Toda Yoshisada was the daimyo of a neighboring country, and his house had a long-standing feud with the country of Gohda. Lord Toda was approached by Gohda Motohide, who was furious that his nephew, Gohda Matsunoshin, had inherited the kingdom that he felt should have rightfully been inherited by himelf. Motohide felt that his nephew was not strong enough to hold the land together, and so conspired with Yoshisada to overthrow Matsunoshin and replace him. Motohide rallied his troops which, when combined with Toda's own samurai and Nyogetsu ninja, proved to be a formidable army. The two men orchestrated a rebellion while Lord Toda prepares to declare open war against his enemy country Gohda, with many lives on both sides being lost. Lord Toda waited in his war camp, and when Motohide informed him that Matsunoshin was wounded and his forces scattered, Yoshisada drew his massive sword and struck the traitorous man down. Just before Motohide died Toda informed him that he had never intended to share power with him.
Immediately after Motohide's death Toda prepared his troops to launch the pre-emptive attack, but before he could do this he was confronted by Tatsumaru, one of Gohda's Azuma Ninja. Toda apparently felt that his own sword skills and self-superiority as a samurai were insufficient to fight the Master Azuma by himself, so he called two of his guards and all three proceeded to attack together. It was all in vein, however. After disposing of the two guards Tatsumaru gravely wounded Toda, who was disgusted by the thought that he would die at the hands of a lowly ninja, as he indeed did...just not the one he was expecting. As he lay bleeding on the ground he was approached by Lady Kagami, leader of the Nyogetsu ninja, the clan that served Toda. Kagami drew her sword and lifted her wounded lord by the head, and in one swift swipe with her katana decapitated him. Kagami then carried Yoshisada's head to a cliff high above the camp and lit it on fire, then tossed it into the sea below. This act signified the birth of the Burning Dawn.
Considering that Lord Toda had betrayed Motohide, it was fitting irony that his own death was brought about by an act of betrayal.