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  Famous Tokugawa Generals  




Tokugawa Ieyasu
Shôgun, Udaijin, Ôgosho, Mikawa no kami
Ieyasu was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada and spent his youth as a hostage of the Imagawa. He was allowed to return to his native Mikawa and assume command of the Matsudaira in 1556, soon afterwards fighting with the Oda on the Imagawa's behalf. He took part in the actions leading up to the Battle of Okehazama (1560) but was not present in that decisive struggle. With Imagawa Yoshimoto dead, Ieyasu drifted away from the Imagawa and made a treaty with Oda Nobunaga, which he would honor without compromise in the future. Protected to the west, he reorganized his domain and clashed with rioting monto in 1564; by 1567 he was busy moving in on the Imagawa domain. His interest in the provinces of Tôtômi and Mikawa brought him into conflict with the Takeda. He took Tôtômi but was placed on the defensive by Takeda Shingen. He assisted Nobunaga at Anegawa in 1570 and later at Nagashino (1575). When Nobunaga was killed in June 1582, Ieyasu took the opportunity to expand his own fief by grabbing up Kai and Shinano. In 1584 he came into conflict with Toyotomi Hideyoshi on behalf of Oda Nobuo, and this resulted in the largely inconclusive Komaki Campaign. Afterwards, Ieyasu made peace and went on to assist in the Siege of Odawara (1590). He was compelled to move to the Kanto that same year and became one of the most powerful men in Japan. He was named as one of the regents for the young Toyotomi Hideyori but came into conflict with Ishida Mitsunari, resulting in a renewed civil war. He won the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and in 1603 was given the title of shôgun. He was instrumental in laying the framework for the Tokugawa bakufu, and was present in the Sieges of Osaka Castle (1514,1615). He died on 1 June 1616 in bed.
Tokugawa Nobuyasu
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Nobuyasu was the eldest son of Ieyasu. He was said to have been a capable fighter and was present at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575. He was accused of plotting against Oda Nobunaga in 1579 and was confined to Ohama and then Futamata. At the insistance of Nobunaga, Ieyasu ordered him to commit suicide. Prior to his death, Nobuyasu had been the keeper of Okazaki in Mikawa province. He was also said to have had a cruel nature and was not popular.
Tokugawa Hidetada
Hidetada was the 3rd son of Tokugawa Ieyasu through one of the latter's consorts and was known in his youth as Nagamaru. He was named the heir to the Tokugawa and he acted as a hostage to Hideyoshi during the Odawara Campaign (1590). 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. Along the way, he became distracted by the resistance of the Sanada at Ueda Castle in Shinano. He attempted to bring the castle down and when he failed to make any impression on the defenses, moved on. As a conseqence of his decision to attack Ueda, he missed the Battle of Sekigahara, an mishap for which he was harshly rebuked by his father. He was named the shogun 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 assualt while Ieyasu favored caution. Following the death of Ieyasu in 1616, Hidetada worked to strenghten the power 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 retired in 162 in favor of his son Iemitsu. He was known after his death as Taitoku-in.
Yûki Hideyasu
Mikawa no kami
Hideyasu was the second son of Ieyasu. He was brought up under the supervision of Toyotomi Hideysohi and accompanied him on the Kyushu Campaign. Hideyasu was adopted into the Yûki clan in 1590, and inherited a 100,000-koku fief in Shimosa from his adoptive father Harumoto. During the Sekigahara Campaign (1600), Hideyasu provided valuable assistance in the containment of Uesugi Kagekatsu and was afterwards transferred to a 750,000-koku fief in Echizen (Kita no sho). He was also acting as the keeper of Fushimi castle when he died in 1607, and some have suggested his affinity for the Toyotomi house in which he had been raised contributed to his untimely death. He was succeded in Echizen by his son Tadanao (1595-1650). A younger son, Tadamasa, is reputed to have taken no fewer then 57 heads at Osaka Castle (1614-15).
