Episode 8 – The Three Unifiers

To make up for saying I might not get an episode to you this week, I offer you the new show a day early!

This week’s episode is focused on the reunification of Japan under Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu Tokugawa. I wanted to discuss the nature of these three men who have become so famous, and the unifying thread that ties them all together: namely, that they were not very good people.

It’s a long episode, but a great topic — I hope you enjoy it! Give it a listen here.

Sources

Totman, A History of Japan.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

This is a period image of Oda Nobunaga, the first of the three unifiers.
This is a period image of Oda Nobunaga, the first of the three unifiers.
This is a map of Japan under Nobunaga. The blue indicates territory controlled by Nobunaga in 1560, the grey area he controlled upon his death in 1582.
This is a map of Japan under Nobunaga. The blue indicates territory controlled by Nobunaga in 1560, the grey area he controlled upon his death in 1582.
This image of Toyotomi Hideyoshi dates from 1601, three years after his death.
This image of Toyotomi Hideyoshi dates from 1601, three years after his death.
Osaka castle was home to the Toyotomi family until their death in 1615, when it was re appropriated by the Tokugawa. The original castle was destroyed by the United States during a bombing run in World War 2 (it was being used for weapons storage). The construction in this image is a 1/3 scale replica.
Osaka castle was home to the Toyotomi family until their death in 1615, when it was re appropriated by the Tokugawa. The original castle was destroyed by the United States during a bombing run in World War 2 (it was being used for weapons storage). The construction in this image is a 1/3 scale replica.
Tokugawa Ieyasu upon his ascension to the rank of shogun.
Tokugawa Ieyasu upon his ascension to the rank of shogun.
This is the mon (crest) of the Tokugawa family.
This is the mon (crest) of the Tokugawa family.
The Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 (shown here) cemented Tokugawa Ieyasu's control of Japan.
The Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 (shown here) cemented Tokugawa Ieyasu’s control of Japan.
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