READ List of Famous Samurai

Reference
5k views 105 items

List of famous samurais, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top samurais in the world? This includes the most prominent samurais, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable samurais is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic samurais were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned samurais.

This list is made up of a variety of people, including Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Ōkubo Toshimichi.

From reputable, prominent, and well known samurais to the lesser known samurais of today, these are some of the best professionals in the samurai field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous samurais ever?" and "What are the names of famous samurais?" then you're in the right place. (105 items)

Oda Nobuyuki is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Oda Nobuyuki Oda Nobuyuki, also known as Oda Nobukatsu, was the son of Oda Nobuhide and younger brother of Oda Nobunaga, who lived during the Sengoku period of Japan. Nobuyuki conspired against his brother ...more

Ōkubo Toshimichi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Ōkubo Toshimichi Ōkubo Toshimichi, was a Japanese statesman, a samurai of Satsuma, and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. He is regarded as one of the main founders of modern Japan.

Hasekura Tsunenaga is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Hasekura Tsunenaga Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga was a Japanese samurai and retainer of Date Masamune, the daimyo of Sendai. In the years 1613 through 1620, Hasekura headed a diplomatic mission to the Vatican in ...more

Toyotomi Hideyoshi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Toyotomi Hideyoshi Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a preeminent daimyo, warrior, general, samurai, and politician of the Sengoku period who is regarded as Japan's second "great unifier". He succeeded his former ...more

Matsudaira Tadaaki is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Tadaaki Matsudaira Tadaaki was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period through early Edo period. He was a retainer and relative of the Tokugawa clan.

Matsudaira Katamori is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Katamori Matsudaira Katamori was a samurai who lived in the last days of the Edo period and the early to mid Meiji period. He was the 9th daimyo of the Aizu han and the Military Commissioner of Kyoto ...more

Matsudaira Tadanao is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Tadanao Matsudaira Tadanao was a Japanese daimyo in the early Edo period. He was the head of the Fukui Domain.

Itō Hirobumi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Itō Hirobumi Prince Itō Hirobumi was a samurai of Chōshū Domain, Japanese statesman, four time Prime Minister of Japan, genrō and Resident-General of Korea. Itō was assassinated by Korean nationalist An ...more

Oda Nobutoshi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Oda Nobutoshi Viscount Oda Nobutoshi was a daimyo of the tozama feudal domain of Tendō, in Dewa province, northern Japan. He was a direct descendant of the famed Oda Nobunaga, through Nobunaga's son Oda ...more

Matsudaira Shigekatsu is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Shigekatsu Matsudaira Shigekatsu was a Japanese daimyo of the early Edo period. Also known as Denzaburō. Inherited headship of the Nomi-Matsudaira from his father, Matsudaira Shigeyoshi. He served as a ...more

Matsudaira Shigetada is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Shigetada Matsudaira Shigetada was a Japanese daimyo of the Azuchi-Momoyama period to early Edo period. His court title was Tango no kami. In 1612, Shigetada became an ōbangashira. He took part in the ...more

Takeda Katsuyori is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Takeda Katsuyori Takeda Katsuyori was a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku Period, who was famed as the head of the Takeda clan and the successor to the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen. He was the son of Shingen by ...more

Matsudaira Kataharu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Kataharu Viscount Matsudaira Kataharu was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period who served as the daimyō of Tonami han in the early Meiji Era. Born the eldest son of Matsudaira Katamori, he succeeded ...more

Matsudaira Katataka is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Katataka Matsudaira Katataka Japanese daimyo lord, ruler of the 230,000 koku Aizu domain in Mutsu Province. Known in his youth as Keizaburō 慶三郎, he was born to Matsudaira Yoshikazu, the lord of the ...more

Matsudaira Nobunori is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Nobunori Viscount Matsudaira Nobunori was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period who served as daimyō of Aizu Domain from 1868-69. Born the son of Tokugawa Nariaki of Mito, he was adopted by ...more

Tokugawa Yoshinobu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Tokugawa Yoshinobu Tokugawa Yoshinobu was the 15th and last shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He was part of a movement which aimed to reform the aging shogunate, but was ultimately unsuccessful. After ...more

Yamamoto Gonnohyōe is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Yamamoto Gonnohyōe Admiral Count Yamamoto Gonbee, GCMG, also called Gonnohyōe, was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and the 16th and 22nd Prime Minister of Japan.

