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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

And thus Yoshiaki declined Hideyoshi's overtures

1584, that Chosokabe Motochika

effectually brought the island of Shikoku under his sway, and thus became free to lead a strong army, including the monks of Kii province, against Osaka. This formidable danger could not but influence Hideyoshi in the direction of clasping hands with his eastern foes, and it is therefore more than probable that a statesman who had never previously allowed considerations of personal dignity to interfere with the prosecution of a vital policy, did not hesitate to bow his head to Nobukatsu, in order to recover the free use of the great army assembled in Owari, Mino, and Ise. Most fortunate was it for Japan that events took this turn, for, had Ieyasu and Hideyoshi remained mutually hostile, the country would probably have been plunged into a repetition of the terrible struggle from which nothing enabled it to emerge except the combined labours of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu. It was not, however, until the early summer of 1586 that Hideyoshi and Ieyasu established genuinely friendly relations. During a year and a half subsequent to the conclusion of the treaty which ended the Komaki War, Ieyasu held severely aloof and refrained from visiting Kyoto. Finally, Hideyoshi despatched Asano Nagamasa to propose that Ieyasu should take into his household Hideyoshi's younger sister, and that Hideyoshi should send his mother as a hostage to Okazaki, to remain there during a visit by Ieyasu to Kyoto. Four months were needed by Ieyasu to consider this proposal, and in September, 1586, he repaired
to Osaka and thence accompanied Hideyoshi to Kyoto.


In May, 1583, after the downfall of Katsuiye, the Emperor appointed Hideyoshi to be a councillor of State, and conferred on him the fourth order of rank. In November of the following year, he received another step of rank and was nominated gon-dainagon. The Emperor Okimachi at that time contemplated abdication, but the palace which he would have occupied as ex-Emperor had fallen into such a state of disrepair as to be virtually uninhabitable. Hideyoshi signalized his loyalty on this occasion by spending a large sum on the renovation of the palace, and in recognition of his services the Emperor raised him to the high post of nai-daijin. It was confidently expected that he would then become sa-daijin, but, owing to complications which need not be related here, the outcome of the matter was that he received the still higher post of kwampaku (regent). There can be no doubt that he himself had contemplated becoming shogun. In fact, it is on record that he made proposals in that sense to Yoshiaki, the last of the Ashikaga shoguns. But it had come by that time to be recognized that only a scion of the Minamoto family could be eligible for the post of shogun, and thus Yoshiaki declined Hideyoshi's overtures, though to accept them would have materially altered the fallen fortunes of the Ashikaga sept. Hideyoshi ultimately became prime minister of State (dajo daijiri) and took the family name of Toyotomi. It is stated, but the evidence is not conclusive, that in order to reach these high posts, he had to be adopted into the house of a Fujiwara noble. He had been a Taira when he served under Nobunaga, and to become a Fujiwara for courtly purposes was not likely to cause him much compunction.


Immediately on the termination of the Komaki War, Hideyoshi took steps to deal effectually with the three enemies by whom his movements had been so much hampered, namely, the Buddhist priests of Kii, the Chosokabe clan in Shikoku, and the Sasa in Etchu. It has already been stated that the priests of Kii had their headquarters at Negoro, where there stood the great monastery of Dai-Dembo-In, belonging to the Shingon sect and enjoying almost the repute of Koya-san. Scarcely less important was the monastery of Sawaga in the same province. These two centres of religion had long been in possession of large bodies of trained soldiers whose ranks were from time to time swelled by the accession of wandering samurai (ronin). The army despatched from Osaka in the spring of 1585 to deal with these warlike monks speedily captured the two monasteries, and, for purposes of intimidation, crucified a number of the leaders. For a time, Koya-san itself was in danger, several of the fugitive monks having taken refuge there. But finally Koya-san was spared in consideration of surrendering estates yielding twenty-one thousand koku of rice, which properties had been violently seized by the monasteries in former years.

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