Military Review

Toyotomi Hideyoshi: from peasants to samurai. Part of 2

He was born in an ordinary peasant family, but radically changed his fate - he became a samurai. Thanks to his strength of character, cunning and talent, Toyotomi was able to take the post of commander-in-chief first, and by the end of his life all of Japan was under his authority.

New enemies

Not all the vassals of the late Nobunaga agreed with Hideyoshi's elevation. Among the disgruntled one of the most serious opponents was Tokugawa Ieyasu. He tried his best to prevent the unification of the country under Toyotomi’s rule.

In 1584, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu troops fought at Nagakut. And even though samurai of the Tokugawa clan managed to win that confrontation, he nevertheless had to negotiate with the enemy about making peace. After all, this is the only battle that hit Ieyasu financially well. To wage a protracted war against Toyotomi was banal for nothing. Therefore, out of despair, he sent his eldest son to the enemy as a hostage. But Hideyoshi did not appreciate the “gift” and demanded a personal presence in Tokyo from Tokugawa.

After long negotiations and exchanges of “gifts” in 1586, Ieyasu nevertheless arrived in Kyoto and swore Hideyoshi's loyalty. Now no one has violated the legacy of Nobunaga. And Toyotomi began to implement his plan for the unification of Japan.

Three years before these events, under his order, a powerful castle was erected in Osaka at the site of the fortification of Hongan-ji monastery. This fortress became the most powerful not only in Japan, but in China and Korea. And Toyotomi actually moved the capital of the state to Osaka, making it the financial heart of the entire state.

Hideyoshi tried to return the shogunate, who once abolished Nobunaga. However, he could not do it. Because of this, Toyotomi never became the main over all samurai. But he did not lose his head and decided to become a puppeteer - to rule the country under the cover of "his" emperor. And in 1585, Hideyoshi reached the goal. What happened is an amazing phenomenon. According to Japanese traditions and rules, a person born to a lower class could not receive absolute power. Toyotomi became the first to succeed in quite legitimately breaking the age-old foundations.

Country unification

Hideyoshi's serene reign ended, not having, in general, to begin. At first, in the province of Kyi (now the prefecture of Wakayama), Buddhists revolted. Having settled with them, Toyotomi decided it was time to join the island of Shikoku, which belonged to the Tysokabe Mototika.

First, Toyotomi created the appearance of what he wants to add an island to his possessions in a bloodless way. Therefore, he offered Mototika unfavorable conditions, knowing in advance that he would not agree with them. From the ruler Shikoku was required to recognize the vassal dependence on Hideyoshi and transfer to him most of his lands. Instead, he was offered several remote provinces. The resulting rejection unleashed Toyotomi hands. Soon a powerful army was sent to the island, led by the younger brother Hideaci.

In several battles Mototi suffered crushing defeats and was forced to recognize the power of the enemy. After this victory, Toyotomi joined Kaga Province (now Ishikawa Prefecture) to his possessions. But the main battles of Toyotomi were still ahead.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi: from peasants to samurai. Part of 2

Hideyoshi has another worthy opponent - the Shimazu family who controlled Kyushu. Without waiting for the arrival of the samurai Toyotomi, Shimazu decided to act first. Therefore, he attacked the lands that belonged to the vassals of Hideyoshi. He responded instantly: Shimazu was offered to stop fighting and recognize vassal dependence on Toyotomi. Of course, he did not agree, and Hideyoshi received an excellent excuse for a military operation against Kyushu.

In 1587, Toyotomi, leading an army of about two hundred thousand men, invaded the island. Shimazu, who had much more modest forces at his disposal, understood the whole adventurousness of his undertaking and surrendered to the victor’s mercy.

This victory for Toyotomi became decisive. Now, under his own hand, he collected all the lands of Western Japan. The first thing the ruler imposed the strictest ban on the spread of Christianity. Then ordered to withdraw from the population weapon. This was done with one goal - to neutralize the threat of possible insurrections, because ahead of Toyotomi was another important thing. He was going to start a war against the Go-Hojo clan, which held the Kanto region under his rule. And the safe rear of Toyotomi was important.

