Mashashige was a shogun (general) who ruled much of what was left of Japan. He discovered a gateway under a house not far from his fortress and had been sending scouts through to explore Deathlands with the intent of finding a place to move some of his people and making a new home for them. Before he could do this, though, his men were wiped out by his brother Ryuku; he committed seppuku to avoid living with the shame of being so badly defeated.
Shogun Mashashige was the ruler of what is left of Japan. This small, athletic man proved to be a man of great honour and decency despite the fact that he wanted to use the single gateway located in Japan to bring many of his people to the Deathlands. He treated Ryan and the others very well, even though they were from the hated America. In the end, he takes his own life, with Ryan acting as his second after his brother, the leader of the Ronin, destroyed his fortress and nearly everyone in it.(Keepers of the Sun)