A cautionary tale on megalomania, delusions of grandeur and the perils of imperialism as opposed to cooperation…
Aging and world weary, the gifted despot Toyotomi Hideyoshi is the subject of the remarkably realistic portrait below done around 1598, the year of his death. It was a great period of Japanese history, – though murderous and violent- that Hideyoshi presided over. Kyoto, Hideyoshi’s capital city was hardly the center of the green accords it is associated with today. In its day, Kyoto was more populous and sophisticated than Paris was…
As the power of the Muromachi Shogunate faded various daimyo continued their power struggles. If someone had enough power and coupled occupy Kyoto he could declare himself the new shogun. Daimyos themselves were sometimes assassinated by those under them who wanted their position. Concepts of loyalty and honesty vanished as the grab for power escalated.
In the middle of the 16th century (1568) Oda Nobunga conquered a number of the daimyo and was in the process of trying to unify the nation when he was assassinated (1582). He had managed, though, to unite about half of the provinces of Japan and began the movement to disarm the peasantry….
…Nobunga was hostile towards the Buddhist temples since they had opposed his rise to power. In 1571 his forces attacked Hiei-san, a holy place of Japanese Buddhism. The result was all three thousand of the buildings of the monastery destroyed and thousands of monks and other people working there killed. The land was confiscated and a fort was later built on the same area.The two successors of Nobunga were both brilliant, however. Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified Japan but didn’t become the shogun. Read More:http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/japan/jh6.html
During the last decade of the sixteenth century, Japan, under the leadership of the general Toyotomi Hideyoshi, launched two unsuccessful military invasions against the Korean peninsula. The overall goal of these two invasions was to gain a foothold on the mainland and then use Korea as a stepping-stone to invade and conquer China. After nearly seven years of warfare and truce talks in Korea, Japan failed at its goal as a combined result of the brilliant naval command of Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin, constant Korean guerrilla activity, Korean military assistance by Ming China, and lastly, the death of General Hideyoshi.
Hideyoshi had spent most of the previous decade involved in almost constant campaigns to unify Japan. He finally achieved this unification in 1591 with the subjugation of Northern Honshu province1. With this task complete, he began to set his sights on other lands to conquer. While struggling for unification in 1585, he had already begun looking beyond his unification of Japan by making plans to invade China. In 1577, as an officer under General Oda Nobunaga, Hideyoshi had dreamt of the conquest of China for the glory of Japan…..Read More:http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sford/research/turtle/index.html