Asaoka Maiko's younger brother, who is in a coma and comes to his sister in her dreams asking for help.
Also known as: childhood—Jikumaru (竺丸)
Second son of Date Terumune and Yoshihime, Kojirou was favored by his mother over his older brother Date Masamune for succession as head of the Date Clan. However, Terumune favored Masamune, who became head of the Date Clan in 1584.
Yoshihime planned the assassination of Masamune, but after she failed to poison him in 1590, Masamune ordered Kojirou's death.
Titles: Echizen no Kami, Mutsu no Kami
Also known as: birth—Bontenmaru (梵天丸), adult—Tojirou (藤次郎), posthumous—Teizan (貞山), self-introduction—Fujiwara no Masamune (藤原政宗), religious—Takeru Hikonomikoto (武振彦命), nickname—One-Eyed Dragon (独眼竜)
Date Masamune was a powerful daimyo in the Northeastern part of Japan during the Sengoku Period. He was the 17th-generation head of the Date Clan and the founding daimyo of Sendai-han. He was the eldest son of Date Terumune and Yoshihime, the daughter of Mogami Yoshimori.
Masamune was born in Yonezawa Castle (modern-day Yamagata Prefecture). He lost the use of his right eye after falling ill of smallpox in his childhood, and would later come to be known as the One-eyed Dragon. However, because of it his mother thought him unfit for rule of the clan, and favored his younger brother. When Date Terumune retired from the position of the clan head in 1584, Masamune killed his brother and became the head of the clan at 18.
Masamune was known as a brilliant tactician. Shortly after he became head of the clan, Oouchi Sadatsuna, a Date vassal, defected to the Ashina Clan in the Aizu region of Mutsu Province. Masamune declared war on the Ashina for the betrayal, but was forced to retreat by the Ashina general, Iwashiro Morikuni. Three months later, Masamune laid seige to Oouchi's stronghold at Otemori. It was said that he put some 800 people to the sword in retaliation for the betrayal. Thereafter the Hatakeyama Clan, the traditional rival of the Date Clan, kidnapped Masamune's father, who was then killed in battle when Masamune and his troops engaged the kidnappers. War ensued between the two clans, and Masamune would ruthlessly subjugate his neighboring clans, even those who were allied by marriage or kinship. He defeated the Ashina Clan in 1589, but was called by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to lay siege to Odawara Castle of the Houjou Clan.
He served both Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, though neither trusted him completely due to his ambition and aggression. Under Tokugawa Ieyasu Masamune controlled one of the largest fiefdoms in Japan and turned Sendai from a small fishing village to a large and prosperous city. He encouraged foreigners and was largely lenient towards Christanity and its practioners. He funded and backed the first Japanese expedition to sail around the world, which visited such places as the Philippines, Mexico, Spain and Pope Paul V in Rome.
He died in Edo at the age of 70 of esophageal cancer, and was entombed in the Zuihouden according to his last will and testament. His second son (eldest son by his legal wife Megohime) Date Tadamune inherited the position of clan head after him.
Historically: The name Fuuma Kotarou was given to each leader of the Fuuma Clan/organization of ninjas which served the Later Houjou Clan, starting with its first leader. The clan started information-gathering and espionage activities in the time of Houjou Souun, the founder of the Later Houjou Clan. The clan name began as 風間, composed of the characters for "wind" and "space", but was changed to its present form, a homophone composed of the characters for "wind" and "evil/demonic/magical."
In its 100 years of service to the Houjou Clan, the most renowned Fuuma Kotarou was the fifth, who served Houjou Ujimasa and his son Houjou Ujinao (unknown - 1603). Stories say that he was 7'1". One of his most famous exploits was in 1580 and the Battle of Kise-gawa, during which he slipped into the enemy camp at night and caused mass chaos. Another famous ninja, Ninokuruwa Isuke, also belonged to the Fuuma Clan.
After the destruction of the Houjou Clan, Kotarou and the Fuuma Clan became thieves near Edo. Kotarou was captured and executed in 1603 from information given by Kousaka Jinai, another ninja-turned-thief who formerly served the Takeda Clan.
