Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which ruled Japan from 1603 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
He was one of the three "Great Unifiers" of Japan, along with his former lord Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The son of a minor daimyo, Ieyasu once lived as a hostage, on behalf of his father, under another daimyo. He later succeeded as daimyo after his father's death, serving as vassal and general under Oda Nobunaga, building up his strength.
After Nobunaga's death, Ieyasu was briefly a rival of fellow Oda subordinate Toyotomi Hideyoshi, before declaring allegiance to Toyotomi and fighting on his behalf. Under Toyotomi, Ieyasu was relocated to the Kanto plains in eastern Japan, away from the Toyotomi power base in Osaka. He built his castle in the fishing village of Edo. He became the most powerful daimyo and the most senior officer under the Toyotomi regime.
Ieyasu preserved his strength in Toyotomi's failed attempt to conquer Korea. After Toyotomi's death, Ieyasu seized power in 1600, after the Battle of Sekigahara.