Toyotomi Hideyoshi : biography
was a preeminent daimyo, warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku periodNussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ōmi" in . who is regarded as Japan's second "great unifier."Richard Holmes, The World Atlas of Warfare: Military Innovations that Changed the Course of History, Viking Press 1988. p. 68. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle. After his death, his young son was displaced by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Hideyoshi is noted for a number of cultural legacies, including the restriction that only members of the samurai class could bear arms. He financed the construction, restoration and rebuilding of many temples standing today in Kyoto. Hideyoshi played an important role in the history of Christianity in Japan when he ordered the execution by crucifixion of twenty-six Christians.
- Toyotomi had two sons with Yodo: Tsurumatsu, who died young, and Hideyori born in 1593, who became the designated successor of Toyotomi.
Because of his low birth with no family name to the eventual achievement of Kanpaku (Regent), the title of highest imperial nobility, Toyotomi Hideyoshi had quite a few names throughout his life. At birth, he was given the name Hiyoshi-maru . At genpuku he took the name . Later, he was given the surname Hashiba, and the honorary court office Chikuzen no Kami; as a result he was styled . His surname remained Hashiba even as he was granted the new uji or sei ( or , clan name) Toyotomi by the emperor. His name is correctly Toyotomi no Hideyoshi. Using the writing system of his time, his name is written as 豐臣 秀吉.
The Toyotomi uji was simultaneously granted to a number of Hideyoshi's chosen allies, who adopted the new uji "" (Toyotomi no asomi, courtier of Toyotomi).
The Catholic sources of the time referred to him as "emperor Taicosama" (from taikō, a retired kampaku (see Sesshō and Kampaku), and the honorific sama).
His nickname was "Monkey" (Saru), allegedly given by Oda Nobunaga because of his facial resemblance to a monkey. This recognition directly contributed to the popular image of Toyotomi Hideyoshi being a monkey styled person, both in appearance and mode of behaviour.
Rise to power
Around 1557 he returned to Owari Province and joined the Oda clan, now headed by Oda Nobunaga, as a lowly servant. He became one of Nobunaga's sandal-bearers and was present at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560 when Nobunaga defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto to become one of the most powerful warlords in the Sengoku period. According to his biographers, he supervised the repair of Kiyosu Castle, a claim described as "apocryphal", and managed the kitchen. In 1561, Hideyoshi married Nene who was Asano Nagamasa's adopted daughter. He carried out repairs on Sunomata Castle with his younger brother Toyotomi Hidenaga and the bandits Hachisuka Masakatsu and Maeno Nagayasu. Hideyoshi's efforts were well received because Sunomata was in enemy territory. He constructed a fort in Sunomata, according to legend overnight, and discovered a secret route into Mount Inaba after which much of the garrison surrendered.
Hideyoshi was very successful as a negotiator. In 1564 he managed to convince, mostly with liberal bribes, a number of Mino warlords to desert the Saitō clan. Hideyoshi approached many Saitō clan samurai and convinced them to submit to Nobunaga, including the Saitō clan's strategist, Takenaka Shigeharu.
Nobunaga's easy victory at Inabayama Castle in 1567 was largely due to Hideyoshi's efforts, and despite his peasant origins, Hideyoshi became one of Nobunaga's most distinguished generals, eventually taking the name Hashiba Hideyoshi (羽柴 秀吉). The new surname included two characters, one each from Oda's two other right-hand men, Niwa Nagahide and Shibata Katsuie.
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