Kiyomasa Kato, also known as Toranosuke, was born in August 2, 1562. He was the son of a blacksmith in Nakamura, the same village in Owari that Hideyoshi Toyotomi was also believed to be born. He served as a retainer to Hideyoshi and distinguished himself at the Shizugatake in 1583 where he became known as one of the “Seven Spears” due to his amazing performance during that battle. Even though he was considered a loyal Hideyoshi Toyotomi retainer, he joined Tokugawa Ieyasu’s front during the Sekigahara campaign because of his extreme hate against another one of Hideyoshi’s retainers: Konishi Yukinaga.
His cruelty and love of combat earned him the nickname of Kishokan, or Devil General
While Kato Kiyomasa is reported to have died in 1611 due to illness, it is believed that Ieyasu arranged his death. Given that Kato was a friend of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, this made him a block in Ieyasu's plans to end this last threat towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. At the same time, a disease called the "Chinese Pox" was making rounds and had already claimed a number of well-known lords such as Honda Masanobu and Kuroda Kanbei. Kato Kiyomasa is often described as a ruthless fighter. He wrote to his followers later in life that poetry and dancing were shameful hobbies for a samurai and ordered that anyone be caught or found himself engaged in the latter to commit suicide. His cruelty and love of combat earned him the nickname of Kishokan, or "Devil General." Kato Kiyomasa can be found as a character in Sengoku Basara and Pokemon Conquest, along more western-known titles like Age of Empires III.