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"I think I can be stronger than I am now, but long perseverance has made me what I am today. If my descendants want to be strong, they must study patience."
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Tokugawa Ieyasu (31 January 1543 – 1 June 1616), born Matsudaira Takechiyo, is considered one of the three great unifiers of Japan alongside Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After defeating the Toyotomi clan at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, he founded the Tokugawa shogunate, which would govern Japan for over two hundred years, and ruled as its first shogun from 1603 until his death. He leads the Japanese in Civilization VI.

Japan under Tokugawa likes to isolate itself by creating a lot of Domestic Trade Route Trade Routes and districts.


Great Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu, you know well that the patient blade is the one that will strike home. Guard your homeland carefully from usurpers domestic and foreign, and trust in the industry and resourcefulness of your people, for they alone can be relied upon. The task of rule is one that is long, and its burdens are heavy, but there is no room for discontent, nor for despair, with your hand upon the sword.


Tokugawa's unique agenda is Sakoku. He wants to stay safe from conquest, liking those who do the same and disliking those who have conquered other civilizations' Capital Capitals.

His leader ability is Bakuhan. His international Trade Route Trade Routes receive 25% penalties to all yields and Tourism Tourism, but his domestic Trade Route Trade Routes provide +1 Culture Culture, +1 Science Science, and +2 Gold Gold for every specialty district at the destination. Additionally, cities within 6 tiles of his Capital Capital receive +4 Amenities Amenities and, after researching Flight, receive +1 Tourism Tourism for every specialty district. From Civilization VI: Rise and Fall onward, cities within 6 tiles of his Capital Capital stay 100% loyal instead of receiving +4 Amenities Amenities.

Detailed Approach[]

The Meiji Restoration ability gives large adjacency bonuses to Japan’s districts. Districts also receive +1 Tourism Tourism if they are in a city near the Capital Capital from Tokugawa’s ability. His ability also greatly increases Domestic Trade Route Trade Routes’ yields for every district. But be aware that International Trade Route Trade Routes are much weaker. The Electronics Factory will help him towards a Culture or Science Victory.


Tokugawa is voiced by Ikebe Kazuhiko. He speaks Japanese.


Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Japanese) Notes
Agenda-based Approval Strong borders make for good neighbors. 強固な国境は、隣国との関係を良好にする。

Kyōko na kokkyō wa, ringoku tono kankei o ryōkō ni suru.

Agenda-based Disapproval We can manage our own affairs. Without you. 儂らの事は儂らで片づける。お前が居らずとも。

Washi-ra no koto wa washi-ra de katazukeru. Omae ga orazu tomo.

Attacked Be careful and come at me! I'll wait for your unguarded point. (lit. "Approach with caution. Let's wait for your opening.") 用心して掛かってくるがよい。お前の隙を待つとしよう。

Yōjin shite kakatte kuru ga yoi. Omae no suki o matsu to shiyō.

Declares War The sharp-edged sword cuts through the void, and within the raging fire, a cool wind blows. (lit. "A sword with a sharp edge cuts through space. A cool breeze blows through the flames.") 鋭い刃先の刀は空間を切り裂く。炎の中に、涼しい風が吹く。

Surudoi hasaki no katana wa kūkan o kirisaku. Honō no naka ni suzushī kaze ga fuku.

Defeated The summer grasses are all that remains of warriors' dreams. 夏草や、兵どもが夢の跡。

Natsukusa ya, tsuwamono domo ga yume no ato.

This is a direct translation of a haiku by Matsuo Bashō about the destruction of the Fujiwara clan. It is also an anachronism, as Tokugawa died in 1616 while Bashō was born in 1644.
Greeting I am Tokugawa Ieyasu, shōgun of Japan. Nothing happens here without my say. (lit. "I am the Shogun of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Without my orders, nothing will happen.") 余は日本の将軍、徳川家康である。儂の命令なしに、何も起こらぬ。

Yo wa Nippon no shōgun, Tokugawa Ieyasu de aru. Washi no meirei nashi ni, nani mo okoranu.

Tokugawa uses the archaic masculine singular pronoun 余/予 (pronounced "yo").
Quote from Civilopedia I think I can be stronger than I am now, but long perseverance has made me what I am today. If my descendants want to be strong, they must study patience. 儂は今より強くなれると思うが、長い忍耐が今の余を作ったのだ。子孫も強くなりたいなら、忍耐を覚えなくてはならん。

Washi wa ima yori tsuyoku nareru to omou ga, nagai nintai ga ima no yo o tsukutta no da. Shison mo tsuyoku naritai nara, nintai o oboenakute wa naran.

This is a portion of a quote by Tokugawa Iehiro: "The strong manly ones in life are those who understand the meaning of the word patience. Patience means restraining one's inclinations. There are seven emotions: joy, anger, anxiety, adoration, grief, fear, and hate, and if a man does not give way to these he can be called patient. I am not as strong as I might be, but I have long known and practiced patience. And if my descendants wish to be as I am, they must study patience."


Delegation: We send to you a representation of all the goods of Edo: silver, steel, our artists' woodcuts. And some mochi, for later.

Accepts Player's Declaration of Friendship: We shall continue forward in the spirit of friendship.

Rejects Player's Declaration of Friendship: Mind your own affairs, and stay out of mine.

