As you learn about Kanazawa’s history, you will definitely hear about the “Maeda” family and the Kaga clan. Toshiie Maeda (1538-1599) was the founder of the clan, and has been loved by his people since olden times – but what kind of person was he?
Toshiie was born as the fourth son in a small village in old Nagoya which was governed by his father. As a teenager, he was already known for his ‘bizarre fashion’. Sometimes he wore a kimono decorated with animal fur, or even put on women‘s outfits just for fun! On the other hand, he was also a vigorous warrior as well as a ‘hot tempered’ person. Even when he was officially suspended from his job by the most powerful samurai daimyo of that time Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582), Toshiie recklessly participated in two wars without any permission, although he eventually was allowed to return to the elite samurai society.
Toshiie’s old kimono tells us his height was about six feet (182 cm) tall, while the average was around five feet in those olden times. Can you believe it? Furthermore, it’s also said he was widely talked about as ‘good looking’ no matter what one’s type was. However, the beauty of a person is not only in the face. Maeda was generally considered to have learned a lot from his miserable days without work, and once stated that “true friends will be there for you when you lose your job or title.” Although he was never extravagant due to the experience of being unemployed, Toshiie was often willing to lend money to other families who had financial problems. Now you can understand why our clan was flourishing in that time. He was ‘down-to-earth.'