The Samurai Castle Master (Hardback)
Warlord Todo Takatora
When the samurai warlord and respected castle architect Todo Takatora died in 1630, the funeral attendants responsible for preparing his body were shocked to note that there was not a single part of his body not scarred or disfigured by sword, spear, glaive or matchlock gun wound.
Todo Takatora lived a life that unfolds like a drama. Born to a small landholding samurai family, the maverick youth worked his way to the top, becoming one of the most successful of daimyo warlords. He had served on the front lines of some of the most violent of battles, turning points that forged the nation. In a land and time in which loyalty was held dear, he changed his allegiances a record seven times, serving a record ten lords, more than any other samurai in history. Because of this, he has long been held in contempt by the Japanese.
Standing 190cm tall in a time when the average Japanese man stood between 150 to 165 cm, Todo Takatora was a giant among men. He died aged 74, when the normal life span was around 50. He was also the finest, most innovative of castle architects, responsible for the design and construction of over 30 of the strongest, most innovative Japanese castles and structures, and influencing samurai castle construction across Japan.
In explaining his life, his reasons for having served so many lords, his achievements in battle and in castle design, his political and personal ideals and how these attributes were shaped during the course of his adventurous life, this book will reveal the man, and show why Takatora deserves the epithet of National Hero.
In this fascinating biography, the first ever published in the English language, Chris Glenn explores Todo Takatora’s remarkable, and influential, life, the battles he fought in, the political intrigues he was part of, as well as detailing the magnificent castles he built.
Sekigahara was the greatest samurai battle in history. Japan had long been at civil war until brought under the rule of Oda Nobunaga, and then, following his death at the hands of a traitorous general, that of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It was Hideyoshi who completed the unification of Japan and ushered in a period of peace. After Hideyoshi’s death in 1598, a power struggle emerged between those loyal to the Toyotomi, and those who supported the second most powerful warlord, Tokugawa Ieyasu. With Hideyoshi gone, Ieyasu made moves that brought the ire of a number of his contemporaries, and soon the…By Chris Glenn
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