Land of the Gods
Presiding over an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity, Matasuuri Nagahide is arguably the most successful shogun in the history of Wa.
The nation’sstability is due to Nagahide’s philosophy of government; he values control over conquest and analysis over action, putting him in clear contrast to past leaders who preferred the quick solutions provided by a sharp katana.
The differences between Nagahide and his ancestor Shogoro Matasuuri, the great general who unified Wa, are summarized in these verses from a popular folk song:
If the rose bush refuses to bloom, Shogoro will cut it down. If the rose bush refuses to bloom, Nagahide will wait until it does so.
Nagahide is a towering, broadly built warrior, his craggy face creased by a permanent scowl. He is a cunning strategist, a brilliant general, and a spellbinding speaker. He is patient, decisive, and utterly humorless; if leadership gives him any pleasure, he conceals it completely. He broods incessantly and is plagued by skull-shattering headaches which he presumes are punishment from the gods for having thoughts not specifically pertaining to the welfare of the state.
Nagahide’s obsession with order leaves little room for mercy. The story is told of a village headman who approached Nagahide about a daimyo who was abusing the peasants. Nagahide had the matter investigated, determined the guilt of the daimyo, and had him replaced. Nagahide then had the headman and his family executed for the crime of approaching the shogun’s palanquin without permission.