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Politics, Wars and warfare

Saigō Takamori

Saigō Takamori (Takanaga) was one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. Living during the late Edo and early Meiji periods, he has been dubbed the last true samurai. He was born Saigō Kokichi, and received the given name Takamori in adulthood. He wrote poetry under the name Saigō Nanshū. His younger brother was Gensui The Marquis Saigō Tsugumichi.

Wars and warfare


Yasuke was a retainer of African origin who served under the Japanese hegemon and warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1581 and 1582.

Wars and warfare

Tomoe Gozen

Tomoe Gozen was a late twelfth-century female samurai warrior (onna-bugeisha), known for her bravery and strength. She married Minamoto no Yoshinaka and served him in the Genpei War and was a part of the conflict that led to the first shogunate in Japan.

Wars and warfare

Ishida Mitsunari

Ishida Mitsunari was a Japanese samurai and military commander of the late Sengoku period of Japan. He is probably best remembered as the commander of the Western army in the Battle of Sekigahara following the Azuchi–Momoyama period of the 16th century. He is also known by his court title, Jibu-no-shō (治部少輔).

Wars and warfare

Kawakami Gensai

Kawakami Gensai was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period. A highly skilled swordsman, he was one of the four most notable assassins of the Bakumatsu period. Gensai's high-speed sword discipline allowed him to assassinate targets in broad daylight.

Movies, Wars and warfare

Saitō Hajime

Saitō Hajime was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period, who most famously served as the captain of the third unit of the Shinsengumi. He was one of the few core members who survived the numerous wars of the Bakumatsu period. He was later known as Fujita Gorō and worked as a police officer in Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration.

Wars and warfare

Kusunoki Masashige

Kusunoki Masashige was a 14th-century samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in the Genkō War, the attempt to wrest rulership of Japan away from the Kamakura shogunate and is remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty. His origin has not been validated and it was merely six years between the start of his military campaign in 1331 and his demise in 1336. He received the highest decoration from the Meiji government of Japan in 1880.

Politics, Wars and warfare

Enomoto Takeaki

Viscount Enomoto Takeaki was a Japanese samurai and admiral of the Tokugawa navy of Bakumatsu-period Japan, who remained faithful to the Tokugawa shogunate and fought against the new Meiji government until the end of the Boshin War. He later served in the Meiji government as one of the founders of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Wars and warfare

Dom Justo Takayama

Blessed Iustus Takayama Ukon (高山右近) or Dom Justo Takayama was a Japanese Roman Catholic kirishitan daimyō and samurai who lived during the Sengoku period that witnessed anti-religious sentiment. He abandoned his status to devote himself to his faith and was exiled to Manila where he lived a life of holiness until his death. Ukon had been baptized into the faith in 1564 when he was twelve though over time neglected his faith due to his actions as a samurai, though later rekindled his faith just after his coming-of-age ritual.

Wars and warfare

Taira no Masakado

Taira no Masakado was a samurai in the Heian period of Japan, who led one of the largest insurgent forces in the period against the central government of Kyoto.

Wars and warfare

Tachibana Muneshige

Tachibana Muneshige , known in his youth as Senkumamaru (千熊丸) and alternatively called Tachibana Munetora, was a samurai during the Azuchi–Momoyama period and an Edo-period daimyō. He was the eldest biological son of Takahashi Shigetane, a retainer of Ōtomo clan. He was adopted by Tachibana Dōsetsu, and later married his daughter Tachibana Ginchiyo, succeeding the Tachibana clan.

Wars and warfare

Ōtani Yoshitsugu

Ōtani Yoshitsugu was a Japanese samurai of the Sengoku period through the Azuchi-Momoyama Period. He was also known by his court title, Gyōbu-shōyū (刑部少輔). He was born in 1558 to a father who was said to be a retainer of either Ōtomo Sōrin or of Rokkaku Yoshikata. He became one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's followers. He participated in the Kyūshū, Toyotomi campaign, and was sent to Korea as one of the Three Bureaucrats with Mashita Nagamori and Ishida Mitsunari.

Wars and warfare

Watanabe no Tsuna

Watanabe no Tsuna (953-1025) was a Japanese samurai, a retainer of Minamoto no Yorimitsu, one of the earliest samurai to be famed for his military exploits.

Wars and warfare

Takasugi Shinsaku

Takasugi Shinsaku was a samurai from the Chōshū Domain of Japan who contributed significantly to the Meiji Restoration. He used several alias to hide his activities from the Tokugawa shogunate.

Wars and warfare

Oda Nobukatsu

Oda Nobukatsu was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi–Momoyama period. He was the second son of Oda Nobunaga. He survived the decline of the Oda clan from political prominence, becoming a daimyō in the early Edo period. Though often described as an incompetent general, Nobukatsu was a skilled warrior. In the battle of Komaki and Nagakute, he used a 13th-century tachi of the Fukuoka Ichimonji school, to slay a samurai known as Okada Sukesaburō, therefore the blade was known as Okada-giri Yoshifusa, now a national treasure.