Samurai Archives HOME
Biographical Dictionary HOME
TAKEMATA Yoshitsuna
Uesugi retainer

Yoshitsuna was a retainer of Uesugi Kenshin and later, Uesugi Kagekatsu, whom he assisted in the so-called Ôtate no ran. Later, Yoshitsuna was named as one of the defenders of Uzu Castle in Etchû. When Uzu fell to the Oda, Yoshitsuna committed suicide.


The Takenaka mon

The Takenaka of Mino Province claimed descent from Minamoto Yorimitsu and were an off-shoot of the Tôki clan. Several generations were known as the Iwate, with Takenaka Shigeuji adopting the name Takenaka around the beginning of the 16th Century. Shigeuji's son Shigemoto came to serve Saitô Dôsan. Takenaka Shigeharu (better known as Takenaka Hanbei) enjoyed the favor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and as a result the Takenaka came to hold the status of daimyô at the start of the Edo Period. This was to be lost in 1634 through the shameful behavior of Takenaka Shigekatsu.

Takenaka Shigemoto
Saitô retainer
Tôtômi no kami

Shigemoto was the eldest son of Takenaka Shigeuji. He was at first a retainer of Saitô Dôsan but joined Saitô Yoshitatsu when the latter destroyed Dôsan in 1556. In 1558 he won the battle of Urushihara and took control of the Iwate domain, dying two years later.
Son: Shigeharu

Takenaka Shigeharu
(Takenaka Hanbei)
Saitô, Oda retainer

Shigeharu was a son of Takenaka Shigemoto. He began his career as a retainer of Saitô Yoshitatsu and was a son-in-law of Ando Morinari. He led troops against the Asai of Ômi at the request of the Rokkaku and later joined the Oda family. He was present for the fall of Inabayama (1567) and became a retainer of Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi and was present in the Oda campaigns against the Asai and Asakura in 1570. He served Hideyoshi as an advisor, though he was forced to retire from active service due to illness. At this time he was given the temporary custody of the young son of Kuroda Yoshitaka. Yoshitaka was captured and imprisoned by the Araki family in 1578, an event that prompted Nobunaga to suspect that Yoshitaka was in fact colluding with his captors. He therefore ordered that Yoshitaka's son be put to death. Shigeharu is said to have put off carrying out this command until Nobunaga at length dropped the matter, and his ward, the future Kuroda Nagamasa, was spared. The following year Shigeharu's illness grew worse and he passed away. His son Shigetoshi served in the Kyushu Campaign and was afterwards given a fief in Bungo Province. Shigetoshi initially supported Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign but quickly shifted his allegiance to Tokugawa. Shigeharu is better known as Hanbei - a title he does not appear to have used during his life - and is remembered as a clever strategist.
Son: Shigetoshi


The Takigawa mon

The origins of the Takigawa of Owari Province are unclear. They rose to some prominence in the 16th Century thanks to Takigawa Kazumasu, a general for Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. With Kazumasu's death, the Takigawa faded into obscurity.

Takigawa Kazumasu
Oda retainer
Iyo no kami, Saburôhei

Kazumasu was a son of Takigawa Kazukatsu. He became one of Oda Nobunaga's staunchest supporters, and served him from around 1558 onward. He was given land in Ise province around 1569 and supported Oda Nobuo, heir to the Kitabatake house. Aside from serving in many of Nobunaga's battles, Kazumasu also rendered service to the Oda through domestic affairs, assisting in the construction of Azuchi Castle in 1578 and in land surveys with Akechi Mitsuhide in 1580 in the Yamato region. Kazumasu's battle record was mixed, as he fled from the Battle of Mikatagahara and acted poorly during the 1st Iga Invasion. In the wake of the destruction of the Takeda in 1582, Kazumasu was established at Umabayashi Castle in Kôzuke and given control of the province. Shortly after the death of Oda Nobunaga in June 1582 Kazumasu was defeated by Hôjô at the Battle of Kanagawa and fled to Ise. Following the Kiyosu Conference Kazumasu was given a domain in Ise and supported Shibata Katsuie when the latter opposed Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1573. Kazumasu submitted to Hideyoshi after he was besieged in Kamegawa Castle and assisted the latter during the Komaki Campaign by attacking Kanie Castle along with Kûki Yoshitaka. When he performed badly in this campaign, he shaved his head and retired in shame. He is thought to have died in Echizen around 1586.
Son: Toshikatsu (adopted)

Takigawa Toshikatsu
(Hashiba Toshikatsu, Takigawa Kazumori)
Oda retainer
Shimôsa no kami, Hyôbu-shôsuke