But to start a campaign, an official excuse was required. And Go-Hojo himself provided it, capturing several locks from Toyotomi's vassals. The war began. After several victories, Hideyoshi’s army approached Odawara Castle, the main fortress of the opponents.

Toyotomi was in no hurry to storm her, hoping that the opponents would surrender themselves. While the siege was on, Hideyoshi ordered all the rulers of the lands of East Japan to come to his headquarters, in order to prove his commitment. Those were quick to fulfill the requirements.

Odawara lasted about three months, after which he still gave up. The head of the Go-Hojo family and his sons made seppuku. And in 1590, Toyotomi, in fact, became the sole ruler of all Japanese lands.

Life affairs

When the enemies were finished, Toyotomi was able to take a breath. The country was united, the protracted period of internecine wars came to an end. So, it is time to do the putting in order in Japan.
First of all, Toyotomi gave his nephew Hidetsugu the title of ruler of the Kampaka. Hideyoshi himself became taiko - regent in retirement. In the economy, he began to carry out serious reforms aimed at continuing the course of Oda Nobunaga - at the head of the corner was free trade. Then another important change was adopted - monetary reform. Under Toyotomi in Japan, gold coins were first minted.

After that, a land registry was compiled. Then, by order, the shreds of land that they cultivated were officially assigned to the peasants. The further policy of removing weapons from ordinary people continued. Moreover, even knives, scythes, pitchforks and sickles were on the black list. In general, everything that could be used in hostilities.

This policy led to the fact that Japanese society was divided into two classes: samurai (administrators from the military) and civilian subjects (peasants, merchants).

The total number of Toyotomi’s army was about two hundred thousand people plus a bloated bureaucratic apparatus. All of them required huge maintenance costs. Therefore, Toyotomi had to raise the tax on the peasantry: now it amounted to two thirds of the harvest. But, given that the war has finally stopped in the country, the territory of arable land has increased significantly. And the peasants in total annually received about three and a half million tons of rice.
The ruler also did not ignore the question of religion. Under Toyotomi, mass persecution of Christians and the expulsion of missionaries began. The Christians on Kyushu Island suffered particularly severe repression. First in 1587, and then in 1589, mass killings of believers took place here. The fight against foreign religion was presented in the form of a protest against "European colonialism." But in fact, everything was much simpler. Christianity fell into disgrace after the Portuguese refused Toyotomi help in creating fleet for military operations in East Asia.

In June, 1587, Hideyoshi issued a decree. It gave Christian missionaries twenty days to leave the country. In the case of disobedience - death. And as evidence of the seriousness of intentions in Nagasaki, more than thirty people were crucified on the crosses.

Korean campaign

In 1592, Toyotomi came to the conclusion that it was time for his samurai to prove themselves, they say, there is nothing for them to sit on. Hideyoshi had large-scale plans: at first to conquer Korea, then China. Well, if everything goes well, then get to rich India. Simply put, Toyotomi wanted to conquer the entire civilized world in the eyes of the Japanese of that time.

Why this was necessary is not clear. After all, Japan, torn apart by perennial civil wars, has only just begun to come in order. Although her army was really strong, it would still not be enough for such large-scale plans. Soon, the resources would have run out both financial and human.

On the reasons for the campaign historians put forward two versions, which inherently follow one of the other. Toyotomi was afraid of samurai. Professional soldiers living in the war and for the sake of war, in his opinion, presented a serious danger, while in stagnation. So he decided to incite them against an external enemy, since there was no longer an internal enemy.

Secondly, Toyotomi by this time began to suffer from a mental disorder. Career elevator lifted it to an unattainable height for a simple peasant with such a speed that it was extremely difficult to keep the mind. Toyotomi suspected of conspiracy one and all. He could easily drive a few hundred peasants to the construction of another fortress, and their usefulness in case of war looked very doubtful. But the main thing, according to contemporaries, Hideyoshi, intoxicated by his own success and greatness, began to consider himself not a man, but the earthly incarnation of the god of war Hatiman. And he wanted blood and scale, which native Japan simply could not provide. Another thing is Korea and China. There was a furious god where to turn.

