Episode 72 – The Slow and Steady Step, Part 1

This week, join us for part one of the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu. A brilliant and ambitious man, Ieyasu began his life as a hostage for the good behavior of his middling-rank family. By 1584, however, he would be in position to make his first bid for power.

Listen to the episode here.

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Sources

Friday, Karl F, editor. Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850.

Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan.

Sansom, George B. History of Japan, Vol II: 1336-1615.

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

Mikawa Province, the birthplace of Ieyasu.
Mikawa Province, the birthplace of Ieyasu.
The 1564 Battle of Azukizaka, part of Ieyasu's campaign against the Ikko Ikki in his province.
The 1564 Battle of Azukizaka, part of Ieyasu’s campaign against the Ikko Ikki in his province.
The 1573 Battle of Mikatagahara. In this battle of his war with the Takeda, Ieyasu would lose and come close to dying himself. The untimely death of Takeda Shingen, however, saved Ieyasu from further defeat; Shingen's son Katsuyori was not up to defeating Ieyasu.
The 1573 Battle of Mikatagahara. In this battle of his war with the Takeda, Ieyasu would lose and come close to dying himself. The untimely death of Takeda Shingen, however, saved Ieyasu from further defeat; Shingen’s son Katsuyori was not up to defeating Ieyasu.
Ieyasu after his defeat at Mikatagahara. His defeat at the hands of Takeda Shingen was the closest Ieyasu ever came to being crushed militarily and dying in combat, and this image (done after the fact) captures the frustration he must have felt at this brush with disaster.
Ieyasu after his defeat at Mikatagahara. His defeat at the hands of Takeda Shingen was the closest Ieyasu ever came to being crushed militarily and dying in combat, and this image (done after the fact) captures the frustration he must have felt at this brush with disaster.
The Honnoji Incident, or the death of Oda Nobunaga. The 1582 assassination of Oda Nobunaga threw Japan into chaos, allowing for the rise of Hideyoshi. Ieyasu was not prepared to move swiftly into the power vacuum.
The Honnoji Incident, or the death of Oda Nobunaga. The 1582 assassination of Oda Nobunaga threw Japan into chaos, allowing for the rise of Hideyoshi. Ieyasu was not prepared to move swiftly into the power vacuum.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
An Edo print of Sakakibara Yasumasa, one of Tokugawa's most famous generals. After one of the engagements during Ieyasu's war with Hideyoshi (the Battle of Komaki), Sakakibara chased Hideyoshi away as the latter retreated. That story is depicted in this print.
An Edo print of Sakakibara Yasumasa, one of Tokugawa’s most famous generals. After one of the engagements during Ieyasu’s war with Hideyoshi (the Battle of Komaki), Sakakibara chased Hideyoshi away as the latter retreated. That story is depicted in this print.
The Battle of Nagakute, part of the war between Ieyasu and Hideyoshi. Ieyasu would win this battle fairly handily, but the decision by Oda Nobukatsu to break their alliance and make a separate peace would force him to settle his differences and abandon his challenge to the Toyotomi family -- at least for now.
The Battle of Nagakute, part of the war between Ieyasu and Hideyoshi. Ieyasu would win this battle fairly handily, but the decision by Oda Nobukatsu to break their alliance and make a separate peace would force him to settle his differences and abandon his challenge to the Toyotomi family — at least for now.
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