AZUCHI-MOMOYAMA PERIOD OF JAPAN
The AZUCHI-MOMOYAMA PERIOD OF JAPAN started in 1568 AD and ended in 1600 AD . The period was known for unification of JAPAN . Two powerful warlords namely : 1. ODA NOBUNAGA ; and 2. TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI tried to unify JAPAN . The period i.e AZUCHI-MOMOYAMA had been named after NOBUNAGA’S headquarters at AZUCHI Castle and HIDEYOSHI’S headquarters at MOMOYAMA Castle . As we know from our earlier blogs that NOBUNAGA was the DAIMYO of a small state of JAPAN called OWARI . He was widely known for his strategic leadership and ruthlessness . In 1560 AD , he suddenly came into limelight during the battle of OKEHAZAMA where he defeated the forces more strong and several times that of the size of his army led by the powerful DAIMYO known as IMAGAWA YOSHIMOTO . He forged strong relationship with the EUROPEAN arms merchants and encouraged Christianity . He equipped his army with MUSKETS purchased from the PORTUGUESE traders . Talented men and even peasants got respectable places in his army . TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI , a peasant servant , was promoted to the status of one of the best Generals in his army . This was the inherent quality that made him famous in the history of JAPAN .
With the seige of KYOTO in 1568 AD by NOBUNAGA ended the rule of ASHIKAGA SHOGUNATE and the period of AZUCHI-MOMOYAMA started in JAPAN . His aim was to unite the country but unfortunately in 1582 AD , he was assassinated by one of his closest officers called AKECHI MITSUHIDE in an abrupt attack on his encampment . However , TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI took an avenge of NOBUNAGA by crushing AKECHI’S uprising . And now he emerged as NOBUNAGA’S successor . HIDEYOSHI completed the reunification of JAPAN by conquering SHIKOKU , KYUSHU and the land of the HOJO family in the Eastern JAPAN . Not only that he brought about sweeping changes in the JAPANESE society . He confiscated swords from the peasantry , put new restrictions on the DAIMYOS , did thorough land survey , started persecution of CHRISTIANS and brought about a new law forbidding the peasants and the SAMURAI from changing their social class as such . His efforts of land survey designated all those cultivating the land as being ‘ COMMONERS ‘. This was an act which granted freedom to the most of the JAPANESE slaves as such . His all these reforms brought about stability in the JAPANESE society to a considerable extent .
HIDEYOSHI had now became so powerful that he once dreamed of conquering CHINA. He launched two massive attacks on KOREA but he failed to defeat the CHINESE and the KOREAN armies on the KOREAN Peninsula. And the war ended with his death in 1598 AD . But immediately after his death , the war broke out between the HIDEYOSHI’S allies and those loyal to TOKUGAWA LEYASU , a former ally of HIDEYOSHI and a powerful DAIMYO . And in the battle of SEKIGAHARA in 1600 AD , the latter won the battle and thus started the rule of TOKUGAWA CLAN which had ruled over JAPAN for more than 268 uninterrupted years as such . Though the early history of this CLAN remained a mystery , yet the members of this clan ruled over JAPAN as SHOGUN from 1603 AD to 1867 AD . On November 9 , 1867 AD , TOKUGAWA YOSHINOBU , the 15th and the last SHOGUN of the TOKUGAWA CLAN tendered his resignation to the Emperor , MEJI, returning the governing power to the Emperor . By the next year , TOKUGAWA LESATO was chosen as the heir to YOSHINOBU as the head of the TOKUGAWA CLAN as such .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
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