Matsudaira Ietada
Ietada was related to Ieyasu and fought in many battles with him, including Anegawa (1570), Mikatagahara (1573 - where he commanded part of the left wing), Nagashino (1575), and the Komaki Campaign (1584); in 1600 he was one of the defenders of Fushimi Castle under Torii Mototada, and died when that place fell to Ishida Mitsunari's generals. He was also known as Katahara Ietada.
Matsudaira Tadaaki
Tadaaki was a son of Okudaira Nobumasa and thus a grandson of Ieyasu (through his mother). He was adopted by Ieyasu and given the name Matsudaira and a 50,000-koku fief in Ise Province at Kameyama in 1610. He was a notable commander in the Osaka Campaigns and was afterwards given Osaka (and a domain in Settsu and Kwatchi worth 100,000 koku), whose town he set about rebuilding. He was transferred to Kôriyama in Yamato Province (worth 120,000 koku) in August 1619 and in 1639 was relocated to Himeji in Harima and given a domain worth 180,000 koku.
Abe Masakatsu
Iyo no kami
Masakatsu served Ieyasu since childhood, receiving a 5,000 koku fief from him in Musashi province in 1590. He received the title 'Iyo no Kami' in 1594, as well as the use of the Toyotomi surname. His son Masatsugu would serve Ieyasu as well, fighting for Tokugawa Hidetada at the siege of Osaka castle. Masatsugu would receive the favor of the Tokugawa over the rest of his life, seeing the Abe clan lands increased from 5,000 koku to over 80,000 by his death at age 79 in 1647.
Amano Yasukage
Yasukage served Tokugawa Ieyasu from childhood and in 1565 was named one of Mikawa's San-bugyô, or Three Commisioners (along with Honda Shigetsugu and Koriki Kiyonaga). He assisted Okubo Tadayo in a well-known night raid on the Takeda army following the Battle of Mikatagahara and was given a 10,000-koku fief in 1590.
Hattori Hanzo
Hanzo was the son of Hattori Yasunaga of Iga Province. He fought in a number of Tokugawa Ieyasu's battles and was one of the men tasked with assisting Tokugawa Nobuyasu commit suicide in 1579 - a task he proved unable to carry out due to his regard for the latter. He had inherited ties with the warriors of Iga and immediatly following the death of Nobunaga was able to use these connections to lead Tokugawa Ieyasu safely back to Mikawa. Hanzo is famous as a leader of 'ninja' and following the Tokugawa move to the Kanto in 1590 recieved the rank of Yoriki and led a 200-man unit of Iga warriors who formed the foundation of the Edo Castle guard. He was succeded by his son Iwami no kami Masanori, who would die fighting the defenders of Osaka Castle in 1615.
Hiraiwa Chikayoshi
Chikayoshi was a trusted retainer of Ieyasu, and acted as a tutor to his eldest son Nobuyasu (who was later made to commit suicide). He fought at Nagashino in 1575 and later took part in the failed expedition against the Sanada (1585). He was given a 30,000-koku fief at Umabayashi in Kôzuke Province in 1590.
Honda Tadakatsu
Tadakatsu began his career as one of Ieyasu's pages. He was to distinguish himself for bravery in almost every battle he fought, which included Anegawa (1570), Mikatagahara (1573), and Nagashino (1575). His finest moment came during the Komaki Campaign, where he challanged Hideyoshi's entire army with a few thousand men, determined to delay the latter's movements, if only for a few minutes. In 1586 he was awarded the title Nakatsukasa-taiyu and after the Tokugawa were moved to the Kanto recieved Otaki (Kazusa). He was present at Sekigahara (where he led 500 men) and afterwards recieved a 150,000-koku fief in Izu. He is said to have avoided injury in all the many battles he fought in and was known as one of Tokugawa's four greatest captains.
