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Sakai Tadatsugu

Sakai Tadatsugu

Among the chosen and successful military commanders of his time is Sakai Tadatsugu. He was closely associated with the Shogunate Shrine.

Sakai Tadatsugu is from the famous Sakai clan of the 14th century. His clan belonged to the Province of Mikawa. The clan claims that they were descendants of Minamoto no Arichika. From the Arichika lineage came two sons: the eldest was Matsudaira and the younger one was Sakai. Each of his sons were once known by different names. Matsudaira was once Yasuchika. He served Tokugawa Ieyasu in the late-Sengoku period. He was one of the Four Guardians of the Tokugawa together with Honda Tadakatsu, Ii Naomasa, as well as Sakakibara Yasumasa.

His Life in Perspective

Sakai Tadatsugu was born in 1527. He was once known as Sakai Tadachika. He was a vassal of the Matsudaira clan. When he was younger, he first served Matsudaira Hirotada. This man was the father of Tokugawa Ieyasu. However, after a few more years in the future, Ieyasu broke his ties with Imagawa clan. Sakai Tadatsugu was the head of the Yoshida Castle.

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Inokiri and the Masazane Influence

Tadatsugu killed a boar with his katana. This earned his sword the title Inokiri. when translated, this simply means Boar Slayer. The blade itself was a work of Masazane from the Tegai school of Nara, Masazane was a colleague of the famous Muramasa. However, some state that Masazane could only be another name that Muramasa used.

The blade that Sakai Tadatsugu used was a work of Masazane from the Tegai school of Nara. He also made the Tonbogiri (translated in English as Dragonfly Slayer). This was the most famous of the Three Great Spears of Japan.

Battle of Mikatagahara

Despite seeing his troops who were beaten by Takeda’s army, Tadatsugu ensured that Tokugawa’s right flank was protected. He did the same thing when Ieyasu and his forces fled to the Hamamatsu Castle. It was Sakai Tadatsugu who participated in a ploy that resulted in the withdrawal of the Takeda forces. In the end, Tadatsugu was victorious.

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Battles Fought

It was Sakai Tadatsugu who led successful night attacks against the Takeda forces. He was placed in control of a different Daimyo force in the Tokugawa armies. He was great at delegating responsibilities towards his subordinates.

Tadatsugu was a born leader and was reliable. He knew to who to entrust certain powers to, in order to be victorious in the battle of Nagashino The same victory was given to him during these battles: Battles of Komaki and Nagakute. He had successful planned a move to takeover Kiyosu Castle. Sakai Tadatsugu was fighting against Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s army which was led by Mori Nagayoshi.

Retirement and Death

Sakai Tadatsugu retired but his son Sakai Ietsugu was given a reward of 30,000 koku fief in Shimosa Province. In that place, he also accompanied his son.

Tadatsugu died during winter in Kyoto. He was 69 years old. Even after his death, the Sakai clan continuously flourished. The head of his clan was even given the distinction as “Count” during Meiji period. This is Sakai Tadatsugu’s legacy where even the Sakai clans that followed before him continued to enjoy thanks to his loyal service.