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Nobunaga ’ s Victory. Takeda Shingen ’ s reputation as the finest leader of the samurai cavalry made whoever capable of defeating him a great hero Nobunaga defeated Takeda at the battle of Nagashino Nobunaga proved the superiority of his ashigaru (foot soldiers) over Nobunaga cavalrymen

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nobunaga s victory
Nobunaga’s Victory
  • Takeda Shingen’s reputation as the finest leader of the samurai cavalry made whoever capable of defeating him a great hero
    • Nobunaga defeated Takeda at the battle of Nagashino
    • Nobunaga proved the superiority of his ashigaru (foot soldiers) over Nobunaga cavalrymen
  • Nobunaga became the sole leader of Japan, wiping out all his enemies including warrior monks
    • In 1582, he was assassinated by his general, Akeshi Mitsuhide
toyotomi hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
  • The second unifier: Toyotomi Hideyoshi
    • Hearing the news of Nobunaga’s death, he rushed back to Kyoto and defeated the usurper at the battle of Yamazaki
  • Hideyoshi’s attempt to inherit Nobunaga’s empire led to war between he and Nobunaga’s family
    • Hideyoshi finally won at the Battle of Shizugatake
    • Reunited Japan in 1591
hideyoshi redefined the samurai
Hideyoshi Redefined the Samurai
  • 1588, “Sword Hunt” prohibited peasants and others who are not qualified for the use of these weapons:
    • sword
    • Long spear
    • Gun (arquebus)
  • 1591, “Separation Edict”
    • Enforced the “Sword Hunt” to disarm the peasants
    • The samurai and peasants were separated--no samurai was to be a farmer; no farmer was to be a samurai; Samurai was ranked the highest in the newly-introduced system of social classes which divided people into shi-no-ko-sho (samurai-farmer-craftsmen-merchant)
    • Farmers remained farmers even when recruited to fight a war; they could not use sword or gun
hideyoshi s invasion of korea
Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea
  • 1592, Hideyoshi invaded Korea and attempted to invade China after conquering Korea; The Korean War broke out (1592-1598)
  • First invasion:
    • 1592, Battle of Seoul and Py’ongyang-Japanese won and took the cities; but were forced to retreat because Chinese army joined the war; massacre in Pushan
    • 1592, Battle of Sa’chon and Hansando, Japanese were defeated
    • 1593, Battle of Py’ongyang--Ming army help defeat Japanese army; Japanese garrison remained in south Korea
  • Second invasion:
    • 1597, Japanese army were defeated by joint force of Korean and Chinese army
    • Hideyoshi’s sudden death brought the war to a dead end
  • Korean guerrilla armies joined the wars
    • A Korean army consisted primarily of Buddhist monks
    • They were fierce fighters and skilled archers
personal memory of korean war
Personal Memory of Korean War
  • Dairy of Keinen, a Buddhist monk taken to Korea by Ota Kazuyoshi as personal physician, provided an account of what he witnessed when Namwom Castle fell
    • “Dead bodies lying near the road like grains of sand”;
    • “dead bodies in nearby houses, the fields and mountains”
  • Samurai chronicler of Wakizaka:
    • “during a period of ten days we seized 10,000 of the enemy, but we did not cut off their heads. We cut off their noses, which told us how many heads there were.”
    • The collection of noses (and ears) in lieu of heads was due to logistic problems of shipping heads
mimizuka the mound of ears
Mimizuka (The Mound of Ears)
  • Collected noses and ears were shipped back to Japan and interred in a mound near Hideyoshi’s Great Buddha in Kyoto, now known as the Mimizuka, the “Mound of Ears”
    • Several other samurai chronicles confirmed that non-combatants’ noses and ears were cut off
      • “Men and women, down to new born infants, everyone was wiped out, no one was left alive.”
tokugawa ieyashu
Tokugawa Ieyashu
  • The third unifier of Japan
    • Established his power after the decisive battle of Sekigahara in 1600
      • The war was fought between a coalition of daimyo loyal to Hideyoshi’s son and Ieyashu’s army
      • Ieyashu defeated the coalition army after Kobayaki Hideaki changed sides and joined the Tokugawa
    • Became Shogun in 1603
      • Consolidated his power by relocating his daimyo, dividing their power
      • killing the remnant of his adversaries and the remainder of their samurai, now regarded as rebels,
the tokugawa shogunate
The Tokugawa Shogunate
  • The Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan for nearly 265 years (1603-1868)
    • Under the Tokugawa, Japan was in a time of peace, stability, and prosperity
    • The samurai were of no function and became a idle social class
    • They joined the rank of ronin or plot to rebel against Tokugawa shogunate
  • The samurai of losing side were known as ronin—wandering warrior or swordsmen
  • Ronin pledged allegiance to Toyotomi Hideyori in 1614
    • Tens of thousands of them joined Hideyori’s force to challenge the Tokugawa
    • The battle of Osaka Castle resulted in the demolishing of the walls
    • The battle of Tennoji in 1615 resulted in the death of thousands of ronin
wandering swordsman
Wandering Swordsman
  • Ronin who did not want to serve any daimyo, but would rather stay independent
    • They would challenge other samurai to fight them almost to the death
  • Miyamoto Musashi is the most famous
    • An invincible swordsman, who was never defeated in some 60 duels
    • A versatile man who was painter, sculptor, architect, writer,,,
      • Book of Five Rings , typical samurai literature
  • Ronin hired by criminal gangs--Yojimbo
  • Went overseas as mercenaries
the decline of the samurai
The Decline of the Samurai
  • The samurai declined in the Tokugawa period
    • mercenaries were stopped when the Tokugawa announced the “Closed Country Edict”
    • While it did not stop trade, it closed the door for the samurai mercenaries
    • The samurai were treated as outcasts
    • The samurai gradually lost their martial skills
      • Many turned to trades, arts, crafts to supplement their incomes
fighting between the samurai
Fighting between the Samurai
  • Some sumurai were against Tokugawa Shogunate’s attempt to open the door to foreigners after Commodore Perry’s arrival
  • The samurai from Satsuma and the Choshu Han (domain) were opposed to the open-door policy,
    • They resisted the foreigners including Americans and French
    • Fought with the samurai supporting the Tokugawa
the last samurai
The Last Samurai
  • Saigo Takamori (1827-1877) (fictionalized as Katsumoto played by Watanabe Ken in the film, The Last Samurai)
    • Leader of the Satsuma-Choshu troops who marched to Kyoto to help restore emperor’s power and moved the emperor to Edo (Tokyo), where they ended the Tokugawa’s rule
      • His army fought the battle of Ueno in Edo (Tokyo) and gunned down 2,000 men loyal to the Tokugawa shogunate
    • One of the three oligarchs in the Meiji court
    • 1876, resigned and went back to Kogoshima
    • 1877, led the Satsuma Rebellion and fought imperial army led by his opponent Okubo Toshimichi (1830-1878 ) (Omura in the film)
      • The last battle was fought at the hills of Shiroyama not far away from Kagoshima Castle
      • Imperial army massacred 300 die-hard samurai; Saigo and other leaders of the rebellion committed seppuku, a suicide ritual also known as harakiri in the west

Saigo Takamori

in a Kabuki Play

Saigo Takamori in Ukiyo-e