Discovery of Japan. In 1542, a Chinese junk with 3 Portuguese passengers in it was blown off its course to Macao and beached on a Japanese inlet. The stranded traders were befriended by the islanders, who took interest in their guns.
Nobunaga was a daimyŌ who
ruled a small region of Japan
that he had inherited from his
father. He showed little
promise in his youth and was
so “gawky, careless, rough, and
undignified”, that his tutor
committed suicide in the hopes it
would bring his pupil to his senses.
the country, looking for aid.
Nobunaga took him to KyŌto,
instilled him in office as a figure
-head, and started building him a
Nobunaga was building this castle when he met his first missionary, Father Fröes, in 1568. Fröes pleased Nobunaga who was quoted saying this concerning the Jesuit missionaries: “These are the men
I like, upright, sincere men, who tell me solid things- unlike the Buddhist bonzes, who regale me with fables!”.
Their mutual dislike of Buddhism may have sealed the relationship between the priests and the dictator.
A peasant who started
working for Nobunaga as a
servant and worked his way
up through the ranks to become his
greatest general. He is known for his
military strategy, although he has been
described as “scarcely sixty inches in
height, with a face as wizened as a
sapless apple or a septuagenarian ape”.
An aristocrat and another of
Nobunaga’s generals. He is
known for his great patience.
This is in contrast to Nobunaga,
who is famous for being resolute but
very impatient. The Japanese have a
saying: “Nobunaga pounded the rice
cake, Hideyoshi cooked it, and Iyeyasu
sat on a cushion and ate it!”.
Hideyoshi recalled the entire army to KyŌto and hid them around the city. When the memorial service arrived, Nobunaga’s two sons wrangled for position. Before they could burn their incense, Hideyoshi made a grand entrance with the grandson and argued that neither son was worthy to succeed his father. As he gave the signal, his troops appeared to quell the opposition and he was able to offer the first incense.
“Our Kings begin by sending into the countries they wish to conquer missionaries, who induce the people to embrace our religion; and, when considerable progress has been made, troops are sent who combine with the new Christians, and then our Kings have not much trouble in accomplishing the rest!”
Hideyoshi flew into a rage when the commander’s words were reported to him. He ordered a census of all those who were in close relation with the foreigners, but soon lost count.