At the age of 15, Hosokawa Tadaoki engaged in his first battle under the command of Oda Nobunaga. In 1580, he was granted the Tango domain in present-day northern Kyoto Prefecture and entered into an arranged marriage with the daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide, another trusted general of Oda Nobunaga.

This strategic union aimed to fortify the bonds among Oda's vassals. However, when Mitsuhide betrayed and killed Nobunaga in the Honnoji Incident, seeking aid from Tadaoki and his father Fujitaka, both refused to assist. Tadaoki later fought alongside Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the Battle of Komaki Nagakute in 1584 and participated in the Siege of Odawara against the Hojo Clan in 1590.

Renowned for his literary and poetic prowess, Tadaoki, like his father Yusai, was a skilled practitioner of the tea ceremony, having studied under the esteemed tea master Sen no Rikyu. Despite his proficiency in cultured pursuits, Tadaoki was known for his formidable temper.

In 1600, leading up to the Battle of Sekigahara, Tadaoki and his father aligned with the Tokugawa, driven in part by the Western forces' attempt to take Tadaoki's wife, Gracia, hostage, resulting in her tragic death during an attack on their mansion by Ishida Mitsunari's forces. Tadaoki's father defended Tanabe Castle against a substantial Western force, preventing them from joining the main conflict at Sekigahara.

Commanding a force of 5,000 samurai at Sekigahara, Tadaoki engaged in intense hand-to-hand combat, directly clashing with Shima Sakon's troops near the Toyotomi Loyalists' base on Mt Sasao. Post-Sekigahara, Tadaoki received land in Kokura and participated in the Sieges of Osaka in 1614 and 1615 before retiring in 1620. He passed away at the age of 82 and was laid to rest at Kyoto's Daitoku-ji Temple, beside his wife, Gracia. Following her death, he remained single for 46 years.


See also 

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  • Yamanami Keisuke


    Yamanami Keisuke, the second in command of the Shinsengumi, a special police force during the late Edo period, shocked many when he performed seppuku on March 20, 1865, at the age of 32.

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  • Yamamoto Kansuke


    Yamamoto Kansuke, renowned as a samurai strategist and one of Takeda Shingen's esteemed 24 Generals, hailed from the Mikawa region, known for breeding formidable warriors. Despite physical challenges—blindness in one eye, lameness in one leg, and a malformed hand—Kansuke embarked on a warrior's pilgrimage in his twenties. Traveling across the land, he honed his skills in strategy, tactics, castle construction, and warfare, engaging in various swordsmanship schools and forms.

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  • Yamaga Soko


    Yamaga Soko was a multifaceted figure in Japanese history, renowned as a strategist, philosopher, and scholar. Later in life, he became a ronin, leaving a significant mark on the understanding of the Tokugawa period samurai.

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  • William Adams - Miura Anjin


    William Adams, also known as Miura Anjin, holds the distinction of being one of the few non-Japanese individuals granted samurai status. Born in Gillingham, Kent, England in 1564, Adams embarked on a remarkable journey that led him to become an influential figure in Japanese history.

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  • Wakisaka Yasuharu


    Wakisaka Yasuharu held the position of daimyo over Awaji Island before ruling over Ozu in Iyo Province. His significance in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 cannot be overstated.

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  • Ukita Hideie


    Ukita Hideie was born as the second son of Ukita Naoie, the ruler of Okayama Castle. Tragically, Hideie's father passed away when he was just nine years old, thrusting him into the responsibilities of leading the castle, clan, and domain. Prior to his father's demise, the Ukita clan had aligned with Oda Nobunaga. After Nobunaga's assassination during the Honno-ji Incident, Hideie remained loyal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, whose ties were further solidified through marriage.

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  • Uesugi Kenshin


    Uesugi Kenshin stands out as one of the most formidable daimyo of the Sengoku period, presenting the sole substantial challenge to Oda Nobunaga's quest for dominance.

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