Which was Tokugawa Ieyasu's "greatest crisis" in his lifetime ?

Which was Tokugawa Ieyasu's "greatest crisis" in his lifetime ?

  • The AD 1563-64 Mikawa Ikko-Ikki

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  • The AD 1572 catastrophic defeat at Mikawagahara and the subsequent Takeda offensive

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  • The AD 1582 escape across Iga after Oda Nobunaga had been killed in the Honnoji Coup

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  • The AD 1584 Hashiba Hideyoshi’s dramatical rise and eastward expansion

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  • The AD 1585 The Tokugawa senior retainer Ishikawa Kazumasa’s betrayal

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  • The AD 1600 Ishida Mitsunari rallied the anti-Ieyasu daimyos to wage war against Ieyasu

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  • The AD 1615 Sanada Nobushige’s final charge upon the Tokugawa army’s HQ

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  • Others (please specify)

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  • Total voters
    1
Jul 2018
349
Hong Kong
#1
Here comes the highlighting of the above events. Show me your voting !

The AD 1563-64 Mikawa Ikko-Ikki (三河一向一揆)

The massive rebellion erupted throughout the majority area of Mikawa, not only joined by numerous temples under the Buddhism sect, but also a great number of samurai lord, ronin and peasant. Ieyasu’s ally Oda Nobunaga (織田信長) was too busy on the conquest of Mino and spared no resource for aid. Even Ieyasu’s homebase the Okazaki Castle (岡崎城) was surrounded and threatened by the hostile force !

And that’s not the all, even many Tokugawa retainers joined the Ikko-Ikki rebel army !! (you don’t believe ? I could even list their names right in this thread !)

The AD 1572 catastrophic defeat at Mikawagahara (三方ヶ原の戦い) and the subsequent Takeda offensive

Tokugawa Ieyasu’s most painful defeat in his military career. At the same time, once again, his ally Oda Nobunaga was heavily occupied at the other theaters and could not spare adequate resource to help him. The Tokugawa clan was in great pinch under Takeda Shingen (武田信玄)’s merciless assault !

But luckily, Shingen passed away at the next year (AD 1573)….(very lucky for Nobunaga, too!)

The AD 1579 his heir-son and wife were accused collaborating with Takeda by Oda Nobunaga

Ieyasu’s alliance with Nobunaga might be ruined if he handled it badly ! If the war erupted between them, the weak Tokugawa was certainly no match to the much powerful Oda. But wisely, Ieyasu decided to sacrifice his heir-son Tokugawa Motoyasu (德川信康) and wife Lady Tsukiyama (築山殿) for maintaining the alliance with Nobunaga.

Otherwise, Ieyasu might taste Nobunaga’s wrath….

The AD 1582 escape across Iga (伊賀越え) after Oda Nobunaga had been killed in the Honnoji Coup (本能寺の変)

If not for the guidance of the local Iga lords and ronins, Ieyasu might not be able to escape. Probably he would be killed by brigands or Akechi Mitsunari (明智光秀)’s soldiers hunting him down ! (his location was very close to Kyoto and Honnoji on 2nd June 1582)

It is noteworthy that this event had a very romantic name in legend — “The godly lord’s escape across Iga” (神君伊賀越え). Ieyasu was “deified” after his death….

The AD 1584 Hashiba Hideyoshi’s dramatical rise and eastward expansion

The first and the only military clash between Ieyasu and Hideyoshi. Heavily outnumbered, how Ieyasu fought against the mighty Hashiba army !?

Just read about the AD 1584-85 Battle of Komaki-Nagakute (小牧・長久手の戦).

The AD 1585 The Tokugawa senior retainer Ishikawa Kazumasa (石川数正)’s betrayal

Just a single retainer’s betrayal was not a big deal ? Indeed….Ieyasu was deeply terrified because Kazumasa grasped a lot of top-secret information about the Tokugawa clan. One of the most important result of this event was Ieyasu’s “thorough reform” by adopting the “Takeda-ryu” (武田流) military system (to cover-up the Tokugawa “weaknesses” which had been exposed already).

The AD 1600 Ishida Mitsunari (石田三成) rallied the anti-Ieyasu daimyos to wage war against Ieyasu

Perhaps the greatest “turning point” of all the turning points in Tokugawa Ieyasu’s career ! Mitsunari’s “political propaganda” against Ieyasu might work much better if the Toyotomi clan (豐臣氏) openly expressed his support to Mitsunari ! (but those guys and “a woman-lord” in the Osaka Castle were too smart to take sides and stayed neutral instead…)

Even so, trapped between the grand coalition army rallied by Mitsunari at the west, and the powerful Uesugi clan (上杉氏) at the north, Ieyasu was still in great trouble. Even those already siding with him might turncoat in anytime….he could not sure who were his allies or enemies, for which he was greatly endangered in such “volataility”.

But luckily, those “traitors” in the Western Army were really helpful ! (thanks for all those diplomatic moves)

The AD 1615 Sanada Nobushige (真田信繁)’s final charge upon the Tokugawa army’s HQ in the Summer Siege of Osaka (大坂夏の陣)

Even with overwhelmingly numerical inferiority, Sanada Nobushige’s deadly troops smashed through the massive Shogunate army and scooped upon Ieyasu’s HQ !

Tokugawa Ieyasu fled to few miles away in panic and almost got killed in this superbly-dramatical moment ! This was the last greatest crisis Ieyasu experienced in his lifetime.
 

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