Requests Declaration of Friendship: I understand the value of peace. Do you, as well?

Player Accepts Declaration of Friendship: Let us share a cup of tea before you go.

Player Rejects Declaration of Friendship: We manage our own affairs.

Denounced by Player: Resentment is neither appropriate for others, nor for oneself.

Denounces Player: You have become a threat to us.

Too Many Troops Near His Border: I have seen far too many armies travel claiming friendship, but meaning war.

Invitation to Capital: We will permit you to see our city, briefly.

Invitation to City: I will share with you our extent and borders, that you will know what is mine, and not yours.

Civilopedia entry[]

Tokugawa (last name, first name Ieyasu) is a brilliant military and peacetime strategist. He is the decisive winner of Japan’s chaotic Sengoku period and the architect of the subsequent Edo period.

The chaos of the Sengoku Jidai (period) in Japanese history has become iconic. In the subsequent prosperity and peace of the Edo period, samurai had little to do but entertain each other with stories about the great battles, leaders, and goings-on of that time – ninjas, generals, armies, sieges, and the like. Much of what we imagine about feudal Japan is itself a product of these stories, embellished and romanticized.

The Sengoku period was a massive war between rival clans to seek power. The weak Ashikaga shogunate collapsed, leaving the emperor a mere figurehead and the more powerful position of shōgun (military guardian of the Emperor) open. For over a century, rival daimyō (regional lords) and samurai (knights) fought for this title. Into the fray, too, came other elements: Christians, armed by Europeans with muskets, the anti-monarchical ikkō-ikki, and the ninja – these last being military strategists without a concept of honor who could commit scandalous acts to benefit their lord. Three samurai emerge into the spotlight: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

There is a story that reflects an aspect of the personalities and motivations of these leaders. Imagine the three of them sitting together looking at a little bird that refuses to sing. Oda opens with a threat: “bird, if you do not sing, I will kill you.” Hideyoshi tries manipulation, “bird, if you do not sing, I will convince you.” But Tokugawa, the canniest of the three, simply says, “bird, I can wait.” Here, patience and a cool head win the day – and so it was with Japan.

Oda, the “demon king,” lived up to his name. As the head of the Oda clan, Nobunaga rallied his troops to sweep across the main island of Japan, defeating the ikkō-ikki and removing the Ashikaga shogunate entirely. The last remaining obstacle was the powerful western clan Mōri, who may well have been defeated, too, were it not for a betrayal from within Oda’s own ranks. Seeing Akechi, the traitorous general, coming towards him as he sat relatively unguarded having tea in a temple in Kyoto, Oda committed suicide. The to-be shōgun Tokugawa, too, fled in the company of the ninja (well, samurai at that time) Hattori Hanzō.

The Toyotomi clan was the next to take up Oda’s banner. Former retainer, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, took up the banner and, too, seized temporary control. Indeed, it was under Hideyoshi that Japanese forces sought to take Korea, and not for the last time. But even the greatest of kings dies, and Hideyoshi, with his focus on overseas expansion, had drained the coffers. A succession crisis ensued between clan loyalists and the new Tokugawa clan, itself formed from a regional vassal clan of Oda’s, under Tokugawa Ieyasu. In the climactic Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa achieved dominance and set about picking up the pieces.

Japan was a mess. New ideas were flooding in – republicanism (meaning here rule by the people) and Christianity. Guns and European trade, too, presented an issue. Tokugawa singlehandedly stopped this by implementing sakoku – isolation. Japan’s borders would be closed, except for Nagasaki. This would end both the influx of new and dangerous challenges to the new Tokugawa Shogunate but also an end to the kind of foreign adventures that had led to Hideyoshi’s financial woes. Sakoku was… not disastrous for Japan. Local production flourished, and over what became known as the Edo period (Edo being the home of the shogunate), Japan experienced peace and prosperity… and its neighbors no longer had to worry about samurai showing up on their shores.

The system of control here was brutal. There were still nobles, but Tokugawa had an ingenious strategy for controlling them. While nobles ruled their home provinces, their families remained behind as hostages (of a sort) in Edo. This meant that any rebellion could immediately be squashed via a simple threat to the rebel’s family and also the growth of court life in Edo. Bored but wealthy samurai told stories, and would-be warriors fought duels over honor instead of for land. The famous ukiyo-e, the “floating world” of entertainment, grew, as did artists and writers associated with it.

This was to crack open in the 1800s, with the arrival (and, significantly, threats to not depart) of American ships demanding trade. Japan realized that the world had developed without them and that things like guns and cannons had gotten quite dangerous. While their opening was traumatic, and the subsequent Meiji period eliminated much of the feudal system of Japan, the infrastructure was already in place to enable Meiji to, within a few decades, take on and defeat some of the most powerful states in the world. But that is a story for another time.





Leader Spotlight- Tokugawa - Civilization VI- Leader Pass

Leader Spotlight: Tokugawa

Related achievements[]

I Will Wait
I Will Wait
Win a regular game as Tokugawa.
A reference to Tokugawa's reputation for patience.
Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
Playing as Japan, have a district with 6 adjacent unpillaged districts.
The Meiji Restoration was when Japan embarked on industrialization after being visited by Europeans with superior technology.

See also[]

External links[]

Civilization VI Leaders [edit]
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1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.