A warrior in principle and spirit, Torii Mototada fits the profile of a true warrior in every sense of the word. He was prepared to die for what he believed in. Torii Mototada was undaunted in the face of trouble and even death.
Even if faced with a thousand enemies, he still wouldn’t falter. This was Torii’s attitude as a true warrior which is the reason for his recognition.
He was highly devoted to his master Tokugawa Ieyasu. Torii Mototada served his lord loyally during the late Azuchi Momoyama period.
Hard Life as a Boy
He was born in Okazaki as a son of Torii Tadayoshi. His life as a young boy was difficult since he was sent as a hostage to the Imagawa clan, together with Matsudaira Takechiyo, the one who would become the future Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Torii Mototada was promoted to the position of chief general when Matsudaira Takechiyo became known as Tokugawa Ieyasu. When his father died, Torii became the head of the Torii clan.
Siege of Fushimi
Torii Mototada’s death was sealed during the siege of Fushimi. He was surrounded and overwhelmed with a large number of armies headed by Ishida Mitsunari.
Torii stood his ground and even in the face of such a huge army, refused to surrender. This was the same battle that allowed Tokugawa Ieyasu to gather new troops and lead to win the Battle at Sekigahara.
Battles Fought By Torii Mototada
If it is about fighting in battles, Torii Mototada was not someone who would back out from any of it. Some of the battles that he fought include the Battle of Mikata-ga-hara and the Battle of Suwahara Castle.
It was during the Battle at Suwahara Castle that he suffered injuries to his legs. Ever since the incident, it became difficult for Torii to walk.
Serving Tokugawa Ieyasu
Torii Mototada was with Tokugawa in most of his major campaigns. At one point, Torii with only 2,000 men, fought against an army of 10,000 men of the Hojo clan.
They were able to defeat the bigger numbered army through careful planning and strategy. As a reward, he was given Tanimura Castle located in Kai Province.
By 1585, he was joined by Okubo Tadayo and Hiraiwa Chikayoshi in laying siege to the Ueda Castle which has under the Sanada clan.
After another battle where Ieyasu was able to conquer the Kanto region, another bigger reward was given to Torii Mototada. He was given 40,000 Koku Yasaku fief. This latest acquisition elevated him to the position of Daimyo.
Farewell Letter Of Torii Mototada
Torii Mototada sent a letter to his son Tadamasa, reminding him of how their family and clan loyally served the Tokugawa clan for generations. He also mentioned that his brother was killed in battle.
He was actually bidding farewell to his son and the rest of the other warriors who were fighting under the Tokugawa flagship. Torii Mototada considered his service more than just financial gain. Since Torii served his master for a long time, he bid farewell to him as well.
Image Source: 常楽寺 [Public domain]