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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 black Samurai 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

Uesugi Kenshin

Uesugi Kenshin was a daimyō who was born as Nagao Kagetora, and after the adoption into the Uesugi clan, ruled Echigo Province in the Sengoku period of Japan. He was one of the most powerful daimyōs of the Sengoku period. While chiefly remembered for his prowess on the battlefield, Kenshin is also regarded as an extremely skillful administrator who fostered the growth of local industries and trade; his rule saw a marked rise in the standard of living of Echigo.

Wars and warfare

Amakusa Shirō

Amakusa Shirō , also known as Amakusa Shirō Tokisada (天草四郎時貞), often romanized as Shirou led the Shimabara Rebellion, an uprising of Japanese Roman Catholics against the Shogunate. They were defeated and Shirō was executed at the age of 17, his head displayed on a pike near Nagasaki. Since the late 20th century, he has been featured in popular culture as a character in numerous manga, anime and video games.

Wars and warfare

Tokugawa Tsunayoshi

Tokugawa Tsunayoshi was the fifth shōgun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. He was the younger brother of Tokugawa Ietsuna, thus making him the son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

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.

Wars and warfare

Toyotomi Hideyori

Toyotomi Hideyori was the son and designated successor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who first united all of Japan. His mother, Yodo-dono, was the niece of Oda Nobunaga.

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

Asano Naganori

Asano Naganori was the daimyō of the Akō Domain in Japan (1675–1701). His title was Takumi no Kami (内匠頭). He is known as the person who triggered a series of incidents retold in a story known as Chūshingura, one of the favourite themes of kabuki, jōruri, and Japanese books and films.

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.

Wars and warfare

Kira Yoshinaka

Kira Yoshinaka was a kōke. His court title was Kōzuke no suke (上野介). He is famous as the adversary of Asano Naganori in the events of the Forty-seven Ronin. Although his name (義央) has been long pronounced as "Yoshinaka" especially in dramas and novels, Ekisui Rembeiroku (易水連袂録), written by an anonymous contemporary in 1703, recorded that his name was "Yoshihisa." Recent findings on Kaō marked on his own letter preserved in Kezō Temple (華蔵寺) confirmed that his real name should be read as "Kira Yoshihisa."

Wars and warfare


Yodo-dono (淀殿) or Yodogimi (淀君) was a prominently placed figure in late-Sengoku period. She was a concubine and second wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was then the most powerful man in Japan. She also became the mother of his son and successor, Hideyori. She was also known as Lady Chacha (茶々). After the death of Hideyoshi, she took the tonsure, becoming a Buddhist nun and taking the name Daikōin (大広院).

Wars and warfare

Mori Ranmaru

Mori Ranmaru , also known as Mori Naritoshi, was the son of Mori Yoshinari, and had 5 brothers in total, from the province of Mino. He was a member of the Mori Clan, descendants of the Seiwa Genji.