In Mirage of Blaze: Fuuma Kotarou leads the Fuuma ninjas in service to the Houjou Clan. He is described as a tall, slender man with broad shoulders and a muscular but supple body. He wears his hair long, tied in a woven tail that reaches to his waist.
Ujimasa was born in 1538 as the second son of Houjou Ujiyasu and his principle wife Zuikeiin, daughter of Imagawa Ujichika, and was older brother of Houjou Ujiteru, Houjou Ujikuni, Houjou Ujinori, Houjou Ujitada, Houjou Saburou (Uesugi Kagetora), and Houjou Ujimitsu. He became heir to the clan when his older brother Shinkurou died before reaching adulthood.
Ujimasa married Oubaiin, eldest daughter of Takeda Shingen and Sanjou-no-Kata, on the occasion of the three-way alliance between the Takeda, Imagawa, and Houjou clans in 1554. Their marriage was thought to be a happy one.
Ujimasa succeeded his father as the fourth head of the Sagami Houjou Clan in 1559 upon Ujiyasu's retirement. His first task upon becoming heir of the clan, per clan convention, was a a land survey evaluating how the Houjou lands were being used and the condition of the people serving on those lands. His relationship with his brothers was good throughout, and they were be a huge help to him in the governing of the clan.
In 1561, Uesugi Masatora (Uesugi Kenshin) of Echigo laid siege to Odawara Castle with a huge army gathered from the Kantou and south Mutsu. Under the leadership of his father Ujiyasu, Ujimasa was able to drive back the army. After the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, he was able to take back a large part of North Kantou from the Uesugi in concert with Shingen.
In 1568, seizing the opportunity presented by the decline of the Imagawa Clan after Imagawa Yoshimoto's death at Oda Nobunaga's hand, Takeda Shingen invaded Suruga, laying siege to Yoshimoto's heir, Imagawa Ujizane in Kakegawa Castle. Ujimasa led the Houjou forces to repel the Takeda army and formed an alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu of Mikawa in order to rescue Ujizane (his brother-in-law by way of his younger sister Hayakawadono). Ujimasa then had Ujizane adopt his son Ujinao as his heir, thus giving the Houjou Clan a legitimate claim to the territory of Suruga. In order to hold back Takeda, he formed an alliance with his old enemy Uesugi Kenshin, giving his younger brother Saburou (Uesugi Kagetora) as hostage. The severing of ties with the Takeda Clan, however, meant the dissolution of his marriage with his beloved wife Oubaiin.
In 1569, Takeda Shingen laid siege to Odawara Castle, delivering a crushing defeat to the Houjou Clan (though recent analysis by historians indicate that Shingen lost a great many men as well). In 1570, Suruga belonged almost wholly to Shingen.
In October of 1571 upon his father's death, Ujimasa broke off his alliance with Kenshin and reformed the alliance with Shingen in accordance with his father's will, after which fighting between the Houjou and Uesugi clans flared up again.
Kenshin's death in 1578 triggered a fight for succession to the Uesugi Clan between his two adopted sons, Uesugi Kagekatsu and Uesugi Kagetora (the Otate no Ran). Ujimasa was tied up at that time in a confrontation with Satake Yoshishige and Utsunomiya Kunitsuna in Shimotsuke, so sent his brother Houjou Ujikuni to their brother's aid in his place while asking Takeda Katsuyori for reinforcements. Katsuyori betrayed the Houjou and formed an alliance with Uesugi Kagekatsu, and the Otate no Ran ended with Kagetora's death and Kagekatsu's succession.
Ujimasa broke off the alliance with the Takeda clan a second time and formed an alliance with Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu to attack the Takeda territory in a pincer movement, but shifting alliances and hard fighting left the conclusion unclear. In 1580 Ujimasa proposed to Oda Nobunaga, who had just taken Ishiyama Hongan Temple, that the Houjou Clan become a vassal of the Oda Clan, but Takeda Katsuyori managed to form an alliance with Oda first. Ujimasa retired from the position of clan head in the same year, but like his father before him still held onto the government and military affairs of the clan.
