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Can you deliberately win the battle by a narrow margin?

Winging by a narrow margin

When we talk about our history in this area, we should not miss the famous warlord Takeda Shingen who was called “The Tiger of Kai”. He has still been popular in Japan, in particular among businessmen due to his excellent tactics and strategy. There are so many his legends that I am going to tell a little part of his military strategy.


In 1521, he was born in a samurai family in Kainokuni, nowaday Yamanashi. After raised by a priest and scholars, he was greatly influenced by them and he became a thoughtful, sensitive and discreet person. 

One day at the age of 13, he placed a lot of seashells in his room and asked his people “Guess, how many shells here?” They answered “10,000”, “15,000” but it was “3,700”. He believed that by showing the illusion of having a bigger number of troops that he actually had could trick his enemies in battles. 

His military strategy was “Win the battles but not with overwhelming victories” . He thought that if you won the battles easily your people could be complacent and your enemy could be more cautious about you.  This would be a drawback in the later battles. 

Winning by a narrow margins is quite a tough challenge. It was significant to collect plenty of not only enemy information but also varieties of any other information in order to implement his ideas. He then placed many Mitunomono and Suppa, so-called Ninja(Do you know there used be many way of saying Ninja?). His Ninja pretended to be civilians and he also used women ninja(Kunoichi) in many places.

If he were alive today, I have no doubt that we would definitely make use of a smartphone.