Toshikatsu was from the Kitabatake clan and of some close relation to Kitabatake Harutomo, though if the latter was a father or brother of Toshikatsu is unclear. Not long after the Kitabatake domain in Ise Province was absorbed by the Oda in 1569, Toshikatsu was adopted by Oda retainer Takigawa Kazumasu. He took part in the 1581 invasion of Iga Province and accompanied Kazumasu to Kôzuke Province in 1582. There the two were defeated by the Hôjô shortly after Oda Nobunaga's death in June of 1582 and retired back to Ise Province. The following year they opposed Toyotomi Hideyoshi, were forced to submit, and in 1584 lent their forces to Hideyoshi's side in the Komaki Campaign. While Kazumasu went off into retirement following that campaign, Toshikatsu was confirmed in his fief at Matsushima in Ise by Hideyoshi and was later granted the use of the surname 'Hashiba'. He went on to serve in Hideyoshi's invasion of Kyushu and Odawara Campaign. He supported Ishida Mitsunari during the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) and as a result had his lands taken away by the victorious Tokugawa. The following year (1601), Tokugawa Ieyasu relented somewhat and bestowed upon Toshikatsu a small fief in Hitachi Province.
Son: Masatoshi

Tea master and merchant

Jôô was originally from Yamato Province and became a wealthy merchant in Sakai. He became well-known as a master of the tea ceremony and is reputed to have tutored such future masters as Tsuda Sôgyû and Sen no Rikyû

TANAKA Yoshimasa
Oda, Toyotomi, Tokugawa retainer
Chikugo no kami, Hyôbu-daisuke

Yoshimasa served all three of the 'Unifiers' and received Okazaki Castle in Mikawa Province in 1590. He sent his son Yoshimune to Sekigahara with 3,000 men and was afterwards awarded a 320,000-koku fief in Chikugo Province at Kurume. Like Hideyoshi, Yoshimasa came from the humblest of roots but gained a high position due to his natural talents.
Son: Yoshimune


The Tanegashima of Tanegashima (Tane Island) claimed descent from Taira Kiyomori (1118-1181), one of whose great-grandsons is supposed to have been sheltered by Hôjô Tokimasa. This great-grandson adopted the name Hôjô Tokinobu and was afterwards established on Tanegashima, to the south of the coast of Satsuma Province. Tokinobu's descendants carried the name Tanegashima (though they maintained the Hôjô family crest) and became long-time retainers of the Shimazu house. Tanegashima was the site of Japan's first contact with Europe, when the Portuguese vessel Fernand Mendez Pinto was forced ashore there by weather in 1543. They brought with them guns, which were afterwards nicknamed 'Tanegashima'.

Tanegashima Satotoki
Shimazu retainer
Kaga no kami

Satotoki was the son of Tanegashima Tadatoki. He controlled Tanegashima island, just to the south of Kyushu, and gave his loyalty to Shimazu Takahisa, whom he assisted on a number of occasions, including the Siege of Kajiki Castle.
Son: Tokitada

Tanegashima Tokitada
Shimazu retainer

Tokitada was the son of Tanegashima Satotoki. He was the official head of the Tanegashima when he received the first Europeans in 1543 and arranged for their firearms to be studied and copied (for this reason arquebuses were known for a time as 'Tanegashima'). In fact, Tokitada’s smith was unable to reproduce a working arquebus for almost a year as he couldn’t effectively block up one end of the barrel to contain the force of the explosion of gunpowder. Another Portuguese vessel happened to call on Tanegashima and a blacksmith who was with the crew explained the idea of the stopper screw; until that point the screw was unknown to the Japanese. Like his father, Tokitada assisted Shimazu Takahisa in his efforts to subdue Ôsumi Province. One of his daughters eventually became Shimazu Yoshihisa’s second wife.
Son: Hisatoki

Tanegashima Hisatoki
Shimazu retainer

Hisatoki was a younger son of Tanegashima Tokitada. He followed Shimazu Yoshihisa on his campaigns against the Ryûzôji and Ôtomo and later served in the Korean Campaigns.

Noted poet of linked verse

Sôyô was the son of Tani Sôbuko (d.1545) and was perhaps the most talented renga composer of his day. He is remembered in part for his rivalry with the famous Satomura Jôha, who became the leading master of linked verse after Sôyô's death.

TANI Tadasumi
Chosokabe retainer

Tadasumi was a senior retainer of Chosokabe Motochika. He was active in the negotiations with Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1585 that allowed Motochika to retain Tosa Province. Later, he was sent to collect the body of Chosokabe Nobuchika, killed by the Shimazu during the Battle of Hetsugigawa (1587).


