I am a high level chess player trying to learn shogi, I understand the rules, know how the pieces move, and can easily differentiate the pieces from one another. I find that i struggle to gain any type of initiative and often get overwhelmed by enemy attacks, whats the best way to improve? What is the proper strategy and principles that should be used?

I'm not a strong player myself so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I think you should learn some basic opening like 4th file rook with mino castle for example. You can play it almost without looking at the other players moves. The Youtube channel "Shogi Harbor" has a lot of good videos explaining middle game principles for newbies you should check out. I'm not a strong chess or shogi player, but in my experience out of all the popular chess-like games shogi is the most different one. A lot of chess thinking doesn't apply to shogi.

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