Nobuteru began his career as a soldier under Oda Nobunaga, to whom his mother had acted as a wet-nurse. Nobuteru received his first command in 1560 and served at Okehazama that same year; in 1566 he was given the castle of Kinota in Mino province. In 1570 he was made the commander of Inuyama Castle following his participation in the Battle of Anegawa. He commanded troops at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575 and in 1580 was given Osaka Castle and an income worth as much as 100,000 koku. Following Nobunaga’s death in June 1582, Nobuteru hastened to join Hashiba [Toyotomi] Hideyoshi and fought at Yamazaki; he then became one of the four men responsible for governing Kyôto (alongside Hideyoshi, Shibata Katsuie, and Niwa Nagahide). Nobuteru supported Hideyoshi in the resulting power struggle that culminated in the defeat of Shibata Katsuie (1583), and was given Ôgaki Castle in Mino; his two eldest sons (Yukisuke and Terumasa) held Gifu and Ikejiri respectively. In 1584 the Ikeda house joined Hideyoshi’s campaign against Tokugawa Ieyasu and was dispatched (along with Nobuteru’s son-in-law Mori Nagayoshi) on an end-run into Mikawa; they were attacked at Nagakute by Tokugawa troops and in the course of the fighting a certain Nagai Denpachiro ran Nobuteru through with a spear. Soon afterwards, Nobuteru’s son Yukisuke (Motosuke; 1559-1584) was also killed. Hideyoshi was said to have grieved at Nobuteru’s death; he wrote a letter of condolence to Nobuteru’s widow expressing his sorrow at her loss, saying "There is simply nothing I can say about the recent [death of your husband] Shônyû and your son. I share your sorrow and your grief…Numberless times I convey my anguish."
Notes to the Text
- Berry, Mary. Hideyoshi. pg. 163
- Initial text from Samurai-Archives.com FWSeal & CEWest, 2005