Honda Tadakatsu

Honda Tadakatsu 本多忠勝

Honda Tadakatsu (1548-1610) was a prominent samurai warrior of the Sengoku (Warring States) Period of Japanese history, best known for his service and loyalty to Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616).

Honda was born in Mikawa, which is now the eastern part of Aichi Prefecture, east of present-day Nagoya city.

Honda Tadakatsu statue.
Honda Tadakatsu statue
Honda Tadakatsu.
Honda Tadakatsu

Honda lived at the same time as Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) and was praised by both for his bravery and martial skills. Like another one of his contemporaries, Maeda Toshiie (1538-1599), Honda favored the spear in battle. He was also known for the distinctive deer antlers' design of his helmet.

Honda had a long career as a warrior and general for Ieyasu and fought in many of the great battles of the age including the Battle of Mikatagahara (1572), a defeat for Tokugawa, the Battle of Nagashino (1575) and the decisive victory of the Battle of Sekigahara (1600). Amazingly, Honda never received a major wound in all the years of his campaigning.

For his service to the Tokugawa clan, Honda was rewarded with the fief of Otaki in what is now Chiba Prefecture, where he built Otaki Castle and later with the domain (han) of Kuwana, which had a revenue of 100,000 koku.

Honda, it seemed, never adjusted to the life of a civilian after peace was established following the Battle of Sekigahara and he died in Kuwana in 1610. His tomb is located at Jodoji Temple in Kuwana.

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