Maeda Toshiie (前田 利家, born January 15, 1538 or 15391 in Arako village, Japan and died April 27, 1599) was one of Nobunaga Oda's main generals in the late Sengoku period.
His father is Toshimasa Maeda. He was the fourth of seven brothers. As a child, he is called "Inuchiyo" (犬千代) but he is better known as "Yari no Mataza" (槍の又左), Mataza being his common name. His favorite weapon is a yari. His highest title is dainagon.
Born in Owari province, he served Nobunaga Oda during his childhood and his loyalty was rewarded by being left alone at the head of the Maeda clan (taking advantage of the military failures of his three brothers).
Like Nobunaga, Toshiie was very eccentric and usually dressed in an exotic kabuki-mono outfit. Hideyoshi Hashiba was nicknamed Saru (猴, "monkey") and himself Inu (犬, "dog") by Nobunaga, due to a belief that dogs and monkeys cannot stand each other. Indeed, Toshiie was stern and upright unlike Hideyoshi, who was easygoing and comical.
Toshiie began his military career as an infantry captain (足軽大将) in Nobunaga Oda's army and rose rapidly in the ranks. He fought in the battle of Hokuriku for Katsuie Shibata.
Under Nobunaga Oda, he had his moment of glory during the battle of Nagashino in 1575 and received as a reward the province of Kanazawa and became daimyo. After Nobunaga Oda's defeat by Mitsuhide Akechi, Toshiie fought against Katsuie Shibata under the command of Hideyoshi Hashiba.
Toshiie's wife, Maeda Matsu, was also responsible for the rise of the Maeda clan. After Toshiie's death, she ensured the safety of the clan after the year 1600. She even went so far as to go as a hostage to the castle of the new shogun, Ieyasu Tokugawa, whom she hated all her life.