Portuguese traders first set foot on japanese soil

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Unformatted text preview: the stage was set for a general competition among the more powerful of them to undertake the task of restoring order to the entire country. Unification and the establishment of a lasting military hegemony were ultimately carried out by three great chieftains—Oda Nobunaga (1534–82), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–98), and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616)—all of whom came from the region of modern Nagoya, midway between the central provinces and the Kantò. 142 The Country Unified Nobunaga took the first important step toward unification when he led his armies into Kyoto in 1568. Five years later he deposed the puppet Ashikaga shogun and thus officially dissolved the long-moribund Muromachi shogunate. Nobunaga then set about expanding his power outward from Kyoto, dealing in turn with various enemies that included other daimyos, the members of Buddhist sects, and militant peasant bands. A hard and ruthless campaigner, Nobunaga often inflicted savage punishment on those who opposed him. Perhaps the most conspicuous example of this was his attack in 1571 on the Enryakuji Temple of Mount Hiei, whose monks had refused either to join him or to remain neutral in the struggle for control of the central provinces. Circling Mount Hiei, Nobunaga’s forces marched up its sides, not only destroying the thousands of buildings that constituted the temple complex but also killing everyone they found from the monks to the many folk who had been drawn from nearby villages for sanctuary on the mountain. Thus, in an orgy of slaughter, Nobunaga virtually obliterated the greatest scholarly and religious center of ancient Japan. In 1582, while he was in the process of directing his armies against the western provinces, Nobunaga was assassinated at the age of forty-nine by one of his generals. His death was speedily avenged by another general, Hideyoshi, who thereupon assumed the mantle of unifier and, within eight years, brought the remainder of Japan under his control. Hideyoshi, probably the greatest military command...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.

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