Kanbei Kuroda
Kanbei Kuroda (1545-1615) was a Tokugawa, Toyotomi, and Oda strategist and a minor daimyo, ruling the Kuroda clan. Kanbei was known to be cold-hearted, ruthless, and intelligent, winning against the Western Army in the 1600 Battle of the Ishigaki Plains. He had a son named Nagamasa Kuroda, who was another Tokugawa strategist and a daimyo.


Kanbei Kuroda was born in Omi Province to Mototaka Kuroda, a daimyo. Kanbei served under the Oda clan from 1561, after his clan witnessed their successes in the Battle of Okehazama, taking part in the Battle of Mt. Inaba Castle, where he advised a fire attack to flush the Saito out of the castle. Kanbei also took part in the Battle of Kanegasaki, the Battle of Anegawa, and the Battle of Nagashino, where he commanded the Oda-Tokugawa rifle brigades. Kanbei supervised the campaigns of Nobunaga Oda against the Mori from 1575 to 1582, taking part in the Battle of Chugoku and the First Battle of Kizugawa, where he was wounded in battle by Motonari Mori. In the second battle, however, he was victorious, masterminding the crushing defeat on the Mori clan by striking at Terumoto Mori's weak central force of ships. He aided Hideyoshi Hashiba in defeating the Mori several more times, before he returned to Kyoto following the death of Nobunaga at Honnoji. Kanbei became the chief strategist for Hideyoshi, leading the attack on Mt. Tenno in the attack on Nobunaga's betrayer Mitsuhide Akechi in the Battle of Yamazaki, ordering the Toyotomi units atop the summit to kill the enemy, ordering them to shoot with rifles or push boulders onto them. Kanbei saw himself becoming the most important Toyotomi figure besides Hideyoshi, directing the victory at the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute in 1584. Kanbei later fought in the Fall of Odawara, where he led one of the several units of troops that seized Hojo's Odawara Castle in 1590. From 1591 to 1598, Kanbei Kuroda remained at home rather than join the invasions of Korea from 1591 to 1598, crushing the Kasai-Osaki Uprising. In 1598, when Hideyoshi died, he sided with the Tokugawa Shogunate, who were more powerful than the other faction, the Western Army led by Mitsunari Ishida, another brilliant strategist. Kanbei Kuroda and Nagamasa Kuroda fought the enemy at the Battle of Sekigahara, both achieving amazing goals, and Nagamasa slew enemy general Sakon Shima. After the war ended in the death of Mitsunari Ishida and a Tokugawa victory, Kanbei took part in the negotiations at Naito Castle with Hideyori Toyotomi, the young son of the late Hideyoshi. After the meeting, Kanbei decided that the Toyotomi were a dried-out husk, that if ignited, could cause more turmoil in the land and destroy the peace. In 1614, Kanbei fought in the Osaka Campaign, where the Tokugawa crushed the last of the Toyotomi clan, including Hideyori and warrior Yukimura Sanada. Shortly after the siege, Kanbei Kuroda fell ill and passed away, leaving his legacy to Nagamasa. Ieyasu Tokugawa died in 1616.