1536 - 1598
Appearances: Sengoku Musou (1Moushouden,2), Sengoku BASARA (2)
Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉) was born in the Owari Province (尾張), home of the Oda Clan. He went to serve the Imagawa under the name of Kinoshita Tokichiro (木下藤吉郎), though because he was not of samurai lineage he had no actually confirmed surname. He would later join the Oda clan as a lowly peasant under Oda Nobunaga. But Hideyoshi quickly identified his potential despite his lowly origin and became one of Oda Nobunaga's most trusted generals. He was also given the name Hashiba Hideyoshi (羽柴秀吉) by Oda Nobunaga (the name is derived from certain parts of the names of Nobunaga’s right-hand men Shibata Katsuie and Niwa Nagahide). He was married to Nene, daughter of an Oda retainer.
Some of his well-known exploits under the Oda were the siege of Inabayama castle, the construction of Sunomata castle (in a very short amount of time) and the siege of Takamatsu castle. He is also famous for having risked his life in Nobunaga's army when the Oda clan were trying to retreat from Azai Nagamasa (who, after hearing that Nobunaga had marched against the allied Asakura clan on one occassion, had attempted to assault and rout the Oda from behind).
In 1582, Oda Nobunaga and his eldest son, Oda Nobutada (織田信忠), died at Honnouji after being betrayed by former Oda vassal, Akechi Mitsuhide. At the time, Hideyoshi had been conducting a very successful campaign against the Western Mouri clan for Nobunaga. Soon, however, his soldiers managed to intercept a letter from Mitsuhide explaining that Nobunaga had perished. After hearing this news, Hideyoshi quickly made peace with the Mouri and set out to avenge his late lord, trouncing Mitsuhide's army at the Battle of Yamazaki in less than two weeks after Nobunaga perished.
Not long after this victory however, tension rose between Hideyoshi and Shibata Katsuie, another one of Oda Nobunaga's favorite retainers, and the two sides fought at the battle of Shizugatake, where Hideyoshi would again win a decisive victory. Nobunaga's son Nobukatsu didn't particularly like Hideyoshi though and eventually allied himself with Tokugawa Ieyasu, which resulted in a long and bitter war fought at Komaki and Nagakute between Hideyoshi and Ieyasu. Finally the two factions made peace though and the Tokugawa clan agreed to serve Hideyoshi.
Hideyoshi would soon after conquer most of the rest of Honshu, the main and largest island of Japan (though Hideyoshi would subjugate territories through diplomatic alliance as well as military conquest). Though Hideyoshi pursued the title of "Shogun," he was refused because of his lowly origins. Instead Hideyoshi opted to take the title of "Kampaku" (regent, 関白). In 1586, Hideyoshi made O-Ichi's daughter Lady Yodo (淀殿) his concubine. Soon afterwards, Hideyoshi managed to subjugate Shikoku, Kyushu and the domains of the Houjou clan as well as the rest of Northern Honshu, thus unifying Japan succeededly. Quite satisfied with his victories, Hideyoshi decided to adopt the title of Taikō (太閤) and allow his son, Hidetsugu, to succeed him as kampaku.
In 1598, Hideyoshi died. In the later years of his reign, Hideyoshi had attempted an invasion of Korea, which ended up becoming a devastating war that negatively impacted Korea, Japan and to a lesser extent, China (China had assisted Korea when Japan invaded). Following Hideyoshi's death, the Japanese would pull out of Korea and become absorbed once again on the affairs of Japan. Because Hideyoshi had left only 5 year old Hideyori to take his position, a succession crisis ensued after Hideyoshi's death that resulted in a clash between Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Though the Korean Campaign that Hideyoshi had attempted ultimately failed, Hideyoshi is still remembered for doing some good things during his reign such as removing weapons from peasants (in order to ensure peace and prosperity) and building Osaka Castle.
Biography created by: hyccan