Japan's 12 Most Famous Samurai | all about japan (2023)

Michael Kanert


Japan's 12 Most Famous Samurai | all about japan (2)

Japan's most famous samurai arose largely from its two major feudal conflicts: the Genpei War (1180-1185) and the later years of the Warring States period (1467-1590). The preceding war produced the Kamakura shogunate (1185-1333); The last series of conflicts culminated in the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868.

12. Tomoe Gözen (Ba Yuqian)

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Tomoe Gozen (1157?-1247?) fue unonna bugeisha(女武芸者, female martial artist) who served Minamoto no Yoshinaka during the Genpei War (1180-1185). Before the samurai became a formal caste in the Edo period (1603-1868), women were trained to carryNaginataspears andatDaggers used to protect communities with few male combatants. In fact, the legendary Empress Jingu is said to have led an invasion of Korea in 200 AD after her imperial husband was killed in battle, although whether this invasion actually took place remains a matter of debate.

The Genpei War was fought between the powerfulMinamoto (Genji)miTaira (Heike)Clans, both descendants of the Imperial line. Tomoe had a number of achievements in the war, leading 1,000 knights, surviving a battle of 300 against 6,000, and collecting opponents' heads as stamps. InHeike's story(The fairy tale of Heike,heike monogatari), an epic poem about the conflict, compiled at least in 1309, it is written that, besides her beauty, Tomoe "was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand and ready to devote herself to them." represent a demon."or a god, mounted or on foot".

As the Genpei War drew to a close, Yoshinaka vied for power over the entire Minamoto clan. Despite being defeated by his cousin Yoritomo (who founded the Kamakura shogunate), Tomoe is said to have dismounted, arrested and beheaded Yoritomo's strongest warrior at the Battle of Awazu in 1184. It's unclear what happened to him after the paperonna bugeishadisappeared in the Edo period, although Tomoe has reappeared as a popular characterukiyo-ePrints and Kabuki pieces.

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11. Kusunoki Masashige

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Kusunoki Masashige (1294?-1336) is renowned both as a military strategist and for his unwavering dedication. In 1331 he joined Emperor Go-Daigo (1288-1339) to reclaim power from the Kamakura shogunate, under which the Emperor had become a mere figurehead. Kusunoki's greatest triumph came in 1332 when he defended Chihaya Castle, south of Osaka, against the 100,000-strong shogunate army of just 2,000 men.

Kusunoki was given control of various parts of the Kansai area after the war. The Kenmu Restoration would be short-lived, however, as the Ashikaga clan betrayed Kusunoki and twice led armies against Kyoto in 1336. The second time, Kusunoki advocated letting the superior Ashikaga force take the capital, while supporters of the Emperor took refuge with the monks. . from Mount Hiei, then descend onto Ashikaga and capture them in the city. However, Go-Daigo ordered Kusunoki to move forward. The seasoned tactician knew it was a death sentence, but he accepted it. When his troops were finally subdued at the Battle of Minatogawa near present-day Kobe, Kusunoki committed suicide before being captured. Today he is a symbol of courage and devotion to the Emperor, and a statue of him stands in front of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

10. Sanada Yukimura

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Once hailed as Japan's greatest warrior, Sanada Yukimura (1567-1615) fought valiantly against the tumultuous beginnings of Tokugawa rule over the nation. His brilliant defense of Ueda Castle in Nagano prevented Tokugawa Hidetada's 40,000 soldiers from arriving in time to support his father Ieyasu in the decisive Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. However, Ieyasu won and soon regained control of all of Japan., Yukimura led the defense in the final battle against the Tokugawa rule at the Siege of Osaka in 1614–1615, fighting so fiercely that he outnumbered Tokugawa forces forced to agree to an armistice after the first winter campaign. However, Ieyasu returned a few months later with 150,000 men for the summer campaign, and although Yukimura bravely led his 60,000 soldiers, he ended up exhausted and dead.

9. Yasuke

Yasuke was an African slave brought to Japan in 1579 by the Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano. No one in Japan had ever seen a black man before, so his presence caused a sensation. He was summoned for an audience with Oda Nobunaga, the most powerful warlord of the time, who was so stunned by his appearance that he had him stripped to his waist and his skin rubbed to prove he didn't stain with ink was.

