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Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu

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This book tells the fascinating history of the life of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu — Japan's most famous Shogun.

Since its initial appearance, A.L.Sadler's imposing biography of the Japanese Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu has been recognized as an outstanding contribution to the knowledge of Japanese history. It is also considered the standard reference work on the period that saw the entrenchment of feudalism in Japan and the opening of some two and a half centuries of strict isolation from the rest of the world.

In Japanese history, there have been five great military leaders who stand out above the others of their type by common consent. Two lived in the twelfth century, while the other three, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, were contemporary in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The last of these three, with whose life Mr Sadler deals, may well be described as perfecting the shogunate system. Not only did Ieyasu find a dynasty of rulers and organize a robust government system, but he also rounded off his achievements by contriving before his death to arrange for his deification afterwards.

As Mr Sadler notes, "Tokugawa Ieyasu is unquestionably one of the greatest men the world has yet seen," and this fascinating account of Ieyasu's life and times is presented in a thoroughly absorbing narrative in which dramatic highlights abound.

Japan's feudal age came to a close in 1868 with the Tokugawa Shogunate's downfall and the Emperor's restoration to political power. The event marked the end of the robust regime Ieyasu established at the beginning of the seventeenth century. That it did not at the same time mark the eclipse of Ieyasu's greatness is sufficient testimony to the significant role he played in his country's history. It is to A. L. Sadler's lasting credit that he has brought this eminent but often ruthless military leader so vividly to life.

About the authors:

A. L. Sadler was a Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Sydney from 1922 to 1948. He also served as a Professor of Japanese at the Royal Military College of Australia. Among his numerous published works and the present volume is A Short History of Japanese Architecture, Chinese Martial Code, The Japanese Tea Ceremony: Cha-no-yu, and several translations from Japanese literature, including The Ten Foot Square Hut and Tales of the Heike.

Stephen Turnbull is the author of more than fifty books on the military history of Europe and the Far East and works as a consultant on all aspects of Japanese culture. He is currently a lecturer in Japanese Religion at the Department of East Asian Studies at Leeds University.

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A. L. Sadler
Tuttle Publishing
Year of publication
10 July 2009
Number of pages
JPY 2,500

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