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Tokugawa Ieyasu Quotes

Tokugawa Ieyasu
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Matsudaira Takechiyo
  • Born: 31st January 1543, Okazaki Castle, Mikawa (now Okazaki, Japan)
  • Died: 1st June 1616, Sunpu, Tokugawa Shogunate (now Shizuoka, Japan)
  • Resting place: Gongens' Mausoleum, Kunōzan, Kunōzan Tōshō-gū, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Occupation: Warrior, statesman and shogun
  • Marriage resume: Lady Tsukiyama and Asahi no kata
  • Given name: Tokugawa Ieyasu
  • Parents: Odai no kata (mother) and Matsudaira Hirotada (father)
  • Military allegiance: Matsudaira clan, Imagawa clan, Oda clan, House of Japan and the Tokugawa shogunate
  • Founder: He was the first Tokugawa shogun and founder of the Tokugawa shogunate dynasty
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"To know your enemy, first you must become his friend, and once you become his friend, all his defences come down. Then you can choose the most fitting method for his demise"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"Look upon the wrath of thy enemy. If thou only knowest what it is to conquer, and knowest not what it is to be defeated; woe unto thee, it will fare ill with thee"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the lot of natural mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"Life is like unto a long journey with a heavy burden. Let thy step be slow and steady, that thou stumble not"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"If my descendants wish to be as I am, they must study patience"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"Forbearance is the root of quietness and assurance forever"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"Little bird, if you don't sing I will wait for you to sing"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"There are seven emotions: joy, anger, anxiety, adoration, grief, fear, and hate, and if a man does not give way to these he can be called patient"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"Bringing patience is the foundation of lasting peace. Anger is our worst enemy"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"If the lack of freedom is considered normal, there will be no complaints"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"After victory, tighten the cords of your helmet"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

"Find fault with thyself rather than with others"

Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Tokugawa Ieyasu Biography

The Japanese feudal period that started in the 15th century would endure for two hundred years of violent turmoil with local warlords or daimyo as they were known all vying for supremacy.

Japan needed a change of direction as it was crying out for a strong leader to unite the country and this leader was to come from the most unlikeliest of circumstances in the form of a minor warlords son called Tokugawa Ieyasu. Matsudaira Takechiyo was his birth name and he would change his name on many occasions depending on the clan allegiance he was loyal to.

It was a custom to use children as hostage guarantees in feudal Japan and as a 5 year old boy the young Tokogawa succumbed to this fete and actually benefitted from it by receiving a good education during his formative years.

Once he came of age he entered the feudal system and spent 6 decades in a successful military career that culminated in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 where his army emerged victorious making him the powerful man in Japan. The subsequent years saw him consolidating his power and rendering vast swathes of land free from the fear of the violent daimyo.

In 1603 the emperor Go-Yōzei who was symbolically important without holding the reins of power gave Ieyasu the title of Shogun and the system of rule he put into place would become known as the Tokugawa shogunate and it would to maintain power for the next 3 centuries.

Ieyasu established his name as one of the most significant figures in Japanese history and is remembered proudly as a unifying warrior, statesman and the first Tokugawa shogun that led to the dynasty of the Tokugawa shogunate, he was also good for a one liner so here is my compilation of 12 of the best Tokugawa Ieyasu quotes

Quotes About Tokugawa Ieyasu

The eminent oriental historian Arthur Lindsay Sadler described him thus: "Tokugawa Ieyasu is unquestionably one of the greatest men the world has yet seen"

The Japanese historian Stephen Turnbull called him: "One of the most successful rulers in Japanese history and one of the most cunning military strategists in world history"

The scholar Gregory Bornmann talked of his legacy: "Tokugawa law ultimately contributed to the economic success of what was to become modern Japan"

Tokugawa Ieyasu image quote