Nobunaga was so impressed with Yasuke's strength and height, which was recorded at about 188 centimeters (6 ft 2 in) tall, that he made him his valet and bodyguard. In 1581, Yasuke was elevated to the rank of samurai and assigned to Azuchi Castle, Nobunaga's coronation, where he dined with the warlord and acted as his personal swordsman.

When Nobunaga was betrayed by Akechi Mitsuhide and forced to commit suicide at Honno-ji Temple in 1582, Yasuke was there fighting Mitsuhide's troops. He fled to Azuchi Castle and briefly served Nobunaga's son until he too was attacked by Mitsuhide and committed suicide.

Yasuke then gave his sword to Mitsuhide who, unaccustomed to a samurai's surrender, rather than committing suicide after his master's death, ordered Yasuke to return to the Jesuit Mission in Kyoto. Whether this was done out of disrespect for a "beast," as Mitsuhide put it, or to cover up an act of mercy is still up for debate. After this, Yasuke's fate is unclear, although his presence may have been recorded in and around Kyushu in 1584.

No one is sure where Yasuke was born, although it has been suggested that he may have been from Mozambique, Angola, or Ethiopia, or perhaps was a European-born slave from Portugal. His real name is also unknown, although Yasuke is believed to be his Japanese equivalent.

8. Uesugi Kenshin

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Uesugi Kenshin (1530–1578), the fourth son of a powerful warlord, rose out of a succession struggle and internal conflicts with peasants and warrior monks during the Warring States period to seize control of Echigo Province, which is now the mainland prefecture Echigo in Niigata is Japan (1467-1590). . Sometimes called the Dragon of Echigo (越後の龍・Echigo no Ryu), in addition to his military prowess, he was famous for his rivalry with Takeda Shingen, who invaded northern Shinano (now Nagano) just as Kenshin was protecting Echigo. . Across the border.

Between 1553 and 1564, the two samurai fought five times at Kawanakajima, located in the southern part of present-day Nagano City. Although most of these battles were mere skirmishes, in the fourth battle in October 1561, Kenshin nearly defeated Shingen and even went so far as to personally invade Shingen's command post. Surprised, Shingen parried Kenshin's attack with nothing more than an iron fan, holding him off until one of his minions launched Kenshin's mount and drove him off.

When the Kanto-based Hojo clan imposed an embargo on the shipment of salt to the Shingen Fortress in Kai Province (now Yamanashi Prefecture), Kenshin sent salt from Echigo, reportedly saying, "I don't fight with salt, but with salt ." . the sword.” He is even said to have wept upon hearing of Shingen's death in 1573, saying, “I have lost my good rival. We will not have such a hero again!"

Kenshin later fought against the growing power of Oda Nobunaga, Japan's greatest military leader, even inflicting a heavy defeat on him at the Battle of Tedorigawa (now in Ishikawa Prefecture) in 1577. He raised an army, now even allied with Takeda, to carry on. his attack on the Oda area in 1577–78, but he died of illness before he could attack. His tombstone can be seen at the Rinsen-ji Temple in Joetsu City, Niigata, where he studied Zen and martial arts as a young man.

7. Minamoto kein Yoshitsune

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Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-1189) was a leader during the Genpei War (1180-1185) between theMinamoto (Genji)miTaira (Heike)Clans.

As a child, much of Yoshitsune's immediate family was killed in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160. His half-brother Yoritomo was banished to the Izu Peninsula while Yoshitsune was placed in the care of the monks of YoshitsuneKurama-Templein the mountains north of Kyoto. In 1174 he followed suithirizumiin what was then Mutsu Prefecture, which now occupies the eastern half of the Tohoku region in northern Japan. For years, Yoshitsune was protected by Fujiwara no Hidehira, the head of the powerful northern Fujiwara clan.

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Yoshitsune joined Yoritomo when he raised an army to fight against the Taira clan in 1180. Yoshitsune led his clan to a series of victories culminating in the Battle of Dan-no-ura in modern-day Yamanashi Prefecture. However, after the war was won and Yoritomo established the Kamakura shogunate, he became suspicious of his half-brother, annulling his titles and forcing him to hide in Hiraizumi in 1185. However, after his patron Hidehira died in 1187, Yoshitsune was betrayed by his son, who surrounded his dwelling and forced him to commit suicide.