The Tendô of Dewa Province were descended from Shiba Kaneyori. In the late 1500's the Tendô were often at odds with the Mogami and turned to their former enemies, the Date, for assistance. In 1584 Mogami Yoshiaki attacked the Tendô and the latter, betrayed by their retainers, were defeated. Tendô Yorihisa escaped the downfall of his family and later became a retainer of Date Masamune.

Jinbo, Uesgui, Sasa, Maeda retainer

Morinori was the son of a leader in Etchû Province's ikko and was himself at first a retainer of the Jinbo family. When Uesugi Kenshin took control of Etchû Province in the 1560's, Morinori joined him. He would enter the service of Sasa Narimasa when the Oda invaded Etchû in 1581 and went on to serve him at the battle for Suemori Castle in Noto Province in 1584. When Narimasa surrendered to the Toyotomi and lost his Etchû domain, Morinori went on to serve Maeda Toshiie of Kaga Province.

(Terazawa Masanari, Terazawa Masatada)
Toyotomi retainer
Shima no kami

Hirotaka was a son of Terazawa Echizen no kami Hiromasa (1525-1596), an Oda and Toyotomi retainer . Hirotaka was a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was primarily responsible for logistical and administrative affairs, including matters pertaining to shipping. He was in 1592 invested with an 80,000-koku fief in Hizen Province and the governorship of Nagasaki, becoming a Christian in 1596 (though he recanted not long afterwards). He served in the Korean Campaigns and in 1600 sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu, leading some 2,400 men for him at the Battle of Sekigahara. Though his income had been raised to 120,000 koku, Hirotaka fell out of favor with Ieyasu afterwards and lost his position as governor of Nagasaki in 1603. His son Katataka's cruel tenure as daimyô in Hizen would provoke the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637.
Son: Katataka (Hyôgo no kami; 1609-1647)


The Toda family of Mikawa Province were descended from Fujiwara Sanefusa (d.1224). Originally from Ômi Province, they established themselves in Mikawa in the early Sengoku Period, with Toda Munemitsu building Tawara Castle between 1492-1501. They came to serve the Matsudaira (Tokugawa) and would pass into the Edo Period as daimyô.

Toda Yasunaga
(Matsudaira Yasunaga)
Tokugawa retainer

Sons: Tadamitsu, Yasunao

TODA Shigemasa
Niwa, Toyotomi retainer
Musashi no kami

Shigemasa was at first a retainer of Niwa Nagahide, then later came to serve Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He fought at the Battle of Sekigahara under Ôtani Yoshitsugu and was killed in the fighting. A popular individual, Shigemasa's death was said to have prompted tears on the part of many generals in the Eastern Army.

TÔDÔ Takatora
Asai, Oda, Toyotomi, Tokugawa retainer
Izumi no kami, Sado no kami

Takatora was the son of Tôdô Torataka. He was a samurai of Ômi province who first served the Asai and fought against the Oda at the Battle of Anegawa (1570) under Isono Kazumasa. He later entered the service of the Oda and rose to become a chief retainer of Hashiba Hidenaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's half-brother, and served in the Chugoku against the Môri. He also served at the Battle of Shizugatake (1583) and after the Kyushu Campaign saw his income raised to 30,000 koku. Following service in the Korean Campaigns (commanding men both on land and sea) he was awarded the fief of Osu on Iyo province (worth 80,000 koku) in 1594. He drifted into Tokugawa Ieyasu's camp even prior to the death of Hideyoshi in 1598, sending hostages to Edo Castle that year. He accordingly sided with Ieyasu during the Sekigahara Campaign and commanded 2,500 men in the forefront at the battle. Afterwards his holdings on Iyo were increased to 200,000. He was transferred to Ise province in 1608 and saw his income increased to 333,950 koku. He was active in the Osaka Summer Campaign - he defeated Chosokabe Morichika at the Battle of Yao but suffered the loss of two sons in the course of the fighting. Takatora was by that time highly regarded by Tokugawa Ieyasu and was one of Ieyasu’s closest advisors in his final years. He was nearby Ieyasu’s side through the final illness of the latter. In 1620 Takatora was tasked with supervising the reconstruction of Osaka Castle, which was conducted between 1620 and 1629. This was owing to his previous experience with castle building, which included Wakayama, Kôriyama, and Yodo.
Sons: Takanori (d.1615), Ujikatsu (d.1615)