In the following years, the Houjou Clan managed to gain control over a vast territory: Sagami, Izu, Musashi, Shimousa, Kazusa, Hitara, Shimotsuke, and a part of Suruga. Interestingly, however, Ujimasa did not seem to hold the ambition of ruling the entire country, a tradition passed down from the founder of the Late Houjou Clan, Houjou Souun. Instead, Ujimasa concentrated on independence for the 8 Kantou provinces under Houjou rule and alliances with other strong warlords such as Tokugawa Ieyasu and Date Masamune.
In 1589, using Ujimasa's refusal to proceed to the capital to attend him as pretext, Toyotomi Hideyoshi gathered an army of 220,000 to lay siege to Odawara Castle. It overran castles in the Houjou territory in quick succession. The siege against Odawara Castle lasted from May to August. On August 4, Ujimasa offered to surrender his life for the lives of his men. Toyotomi demanded the lives of both Ujimasa and his brother Ujiteru, as well as the lives of their vassals Matsuda Norihide and Daidouji Masashige. Ujimasa and Ujiteru committed seppuku on August 10.
Ujimasa left behind the following tanka verses for his death poem:
「雨雲の おほえる月も 胸の霧も はらいにけりな 秋の夕風」
「我身今 消ゆとやいかに おもふへき 空よりきたり 空に帰れば」
translated (Sadler 1978, pp. 160–161):
Autumn wind of eve,
blow away the clouds that mass
over the moon's pure light
and the mists that cloud our mind,
do thou sweep away as well.
Now we disappear,
well, what must we think of it?
From the sky we came.
Now we may go back again.
That's at least one point of view.
There is another verse which is sometimes attributed to his brother Ujiteru, but is most often attributed to Ujimasa:
「吹くと吹く 風な恨みそ 花の春 もみじの残る 秋あればこそ」
which may be translated:
The wind's resentment—
Oh, see how it blows against
The flowering spring.
Yet it will leave us anon
The bright colors of autumn.
Ujiteru was the third-born son (second to survive to adulthood) of Houjou Ujiyasu, younger brother of Houjou Ujimasa, and older brother of Houjou Ujikuni, Houjou Ujinori, Houjou Ujitada, Houjou Saburou (Uesugi Kagetora), and Houjou Ujimitsu. He was widely extolled for his courage and wisdom.
In 1559, he married Hisa, the daughter of Ooishi Sadahisa, master of Takiyama Castle in Musashi, and became Ooishi's adopted son and heir. (Later, Ooishi became a vassal of the Houjou clan, and Ujiteru regained the Houjou surname.)
In the following years, Ujiteru followed his father into several battles with neighboring clans, which greatly increased the Houjou sphere of influence. He also excelled at diplomacy, and maneuvered the alliance between the Houjou and Uesugi clans into place in 1569. He also secretly built up diplomatic relations with the Date Clan. Though he wanted the clan to form an alliance with the Oda Clan during Oda's period in power, the plan fell through because of opposition within the family and Oda's death.
In 1569, while the Takeda army was en route to a siege of Odawara Castle, a detachment of the Takeda army led by Oyamada Nobushige attacked Takiyama Castle, penetrating all the way to the outermost wall. Ujiteru crossed spears with Takeda Katsuyori during the battle. Ujiteru's forces managed to stave them off, but dissatisfied with Takiyama's defenses, Ujiteru abandoned it in favor of Hachiouji Castle.
In 1590, during Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Siege of Odawara, he entrusted his main castle, Hachiouji Castle to a loyal vassal and barricaded himself in Odawara. Due to that fact, Toyotomi saw him as one of the pro-resistance leaders, and demanded his death along with his brother Ujimasa's. Ujiteru committed seppuku with Ujimasa on August 10.
He wrote as his death poem:
「天地の 清き中より 生まれきて もとのすみかに 帰るべらなり」
which may be translated thus:
We are born into
the brightness betwixt heaven
and earth; yet there is
another dwelling to which
we must all someday return.
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.
