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Goto Matabei, also known as Mototsugu, was renowned for his innate combat prowess from the moment of his birth. Hailing from Yamada Village in Harima Province (now a part of Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture), he stood as a revered professional warrior of the Sengoku period. Matabei proudly bore 53 battle scars across his body, testament to his active involvement in numerous conflicts.

Initially aligned with the Kuroda clan under Kuroda Yoshitaka (Kanbei), he received a stipend of 100 koku until Kanbei's passing in 1604. Thereafter, Matabei served Toyotomi Hideyori at Osaka Castle.

Standing at an imposing height of 180cm, Goto Matabei distinguished himself with his fierce valor during Hideyoshi's Korean Campaigns. He was the first to breach the walls of Jinju Castle during the July 21-27 siege of Jinju in 1593. It's said he ingeniously devised an armored wagon to approach and undermine the fortress walls in Korea. Legends also speak of his solo combat with a tiger that had infiltrated the Japanese camp, claiming a horse's life.

He actively participated in the Battle of Sekigahara under Kuroda Nagamasa, commanding as a captain in the Eastern forces. Engaging in some of the most ferocious combat, Matabei led the Kuroda charge against the Western forces' headquarters on Mt. Sasao. Amidst the chaos, mounted on his steed, Matabei clashed with Ohashi Kanmon, a captain in the Western Forces, ultimately claiming the man's head. Matabei was among the samurai who fought under Tokugawa colors that day but later aligned with Hideyori in Osaka.

Goto Matabei earned a place as one of the "Five Heroes of Osaka Castle." His life met its end in the 1615 Siege of Osaka, specifically during the Battle of Domyo-ji against the numerically superior forces of Date Masamune. Despite awaiting reinforcements, an unusually dense mist delayed their arrival. To hold off the Date forces, Matabei and his men employed swift hit-and-run tactics, launching numerous decisive sorties against the enemy.  According to accounts, Matabei personally dispatched some 70 to 80 enemies before succumbing to a musket ball. Unable to stand, he performed seppuku on the field. He was 56 years old.


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