TOGASHI Masachika
Kaga warlord

Masachika was the shugo of Kaga Province and was allied to the Hosokawa during the Ônin War. He worked to reassert Togashi authority in Kaga, which had been lost in 1447 to two vassal families, the Motoori and Yamagawa. He reclaimed Kaga with the assistance of Asakura Toshikage and Kaga's Ikko sects, defeating a younger brother (Kochiyo) in 1473. Within a year Masachika and the Ikko had grown hostile, although all initial Ikko uprisings fizzled. In 1487 Masachika chose to honor a call by the shôgun Ashikaga Yoshihisa to give battle to Rokkaku Takayori. He led an army out of Kaga and in his absence the Ikko rebelled once again, this time drawing on support from Togashi house members. Despite some initial victories following his return, Masachika was ultimately driven within his castle and forced to commit suicide.

Togashi Yasutaka

Yasutaka was an uncle to Togashi Masachika and had served as shugo of Kaga prior to the latter. In 1487 he lent his support to the Ikko uprising against Masachika from Kyoto and was allowed to act as nominal shugo of Kaga. Nonetheless he did not actually go to live in the province until 1493, when he was forced to flee the capital by Hosokawa Masamoto. He attempted to aid ousted shôgun Ashikaga Yoshitane in his bid to reclaim the capital, and clashed with the Asakura on a number of occasions to this end (1494, 1504).
Son: Taneyasu

TOGAWA Hideyasu
Ukita retainer
Higo no Kami

Hideyasu was a longtime retainer to Ukita Naoie and his son Hideie, with an income of 25,000 koku. He was present for many of Naoie’s battles.
Son: Satoyasu

TOKI Masafusa
(Toki Masayori)
Lord of Mino

Masafusa was the shugo of Mino Province. He suffered the rebellion of a number of his important vassals in 1518, which he suppressed with the assistance of the Asakura of Echizen.
Sons: Yorizumi (d.1548), Yorinari

Toki Yorinari
(Toki Yoshiyori, Toki Yoshiaki)
Lord of Mino

Yorinari was a son of Masafusa and took over the Toki following the death of his elder brother Yorizumi in 1548. He resided at Inabayama. The authority of the Toki, already tenuous, steadily eroded under Yorinari, due in no small measure to machinations of Saitô Dosan. Yorinari was finally overthrown by Dosan in 1542 and went off into retirement, at length wandering from province to province. Following the death of Oda Nobunaga at the Honnoji in 1582, a number of Yoriaki's old retainers invited him to return to Mino, though he died soon afterwards. He may have been the biological father of Saitô Yoshitatsu: around 1526 Yorinari gave Saitô Dôsan his favorite concubine, although the circumstances surrounding this event are hazy. Less than eight months later, this concubine gave birth to Yoshitatsu and so, naturally, his parentage was questionable.


The Tokugawa mon

The Tokugawa served as the shôguns of Japan from 1603 until 1867 and were therefore the longest - and most stable - of Japan's three bakufu. The Tokugawa's actual roots are obscure for while Ieyasu claimed descent from the Nitta and therefore the Seiwa-Minamoto, there seems to be little historical evidence of this. The genealogy Ieyasu commissioned claimed that a branch of the Kôzuke Nitta had taken the name Tokugawa and later transferred to Mikawa Province, where it was adopted into the Matsudaira. In fact, Ieyasu also maintained an alternate family history that suggested Fujiwara roots - which supports the supposition that the Tokugawa's early family tree was largely made out of whole cloth. The Tokugawa were 'officially' restored when Ieyasu petitioned the court to allow him to use the name Tokugawa in 1566. They became the new shôguns following the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) and a formal endorsement by the court in 1603. Ieyasu established a number of branch families whose role it was to provide heirs when the main line was unable to do so - these included the Kii, Mito, and Owari lines (the last shôgun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, would be born into the Mito house). To these would in time be added the Hitotsubashi, Shimizu, and Tayasu, junior branches, the first of which was to provide the last shôgun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu (although Yoshinobu had actually been born into the Mito house.)

