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Tadatomo Honda

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Tadatomo Honda
HondaTadatomo-NA
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Honda
Tokugawa
Eastern Army
Weapon Type: Spear
Unit Type: Fierce
Significant Battle(s):
First Appearance: Samurai Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Honda Tadatomo
Japanese name:
本多 忠朝
Born:
1582
Died:
June 3, 1615

Tadatomo Honda is Tadakatsu's second son and Ina's younger brother. While not his father's official successor, he is praised as the son who matches his father's strength and bravery.

Role in GamesEdit

Tadatomo appears as a supportive unit for his father's battles in the Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi series. During the latter series, he and his older brother simultaneously assist their father during the first title.

He appears in Kessen to replace his father's position as Ieyasu's loyal vassal. In the English version of the game, he is called "Tada Honda" to distinguish himself from his father. Depending on how well the player performs, he becomes Ieyasu's adviser mid to late in the game and is well-praised for his services. He proudly wears his father's armor when he succeeds him. While scolding Hidetada's tardiness to the war council at Seta, Ieyasu uses Tadatomo and Naotaka as fine examples for heirs to their fathers.

Voice ActorsEdit

  • Alessandro Juliani - Kessen (English)
  • Takeshi Kusao - Samurai Warriors 2 (Japanese)
  • Kouji Haramaki - Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
  • Daisuke Sakaguchi - Kessen (Japanese)

Historical InformationEdit

Tadatomo-grave

Gravestone at Isshinji, located in Tennōji-ku, Osaka.

Honda Tadatomo was Honda Tadakatsu's second son, born from his father's first wife, Achiwa Goemon Gentetsu's daughter. His legal aliases were Naiki and Izumo no Kami. His wife was Hitosuyanagi Naomori's daughter, whose father ruled the Owari-Kuroda Domain for his family. He fathered one known son (Masakatsu) and two daughters; his son succeeded him and was given Kōriyama Castle after his death. One of his daughters married Tadamasa's son, Masatomo, while the other was married into the Yamaguchi family.

Serving Ieyasu since his youth, Tadatomo was known for his calm and unwavering persona that closely matched his father's character. There are a few tales that state that he also mirrored his father's appearance, but this is debatable. His first battle was the Battle of Sekigahara as he rode beside his father's squadron with a mere 500 horsemen. His army dragged back a total of 90 heads (sometimes said as 130) and was said to have participated in close-combat more frequently than the Hosokawa army. While fighting through the Shimazu troops, he completely bisected two soldiers. The force of his blow was so harsh that he bent his sword and was unable to properly return it to its sheath. Ieyasu praised his movements by stating, "At last, your father seems outmatched."

When Tadakatsu became politically fair toward the common folk in Mikawa, Ieyasu sought to reward his vassal. Realizing that Tadatomo had grown accustomed to the Ōtaki region, he was rewarded Ōtaki Castle and 5,000 koku. Ieyasu also started to admire the youth's promise as his judgment echoed his father's actions. In 1609, the Spanish politician and noble Rodrigo de Vivero y Velasco (or Don Rodrigo) became stranded when his vessel was shipwrecked. Since neighboring daimyo thought that the oversees visitor was a dangerous threat to their people, they strongly discouraged Tadatomo from making contact with him. However, he ignored their concerns and invited Rodrigo into his domain. He also ordered the protection of the 317 survivors with Rodrigo. During his wait for his appointment with Ieyasu, Rodrigo stayed for thirty-seven days of well-attended kindness within the village. A handful of villagers welcomed their new visitor and even kissed his hand in admiration. According to Don Rodrigo's written account, the Spanish visitors were allowed to freely enter Tadatomo's castle and the leaders were good friends in their short time together.

A year later, Tadakatsu was losing his battle with illness and wrote his final wishes for his sons, Tadamasa and Tadatomo. He wrote, "Mino no Kami (Tadamasa) is my legitimate child and, as the eldest, is instructed to take over the family. Armor, horse equipment, and tea-ware are to be entirely transferred to him. As far as monetary concerns, though only 15,000 gold ryou is kept in reserve, it shall go to Izumo no Kami (Tadatomo) due to his small status." Once he heard his father's will, Tadamasa refused to hand over the gold to his younger brother, claiming that it was as his right as the successor to keep everything that was entrusted to Tadakatsu. He then took the gold for himself and sealed it away. Although Tadatomo was repeatedly informed of his brother's actions, he insisted that there was no such warehouse of gold and said nothing more of the incident. He did so to avoid a conflict with his older sibling, stating that their father doted on him too much and that he had no need for monetary awards for his accomplishments. His tact composure earned him a reputation as a warrior who outshone his brother.

During the Winter Osaka Campaign, Tadatomo was ordered to reinforce Satake Yoshinobu's movements and lead the troops towards the castle. Tadatomo directed the armies towards three converging waterways that was in an advantageous position for the defenders, which led to great losses for the Honda, Uesugi, and Satake armies. Therefore, he asked permission for a retreat to Ieyasu. His request didn't please Ieyasu who stated, "He may be Heihachirō's (Tadakatsu's) offspring, but his body is only large and good for absolutely nothing." Dismissed from his position, he continued to only take part in minor skirmishes. Alternatively, it was said that he personally didn't fight at all as he was dead drunk for the campaign.

In the Summer Osaka Campaign, he was in the forces for the Battle of Kawagoe and became a commander in the Battle of Tennoji. During the latter battle, his exact whereabouts are disputed. Either he was with his brother against the Sanada troops, stationed at the base of Tennoji, or that he was ashamed of his previous failure and excused himself from the front lines. He was also said to have shared a drink with Tokugawa Hidetada the night before the latter battle, each prepared to die the following day. In any case, he eventually fought with Mōri Katsunaga's troops and suffered twenty mortal wounds around his torso and chest area. Dying on the field, his corpse was brought before Ieyasu, who was moved to tears by the sight. Ieyasu urged Tadamasa and Tadatomo's son to mourn for his death and strive to not make it in vain.

Before Tadatomo died, he reportedly stated, "Liquor should be banned. All those who stand before my grave will undoubtedly abhor it." This tale gives the common impression that Tadatomo couldn't hold his liquor well or that his love for spirits was the cause of his downfall. Thus, he is dubbed as the "God of Liquor Sealing". His grave is a historical tourist attraction for people who want to abandon their alcohol addictions in Japan.

GalleryEdit

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