The incident is particularly famous for the permanent death of Benkei, a fearsome warrior monk who had been Yoshitsune's lackey since the latter defeated him on a bridge in Kyoto. On his final day, Benkei is said to have single-handedly killed over 300 men while guarding the bridge to Yoshitsune's residence, prompting soldiers to attack him from afar with arrows. Although he eventually stopped moving, he did not fall, and when the soldiers finally worked up the courage to cross the bridge, they found that Benkei had died standing.

Yoshitsune is a symbol of the tragic hero in Japan. He is a popular character in kabuki, as well as the central character in the third section of the epic poem.Heike's story(The fairy tale of Heike,heike monogatari), which narrates the events of the Genpei War.

6.Miyamoto Musashi

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Though he never owned his own land or served a prince as a formal samurai, none compares to Miyamoto Musashi (1584?-1645) as a duelist. Undefeated in at least 60 duels, he founded several fencing schools and later wroteThe Book of the Five Rings(Book of the Five Rings,Ir Rin no Sho), which is still read today for a glimpse of his tactics and philosophy.

Although there is uncertainty as to his place of birth, Musashi wroteThe Book of the Five Ringswho was born in Harima Prefecture, the southern part of present-day Hyogo Prefecture. He is believed to have been born in a now-lost town called Miyamoto, just on the border of Mimasaka Prefecture to the west. Musashi's father was a talented swordsman who served the lord of Takeyama Castle, who ruled the village.

Audacious and ruthless, Musashi won his first duel at age 12 or 13 by accepting an open challenge from a roving samurai, stunning him with a sudden attack with a wooden stick, and then bludgeoning him to death on the ground. When Musashi came of age shortly after the end of the Warring States Period (1467-1590), there is debate as to which specific battles Musashi was involved in and even on whose side, with some placing him on the losing side of the Battle of Sekigahara (1600s-1500s). ) that cemented Tokugawa rule, while others say he was fighting elsewhere at the time. It was also placed on either side of the Siege of Osaka (1614-1615), where the Tokugawa eliminated the last lingering threat to their rule.

Better known than his battles are Musashi's many duels, which he often wins with just a wooden sword. Early in his career, he defeated several members of the Yoshioka school, ending the reign of Kyoto's pre-eminent fencing school. He then traveled through Japan on a warrior pilgrimage, orMusha Shugyo(Musha Shugyo) from 1605 to 1612, duel with masters of different schools and weapons.

In 1612 he fought his most famous duel against Sasaki Kojiro on the small island of Funajima, which lies in the Kanmon Strait between the main island of Japan and Kyushu. Musashi angered his opponent by intentionally arriving at the island nearly three hours late. In a fierce but brief duel, she killed him with a wooden sword she had carved from an oar on the way to the island.

After the siege of Osaka, Musashi helped build Akashi Castle in what is now Hyogo Prefecture and the city of Himeji. He traveled again for a time, offering himself as sword teacher or vassal to various leading figures, including Tokugawa Ieyasu himself (who turned him down), until finally settling with the daimyo of Kumamoto Castle in 1633, after which he mourned less and fought less. I was interested in learning to paint. In 1643 he retired to a cave in western Kumamoto known as Reigando (霊巌洞) to writeThe Book of the Five Rings. He finished the work in February 1645 and died in the cave around June 13, aged 62.

Immortalized in countless films and period dramas today, Musashi is best known for his two-sword style, Niten Ichi-ryu (二天一流, "Two Heavens as One"), which he perfected in Kumamoto. Although Musashi is a popular figure in the public imagination due to his limited impact on Japanese history, he is not as widely viewed (or studied) as the rest of the samurai on this list.

5. Takeda Shingen

The Takeda clan descendedMinamoto-Clan, which broke away from the old imperial line of Japan in the 9th century.

Takeda Shingen (1521-1573) was sometimes referred to as the Tiger of Kai (甲斐の虎・Kai no Tora), specifically because he opposed Uesugi Kenshin, the Dragon of Echigo, since tigers and dragons are traditional enemies in Buddhism. . Images (confusingly, Uesugi Kenshin is also known as Echigo's Tiger). Kai Province was the region that corresponds to Yamanashi Prefecture today.