Tokugawa Ieyasu
( Matsudaira Motonobu, Matsudaira Motoyasu, Minamoto Ieyasu)
Lord of Mikawa, 1st Tokugawa shôgun
Mikawa no kami, Gon-Chunagon (1586), Gon-Dainagon (1586), Naidaijin (1596), shôgun (1603), Genji no chôja, Junna (1603), Udaijin, Ôgosho (1605)

Tokugawa Ieyasu

Ieyasu was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada and was born on 13 January 1542 at Okazaki in Mikawa Province. As a child he was known as Takechiyo. He began his career as a hostage of the Imagawa in their capital of Sumpu after a brief spell as a prisoner of the Oda. At his coming of age ceremony he was named Matsudaira Motonobu, the ‘moto’ a gift from Imagawa Yoshimoto. His father having died in 1549, he was allowed to return to Mikawa in 1556 and was tasked with fighting a series of battles against the Oda on the Imagawa's behalf even as he worked to rejuvenate the tattered infrastructure of the Matsudaira. At this time he changed his name to Motoyasu, the ‘yasu’ a reference to his grandfather, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu. He scored notable local victories at Terabe and Odaka, and during Imagawa Yoshimoto's attempted march on Kyoto (1560) he took Marume Castle. Ieyasu and his men were resting at Marume when Yoshimoto was killed at the Battle of Okehazama. Afterwards Ieyasu worked to free himself of Imagawa influence and struck up an alliance (initially in secret) with Oda Nobunaga in 1561. The following year he managed to arrange for return of those members of his household still held hostage in Sumpu. The next few years were spent rebuilding a Matsudaira clan badly fragmented by years of strife and a province weakened by war. At the same time he lured away certain Imagawa retainers and cemented his friendship with Oda Nobunaga. He defeated the militant Mikawa monto in 1564 in a sharp encounters and soon afterwards began testing the Imagawa defenses in Tôtômi. In 1566 he petitioned the court to allow him to change his name to Tokugawa, a request which was granted and so from this point he became known as Tokugawa Ieyasu. He assisted Nobunaga when the latter marched on Kyoto in 1568 and entered into a brief pact with Takeda Shingen aimed at absorbing the remaining Imagawa territory. While Shingen invaded Suruga, Ieyasu entered Tôtômi Province and surrounded Kakegawa Castle, where by that point Imagawa Ujizane had taken up to avoid the Takeda. Ieyasu agreed to give Ujizane safe passage to the Hôjô if he officially ceded Tôtômi to the Tokugawa, an offer Ujizane was in no position to decline. In 1570 Ieyasu brought an army to the capital region to support Nobunaga’s invasion of Asakura Yoshikage’s domain and in June commanded 5,000 men at the Battle of Anegawa, where his Mikawa men not only defeated the Asakura troops to their front but contributed greatly to the defeat of the Asai troops threatening Nobunaga.
       The Tokugawa were increasingly pressured by the advances of the Takeda, and in 1572 Ieyasu lost Futamata Castle, then suffered a defeat at the Battle of Mikatagahara on 6 January 1573. Shingen neglected to follow up his success at that time but returned a few months later to take Noda Castle in Mikawa. Shingen died of illness in May but his successor, Katsuyori, managed to capture the important Tokugawa fort of Taketenjin in 1574. In 1575 Katsuyori surrounded Nagashino Castle in Mikawa, drawing a powerful relief force led by Ieyasu and Nobunaga that crushed the Takeda army on 29 June. Katsuyori continued to harry the Tokugawa afterwards, and the Takeda and Tokugawa raided each other's lands frequently. In 1579 Ieyasu's wife, Tsukiyama dono, and eldest son, Hideyasu, were accused of conspiring with Takeda Katsuyori. Under pressure from Nobunaga, Ieyasu ordered his son to commit suicide in Spring 1582 and Tsukiyama no kata was put to death, although apparently not on Ieyasu’s order. Ieyasu began a counterattack against the Takeda in 1581 that saw the return of Takatenjin and the following year joined Nobunaga in finally invading and destroying the Takeda. For his reward, Ieyasu was able to add Suruga to his domain. Ieyasu was staying in Sakai (Settsu province) when Nobunaga was killed by Akechi Mitsuhide in June 1582 and narrowly escaped back to Mikawa.Letter from Tokugawa Ieyasu to Yoshimura Matakichiro of Mino requesting cooperation in a campaign to destroy Akechi Mitsuhide.  Written shortly after Nobunaga's death and before the Battle of Yamazaki.
