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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

And gave the estates in Owari and Ise to Hidetsugu


attitude angered Hideyoshi for reasons which will presently be apparent. He assigned to Nobukatsu a comparatively insignificant fief at Akita, in the remote province of Dewa, and gave the estates in Owari and Ise to Hidetsugu, the nephew and adopted successor of Hideyoshi, while the five provinces hitherto under the sway of Ieyasu were divided among Hideyoshi's generals and retainers. In September, 1590, Ieyasu entered Yedo, and subdivided his extensive domain among his followers in order of merit, thus establishing the Tokugawa system of hereditary daimyo and founding a new Bakufu. All this was very significant. In such matters, Hideyoshi had repeatedly shown himself to be a man of great magnanimity, and had allowed even his enemies to retain possession of lands which would certainly have been taken from them by other conquerors. Thus, in the case of the Mori sept, fully half of the midland counties was left in their occupation, and, in the case of the Shimazu family, they were suffered to retain two and a half provinces.

With regard to Ieyasu, however, Hideyoshi behaved with marked caution. By granting to the Tokugawa chieftain the whole of the Kwanto, Hideyoshi made it appear as though he were conferring a signal favour; but in reality his object was to remove Ieyasu out of the zone of potential danger to Kyoto. Ieyasu fully recognized this manoeuvre, but bowed to it as the less of two evils. As a further measure of precaution, Hideyoshi interposed

one of his own family, Hidetsugu, between the Kwanto and Kyoto, and with the object of menacing the rear of Ieyasu and restraining the movements of the Date, he placed Gamo Ujisato at Aizu in Oshu. He further posted Ishida Katsushige at Sawa-yama (now called Hikone) in the province of Omi, to cover the principal route to Kyoto, and for similar reasons with regard to the Yamato and Tamba roads he assigned to his brother, Hidenaga, the castle of Kori-yama, which commanded Izumi and Kii, and to his adopted son, Hidekatsu, the castle at Fukuchi-yama in Tamba. This plan of distributing their domains, so that the daimyo should be mutually repressive, was followed with still greater care by Ieyasu when he, in turn, became supreme.


There are evidences that, from his childhood, Hideyoshi had little reverence for the Buddhist faith. When only twelve years of age he is said to have beaten and smashed an image of Amida because it remained always insensible to the offerings of food placed daily before it. Again, when on his way to Kyoto to avenge the assassination of Nobunaga, he saw an idol floating on a stream, and seizing the effigy he cut it into two pieces, saying that the deity Daikoku, having competence to succour one thousand persons only, could be of little use to him at such a crisis as he was now required to meet. Finally, on the occasion of his expedition against the Hojo of Odawara, when the sailors of Mishima, in Sagami, objected to carrying war-horses in their boats on the plea that the god of the sea, Ryujin, hated everything equine, Hideyoshi did not hesitate to remove these scruples by addressing a despatch to the deity with orders to watch over the safety of the steeds.

Yet this same Hideyoshi evidently recognized that the Buddhist faith had great potentialities in Japan, and that its encouragement made for the peace and progress of the country. Buddhism suffered terribly at the hands of Nobunaga. The great monastery of Enryaku-ji was a mass of blackened ruins at the time of the Oda baron's death, and it has been shown that the monasteries of Kii and Osaka fared almost equally badly at the hands of Hideyoshi. Nevertheless the latter had no sooner grasped the supreme administrative power than he showed himself a protector and promotor of Buddhism. Scattered throughout the empire and apparently crippled for all time, the monks of Hiei-zan very soon gave evidence of the vitality of their faith by commencing a vigorous propaganda for the restoration of the great monastery. Many renowned priests, as Zenso, Gosei, and others, headed this movement; Prince Takatomo, adopted son of the Emperor Okimachi, agreed to become lord-abbot of the sect (Tendai), and the Imperial Court issued a proclamation exhorting the people to subscribe for the pious purpose. Hideyoshi, Ieyasu, and other great barons addressed their vassals in a similar sense, and in Hideyoshi's proclamation the imperative necessity of Enryaku-ji as a barrier at the "Demon's Gate" was distinctly stated. Under such auspices the monastery quickly rose from its ashes, though in point of size and magnificence it was inferior to its predecessor. At the same time Hideyoshi steadily pursued the policy of checking the military tendencies of the monks, and it may be said that, from his era, the soldier-priest ceased to be a factor in the political situation.

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