Honda Masanobu
Sado no Kami
Masanobu was originally an attendant to Tokugawa Ieyasu, then became a retainer of Sakai Shogen, a militant ecclesiast lord of Ueno - this made him an enemy of Ieyasu, who opposed the Mikawa monto. When the monto were defeated in 1564, Masanobu fled, eventually returning to rejoin Ieyasu's service. While not a soldier of any renown due to a wound suffered in his youth, Masanobu was often to be found at Ieyasu's side for the next fifty years. He was made secretary to Tokugawa Hidetada and his efforts helped prevent a rift between Hidetada and Ieyasu when the former was late arriving at Sekigahara (1600). Masanobu was said to have been at the center of the scandal that disgraced the Okubo family (1614) and some scholars believe that Masanobu was a cunning schemer, noting his frequent feuds with Ieyasu's other chief retainers and his conspicuous refusal to accept rewards. It can be said that Ieyasu thought highly of Masanobu and was given to describing him as 'my friend'. He died of an illness in 1617.
Honda Masazumi
Kôzuke no Suke
Masazumi was the eldest son of Honda Masanobu; like his father, Masazumi's activities were largely confined to civil affairs and, like his father, he has been accused of being an invenerate schemer. At the end of the Osaka 'Winter Campaign' (1614), it was Masazumi whose men filled in the outer and second moats of the castle, in violation of the peace treaty. He was dispossesed in 1622 and died in Dewa Province
Honda Yasushige
Bungo no kami
Yasushige fought in the Komaki Campaign (1584) and was appointed one of Tokugawa Hidetada's councilors while Ieyasu went to Kyushu during the 1st Korean Campaign (1593-94).
Ii Naomasa
Naomasa was born in the Inasa district of Tôtômi province, the only son of Ii Naochika (an Imagawa retainer executed in 1562). He entered the service of Tokuagwa Ieyasu around 1578, and quickly distiguished himself as a brave fighter. He commanded 3,000 men at the Battle of Nagakute and did great damage to the ikeda troops he faced with gunnery fire. Following the Tokugawa transfer to the Kanto in 1590, Naomasa was given Minowa Castle in Kôzuke province, worth 12,000 koku. At the start of the Sekigahara Campaign, he participated in the attack on Gifu Castle and at the actual Battle of Sekigahara commanded 3,600 men. In the battle he acted as an escort to Ieyasu's son Tadayoshi but managed to draw first blood, outpacing the troops of Fukushima Masanori and attacking Ukita Hideie's contingent. At the end of the battle he was shot and wounded by a Shimazu sniper. He was afterwards awarded Sawayama in Ômi Province (worth some 180,000 koku) but died in 1602, evidently as a result of his Sekigahara wound. He was noted for dressing his men in red armor and his contingent was often known as Ii's 'Red Devils' for its fighting spirit (Ii himself was sometimes called 'Akaoni', or red devil). He was succeded by his son Naotsugu.
Ii Naotaka
Naotaka was the second son of ii Naomasa. Hie elder brother Naotsugu had fallen out for favor for not wishing to fight at Osaka Castle and so Naotaka went in his stead. He distinguished himself at the Osaka Campaigns (commanding 3,200 men at the Battle of Tennôji in June 1615) and following their conclusion was granted his elder brother's land at Sawayama in Ômi province. He completed work on Hikone Castle in 1622 (started by Naotsugu in 1603).
Ina Tadatsugu
Bizen no kami
Tadatsugu, a civil officer of some ability, first served Takeda Katsuyori, and later Ieyasu. After the Odawara Campaign he was given a 13,000-koku fief at Konosu in Musashi province and was made responsible for the administration of the Kanto's granary land. Following the formation of the Edo Bakufu Ina continued to act as an expert on civil administration for Ieyasu. Before his death he had supervised a number of public works projects.
