Famous Samurai Warriors

10 famous warriors from Shogunate Japan


Takeda Shingen (武田 信玄)

1521 - 1573

Originally named Takeda Harunobu, Takeda Shingen was most famous for his battles during the Sengoku period (especially 1553-65) against Uesugi Kenshin where he attempted to gain control of the Kanto Plain, which is the most productive and populous area of Japan.

Uesugi Kenshin (上杉 謙信)

1530 - 1578

Uesugi Kenshin was a warlord and ruler of the province of Echigo on the island of Honshu. He is most famous for his strong belief in the god of war as well as his military expertise and skill demonstrated during the battles he fought against his long-running rival Takeda Shingen.

Shimazu Yoshihisa (島津義久)

1533 - 1611

Shimazu Yoshihisa was famous for his resistance against the effort to unify Japan. He was the ruler of the provinces Satsuma and Osumi and managed to retain his rule whilst outliving his enemy Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Oda Nobunaga (織田 信長)

1534 - 1582

Oda Nobunaga became the most feared warlord during his time, ruling one-third of Japan. He is famous for his efforts to begin the unification of Japan and his improvements to Japan's military.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi ( 豊臣秀吉)

1536 - 1598

Toyotomi Hideyoshi joined the military under Oda Nobunaga and assisted in his efforts to unify Japan. He overthrew two powerful figures and became a lord himself. After Oda Nobunaga's death Hideyoshi succeeded in unifying Japan.

Hattori Hanzō (半蔵服部)

1542 - 1596

Hattori Hanzō is most famous for the mystery and legend that he created about himself and his 'superhuman' abilities and skill when in battle. Whilst a lot of the legends that have been created around Hattori Hanzō are just legends, his skill was still impressive and commended by the Shogun of the time.

Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康)

1543 - 1616

Tokugawa Ieyasu was one of Oda Nobunaga's partners in the unification of Japan. His power grew as his military continued to win battles throughout the Sengoku period. His military later defeated the Western army leading him to supremacy. He was then named Shogun of Japan by Emperor Go-Yōzei.

Honda Tadakatsu (本多忠勝)

1548 - 1610

Honda Tadakatsu is famous for many reasons. One is his tremendous skill demonstrated in the battles he fought under Oda Nobunaga along with the legend that he received no serious injury during any of his 60 battles. He has also been noted to be one of the first to use a tactic of different people firing, cleaning and reloading muskets to allow continuous fire.

Date Masamune (伊達政宗)

1567 - 1636

Date Masamune was a well-known ruler on the island of Honshu. He became famous for his victories in battles in his youth that rewarded him with wealth and power. He conquered many areas during his youth, however, during the invasion of Kanto he lost most of it to Hideyoshi. Masamune also lost his right eye, giving him his name of Single Eye Dragon.

Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵)

1584 - 1645

Miyamoto Musashi is most famous for his incredulous skill in combat and enhancements to the way of the samurai. He is said to have killed a man in a duel at the age of 13. He later became one of the greatest Samurai in history. He invented double sword fencing and contributed his military strategies and expertise to future samurai.