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Tokugawa Ieyasu (Command) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Turnbull
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.99
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Book Description

Towards the end of the 16th century three outstanding commanders brought Japan’s century of civil wars to an end, but it was Tokugawa Leyasu who was to ensure a lasting peace. In terms of his strategic and political achievements Leyasu ranks as Japan’s greatest samurai commander. Leyasu possessed the rare wisdom of knowing who should be an ally and who was an enemy, a key skill for a successful military leader. Leyasu’s crowning victory at Sekigahara depended on the defection to his side of Kobayakawa Hideaki, and the absence from the scene of Ieyasu’s son Hidetada serves to illustrate how just once there was a failure in Ieyasu’s otherwise classic strategic vision. To establish his family as the ruling clan in Japan for the next two and a half centuries was abundant proof of his true greatness.

Product Description


"Ieyasu's military career and achievements are documented along with a healthy dose of Japanese history, with color maps and photos throughout. The result is a powerful survey highly recommended for any Japanese history or military history holding."- James A. Cox, "The Bookwatch "(September 2012)

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull is recognized as one of the world's foremost military historians of the medieval and early modern periods. He first rose to prominence as a result of his 1977 book, The Samurai: A Military History. Since then he has achieved an equal fame in writing about European military subjects and has had 30 books published. He has always tried to concentrate on the less familiar areas of military history, in particular such topics as Korea, Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, and the Teutonic Knights.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 21958 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089EMSS6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #319,997 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief but brilliant 2 Jun. 2014
By Michael
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a short if somewhat delightful read. makes you want to explore more about the shogun and ieyasu himself. pick it up if you want a good incentive to carry on with Japanese history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 22 July 2012
Pertinent history book with useful maps describing the campaigns and major battles Ieyasu fought before and after he becomes the shogun.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book by Stephen Turnbull 30 Jun. 2012
By lordhoot - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tokugawa Ieyasu proves to be an excellent short biography written by Stephen Turnbull. The author have demonstrated once again his amazing expertise in bring forth his Japanese subject to American and English readers who may barely know who this guy was and why he is regarded so highly in Japan. The book is organized in your typical Osprey Command format. The text is only 64 pages long but yet, you get the very good understanding of who Tokugawa Ieyasu was and his personality. The maps are pretty simple but informative and I found all illustrations in this book to be quite helpful and blends in well with the narrative.

The book traces Tokugawa Ieyasu's life and career from a son of a minor warlord to Supreme Overlord of all Japan as first shogun of 265 years reign of Tokugawa shogunate. The book hit all the major highlights of his career and carefully traced a slow but deliberate rise of Ieyasu's power and dominance. He was known as the man who took control of Japan by submitting and each time he submitted, he got stronger. All this is quite easy to see as he bend his head toward Imagawa, Oda and to Toyotomi before he rose to take power.

I think the only part of the book that probably needed a closer look was the Sekigahara Campaign which requires huge amount of insights, strategy and political acumen of Tokugawa Ieyasu to pulled it off. Dr. Turnbull wasn't very clear here, making a complex situation looking simple by simply saying that this battle was between Toyotomi and Tokugawa. However, anyone reading the battle order of the Tokugawa army realized that half of it was full of Toyotomi retainers who would turn against Ieyasau if Ishida Mitsunari produce Toyotomi Hideyoshi's son and heir, Hideyori on the battlefield. Lucky for the Tokugawa side, that never happen. Ieyasu neatly painted his conflict against Ishida as a "civil war" between Toyotomi retainers that kept Hideyori and his mom neutral although Ieyasu had his eye on a bigger picture with a bigger prize. Only in hindsight, do we realized Ieyasu's real objective which was to undermined Toyotomi authority and sway Toyotomi warlords into his camp permanently. All this he was successful after winning his "civil war." Author failure to address this very important chain of event that really revealed Ieyasu's cunning nature as a politician and as a warlord was bit disappointing. He also painted Ishida Mitsunari on page 54 as one of Hideyoshi's most accomplished generals both at home and in Korea. But even in Turnbull's own two books on Japanese war in Korea, Ishida is barely mentioned outside of being a "buygo" or commissioner for Hideyoshi,,,basically like a civilian chief of staff. It was from this position he gained so much rancor from so many Japanese warlords who fought in Korea, loyal to the Toyotomi house but hating Ishida with passion. That would cause Ishida his head later on and led to the downfall of the Toyotomi short rule. But maybe I am being picky here. The author did only have 64 pages or so to work with. I didn't take any stars away for any of this.

But nevertheless, this shouldn't deter anyone from buying this informative short biography on Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the greatest men in Japanese history. It well worth reading as he accomplished what his two previous unifiers (Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi) could not do, create a lasting peace in Japan by creating a lasting and powerful dynasty that kept that peace. Ultimate warlord who created the ultimate peace for his nation. If you ever have a chance, visit Nikko Toshogu, burial place of Ieyasu. Truly a marvel to anyone's eyes and reflection of Tokugawa Ieyasu's greatness and how he regarded even today. Until then, his book will served as an excellent introduction to this old badger!!

PS: I hope Turnbull's next book will be on Oda Nobunaga.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 17 Jan. 2013
By Victor Robinson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wish the book was more informative. But it is a good airline read. Watching 'The King of Zipangu' which about Oda Nobunaga. Hope to find a good movie about Tokugawa Ieyasu.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The making of a nation 6 Aug. 2012
By Geraldtonjjeeper - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The creation of the modern Japanese nation was always going to be a bloody affair. This book shows the planning and execution (literally sometimes!) of the battles that gave the Tokugawa clan supreme power in Japan. This is a set of clearly written and illustrated battle plans from the mind of an eventual ruler. Very good!
3.0 out of 5 stars Tokugawa Ieyasu 9 Jan. 2014
By Wob van der Veen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
People who want to know more about Japan should read it. It's a must to understand even nowadays' cultural happenings...
2.0 out of 5 stars Would not recommend 22 Sept. 2014
By Ian M. R. Huxley - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the book just abruptly jumped into the military campaign that brought Ieyasu to power. I expected a more complete picture and more background on him as a person. Perhaps it was my mistake, but even the description of the campaign felt very rushed and had a tendency to jump around a great deal without clear points of reference.
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