Ishikawa Kazumasa
Hôki no kami, Izumo no kami
Kazumasa served Ieyasu from childhood, when both were hostages in the Imagawa's capital of Sumpu. After Ieyasu secured independance from the Imagawa following Okehazama (1560), Kazumasa became a valued retainer and a skilled administrator. When Ieyasu managed to convince Imagawa Ujizane to relase his family in 1562, Ishikawa went to the Imagawa capital to act as their guardian, a dangerous assignment. In 1583, after Tototomi Hideyoshi's victory over Shibata Katsuie, Ishikawa was sent to present him with Ieyasu's congratulations. The next year, when Tokugawa decided to take issue with his Hideyoshi, Ishikawa and Sakikabara Yasumasa accordingly issued statements attacking Hideyoshi. Ishikawa served at Ieyasu's Komaki headquarters during the resulting Komaki-Nagakute Campaign. Following the cease-fire, Kazumasa switched sides in September 1585, evidently dismayed by what he took to be Tokugawa's foolhardy path of resistance to Hideyoshi. His departure from the Tokugawa camp proved quite inconvenient for Ieyasu, who was obliged to restructure his defensive policies and military organization, owing to Kazumasa's intimate knowledge of the Tokugawa. Kazumasa afterwards retired and lived with his son Yasumichi until he died in Iwanuma Castle in 1609.
Ishin Sûden
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Sûden was a Zen monk who acted as a religious advisor to Tokugawa Ieyasu and as a result played a notable role in that sphere in the foundation of the Tokugawa shogunate. Along with other scholars he drafted the Buke shohatto for Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1615 and read the document before an assembly of daimyô at Fushimi that same year. He was also known as Konchiin Sûden.
Koriki Kiyonaga
Kwatchi no kami
Kiyonaga was named one of three commissioners (bugyô) for Mikawa Province in 1565. In 1590 he recieved a 20,000-koku fief at Iwatsuki in Musashi Province and in 1592 was named as commissioner for warships built to accompany a Tokugawa army assigned to Kyushu during Hideyoshi's Korean Invasion.
Mizuno Nobutomo
Shimotsuke no kami
Nobutomo, a son of Tadamasa (d.1543) sided with Oda Nobuhide in 1543, but eventually rejoined the Matsudaira. He went on to serve Ieyasu (whose mother was Noibutomo's sister) and held Kariya Castle. 1576 Oda Nobunaga charged that Nobutomo had sold rice to Akiyama Nobutomo (a rival Takeda general) during the previous year's seige of Iwamura and Tokugawa Ieyasu thus sent Hiraide Chikayoshi to kill him. Nobutomo's house was succeded by his brother Mizuno Izumi no kami Tadashige (1541-1600).
Naitô Ienaga
Ienaga was the son of Naitô Kiyonaga. He first served Tokugawa Ieyasu in the suppression of the 1565 Mikawa monto riot and went on to fight at Mikatagahara, Nagashino, and elsewhere. After the Tokugawa were moved to the Kanto in 1590, he was given a 20,000-koku fief at Sanuki in Kazusa Province. Ienaga was one of the defenders of Fushimi in 1600 under Torii Mototada and commited suicide when the castle fell to the forces of Ishida Mitsunari. His son Masanaga later fought for the Tokugawa at Osaka Castle (1615)
Naitô Nobunari
Nobunari was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada and was adopted by Naitô Kiyonaga. He served Ieyasu first as a page and fought in the 1565 Mikawa monto riot and distinguished himself at the fight for Koromo Castle. He later saw action at Mikatagahara (1573) and Nagashino (1575). He was given the castle of Nirayama in Izu (10,000 koku) in 1590 and would end his career with a 50,000-koku fief at Nagahama in Ômi Province.
Natsume Yoshinobu
Yoshinobu, a long-standing Matsudaira/Tokugawa retainer, held Hamamatsu for Ieyasu. During the Battle of Mikatagahara he gave his life so that his lord might escape the advancing Takeda army by rushing into their ranks pretending to be Ieyasu.
Ogasawara Ujisuke
Ujisuke was the eldest son of Ogasawara Mimasaka no kami Ujikiyo (1529-1569) and inherited his domains in 1569. He initially served the Tokugawa and fought at the Battle of Anegawa (1570). in 1574 he was besieged in Takatenjin Castle by Takeda Katsuyori, and to the shock of his family (serving elsewhere in the Tokugawa domain) he surrendered, afterwards being given a fief at Omosu in Suruga Province. After the fall of the Takeda he fled to the Hôjô domain. He was assasinated after the fall of the Hôjô in 1590, and went down in family history as a disgrace.
