The Samurai Castle Master

Warlord Todo Takatora

Chris Glenn

Date Published :
January 2023
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Illustration :
20 mono in central plate section
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781399096584
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.1 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


When the samurai warlord and respected castle architect Todo Takatora died in 1630, the funeral attendants responsible for preparing his body were shocked to note that there was not a single part of his body not scarred or disfigured by sword, spear, glaive or matchlock gun wound.

Todo Takatora lived a life that unfolds like a drama. Born to a small landholding samurai family, the maverick youth worked his way to the top, becoming one of the most successful of daimyo warlords. He had served on the front lines of some of the most violent of battles, turning points that forged the nation. In a land and time in which loyalty was held dear, he changed his allegiances a record seven times, serving a record ten lords, more than any other samurai in history. Because of this, he has long been held in contempt by the Japanese.

Standing 6 feet tall in a time when the average Japanese man stood between 5 and 5 1/2 feet, Todo Takatora was a giant among men. He died aged 74, when the normal life span was around 50. He was also the finest, most innovative of castle architects, responsible for the design and construction of over 30 of the strongest, most innovative Japanese castles and structures, and influencing samurai castle construction across Japan.

In explaining his life, his reasons for having served so many lords, his achievements in battle and in castle design, his political and personal ideals and how these attributes were shaped during the course of his adventurous life, this book will reveal the man, and show why Takatora deserves the epithet of National Hero.

In this fascinating biography, the first ever published in the English language, Chris Glenn explores Todo Takatora’s remarkable, and influential, life, the battles he fought in, the political intrigues he was part of, as well as detailing the magnificent castles he built.

About The Author

Chris Glenn is an Australian born Japan based bilingual radio DJ, TV presenter, narrator, MC, copywriter, author, columnist, lecturer, helicopter pilot and Japanese historian, specialising in samurai castles, battles, armor and weapons. A resident of Nagoya since 1993, he has been designated the Nagoya Tourism, Culture & Exchange Special Ambassador, and Sekigahara Tourism Ambassador. He hosts the internationally televised NHK World TV series Ninja Truth and Castle Quest. Chris Glenn holds Shodan in Kendo and studied Owari Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Koryu disciplines.

Chris is an inbound tourism advisor for national and local government agencies and is often called upon as a lecturer and speaker on Japanese history and culture, media and inbound tourism topics. Having written many websites articles, pamphlets, signs and explanations for local governments, DMOs, museums, tourist sites and businesses, he has a reputation for English writing that matches the needs and senses of foreigners visiting Japan.

His books include the English language “The Battle of Sekigahara” (Booklocker), the Japanese language “豪州人歴史愛好家、名城へ行く” (Takarajima), Samurai Castle Bilingual Guide (Shogakukan), Ninja Bilingual Guide (Shogakukan), Naganuma Ryu Troop Movement Training Manual (Kindle) amongst others. Chris is dedicated to promoting and preserving Japans’ long history, deep culture, traditions, arts and crafts.

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