Sekigahara: The Battle That Created Japan

In 1600, Japan faced a turning point in its history. After more than a decade of comparative peace, the feudal era had been reinvigorated, and two sides of the country – the West and the East – were ready to do battle. The location of this critical coming together was a small rice-growing village called Sekigahara in modern day Gifu Prefecture. The battle was to define the nation for the next 265 years. [In this short history, the names are written in the Japanese style, family name followed by given name. In order to not confuse between family members, after introduction they are detailed using their given names.] The Background Having risen from a lowly background as a sandal bearer in the mighty Oda army to become the powerful de facto ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi longed for one thing: a son to be his heir. With two daughters dead before the age of six and no son forthcoming he had named his nephew, Toyotomi Hidegetsu, as next in line. However, in September 1593 he sired a son, Hideyori, and to quell any potential succession issues promptly had Hidegetsu exiled and commit ritual suicide. Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1598, however, Hideyoshi himself passed away, leaving his five-year-old son as the leader of unified Japan. In order to effectively run the country, five prominent ‘daimyo’ [chieftains or warlords] were to rule in his place until Hideyori came of age. These ‘five regents’ were the most powerful daimyo in Japan, and were for…
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Sekigahara: The Battle That Created Japan
Original Source: www.JapanInfoSwap.com
Sekigahara: The Battle That Created Japan

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