The coat of arms of Keiji Maeda, a Sengoku warrior.

The Maeda were a clan from Owari Province, and were vassals of the Toyotomi and the Oda clan from the 1560s to 1598, when Hideyoshi Hashiba died, and Toshinaga Maeda became the daimyo of an independent Maeda clan.


Maeda clan territory

Maeda clan territory.

The Maeda were originally led by Toshihisa Maeda, a man from the village of Araki, Owari Province. However, in 1560, Toshiie Maeda took over the clan, and became a general of the Oda clan, serving in the Battle of Okehazama. The Maeda fought alongside the Oda as a vassal clan, and the son of Toshihisa, Keiji Maeda, also began fighting for the Oda in 1570 at the Battle of Anegawa. In 1583, when the Oda clan was split in two between the Shibata and the Toyotomi, the Maeda clan fought alongside the Shibata, whose leader Katsuie Shibata was a mentor to Toshiie. However, halfway in the battle, they joined the Toyotomi, whose dream was more convicting than the Shibata plans. They became independent in 1598 when Hideyoshi Hashiba died of natural causes, but Toshiie Maeda died the same year. His son Toshinaga Maeda became the new daimyo, and assisted the Tokugawa clan in the Sekigahara Campaign of 1600 against the Toyotomi-loyal Western Army, mainly because the Tokugawa had better military and political power. In return, the Maeda were entitled to territory in Etchu, Kaga, and Noto Province, located in north-central Honshu. They retained it until 1871, when the Emperor declared the end to clans and landownership.