As the new protagonist, the creators wanted him to be different than Haohmaru. Instead of a "samurai who travels as freely as the wind" they wanted him to be an "elite military genius" with a sword.<ref>SNK Playmore. "Samurai Spirits V Creators Commentary". Web Archive from Samurai Shodown V page (in Japanese). Archived from the original on December 7, 2003.</ref> Art director, Dorio Takaya, came up with Yoshitora's array of katana when he saw a similar image on a DVD cover to a sengoku (samurai era) based film. Based on the year the game occurs (1786), his character origin is loosely based on historical figure, Tokugawa Ienari, the eleventh Tokugawa shogun who ruled a decadent era akin to the Roaring Twenties. He was designed by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
He is the sole heir to the reigning Shogun and former student of Gaoh and Jubei. More interested in women and partying than politics, he runs away from his home, refusing to be the next ruler. Gaoh, believing Japan would only prosper if Yoshitora were to rule, starts a rebellion in hopes of luring his student back. In the story prologue Haohmaru challenges Yoshitora to a duel in order to test his own strength. Yoshitora declines but promises that he'll face him after he settles things with Gaoh. In his ending, he questions his former master's motives. Gaoh explains that the shogun ruling before Yoshitora is uncaring to the people and continuing under his rule would only bring famine and desecration to the people. He pleas with his pupil to become shogun. Realizing the responsibility of his role for the first time, Yoshitora finally agrees to his former master's request.
As shogun, he then challenges Haohmaru to a duel, asking the latter to join him and help him build a new country. Haohmaru replies that if he loses, he'll join Yoshitora. They fight but the result of their match is uncertain.
Yoshitora is a cock-sure and rebellious member of the Tokugawa clan. Though he presents himself as a bit of a slacker, he is actually quite aware of his surroundings and won't hesitate to take the wisest choice in a conflict. Analogous to his historical inspiration, he is also a playboy. In one of his winning poses, he is followed by a crowd of young ladies.
- Quick Draw: Yoshitora can draw and sheath multiple swords at a near instantaneous rate.
- Multiple Attacks: Yoshitora can deliver several slashes at once.
- Energy Slash: Yoshitora can infuse his swords with energy and project flowers. The images of flowers they project depend on the sword he chose to use.
He has seven swords; six are named after women except for the one named after himself. Each sword has its own unique ability, which he can use to confuse and corner his opponents.
If he uses all of his special techniques, pulled off and connected in sequence, he unlocks an extremely strong attack that can decimate his foes. This characteristic carries over in his appearance in the reboot game.
- Shogun - Samurai Shodown V
- Iki - Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Hiro Yūki - Samurai Shodown V
- Naoki Yanagi - Samurai Shodown VI
- Makoto Furukawa - Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Samurai Shodown V
- Samurai Shodown V Special
- Samurai Shodown V Perfect
- Samurai Shodown VI
- Samurai Shodown (2019)
- SNK Fighting Age
- Puzzle & Dragons
- When asked "The path of the sword is?", Yoshitora's response is "It's just one skill I picked up to succeed at life without really trying." <ref name=SamSho>Official character profile from Samurai Shodown anniversary website.</ref>
- When asked what his favourite type of mate is his response is "I love every kind of woman in this great world." <ref name=SamSho>Official character profile from Samurai Shodown anniversary website.</ref>
- In Samurai Shodown (2019), Yoshitora breaks the fourth wall in his Story Fateful Battle, looking directly to the player in some moments of his talking with Jubei Yagyu.
- Yoshitora Tokugawa.jpg
Yoshitora in Samurai Shodown V
Yoshitora in Samurai Shodown V Special
Samurai Shodown VI artwork
<references />es:Yoshitora Tokugawa