Kudo Toratoyo was a senior retainer to the great General Takeda Shingen’s father, Nobutora. The loyal retainer once objected to his lords’ actions, and in the process fell from favor. Because of his perceived insolence, Nobutora had the man killed. Kudo Toratoyo’s two sons escaped, and one was later to become known as Naito Masatoyo, one of the heroes of the Sengoku (Warring States) Period.
Upon his father’s death, Masatoyo, then believed to be about 16, became a Ronin, a masterless samurai, and took to wandering the country. When Shingen overthrew his own father, he recalled the brothers with a letter, apologizing for his father’s affront, excusing Toratoyo of any wrongdoing, and reinstated the brother’s positions. Masatoyo was made Samurai Taisho, or Captain. (At least Shingen was man enough to admit his family’s wrongdoings.)
In 1561 Masatoyo distinguished himself during the Battle of Kawanakajima, and again five years after that in the Siege of Minowa Castle, Following his efforts in the Battle if Mikatagahara in 1572 he was recognized as one the Four Great Warriors of the Takeda. It could be considered that his loyal and valiant efforts were achieved in an effort to repay his obligation to Shingen.
In 1573, Takeda Shingen died, and Masatoyo continued to serve under Shingen’s son, Katsuyori. In 1575, as mentor to Katsuyori, took part in the ill-fated Battle of Nagashino. Following a disagreement with Katsuyori over tactics during the battle, Masatoyo lead a suicidal charge against the Tokugawa ranks, being shot multiple times by arrow fire before losing his head to the enemy.
Although little detail is known of this samurai, it seems in spite of having had his father killed by Takeda Nobutora, being recalled by Takeda Shingen and losing his life while serving Takeda Katsuyori, Naito Masatoyo was a samurai who served his lord well and lived for the heat of the moment.
The way a samurai should.