu won control of the castle in the Otate no Ran after his adopted father's death.

Kasuke Ikki (加助一揆)

The Kasuke Ikki, or Kasuke Uprising, was a revolt led by farmers in Matsumoto-han against an increase of taxes. Matsumoto-han was already charging its farmers a higher tax than its neighboring domains. In 1686, during the early part of the Edo Period, the tax in Matsumoto was raised to 3 to 5 shou (around 63 liters) from 3 shou (around 54 liters) due to financial difficulties, versus the standard 2 to 5 shou (around 45 liters) in surrounding areas.

This meant that farmers in Matsumoto were paying almost half again what farmers in other areas were paying, a considerable difference. The harvest had been poor that year, and the farmers rose in revolt. Tada Kasuke, the headman of Nakagaya village in Matsumoto-han, submitted a petition to have the tax lowered to 2 to 5 shou, and around 10,000 peasants marched on Matsumoto Castle on Oct. 14, 1686 in support of the petition.

The daimyo of Matsumoto, Mizuno Tadanao, who was at his Edo residence at the time, promised that he would lower taxes to placate the farmers. However, he later went back on his promise and on Nov. 22, 1686 executed 28 farmers as the ringleaders of the uprising, including Kasuke, his 12- and 10-year-old sons, and his younger brother.

Katakura Kagetsuna (片倉景綱)
1557 - 1615

Also known as: Katakura Kojuurou Kagetsuna (片倉小十郎景綱)

A military commander of the Sengoku era and hereditary vassal of the Date Clan. The Katakura family traditionally took the nickname of 'Kojuurou', so Katakura Kagetsuna is better known as Katakura Kojuurou.

Kojuurou first served Date Masamune's father, Date Terumune, as a junior page, then became Date Masamune's attendant in 1575. He was later appointed a strategist, and participated in most of Masamune's important wars where he rescued the Date Clan from many tight spots. His wisdom was extolled by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and his name was a byword for loyalty. (He was called 'Katakura Kagetsuna the Wise', and he, along with 'Date Shigezane the Brave', were named 'the twin jewels of the Date'.)

Kojuurou died in 1615 of illness.

Katou (加藤)

One of Takaya's classmates at Jouhoku High.

Kawada Nagachika (河田長親)
1545? 1540? - 1581

Title: Buzen no Kami

Nagachika became a vassal of Uesugi Kenshin when Kenshin went to the capital in 1559 and recognized Nagachika's ability. Nagachika, who was both courageous and wise, served as a magistrate for Kenshin. He fought in many of Kenshin's battles, including the battles for the Kantou against Houjou Ujiyasu. He served as chamberlain of Numata Castle, then master of Uozu Castle and supreme commander of Uesugi's troops in Ecchuu. He succeeded Uesugi Kagenobu as head of the Koshi-Nagao family, but refused the Nagao family name.

He became a monk after Kenshin's death. At the beginning of the Otate no Ran, he was neutral towards Uesugi Kagenobu and the Kawada family's support of Uesugi Kagetora, but later supported Uesugi Kagekatsu.

He fought a defensive battle against Oda's invading army, and later met the invasion of Ecchuu by Shibata Katsuie, Sassa Narimasa, etc. but died of illness during the campaign. Invigorated by his death, the Oda army took over the entire province of Ecchuu.

Kawada Shigechika (河田重親)

Title: Houki no Kami

Vassal of the Echigo Uesugi Clan, later vassal of the Sagami Houjou Clan. He served Uesugi Kenshin along with his nephew Kawada Nagachika and participated in negotiations for the Uesugi-Sagami Alliance in 1569.

In the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death, he declared his support for Uesugi Kagetora and took Numata Castle from Ueno Ienari of the Kagekatsu faction. He joined forces with Kitajou Takahiro to attack Sakato Castle, but retreated when Kagetora was defeated in Echigo. In order to aid the Houjou advance into eastern Kouzuke, which they were contesting with Takeda after Takeda joined Kagekatsu, Shigechika headed for Odawara.

After the destruction of the Houjou Clan, Shigechika served the Tokugawa Clan.

Kawagoe-jou (河越城/川越城)

Lit.: "River-crossing Castle"
Also known as: Hatsukari Castle (初雁城), Kirigakure Castle (霧隠城)

Kawagoe Castle was a flatland castle built in 1457 by Oota Sukekiyo, a chief vassal of Uesugi Mochitomo of the Ougigayatsu-Uesugi clan. In 1525, Houjou Ujitsuna took over the castle, and it became a strategic position for the Houjou rule of the Musashi Province. In 1546, the Battle of Kawagoe Castle was fought over the castle, in which the Houjou Clan won an incredible victory over overwhelming odds.

During Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Siege of Odawara in 1590, the castle fell to Maeda Toshiie and was later given to Tokugawa Ieyasu's vassal Sakai Shigetada. It then passed through the hands of several other clans before being abandoned around the 1870s.

In 1924 the Saitama government declared the castle ruins a historical landmark, and it was named as one of Japan's 100 famous castle in 2006.

Kawagoe-jou no Tatakai (河越城の戦い)
May 19, 1546 - May 19, 1546

Also known as: Kawagoe Night Battle (河越夜戦), Kawagoe Engagement (河越合戦)

The Battle of Kawagoe Castle was fought on May 19, 1546, in Musashi Province at and around Kawagoe Castle, held by the Houjou, against an overwhelming force led by Uesugi Norimasa (Yamanouchi-Uesugi Clan and the then-Kantou Kanrei), Uesugi Tomosada (Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan), and Ashikaga Haruuji (the then-Koga Kubou).

When the Uesugi-Ashikaga forces besieged Kawagoe Castle on Oct. 31, 1545, they numbered roughly 70,000-80,000 men to the 3,000 in the castle garrison, led by Houjou Tsunashige. (One account says that all the daimyo of the Kantou except Chiba Toshitane of Shimousa participated.) Ujiyasu led a reinforcement force of 8,000 from Sagami, and the fighting was locked in stalemate for several months. Kushima Tsunahiro (Tsunashige's younger brother), who was in Ujiyasu's reinforcement force, sent a single horseman to slip through the Uesugi-Ashikaga forces into the castle to coordinate a surprise attack.

Ujiyasu sent a false offer of surrender to the Uesugi army. Instead of accepting it, they attacked the Houjou fiercely. Ujiyasu pulled back, luring the enemy into believing they had the battle in hand. On the night of May 19, Ujiyasu split his 8,000 troops into four companies. One of them he left under the leadership of Tame Mototada with the command that it would not move until the end of the battle. Ujiyasu led the other three companies, traveling lightly without armor, into the enemy camp at midnight. The Uesugi-Ashikaga army collapsed in pandemonium. Uesugi Tomosada was killed. When Tame Mototada saw from behind Ujiyasu that he had thrust too far in, he sounded a conch shell to warn Ujiyasu and pull him back. On the other hand, Tsunashige, who had been watching over the battle from inside the castle, led his troops into Ashikaga Haruuji's army, shouting "We've won! We've won!" Occupied with Ujiyasu's army and completely unprepared, the Ashikaga army was routed. The total number of dead on the Uesugi-Ashikaga side reached 13,000 according to some accounts.

As a result of the battle, the Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan was destroyed, and Kantou Kanrei Uesugi Norimasa rapidly lost power and influence until he was driven out of Hirai Castle, his main stronghold, and forced to seek refuge with Nagao Kagetora in Echigo. Immediately thereafter, Ashikaga Haruuji was surrounded at the old imperial palace and forced to retired in favor of his son, Ashikaga Yoshiuji, whose wife was Houjou Ujiyasu's daughter.

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