       Ieyasu was not in a position to challenge Mitsuhide before the latter was destroyed by Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi but did take advantage of the uncertainty following the Battle of Yamazaki to take Kai and Shinano, an endeavor that prompted the Hôjô to send troops into Kai. No real fighting occurred, and the Tokugawa and Hôjô made peace. In 1584, Ieyasu chose to take up the cause of Oda Nobuo, one of the late Nobunaga's sons and a claimant to succeed him. Hideyoshi responded by leading an army into Owari and starting the Komaki Campaign. Although the two warlords did not face one another in battle personally, Ieyasu won the Battle of Nagakute, and by the end of the year a truce was in effect. Nobuo elected to make a separate peace with Hideyoshi and so Ieyasu was compelled to follow suit. He went to Osaka the following spring and gave a promise of good will towards Hideyoshi. At this time Ieyasu agreed to marry Hideyoshi’s half-sister, Asahi-hime (she died four years later). Thus the fighting proved of value for both men: although Ieyasu gained prestige for successfully defying Hideyoshi, Hideyoshi’s own position was enhanced when Ieyasu paid him homage. Nonetheless, the Komaki Campaign had made Hideyoshi wary of Ieyasu, and with the exception of the Odawara Campaign (1590), the Tokugawa were exempted from participating in any of Hideyoshi's further campaigns, although this was in part out of logistical considerations.
       After the Komaki Campaign Ieyasu had forged good relations with the Hôjô and attempted to convince them to submit to Hideyoshi, wise counsel the Hôjô elected to disregard. Ieyasu led some 30,000 men into the Hôjô's lands as part of Hideyoshi's massive effort to force the capitulation of Odawara. During the 100-day siege of Odawara, Hideyoshi offered him the provinces of the Kanto, which he felt compelled to accept. When the Hôjô surrendered, Ieyasu began a rapid move from his provinces of Mikawa, Tôtômi, Suruga, Shinano, and Kai into the Kanto region, establishing his headquarters at Edo. Hideyoshi had no doubt assumed that many years would be required to organize this new domain; in fact the transition went relatively smoothly. He served in Hideyoshi's Kyushu headquarters during the Korean Expeditions (1592-93, 1597-98) but was not required to provide any troops for service abroad. In 1598 he was named one of the five regents responsible for ruling until the young Toyotomi Hideyori came of age. After Hideyoshi died that same year, the Tokugawa almost immediately began making provocative alliances with families such as the Date that alienated the other regents; additionally, Ieyasu occupied first Fushimi, then Osaka Castle, actions that prompted suspicion on the part of his colleagues. Resistance to Ieyasu was centered around Ishida Mitsunari, who unsuccessfully attempted to have Ieyasu assassinated in 1599. In 1600 two camps had formed, one (the 'eastern') around Ieyasu, and the other (the 'western') around Ishida. Actual war came in August 1600, although the Tokugawa and Uesugi had been feuding since June. Ieyasu left Uesugi to be contained by the Date and Mogami, and led an army westward in October. On 21 October he met and defeated Ishida Mitsunari's army at the Battle of Sekigahara, the greatest clash ever conducted on Japanese soil. Following the defeat of the Western cause, Ieyasu redistributed lands to those who had served him, and reduced the lands of those who had not, marking the latter as tozama (Outside Lords). He was not uniform in this, however, leaving for example the Shimazu domain more or less intact, perhaps as a way of ensuring their future loyalty. In 1603 the emperor granted him the title of shôgun, which he held for only two years before officially retiring in favor of his son Hidetada. 