Okubo Tadayo
Tadayo was the son of Okubo Tadakazu and served Ieyasu as a general and an advisor. He played a notable role in the Battle of Mikatagahara, leading a night raid with Amano Yasukaga against the Takeda positions. Later, he occupied an exposed position at Nagshino and took heavy losses fighting with Takeda men under Yamagata Masakage. He was one of the commanders in Ieyasu's failed endeavor to chastise Sanada Masayuki in 1585 and that same year was tasked with holding Okazaki Castle (Mikawa Province) following the defection of Ishikawa Kazumasa to the Toyotomi. In 1590 he was given Odawara Castle in Sagami with an income of 45,000 koku.
Okubo Tadachika
Sagami no kami
Tadachika was the son of Okubo Tadayo. He fought at Anegawa, Mikatagahara, and the Komaki Campaign, serving as the commnader of Ieyasu's bodyguard in the last. He inherited Odawara from his late father in 1593, and by 1603 was an important councillor for the Tokugawa house. He later fell out of favor, incuring the suspicion of Ieyasu and shôgun Tokugawa Hidetada, a situation worsened by a feud between Tadachika and Honda Masanobu. Tadachika was at length censored by the Tokugawa and while he was dispatched on an anti-Christian misson lost his lands in February 1614. His grandson Tadatomo was given back Odawara in 1687.
Okubo Nagayasu
Iwami no kami
Nagayasu was the son of a sarugaku player for the Takeda clan. He became a minor administrator for the Takeda and was later adopted by Okubo Tadachika (from whom he adopted his surname) and became the commissioner of mines for Ieyasu after 1590. In this role he proved most useful to Ieyasu, though he was suspected of fraudulant activities. Nonetheless, he was given a 30,000-koku fief at Hachijo (Musashi Province) and in 1606 was made daikan of Izu, handling tax collection and finances in general for that province. Such was his importance, he was nicknamed Tenka no Sôdaikan, or 'Great Administrator of the Realm'. He became involved in a bitter feud with Honda Masazumi that worsened the fortunes of the Okubo in general. After his death in April 1613, Nagayasu's illegal activities came to light and his family was harshly punished.
Okudaira Sadamasa
Mimasaka no kami
Sadamasa was the son of Okudaira Sadayoshi. He served under Ieyasu in a number of battles and took two heads at the Battle of Anegawa. He was briefly forced to join Takeda Shingen around 1572 but following Shingen's death the following year returned to the Tokugawa, abandoning Tsukude Castle. As a result of his turn-coating, Takeda Katsuyori ordered Sadamasa's family siezed and crucified. He held Nagashino Castle for the Tokugawa in 1575 and resisted the Takeda attempts to bring it down in June of that year, a campaign that culminated in the Battle of Nagashino. Sadamasa later married Tokugawa Ieyasu's daughter and in 1590 was given a 30,000-koku fief at Miyazaki in Kôzuke Province. His daughter married Okubo Tadatsune. Sadamasa was also known as Okudaira Nobumasa.