Also called: Kousaka Danjou Masanobu (高坂弾正昌信), Kousaka Danjou Nosuke Masanobu (高坂弾正忠昌信), Kasuga Toratsuna (春日虎綱), Kasuga Gensuke (春日源助)
Title: Danjou Nosuke/Faithful True-Shot (弾正忠)
Kousaka was born in Kai to a wealthy farmer, Kasuga Ookuma (?) (春日大隈). His father died when he was 16, and he lost a lawsuit against his elder sister's husband for ownership of his father's lands. He then enrolled in the service of Takeda Shingen.
Kousaka first served as a messenger for Shingen. He distinguished himself in battle, and rose swiftly through the ranks of Shingen's trusted retainers. He participated in most of Shingen's battles. He did not hesitate to retreat when required, which earned him the nickname of "Escaping Danjou". However, he was calm and logical in the midst of battle, and was perhaps the best of Shingen's generals.
After Shingen's death in 1573, Kousaka continued on to serve Takeda Katsuyori. He sought an alliance between the Takeda clan and their old enemy, the Uesugi clan, in order to unite against the threat of Oda Nobunaga.
Kousaka died in 1578 of illness at the age of 52. He was succeeded by his second son, Kousaka Masamoto (高坂昌元), his first son, Kousaka Masazumi (高坂昌澄) having died in the Battle of Nagashino in 1575.
In Mirage of Blaze: A kanshousha who, along with Sanjou-no-Kata, breaks the barrier over Takeda Shingen's tomb, the Maenduka, in an attempt to resurrect Shingen by using Narita Yuzuru as a vessel for his spirit.
According to Haruie, Kousaka has a high level of spiritual sensing ability (reisa), such that he is able to recognize someone he had met before even after their soul has undergone purification. He warns Naoe that Narita Yuzuru's existence is a threat to the Roku Dou Sekai.
Also called: Mori Nagasada (森長定), possibly Shigetoshi (成利), Nagayasu (長康)
Historically: A vassal of Oda Nobunaga who served as his attendant from
an early age. His father, Mori Yoshinari, was also a vassal of Oda Nobunaga. Favored by Nobunaga for his talent and loyalty, he also followed the tradition of shudo with his liege-lord. He and his three younger brothers died with Nobunaga at the Honnou-ji on June 21, 1582.
Historically: The first of the "Three Unifiers"; born in Owari to a samurai, his unbridled, ruthless ambitious and military tactical genius enabled him to gain control of the imperial court in 1573 after having driven the shogun out of Kyoto. His seal read "the realm subjected to military power". Murdered at the age of forty-nine by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide in the Honnou-ji in Kyoto.
Takaya's younger sister, who is a second-year junior high school student at the beginning of the story. She lives in Matsumoto with her brother, in number 302 in a multi-apartment complex.
At the beginning of the story Takaya is a seventeen-year-old high school delinquent with no memory of his past. His parents divorced when he was a first-year junior high school student, probably because his father started drinking when his business failed. His mother remarried and lives in Sendai.
Notes: He appears as 'Takaya' in narration. Nagahide and Haruie call him 'Kagetora', and Naoe calls him 'Kagetora-sama' and 'Takaya-san'. Most of the students at Jouhoku High call him 'Ougi-kun' (Chiaki calls him 'Ougi' at school). Miya calls him 'Onii-chan', and Yuzuru calls him 'Takaya'.
Historically: Daimyo of Kai who became the head of the Takeda clan by rebelling against his father. Conquered Shinano and fought against Uesugi Kenshin. The two clans clashed five times on the plains of Kawanakajima, where neither gained complete victory until Shingen died of illness in his campaign against Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Also known as: Naomasa (直昌), possibly Tooyama Naotsugu (遠山直次)
Tooyama Yasuhide was a vassal of the Houjou Clan, son of Tooyama Yasumitsu. His family traditionally served the Houjou in the capacity of musicians, but in 1560 became the magistrate of the Miura District in Sagami for Houjou Ujiyasu. He along with his uncle Tooyama Tsunakage held the front line against the Satomi Clan. After Oota Ujisuke's death in 1567, Yasuhide became master of Iwatsuki Castle. He was part of the Houjou force that met Takeda Shingen's invasion of Suruga. He was sent along with his father as a Houjou representative to the peace negotiations with the Uesugi in the Echigo-Sagami Alliance. He later became a close advisor to Houjou Ujimasa and was responsible for contact with the Uesugi Clan.