Uesugi Mochinori is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Uesugi Mochinori Count Uesugi Mochinori was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period who served as the last daimyo of Yonezawa han in Dewa Province. In the Meiji era he became a government official and briefly ...more

Ōe Taku is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Ōe Taku Ōe Taku was a samurai, bureaucrat, politician, entrepreneur and social activist in the late Meiji and Taishō period Empire of Japan. He is noted as one of the more progressive figures of the ...more

Tokugawa Mitsukuni is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Tokugawa Mitsukuni Tokugawa Mitsukuni or Mito Kōmon was a prominent daimyo who was known for his influence in the politics of the early Edo period. He was the third son of Tokugawa Yorifusa and succeeded him, ...more

Akimoto Hirotomo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Akimoto Hirotomo Akimoto Hirotomo was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period who served as the lord of Tatebayashi han. Succeeding to family headship in 1864, he ruled the domain during the closing stages of ...more

Akizuki Tanenaga is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Akizuki Tanenaga Akizuki Tanenaga was a Japanese samurai warrior and daimyo of the late Sengoku and early Edo periods.

Takeda Nobutora is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Takeda Nobutora Takeda Nobutora was a Japanese daimyo who controlled the Province of Kai, and fought in a number of battles of the Sengoku period. He was the father of the famous Takeda Shingen, who was ...more

Takeda Yoshinobu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Takeda Yoshinobu Takeda Yoshinobu was a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku period. Born Takeda Tarō, he was the son of Takeda Shingen, by Shingen's wife, Lady Sanjō.. He came of age in 1550, and took the formal name ...more

Saigō Takamori is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Saigō Takamori Saigō Takamori was one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history, living during the late Edo Period and early Meiji Era. He has been dubbed the last true samurai. He was born Saigō ...more

Date Masamune is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Date Masamune Date Masamune was a regional strongman of Japan's Azuchi-Momoyama period through early Edo period. Heir to a long line of powerful daimyo in the Tōhoku region, he went on to found the modern-day ...more

Hōjō Ujimasa is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Hōjō Ujimasa Hōjō Ujimasa was the fourth head of the late Hōjō clan, and daimyo of Odawara. Ujimasa commanded in many battles, consolidating his clan's position, and retired in 1590. His son Hōjō Ujinao ...more

Chiba Takusaburō is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Chiba Takusaburō Chiba Takusaburō —also known as Chiba Takuron—lived as an obscure liberal political activist and schoolteacher in the late Tokugawa, early Meiji period. In his younger years, Takusaburō studied ...more

Ōkuma Shigenobu is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Ōkuma Shigenobu Marquess Ōkuma Shigenobu was a Japanese politician in the Empire of Japan and the 8th and 17th Prime Minister of Japan. Ōkuma was also an early advocate of Western science and culture in Japan, ...more

Okudaira Nobumasa is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Okudaira Nobumasa Okudaira Nobumasa was a Japanese daimyō of the Sengoku and early Edo periods. Nobumasa's family considered their origins to have been associated with Mikawa province. The clan was descended ...more

Sakai Tadatsugu is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Sakai Tadatsugu Sakai Tadatsugu was one of the most favored and most and successful military commanders serving Tokugawa Ieyasu in the late-Sengoku period. He is regarded as one of the Four Guardians of the ...more

Katakura Kagetsuna is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Katakura Kagetsuna Katakura Kagetsuna was a Japanese samurai of the Katakura clan during the late Sengoku period. Also known by his court title, Bichū no Kami, or more commonly, as Katakura Kojūrō. Together with ...more

Nakagawa Kiyohide is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Nakagawa Kiyohide Nakagawa Kiyohide was a daimyo in Azuchi-Momoyama period. His childhood name was Nakagawa Toranosuke. His common name was Nakagawa Sebe. His father was Nakagawa Shigekiyo. Nakagawa Hidemasa and ...more