'Retiring' to Sumpu in Suruga province, he supervised the building of Edo Castle and the expansion of the surrounding town over the next few years, and conducted diplomatic business with the Dutch (1609) and Spanish. Meanwhile, he and Hidetada tasked the daimyô with numerous castle building projects. These had a number of salutory effects from Ieyasu's point of view: for one thing, they sapped the treasuries of the daimyô and kept them busy while the Tokugawa government consolidated its power. From a strategic point of view, fortresses like Himeji and Osaka (refortified after its fall in 1615) stood in the path of any future march from the western provinces. He composed the Kuge shohatto in 1613, a document that placed restrictions on the activities of the nobility, essentially limiting that class to ceremonial and aesthetic pursuits. In 1614 he issued the final and most sweeping Christian Expulsion Edict. Concerned about the lingering Toyotomi influence as represented by Hideyori of Osaka Castle, Ieyasu engineered a pretext for war in 1614 involving the inscription on a ceremonial temple bell. He acted as de facto commander of the two sieges of Osaka (Summer and Winter), and personally ordered that Hideyori's infant son be executed when the Castle finally fell in 1615. He passed away in bed on 1 June 1616 at Sumpu. He was afterwards deified as Tôshô daigongen. His remains were first placed at Kuno and then transferred to Nikko in 1617, as per his will. He was buried facing to the west, the direction in which he assumed that any future threat to the Tokugawa house would arise.
       The third of the ‘Three Unifiers’, Ieyasu was perhaps the most ‘traditional’ member of this remarkable trio. Certainly Ieyasu might be considered the most inscrutable of the Unifiers, rarely allowing those around him to glimpse his inner feelings and at times seeming to be without emotion altogether. Although he lacked the relentless energy of Nobunaga, nor was possessed of Hideyoshi’s brilliance, those traits most commonly associated with Ieyasu-pragmatism, patience, and determination-served him well. But his own brilliance came in the manner in which he took advantage of the opportunities that came his way. Quite unlike Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, Ieyasu eschewed display and extravagance and the system of government that he established was very much in keeping with his own views on practicality and functionality. Although not particularly colorful compared to certain of his contemporaries, Ieyasu did leave some useful pieces of advice for future generation, perhaps most famously being the reminded to ‘tighten one’s helmet cords after the victory’, which is to say, one ought be most vigilant when they think they have won.
       A European visitor (Rodrigo de Vivero y Velasco) met Ieyasu in 1609 and described him thus: 'he is very stout and has a pleasing and venerable countenance, and is not so swarthy as [Hidetada].' (Although Ieyasu was hardly known for having epicurian tastes, he nonetheless gradually became overweight; regarding the aforementioned quote, see Cooper's They Came To Japan for that and other observations on early Tokugawa Japan.) His chief leisure activity was falconry, although he also enjoyed swimming.
       Ieyasu’s first wife was Tsukiyama dono, the daughter of Sekiguchi Chikanaga, whom he married in 1557. She was put to death in 1579. His next and final wife was Hideyoshi’s half-sister, Asahi-hime (1541-1590), to whom he was wed in 1586. Among his principle consorts were O Man no kata, lady in waiting to Tsukiyama dono, Saigo no tsubone (O Ai no kata), an adopted daughter of the Saigo family, Shimoyama, whose origins are unclear (she might possibly have been a daughter of Takeda Shingen), O Take, daughter of Ichikawa Masanaga, Cha-a no tsubone, O Kane, and O Man no kata, an adopted daughter of Kageyama Ujihiro (and a different O Man from the lady previously noted).
       Sadler's dated and uncritical but always readable Shogun: the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu remains the standard single volume treatment of Ieyasu's life in the engligh language.
Sons: Nobuyasu, (Yûki) Hideyasu, Hidetada, Tadayoshi, (Takeda) Nobuyoshi, Matsuchiyo (1594-1599), Senchiyori (1595-1600), Tadateru, Yoshinao, Yorinobu, Yorifusa.
Daughters: Ieyasu’s eldest daughter, Kame-hime, married Okudaira Nobumasa. Toku-hime married first Hôjô Ujinao and then Ikeda Terumasa. Furi-hime also married twice, in her case to Gamô Hideyuki and then Asano Nagaaki.

