Tokugawa Ieyasu, born in 1543, is the third and final unifying warlord of Japan during the Sengoku Period and is also responsible for the founding of the Tokugawa Shogunate, a dynasty that would control Japan for over 200 years. After Tokugawa Ieyasu joined the Oda clan in 1560, he quickly gained Nobunaga’s trust due to his militaristic achievements and contributions towards the unification of Japan. Throughout his time, Tokugawa was known to be a patient, perseverant, and clever individual. He took his complete defeat against Takeda Shingen as a lesson to improve his tactics and assembled a number of powerful generals, including Hattori Hanzou and Honda Tadakatsu, to aid him in the quest for unification. Following Nobunaga’s assassination, he fought Hideyoshi Toyotomi to a stalemate at the Battle of Nagakute and eventually agreed to become Hideyoshi’s vassal. After Hideyoshi passed away, Tokugawa grew to become the most influential and powerful man in Japan. Since he was not involved in the Korean Campaign, he held the upmost popularity among his retainers – for not sending his men to die – while Toyotomi’s most trusted allies held him in contempt.

Tokugawa launched edicts that expelled all Christians from Japan and isolated Japan from most foreign trade, excluding the Dutch, Korean, and Chinese.



In the Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa led his army against Ishida Mitsunari and eventually became appointed Shogun by the Japanese Emperor – a title desired, but never obtained, by both Nobunaga and Hideyoshi – but ended up surprising everyone when he renounced the title only two years later. Tokugawa’s last known activity was during the Siege of Osaka, where Sanada Yukimura managed to charge through his camp to confront him. Although the death of Yukimura marked the end of Tokugawa’s opposition, he still feared any threats coming from outside. As such, Tokugawa launched edicts that expelled all Christians from Japan, and isolated Japan from any foreign trade, excluding the Dutch, Korean, and Chinese. While his fears may have been well-established, given the betrayal against Oda Nobunaga and the ‘mysterious’ death by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, his policies had long-tern effects that limited Japan’s overall progress against foreign powers.


In modern days, Tokugawa is often portrayed as an old, relatively boring man best regarded for his patience and wisdom in knowing when to act. In One Piece, Tokugawa is compared to Admiral Kizaru of the Marines for his cleverness and, in the Fate/Nasu-verse, he is characterized as a hero worthy of the Saber class.

Additional Resources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_Ieyasu

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/ieyasu_tokugawa.shtml

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tokugawa-Ieyasu