Akizuki Tanezane is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Akizuki Tanezane Akizuki Tanezane was a samurai warrior who was defeated by the Ōtomo clan. Later he joined the Shimazu clan and fought with them against Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Kyūshū, an island of Japan. After ...more

Araki Murashige is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Araki Murashige Araki Murashige was a retainer of Oda Nobunaga, and daimyō of Itami Castle during the late Sengoku period of the 16th century in Japanese history, in what is now Itami city in Hyōgo Prefecture. ...more

Arai Ikunosuke is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Arai Ikunosuke Arai Ikunosuke was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period. Prominent as Navy Minister of the Republic of Ezo, he later became famous as the first head of the Japan Meteorological Agency. Also ...more

Tsuboi Kōzō is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Tsuboi Kōzō Baron Tsuboi Kōzō was an admiral of the early modern Imperial Japanese Navy, known primarily for his role in the First Sino-Japanese War.

Shiba Gorō is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Shiba Gorō Shiba Gorō was a samurai and later a general in the Imperial Japanese Army.

Nitta Yoshisada is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Nitta Yoshisada Nitta Yoshisada was the head of the Nitta family in the early fourteenth century, and supported the Southern Court of Emperor Go-Daigo in the Nanboku-chō period, capturing Kamakura from the Hōjō ...more

Oda Nobuharu is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Oda Nobuharu Oda Nobuharu was a Japanese samurai of the Sengoku period, who served the Oda clan. Nobuharu was the younger brother of Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga granted him Nobu Castle and its surroundings as a ...more

Daidōji Yūzan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Daidōji Yūzan Daidōji Yūzan was a samurai and military strategist of Edo period Japan. He was born in Fushimi in Yamashiro Province. Among the works he wrote in his late years was the widely circulated Budō ...more

Matsudaira Taro is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Taro Matsudaira Tarō was Commander-in-Chief of the Army under the Minister of the Army Katsu Kaishū, during the Bakumatsu period of Japanese history, and later became vice-president of the Republic ...more

Mori Ranmaru is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Mori Ranmaru Mori Ranmaru, also known as Mori Naritoshi, was the son of Mori Yoshinari, and had 5 brothers in total, from the province of Mino. He was a member of the Mori Clan, descendants of the Seiwa

Oda Hidetaka is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Oda Hidetaka Oda Hidetaka was a Sengoku period warrior in 16th century Japan. He was the eighth son of warlord Oda Nobuhide and his wife, Tsuchida Gozen. His mother also gave birth to three of his older ...more

Takeda Nobushige is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Takeda Nobushige Takeda Nobushige was a samurai of Japan's Sengoku period, and younger brother of Takeda Shingen. Takeda Nobushige held the favor of their father, and was meant to inherit the Takeda lands, ...more

Matsudaira Shigeyoshi is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Matsudaira Shigeyoshi Matsudaira Shigeyoshi Also known as Jirōzaemon. Head of the Nōmi-Matsudaira, a branch of the main Matsudaira house which later became the Tokugawa shogunal family. Shigeyoshi served three ...more

Tokugawa Haruaki is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Tokugawa Haruaki Tokugawa Haruaki was a Japanese samurai of the mid-Edo period. The 5th son of Tokugawa Munetake, he succeeded his father as head of the Tayasu branch of the Tokugawa house.

Hayashi Yasusada is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Hayashi Yasusada Hayashi Gonsuke was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period. Also known by his formal name, Yasusada, A retainer of the Aizu domain, Gonsuke was an accomplished martial artist of Ichinomiya ...more

Tokugawa Munetake is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Tokugawa Munetake Tokugawa Munetake was a Japanese samurai of the mid-Edo period, also known as Tayasu Munetake. The first head of the Tayasu branch of the Tokugawa clan, he held daimyo-level income, but was not ...more

Tokugawa Narimasa is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Samurai
Tokugawa Narimasa Tokugawa Narimasa was a Japanese samurai of the Edo period. The son of Tokugawa Harusada, he succeeded Tokugawa Haruaki as head of the Tayasu branch of the Tokugawa house, which had been without ...more