Note on Ieyasu's sons:
The following list does not take into account the two sons Ieyasu lost while they were in infancy, thus Tokugawa Yorinobu, for example, is listed as Ieyasu's eighth son while he was, technically, in fact his tenth son.

Tokugawa Nobuyasu
1st son of Tokugawa Ieyasu

Nobuyasu was the eldest son of Tokugawa Ieyasu. His mother was Tsukiyama dono, daughter of Sekiguchi Chikanaga. A hostage at the Imagawa capital of Sumpu in Suruga Province for a time as an infant, he was later named the keeper of Okazaki in Mikawa province and fought at Nagashino in 1575. He was accused of plotting against Oda Nobunaga in 1579 and was confined to Ohama and then Futamata. At the insistence of Nobunaga, Ieyasu ordered him to commit suicide. He was said to have had a cruel nature and was not exceedingly popular, hence, it is believed, Sakai Tadatsugu did not come to his defense when confronted by Nobunaga's allegations regarding him. He had been married to Nobunaga's eldest daughter, Tokuhime (1559-1636), who returned to Nobunaga after Nobuyasu's death and died in Kyoto many years later.

Tokugawa Hideyasu
See Yûki Hideyasu

Tokugawa Hidetada
2nd Tokugawa shôgun, 3rd son of Tokugawa Ieyasu

Hidetada was the 3rd son of Tokugawa Ieyasu through one of the latter's consorts, Saigo no Tsubone. He was known in his youth as Nagamaru and was named the heir to the Tokugawa house after the suicide of Tokugawa Hideyasu in 1579. He acted as a hostage to Hideyoshi during the Odawara Campaign (1590) and Hideyoshi both presided over his coming of age ceremony and gave him the character 'Hide' to use in his name. During the Sekigahara campaign he was initially responsible for conducting operations in the east against the Uesugi, but departed westward with 38,000 men to join his father's main army. He became distracted along the way by the resistance of the Sanada at Ueda Castle in Shinano Province. Hidetada attempted to bring the castle down but when he failed to make any impression on the defenses he moved on. He nonetheless missed the Battle of Sekigahara, and for this was harshly rebuked by his father. He was named the 2nd Tokugawa shôgun in 1605, although his father continued to rule from retirement. He played an active role in the Osaka Castle sieges, although he and his father argued more then once on the course the campaign should take, with Hidetada calling for a direct assault while Ieyasu favored caution. Following the death of Ieyasu in 1616, Hidetada worked to strengthen the power and legitimacy of the Tokugawa bakufu, including arranging the marriage of his daughter to the emperor Go-Mizunoo. A product of this marriage assumed the throne in 1629 as the empress Meishô. Hidetada also enforced his father's prohibitions against Christianity, took steps to regulate all foreign trade, and actively worked to weaken the power of the tozama daimyô. He retired in 1623 in favor of his son Iemitsu.
       Hidetada was handsome and darkly complected. He appears to have been generally more personable than Ieyasu and was noted for his upright character. He obviously chaffed under the watchful eye of his ‘retired’ father.
Sons: Iemitsu (3rd Tokugawa shôgun; 1604-1651), Tadanaga (1606-1634), (Hoshina) Masayuki (1611-1673)

Tokugawa Tadayoshi
(Matsudaira Tadayasu)
4th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu
Satsuma no kami

Tadayoshi’s mother was Saigo no Tsubone. He was adopted by Matsudaira Ietada and was at first known as Matsudaira Tadayasu. At the Battle of Sekigahara, Tadayoshi was attended by Ii Naomasa and was therefore at the forefront of the fighting. He was afterwards given a 570,000-koku fief in Owari Province but died in 1608.

Tokugawa Nobuyoshi
(Takeda Nobuyoshi)
5th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu

Nobuyoshi's mother, Shimoyama dono, was reputed to be a daughter of Takeda Shingen who had gone from Anayama Beisetsu to Tokugawa Ieyasu following the death of the former in 1582. He was given a 40,000-koku fief in Shimôsa and the name 'Takeda' in 1594.

Tokugawa Tadateru
(Matsudaira Tadateru)
6th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu

Tadateru’s mother was Cha a no-tsubone. Despite being an infant, he was married to the daughter of Date Masamune in 1599. He was later adopted by Matsudaira Yasutada and received a 180,000-koku fief in Shinano (Sakura). In 1610 he received the fief of Takada in Echigo, worth 620,000 koku. Following a scandal during the Siege of Osaka Castle, to which Tadateru had come only tardily, he was accused of plotting against Hidetada and lost his lands. He eventually settled in Suo Province, where he lived in obscurity to an advanced age, the last of Ieyasu’s sons to pass away.

Tokugawa Yoshinao
7th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu

Yoshinao’s mother was a certain O Kane. He was given his late elder brother Tadayoshi's Owari fief and an income of 601,000 koku. He became the head of the Owari Tokugawa, one of the three gosankyô houses established by Ieyasu to provide heirs to the main line should the latter require one. Like his two younger brothers, Yorinobu and Yorifusa, Yoshinao enjoyed his father’s favor.
Son: Mitsutomo

Tokugawa Yorinobu
8th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu
Gon-chunagon, Hitachi no suke

Yorinobu’s mother was O Man no Kata. He received the fief of Mito with an income of 250,000 koku while only two. He was moved to Kii Province (Wakayama, 550,000 koku) in 1620 and so became the head of the second of the Tokugawa gosankyô houses.
Son: Mitsusada (1626-1705)

Tokugawa Yorifusa
9th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu
Saemon no kami

Yorifusa’s mother was O Man no Kata. He was given a 100,000-koku fief at Shimotzuma in Hitachi Province as a child (1603) and in 1621 was given Mito, worth 350,000 koku. As a young man he was tutored by Nakayama Bizen no kami Nobuyoshi (1576-1642), a member of a former Hôjô retainer family. Yorifusa was considered the most clever of Tokugawa's last three sons, and a number of anecdotes involving the three of them and Ieyasu survive. Yorifusa's Mito domain became the third of the gosankyô houses and was destined to provide the 15th and final Tokugawa shôgun, Yoshinobu.
Sons: (Matsudaira) Yorishige (1622-1695), Mitsukuni (1628-1670)

Tokugawa Shi-tenno

Four of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s retainers who are most associated with his rise to hegemony: Honda Tadakatsu, Ii Naomasa, Sakai Tadatsugu, and Sakikabara Yasumasa.

copyright 2005 F. W. Seal