After ousting his own father from power to gain control of the Takeda clan in 1540, Shingen conquered Shinano Province (now Nagano Prefecture). Fortress after fort fell before him, eventually catching up with Uesugi Kenshin's forces in Echigo Province (now Niigata) to the north. Although the two fought fruitlessly from 1553 to 1564, Shingen eventually managed to keep Kenshin's forces away from Shinano, allowing Shingen to focus on campaigns in the south. At the beginning of Oda Nobunaga's rise to power, he joined forces with Tokugawa Ieyasu to retake Suruga Province (now central Shizuoka Prefecture) in 1569, then felt secure in his position and betrayed Nobunaga and Ieyasu to attack the combined Oda forces .

Shingen was considered the only daimyo with the martial and tactical skills to counter Nobunaga's ongoing conquest of Japan by defeating Ieyasu at the Battle of Mikatagahara in what is now western Shizuoka Province. However, Shingen died in his camp in 1573 from illness or war injury. After his death, the Takeda were largely destroyed by Nobunaga and Ieyasu in the 1582 Battle of Tenmokuzan. However, Shingen's well-constructed administrative, legal, and tax system influenced later leaders, including Ieyasu himself.

To this day, Takeda Shingen is commemorated in the memorialFestival de Shingenkoon April 12 in Kofu City, Yamanashi. A popular character in pop culture, the daimyo in the work of Akira Kurosawa.Kagemushahas its headquarters in Shingen.

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4. Offer with Masamune

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Date Masamune (1567-1636) was born in Yonezawa Castle in what is now Yamagata Prefecture. He led his first campaign at the age of 14 and followed his father at the age of 17 in conquering much of what is now the Tohoku region in 1589. He joined Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the Siege of Odawara in 1590 and joined the failed campaigns after Hideyoshi unified Japan. also in Korea.

After Hideyoshi's death in 1598, Masamune sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu and joined Ieyasu in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and again in the Siege of Osaka in 1615. Ieyasu rewarded him with the Sendai domain, which has since been divided between Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures.

Masamune founded the city of Sendai in 1604 and in late 1613 sent the western-style ship Date Maru (伊達丸), also known as John the Baptist, to Mexico with the intention of sending a diplomatic envoy to the Pope in Rome. Masamune, respected for his ethics, is quoted as saying, "Excessive righteousness hardens into rigidity; excessive benevolence sinks into weakness."

After losing his right eye to smallpox as a child, Masamune was known as the One-Eyed Dragon or Dokuganryu (独眼竜). It was easily identified by the huge crescent moon on its rudder.

3. Toyotomi Hideyoshi

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The top three samurai on our list are the Three Great Unifiers of Japan, who are responsible for returning the nation to centralized rule after the tumultuous Warring States Period (1467-1590). They laid the foundation for Japan as we know it today.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) was the second of these unifiers. The son of a humble foot soldier in Owari Province (now western Aichi Prefecture), he joined the Oda clan in 1558 as a foot soldier. He was one of Oda Nobunaga's sandal wearers in the Battle of Okehazama, where Nobunaga defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto to become dominant. Power in Owari.

Hideyoshi then repaired Sunomata Castle in Mino Province (now Gifu Prefecture) to support Nobunaga's siege of Inabayama Castle, which Hideyoshi further facilitated by bribing the samurai Mino to defect or switch sides. Nicknamed Kozaru, or "little monkey", due to his facial features and slender appearance, he soon became one of Nobunaga's most respected generals.

Hideyoshi was made daimyo of part of Omi Province (now Shiga Prefecture) after helping conquer the region from the Azai clan, and in 1576 Nobunaga sent him to Himeji Castle to face the Mori clan and western Japan conquer. After Nobunaga was betrayed and forced to commit suicide by Akechi Mitsuhide in 1582, Hideyoshi wiped out Akechi's forces at the Battle of Yamazaki and then supported 2-year-old Oda Hidenobu as Nobunaga's successor. Although Oda's Chief-General Shibata Katsuie opposed this plan, his defeat by Hideyoshi at the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583 made the former sandal-bearer the de facto leader of all Oda forces, including Tokugawa Ieyasu after an inconclusive conflict.