Sakai Tadatsugu
Saemon no kami
Tadatsugu was one of Ieyasu's most notable commnaders. After Ieyasu split from the Imagwa clan after 1560, Tadatsugu (a vocal supporter of the break) was given command of Yoshida Castle, which guarded the coastal road way into Mikawa from Tôtômi. At the Battle of Mikatagahara (1573) he secured the Tokugawa's right flank, and saw his command badly mauled by the attacking Takeda when the units ( those sent by Oda) around him fled. At Nagashino he requested permission to lead a night attack on the Takeda camp, which he accomplished (along with Kanamori Nagachika) to good result. During the Komaki Campaign, he was dispatched to turn back a Toyotomi move against Kiyosu led by Mori Nagayoshi, and was successful. At the time of the Odawara Camapgin (1590) he accompanied Tokugawa Hidetada (Ieyasu's hostage to Toyotomi Hideyoshi) to Kyoto. When the Tokugawa were afterwards moved to the Kanto, Tadatsugu recieved a 50,000-koku fief at Takasaki (Kôzuke Province). Despite Tadatsugu's high rank, some believe that Ieyasu never forgave him for an incident in 1579: while making a diplomatic visit to Oda Nobunaga, Tadatsugu was confronted with allegations that Ieyasu's son Nobuyasu was plotting against the Oda - no friend of Nobuyasu himself, Tadatsugu made no attempt to refute the charges (and Nobuyasu was later made to commit suicide). He was succeded by his son Sakai Ietsugu (Saemon no jô; 1564-1619).
Sakikabara Yasumasa
Shikibu-taiyu, Daijuji
Yasumasa rose to become one of Ieyasu's closest retainers and was skilled both in war and administration. He saw action at Anegawa (1570), Mikatagahara (1573), and Nagashino (1575). He was with Tokugawa when the latter chose to defy Hideyoshi in 1584 and suggested Komaki as a suitable heaquarters for the ensuing campaign. In 1585 he accompained Ieyasu to Osaka to meet with Hideyoshi and was awarded the title Shikibu-taiyu. Following the Tokugawa move to the Kanto he was assigned to head up a team responsible for the allocation of fiefs and while Tokugawa was away serving on Hideyoshi's Korean Inavsion staff in Kyushu (1592-93, 1597-98), Yasumasa was one of the chief administrators left to supervise the Kanto. He was also known as Sakikabara Heishichi.
Suganuma Sadamitsu
Oribe no shô
The Suganuma were a Mikawa family that nominally served the Imagawa before transferring thier loyalties to the Tokugawa after 1560. Sadamitsu served Ieyasu at at Anegawa and Nagashino. In 1601 he recieved a 20,000-koku fie in Ise (Nagashima).
Torii Tadayoshi
?? ??
Tadayoshi served Matsudaira Hirotada and then Tokugawa Ieyasu as a councillor and an administrator of finances at Okazaki Castle. He is best remembered for hoarding supplies secretly in Okazaki Castle in the expectation of Ieyasu's return from Sumpu and was described as the model of the Mikawa samurai. He was the father of Torii Mototada.
Torii Mototada
Mototada served Ieyasu from childhood (whom he attended to while both were hostages of the Imagawa at Sumpu) and was served in many campaigns, including Nagashino (where he helped erect that battle's well-known palisades) and the abortive 1585 attempt to bring Sanada Masayuki of Shinano into line. Following the 1590 Odawara Campaign he was given a fief in Shimosa (Yahagi, 40,000 koku) and at the opening of the Sekigahara Campaign (1600) was entrusted with Fushimi Castle (Yamashiro province). Once hostilities commenced, Fushimi was besieged on 27 August and fierce fighting continued until 8 September, at which point, with his garrison all but eliminated and undone by treachery, Mototada commited suicide. His final parting with Ieyasu just prior to the start of the campaign (made in the knowledge of the inevitability of Mototada's death) was said to have been quite moving, and the news of his death reportedly saddened Ieyasu greatly.
Uemura Masakatsu
Masakatsu served Tokugawa Ieyasu in his infancy and onward, though he briefly sided with the rioting Mikawa monto in 1565. He lost his lands around the time of the Odawara Campaign, it is said, for his open dislike of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. His son (?) Iemasa became a page to Tokugawa Hidetada in 1599 and in 1608 was made a commander of ashigaru. Iemasa served notably at the Seiges of Osaka Castle and in 1640 was made a Daimyô at Takatori with an income of 25,000 koku.
Watanabe Moritsuna
?? ??
Moritsuna joined Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1557 and served him loyally thereafter. He fought at Anegawa (1570), Mikatagara (1573), and Nagashino (1575). He was known for his skill with the spear and was nicknamed "Spear Hanzo".