Preparation has begun. The capital from Osaka was moved to the western city of Nagoya, where a mighty fortress was erected in the shortest possible time. And in April, 1592, of the order of 160, of thousands of samurai, headed by Ukita Hideyo, crossed the Sea of ​​Japan and landed on the Korean coast.

First, fortune was on the side of the aggressors. For a short time, they managed to capture the largest Korean cities and reach the border with China. The samurai, by the way, it took less than a month for the capital, Seoul, to fall. The local ruler from the Joseon dynasty took refuge in Pyongyang. But this, as it turned out, was only a short delay. The samurai took the city a month later. All in all, Toyotomi expected to finally get his hands on the peninsula in less than six months. But without waiting for a victory, he began to hand out posts of Korean, and at the same time Chinese governors.

The Japanese army was very tough in Korea. A vivid example of this is The Ear Tomb (Mimizuka) in Kyoto. Thousands of ears cut off by Koreans are buried there (according to some data - about forty thousand, according to others - about two hundred thousand). True, before this mound was called the "Grave of noses" - Hanadzuka. Another example is the city of Gyeongju, which the samurai completely destroyed.

Such an attitude towards the vanquished provoked a powerful wave of national unity among the Koreans. Men, women and children went underground, imposing guerrilla war on samurai. The Japanese were not ready for such a confrontation with the Army of Justice. Against the aggressors began to apply and exclusively Korean chips - Khvachi ("fire carts") and kobuksons (armored ships). In several naval battles, the Korean naval commander Li Sunsin was able to destroy more than three hundred Japanese ships with the help of Kobuksons. And the samurai were actually cut off from Japan.

The Chinese armies also came to the rescue, after all, Korea was in vassal dependence on a larger neighbor. A second defeat followed, then a third ... The Samurais had to leave the occupied lands right up to the borders of modern Seoul. Thus, the peninsula was divided into two parts: the Chinese and the Japanese. After this, the enemy army stopped. And an embassy went to Toyotomi to discuss peace.

But the elderly Hideyoshi was not up to it. In 1593, he had a long-awaited son, named Hideyori. The nephew instantly lost his post. Moreover, Toyotomi forced him to do seppuku to get rid of the extra challenger. Hideyoshi understood that he did not have long. Therefore, he created a board of trustees of five elders and a council of five managers. They had only one task - to help Hideyori rule the country after his father’s death.

In 1596, a Chinese embassy arrived in Osaka with the proposal of a peace treaty. The Chinese officially recognized Toyotomi as the ruler of Japan and demanded the release of Korea. Hideyoshi, of course, did not accept such conditions. Moreover, he purposefully insulted the Emperor of China on several occasions. The war resumed.

And again, at first everything was in favor of the samurai. Especially successful were the naval operations, since the naval commander Li Sunxing lost his post because of the envious conspiracy. The new admiral failed to oppose the Japanese. But on land they advanced slightly. And then, soon they had to retreat. True, the hope for a successful outcome of the campaign was still warming in among Japanese commanders. The final point was put by the naval commander Li Sunxing returning from the opals. In November, 1598, in Noryanjin Bay, he managed to almost completely destroy the enemy fleet. It became clear: Japan still lost the war.

At the end there will be only one.

And 18 September, 1598, the year was not the Toyotomi itself. By chance, the news of the death of the ruler came simultaneously with news about the loss of the fleet. The samurai began to prepare for evacuation.

After the death of Toyotomi, his long-time enemy, Tokugawa Ieyasu, recalled his ambitions. Although he was at the Board of Trustees of Hideyori, this did not prevent him from starting the full destruction of the Toyotomi family.

In November 1614, the two hundred thousandth army of Ieyasu laid siege to Osaka Castle, the main stronghold of the Toyotomi family. The forehead to the forehead Tokugawa certainly did not go. He knew perfectly well that it would not be possible to conquer the citadel immediately, so he decided to take her out of sight. A month later, heavy artillery approached the castle. After several days of firing, Hideyori sent an embassy with a peace offer. Tokugawa, seeing the weakness of the son of his enemy, did not stop shelling, even during negotiations. In the end, frightened Hideyori (he was much weaker than Hideyoshi) agreed to unfavorable conditions: Tokugawa demanded the destruction of the castle fortifications and the dissolution of the samurai. And by January 1615, the once formidable fortress had become a dummy.