Before his death, Oda Nobunaga had already conquered the southern half of mainland Japan, and Hideyoshi had conquered the large islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. Undaunted by the challenges of his power, in 1587 Hideyoshi banished Christian missionaries who began raiding Kyushu, and although Nobunaga welcomed these missionaries to combat the troublesome influence of the warrior monks, Hideyoshi crucified 26 missionaries and Christian converts. 1597.

In 1590, the fall of the Hojo clan at the Siege of Odawara finally ended the Warring States Period (1467-1590). Hideyoshi then set his sights on Ming China, which he hoped to conquer via Korea. However, two confused Korean campaigns in 1592 and 1597 ended such ambitions. Hideyoshi himself did not survive the second campaign, having died abroad with his troops in September 1598.

In addition to being a ruthless warlord and shrewd negotiator, Hideyoshi was also a fan of the tea ceremony, although he once ordered his tea master to commit suicide, and also enjoyed acting in Noh plays, forcing his daimyo to join him. as supporting characters on stage. He also reformed the class system, banning commoners (like himself) from taking up arms and imposing strict internal migration controls, thereby laying the foundation for the social structure that Tokugawa Ieyasu would eventually rule.

2. Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Though perhaps best known for the shogunate that bears his name, the first Tokugawa shogun was equal parts cold-blooded warrior and tactician. Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) was the son of the Daimyo of Mikawa Province, present-day eastern Aichi Prefecture. At the age of 5 he was kidnapped by the Oda clan and held hostage for political influence in Nagoya. At the age of 6 his father was killed by his vassals who had been paid by the ode. At the age of 9, after the sudden death of the Oda patriarch, Oda Nobunaga agreed to transfer Ieyasu to Sunpu, where he lived as a hostage of the Imagawa clan until he was 13, when he joined the Imagawa in their Fighting joined against the ode.

After the Imagawa leader Yoshimoto was killed in a surprise attack by Nobunaga, Ieyasu decided to switch sides and joined Oda. His soldiers were part of the force that took Kyoto under Nobunaga in 1568. He allied with Takeda Shingen to conquer Suruga Province (now central Shizuoka Prefecture), then teamed up with Uesugi Kenshin to oppose his former ally. Ieyasu was committed to victory at all costs: when his wife and first son were accused of conspiring to assassinate Nobunaga, Ieyasu allowed her to be executed while he forced his son to commit suicide, leading Ieyasu to make Nobunaga his to appoint heirs to their third son, Hidetada. . , as his second son had already been adopted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

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Ieyasu was too late to take revenge on Akechi Mitsuhide for betraying Nobunaga: Hideyoshi beat him up. He then opposed Hideyoshi's plan to establish the infant Hidenobu as the new head of the Oda clan, but stayed out of Hideyoshi's battle with Shibata Katsuie in 1583, nor did he participate in Hideyoshi's conquests of Shikoku and Kyushu. However, he joined the siege of Odawara, after which he received the Hojo clan's former provinces in the Kanto Plains in exchange for his own existing possessions. He was not directly involved in Hideyoshi's failed Korean campaigns, although he was placed in command of the reserve forces on Kyushu.

When Hideyoshi died in 1598, Ieyasu was one of the members of the Council of Five Elders chosen to govern the newly united country until Hideyoshi's 5-year-old son Hideyori came of age. However, Ieyasu allied himself with Daimyo who was dissatisfied with Toyotomi rule, and in 1600 his forces clashed with those of Ishida Mitsunari at Sekigahara in present-day Gifu Province, with Toyotomi supporters rallying behind. With more than 160,000 soldiers engaged in the conflict, Ieyasu's victory at the Battle of Sekigahara consolidated his control of the nation.

In 1603, at the age of 60, Ieyasu received the title of shogun from Emperor Go-Yozei. He built his capital, Edo (modern-day Tokyo) on land he conquered from the Hojo, beginning the Edo Period (1603-1868) of Japanese history. As Hideyoshi's son Hideyori rallied forces to oppose him in 1614 and 1615, Ieyasu came out of retirement to personally lead his armies in the Siege of Osaka, two winter and summer skirmishes that eventually involved 200,000 and 300,000 soldiers respectively ends with the extermination of the Toyotomi lineage.

Ieyasu died in 1616 at the age of 73. Now it is anchored in the opulentSanktuario Nikko Toshoguin Tochigi Prefecture. The Tokugawa shogunate lasted for over 250 years and only ended with the Meiji Restoration in 1868. It is also worth noting that one of Ieyasu's most famous vassals was the ninja Hattori Hanzo.

