Useful Notes: Honda Tadakatsu

Honda Heihachiro Tadakatsu was one of the most trusted generals of Tokugawa Ieyasu, and also one of the greatest warriors of all the Jidai Geki.

Born in Mikawa Province, Tadakatsu loyaly served the Tokugawa clan and Ieyasu, who rewarded him with the fief of Kuwana for his service. He was the pride and joy of the Tokugawa clan, and many famous daimyo like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Takeda Shingen openly praised his skills. However, after the victory of Sekigahara, he slowly became estranged from the shogunate as it moved from a military to a civilian and political institution.

In his prime, Tadakatsu was known as "The Warrior who Surpassed Death Itself", as he fought more than 100 battles without suffering any major injuries. He wore a set of Buddhist prayer beads over his armor and a helm decorated with stag antlers, (according to a legend, one day he managed to evade his enemies by following a deer across a hidden ford in a river, and as a form of gratitude he put antlers on his helmet). During the Komaki campaign against the Toyotomi he managed to allows his lord's escape by challenging the whole Toyotomi army with a much smaller force. The act was so impressive that Hideyoshi himself ordered that no harm come on Tadakatsu or his men.

He was considered a great luxury for Ieyasu, with Shingen claiming so and stating that, if it wasn't for Tadakatsu, Ieyasu would've bitten the dust very quickly (he was also a back guard during Ieyasu's escape at Mikatagahara). His daughter Komatsu, who was apparently just as intimidating as her father, eventually married into the Sanada clan (becoming a sister-in-law of Sanada Yukimura) and was then adopted by Ieyasu. Aside of that, he's counted as one (and possibly leader) of the four great generals of the Tokugawa, the Tokugawa Shittenou, with other members Ii Naomasa, Tadatsugu Sakai and Sakakibara Yasumasa.

His weapon of choice was a deadly spear called Tonbogiri. The name means "Dragonfly Cutter", since it was said that a dragonfly which landed on the blade would be sliced in half.

All these facts should make you understand why he's almost always depicted as a top quality Badass and a legendary warrior.

  • In Samurai Warriors Tadakatsu is one of the playable characters, and is a giant of a man wielding a huge spear who loyally serves Ieyasu. Despite being slow, he's one of the strongest (if not the strongest) character in the game along with Keiji Maeda and Miyamoto Musashi, and the counterpart for Lu Bu. His daughter made it to the game in the same game as he was, under the name Inahime.
    • Tadakatsu was actually an Ascended Extra here. He first made himself known in the vanilla version of the first game as a random souped up NPC making a brave stand in Mikatagahara and Shingen comments how he's the treasure of Ieyasu. He's then included in the Xtreme Legends expansion and the ascension was so great as seen above.
  • Sengoku Basara upped Tadakatsu's badassery by turning him in a giant, Gundam-like cyborg complete with jetpacks and colossal drill-spear.
  • In the movie Kagemusha Tadakatsu makes a cameo.
  • In the third Onimusha game, Tadakatsu appears under the name of Heihachi (though he does say his full name at least once). Despite not wearing any armor, he has the beads, and the Genma Tonbo spear, which he uses with great skill. He appears as a boss twice, but eventually joins the heroes. Unfortunately near the end of the 3rd game, he died, creating a Temporal Paradox as he usually lived longer to serve Ieyasu.
  • In Sengoku Rance, Tadakatsu is one of the four tanuki generals serving Ieyasu Tokugawa.
  • Tadakatsu makes an appearance as an NPC in Kessen III, once again being Ieyasu's vassal and is unrecruitable (even if you can recruit Hattori Hanzō to fight for Nobunaga). He'll appear in stages where Ieyasu is helping (like Kanegasaki or Okehazama). On the defeat of Yoshimoto, while reporting to Ieyasu, Tadakatsu cried Manly Tears in the upcoming freedom from the servitude of the Imagawa.
  • Tadakatsu has an entry in the Badass Of The Week.