Young Toyotomi, after settling the conflict, realized that being in an unprotected fortress was like death. Therefore, I began to slowly restore it. Ieyasu, of course, found out about this and made demands: to stop the restoration of the fortress, disband the soldiers and leave the castle altogether. Toyotomi gave a negative answer, and the war began.

Really did not have time to restore the castle, so Tokugawa no longer hesitated. During the battle, all the generals of Toyotomi died, the fortress was on the verge of death. Toyotomi Hideyori had no choice but to do seppuku. An example of a son was followed by his mother. And the genus Toyotomi broke off. Power passed to the genus Tokugawa.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. XII Legion
    XII Legion 14 November 2017 07: 38
    He was born in an ordinary peasant family, but radically changed his fate - he became a samurai. Thanks to his strength of character, cunning and talent, Toyotomi was able to take the post of commander-in-chief first, and by the end of his life all of Japan was under his authority.

    Even in a caste society, personal merit is the key to success
    And the career elevator brings to the surface
    Interesting thanks
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 14 November 2017 07: 42
    The ban on Christianity was the reason for Portugal's refusal to provide assistance in the construction and dispatch of a fleet for the Japanese conquest of Korea.
  3. kalibr
    kalibr 14 November 2017 08: 10
    Pavel, they already wrote to you that you cannot write articles this way - this is a manifestation of disrespect for the reader. What is so difficult to write under the picture with the moon and the mountain, that it is a ukiyo-woodcut by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. It is called "The Moon Above Inaba Mountain," and depicts Hideyoshi climbing to the castle to take it from the rear. Located at the Los Angeles Regional Museum of Art. The same applies to the rest of the "pictures", and where the photo of the armor is necessary so that the person does not wonder what it is. Write down what is Hideyoshi’s helmet and armor, and what kind of helmet is it, where they say, where these armor is stored ... Then the cognitive side of the article will increase many times over. By the way, this helmet (his photo) is in the funds of the Tokyo National Museum. In different forms, and it would be possible to show it large, indicating what type it belongs to. That is, one should take writing such materials more seriously!
    1. Luga
      Luga 14 November 2017 11: 30
      Quote: kalibr
      That is, one should take writing such materials more seriously!

      Thanks for the clarification, they are really valuable. Nevertheless, be condescending to the author, otherwise your formidable rebuke can kill his desire to create and improve. "If you want to point out errors, then first praise" (c) "Ordinary Miracle" smile
      It was interesting to read to me, I generally know relatively little about Japan and that, mainly from Clavel’s book smile And I was smart enough to realize that Tokugawa Ieyasu, mentioned in the article, is the prototype of Yoshi Toranagi, the protagonist of the novel. smile
      By the way, it seems to me that it would be worth noting that after the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 18 years passed before the death of Hideyori, during which many events occurred - the battle of Sekigahara, for example, or the appointment of Tokugawa as a shogun. And then it seems that Tokugawa destroyed Hideyori almost immediately, first thing after Hideyoshi's death.
      1. kalibr
        kalibr 14 November 2017 17: 14
        About the "praise" I agree with you. It would be necessary ... but I already wrote to him about this in the first article. It was softer ... The action wasn’t taken.
  4. Grandadmiral
    Grandadmiral 14 November 2017 20: 06
    Very interesting, thanks.
  5. Head Physician
    Head Physician 14 November 2017 21: 54
    Interesting topic
    I read Nosov's "Armament of Samurai"
  6. Paranoid50
    Paranoid50 April 2 2018 01: 05
    The Chinese armies came to the rescue,
    Morality through the ages: those who want to offend Korea will deal with China. yes
  7. Kola Lopar
    Kola Lopar 27 October 2018 01: 07
    - tax on the peasantry: now it amounted to two-thirds of the harvest. - (with)
    Hrenase serfdom.)))