Opinions differ on how he died. One view hold that he committed suicide with his father and Uesugi Kagetora in the Otate no Ran, while another says that he served Nakamura Kazuuji after the fall of Odawara Castle.
Also known as: possibly Houjou Ujihide (北条氏秀), Houjou Saburou (北条三郎), Saburou Kagetora (三郎景虎)
Historically: Uesugi Kagetora was the seventh son (sixth to survive to adulthood) of Houjou Ujiyasu, younger brother of Houjou Ujimasa, Houjou Ujiteru, Houjou Ujikuni, Houjou Ujinori, Houjou Ujitada, and older brother of Houjou Ujimitsu. His mother was the sister-in-law of Tooyama Yasumitsu, a vassal of the Houjou Clan (other sources say Zuikeiin, Ujiyasu's principle wife). It's likely that he and Houjou Ujihide were two different people and that Ujihide was the son of Houjou Tsunashige and living in Edo while Saburou was living in Echigo, so most historians refer to him as Houjou Saburou when describing his early life.
As a child, he was sent into the priesthood at Souun Temple in Hakone, then sent as hostage to Takeda Shingen of the Takeda Clan in the three-way alliance between Houjou, Takeda, and Imagawa formed in 1554 (though this last point is now in dispute, as it is told only in the Records of Ancient Battles of the Eight Kanto Provinces and recorded in none of the Takeda Clan records.)
He was adopted by his uncle Houjou Genan in 1569 and married Genan's daughter.
When the Houjou and Uesugi clans formed an alliance in 1569, Saburou was sent to Uesugi Kenshin in an exchange of hostages with Kakizaki Haruie. (At first, the hostage was set to be Houjou Ujimasa's third son Kunimasumaru, but Ujimasa could not bring himself to send off his son, who was then still a baby.) Saburou was sent to the Uesugi clan in early 1570. Kenshin, who never married, developed a liking for the handsome and intelligent Saburou. He married his niece Seienin, the daughter of Nagao Masakage and older sister of Nagao Akikage (Uesugi Kagekatsu) to Saburou, gave him the name Kagetora (a name that had once belonged to Kenshin himself), and adopted him into the Uesugi Clan.
When Kenshin died suddenly in 1578 without naming an heir, Kagetora and Kagekatsu, similarly adopted by Kenshin, fought for succession to the position of clan head (the Otate no Ran). Though Kagetora held the early advantage with the backing of Uesugi vassals such as Uesugi Kagenobu, Honjou Hidetsuna, Kitajou Takahiro, and the Houjou Clan, the tide of the battle turned with Takeda Katsuyori's betrayal to Kagekatsu's side.
When the Otate fell in 1579, Kagetora attempted to escape to Odawara Castle, but was betrayed at Samegao Castle by Horie Munechika and committed suicide. His wife committed suicide along with him (though there are also accounts that she remained behind at the Otate and committed suicide there when her brother Kagekatsu refused Kagetora's surrender.) His oldest son Doumanmaru died at the hands of Kagekatsu's troops along with Uesugi Norimasa, and the rest of his children were believed to have died along with their parents.
In Mirage of Blaze: He was born to Houjou Ujiyasu and Zuikeiin as their eighth (seventh to survive to adulthood) and youngest son. After his death in the Otate no Ran, he was charged by Uesugi Kenshin to become kanshousha in order to ensure that the peace of Japan is not disrupted by the onshou as the leader of the Yasha-shuu and the commander of the Meikai Uesugi Army.
Title: Jibu Shousuke (治部少輔)
Historically: Master of Yasuda Castle. The Yasuda family had served the Nagao Clan from the time of Nagao Tamekage (late 1400s). Nagahide supported Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) in the coup d'etat against Nagao Harukage, so was a close aide of Kenshin from early on. He fought in many of Kenshin's wars against Takeda Shingen, Oda Nobunaga, and Houjou Ujiyasu.
Though he shared the same family name as Yasuda Kagemoto and Yasuda Akimoto, also vassals of the Uesugi Clan, he was descended from a different family.