1. Oda Nobunaga

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While Miyamoto Musashi is perhaps the best known "samurai" internationally, Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) enjoys the highest respect in Japan. Nobunaga was not only a fine warrior and strategist, but also responsible for starting the chain of events that would reunite the nation and end the Warring States Period.

While the Ashikaga shogunate nominally ruled Japan during the Muromachi period (1336-1573), real power outside of Kyoto rested with the local daimyo, leaving the nation regionally fragmented. Nobunaga was born into a family with estates in Owari Province, now part of Aichi Prefecture, and after his father's death in 1551, he united his clan and took control of all of Owari in 1559. Then he defeated his main competitor in the region. Imagawa Yoshimoto attacked Mino Province, the southern part of present-day Gifu Province, in 1560 and 1561, a name given to it by Nobunaga himself when he captured Inabayama Castle and renamed it Gifu Castle in 1567.

Then, at the behest of Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Nobunaga went to Kyoto in 1568 to depose the Ashikaga shogun ruler Yoshihide. By using Yoshiaki as the new shogun, Nobunaga hoped to use him as a puppet leader. However, as Nobunaga's power increased, powerful forces began to unite against him. He eliminated enemy warrior monks from Mount Hiei in 1571, besieged Ikko-ikki peasants and warrior monks in Nagashima and Ishiyama Hongan-ji (eventually conquering Nagashima in 1574 and Ishiyama in 1580), and when Shogun Yoshiaki raised his own forces against their former ally, Nobunaga defeated them and dispatched Yoshiaki into exile, ending the Ashikaga shogunate in 1573.

Nobunaga also crushed the opposing Asakura clan in Echizen province (now north of Fukui) and Azai clan in Omi province (now Shiga) in 1573, and after their now ally Tokugawa Ieyasu withstood attacks by Takeda forces in Mikawa province ( east of Aichi) had withstood. . The two teamed up and used arquebuses to hammer the Takeda clan at the Battle of Nagashino in 1575, completely defeating the clan in 1582.

Through his own strategies and the work of his allies and vassals, Nobunaga managed to control the southern half of mainland Japan and laid the foundation for the reunification of the nation. After Nobunaga's betrayal and death at Honno-ji Temple in 1582, Toyotomi Hideyoshi completed what his leader had started.

While Hideyoshi and Ieyasu reaped the rewards of conquest, Nobunaga is considered the greatest warrior of the three. It is said of the three great unifiers of Japan: "Nobunaga beats the rice cake, Hideyoshi kneads it, and Ieyasu sits down and eats it."

Honorable Mention: William Adams (aka Miura Anjin・Miura Anjin)

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William Adams (1564-1620) was the first Englishman to visit Japan. He was the pilot of a Dutch expedition to the Far East, but after being separated from the rest of the small fleet by storms, his ship ran aground at Bungo, now Usuki, in the province of Oita in April 1600.

The approximately 20 sick crew members were transferred to Osaka under the command of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Although Ieyasu consolidated his hold over Japan, he had not yet won the decisive Battle of Sekigahara that was to take place in October. Indeed, in this battle, Ieyasu used the 19 bronze cannons taken from Adam's ship and again tricked them into confronting Toyotomi Hideyori at Osaka Castle in 1615.

Impressed by Adam's shipbuilding skills, Ieyasu ordered him in 1604 to oversee the construction of Japan's first Western-style ship, which was being built at Ito on the east coast of the Izu Peninsula. Ieyasu eventually made Adams a samurai and gifted him two swords and a piece of land on the Miura Peninsula in present-day Kanagawa Prefecture, where he became known as Miura Anjin (Angina pectorismeans "pilot").

Adams never fought in battle, but he served as a diplomat and promoted trade. In 1613 he helped set up a trading post for the East India Company at Hiroado in Kyushu and although forbidden to return home he was able to support his wife and children in England, although he also married a Japanese woman. with whom he had two children.

Adams undertook several expeditions through Southeast Asia between 1614 and 1619 and finally died in Hirado in 1620, where he is buried. The unprofitable English trading post closed in 1623. In 1975, Adam's story became the inspiration for James Clavell's novel.Shogun.

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