Ieyasu Tokugawa famously conquered much of Japan. In his youth, however, he was heavily defeated at the Battle of Mitakatagahara by his enemy, Takuda Shingen, and fled to the nearby Hamamatsu Castle.
In order to stop the Takeda army at Ichigenzaka Hill, Honda Tadakatsu (one of Tokugawa's men ), fought so magnificently with his spear that Ieyasu was able to escape death.
Takeda's troops later produced a wooden plaque, praising Tadakatsu’s valour. It reads:“For Ieyasu, there are two formidable people: the Emperor of China, and Tadakatsu Honda".
As the first of the four main Tokugawa leaders, Honda Tadakatsu was a feudal lord in Kuwana, and the among the first to accomplish distinguished services to war.
It is said that during his career, of his fifty seven times on the battle front, he never bore a single injury.
Because of his great renown in battle, the name‘Tadakatsu' even took on a new meaning. In Japanese ‘tada’ can mean ‘only', and ‘katsu’can mean ‘win’. His name was therefore facetiously re-interpreted as meaning ‘only winning’- a strikingly appropriate linguistic coincidence!
Today, a statue of Tadakatsu stands outside Yoshinomaru Community Park.
Open: open to visitors 24 hours
Address: Kuwana-shi, Yoshinomaru 5-1
By train: about a 20 minute journey from JR · Kintetsu Nagoya Station to JR · Kintetsu Kuwana Station, and from there about a 30 minute walk.