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Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu
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Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  10 reviews
One of the most successful rulers in Japanese history and one of the most cunning military strategists in world history, Tokugawa Ieyasu overcame countless dangers and intrigues in his country's most violent age to become the man who finally united all of Japan. His accomplishments and work cemented in place the system of governance and way of life that have become forever ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 10th 2009 by Tuttle Publishing (first published December 31st 1977)
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3.85  · 
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 ·  87 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Daniel Polansky
Most of my knowledge of Japan’s pre-eminent conqueror comes from the book Shogun, which it turns out wasn’t 100% accurate, so this was a useful corrective. I’m not sure I would recommend it more than any other book written on the subject, but it’ll give you an overview.
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history, japan
It's a thorough description of the life and times of Ieyasu Tokugawa. I didn't find it particularly engaging which is why it took so long to read it. Still, I wanted to learn more about the man as I've seen several Japanese historical dramas that included him. So, I persisted and finally toward the end, it dealt with the actual personality and his legacy. I'd like to read more.
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shogun Tokugawa was an amazing man. Unlike his predecessors Oda Nobunaga and Hideyoshi Toyotomi, he did not really have definitive traits of a genius. He was an ordinary conservative Japanese shogun but his ordinariness was what made him so extraordinary.

This book was very detailed work about the life of Shogun Tokugawa and how he managed to leave so big an impression that lasted hundreds of years, even after the fall of his house (for those who did not know him, Ieyasu Tokugawa was the man resp
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, usa
Sadler ist a great admirer of Japan's great uni-fier, the shogun Ieyasu. This continuing admiration, even passion, for his subject carries this book and makes it fun to read, albeit not being an easy read. The author expects you to be very familiar with time and space and the peculiar surroundings of 16th century Japan. Although I believe myself to be rather well versed on this subject, I still had to look up quite a number of things to follow suit. If you are able to surmount this great obstacl ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this biography of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the great conqueror of feudal Japan, is looking into both the career of the ruthless Ieyasu -- and the mind of the author, a smug Oxford-educated Oriental studies professor whose 1937 biography of the great shogun has the racism and sexism one might expect from the Thirties, along with a pro-fascist sensibility that reminded me fascism wasn't yet a failed ideology when the professor was writing.

Seeing Ieyasu through A.L. Sadler's eyes was illuminating
Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
The information was fascinating and the research was thorough and first rate. Anyone needing information about the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu should definitely have this book. That said, the book itself could have used a good editing. The author has a problem with pronoun reference. Sometimes I'd have to read a sentence two or three times to be sure of which of several names the author was referring to when the pronoun "he" popped up further along the sentence. Not to mention, every now and then (o ...more
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japanese
Sadler's text is a wonderful encyclopedia of all things pertaining to the great Shogun and founder of Japan's last feudal government Tokugawa Ieyasu. Thoroughly researched, this master work traces the origin of this complex figure from his ancestral roots all the way through his investiture as the first Tokugawa Shogun, ultimately concluding with his passing and resultant Legacy. Chiefly valuable for its scholarship, this dense text is a worthwhile read for anyone who's interested in getting to ...more
Julian Haigh
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Perhaps this is the only English biography to be found on Tokugawa Ieyasu that established the founding of an era in Japanese history. The book is written in 1940 stifled style - it really is a wonder how far we've come in increasing the quality of history telling since then - and is based on much research on contemporary writings. A work of translation that sticks to the original narrative the book is very focused on Ieyasu's life and not as much explaining his times.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book. Gave me a much better understanding of society in that era, social class systems, battles that took place and alliances. Above all, a well written piece of historical biography on Ieyasu, without being too dry and academic.
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
It's certainly interesting but suffers from a lack of central narrative and the biases of an early 20th century Englishman. If you can get over these issues you'll enjoy this.
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Full name: Arthur L. Sadler.