Much later, Hideyoshi broke all class barriers and ultimately became the most powerful man in Japan.
Hideyoshi has long been immortalised - so much so that every schoolboy in Japan is taught the moral that good judgement, keen intelligence, and sharp wits will win out over your adversaries almost every time. Hideyoshi's leadership and success precepts are embedded in the narrative as Hideyoshi wins many bloodless battles.
He also won many victories, and analyzes his rise to supreme leadership. His sense of what it took -drive, shrewdness, anticipation, and determination - is readily understandable to a western businessman or businesswoman today. Have doubts regarding this product? Post your question. Safe and Secure Payments.
The Swordless Samurai by Masao, Kitami
Easy returns. You might be interested in. The country was essentially under military rule for nearly seven hundred years. The initial stability Minamoto achieved in failed to bring lasting peace. Other regimes came and went, and in the national military government collapsed, plunging Japan into turmoil. Thus began the infamous Age of Warring Clans, a bloody century of strife when local warlords fought to protect their domains and schemed to conquer rivals, using assassinations, political alliances, interclan marriages, reciprocal adoptions of daughters and sons—and outright war.
Alliances between warlords shifted constantly. By the time Japan plunged into the turbulent Age of Warring Clans, the term samurai had come to signify armed government officials, peacekeeping officers, and professional soldiers: in short, almost anyone who carried a sword and was ready and able to exercise deadly force. Despite the chaos wrought by the Age of Warring Clans, power remained highly structured in feudal Japan. The emperor was the supreme authority to whom every Japanese citizen bowed. Yet his function was almost entirely symbolic; his actual power was restricted to the authority to confer official titles, particularly that of shogun.
Directly below the emperor in social rank stood the nobility, consisting of princes, princesses, and other blood relations of the emperor. They were also detached from practical affairs and relied on inheritances and warlord tributes to fund their houses. Officially subordinate to the nobility—but in fact the man before whom the nobility and the emperor himself were powerless—was the shogun.
This supreme military commander functioned like a president or prime minister, making the day-to-day administrative decisions needed to run the country. The Age of Warring Clans was chaotic precisely because the nation lacked a shogun with real authority. Warlords, or daimyo, were next in the chain of command. Some daimyo were exceptionally capable warriors who built local empires from the ground up; some were former governors who defied the central government and established their own independent domains; still others were official retainers who usurped their less competent governor bosses.
The daimyo managed the townships that grew up around their castles and raised revenues by collecting taxes from townspeople and farmers.
The best of these medieval Japanese knights were fiercely loyal to their masters and true to the chivalrous code of Bushido usually translated as precepts of knighthood or way of the warrior. The worst were little better than street thugs. Lesser still in social rank were the ronin, or masterless samurai. Ronin were either born into down-on-their-luck samurai families or became unemployed when their warlords suffered bankruptcy or defeat in battle. The ronin included honest warriors and ruffians alike.
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They were the lowest social class permitted to use surnames, an honor denied to commoners. They were untitled and known only by their given names first names. They were also the only Japanese citizens who were taxed.
With civil society at peace, their role as professional fighters disappeared, and they became less preoccupied with martial training and more concerned with spiritual development, teaching, and the arts. By , when the public wearing of swords was outlawed and the warrior class was abolished, they had evolved into what Hideyoshi had exemplified nearly three centuries earlier: swordless samurai. Though Hideyoshi left thousands of pages of letters and other documentation, scholars continue to disagree over facts of his life as basic as his year of birth unsurprising given that Hideyoshi was born half a generation before William Shakespeare.
Historians still debate the veracity of some of his more spectacular exploits, the details behind his many political alliances, and the like.
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Readers must understand that there are no historical records in which Hideyoshi explicitly states the leadership maxims that appear in this book. To draw the appropriate leadership lessons from his life, I assumed the Monkey King grew reflective toward the end of his days and desired to pass on wisdom gained from a frank, introspective look at his own colossal successes—and towering failures.
Therefore I focused on leadership, a subject universally understood, as the overarching theme for this English edition. Second, all Japanese know who Hideyoshi was, and many can recount his more colorful adventures, but few Swordless Samurai readers will be familiar with our protagonist or his exploits during the Age of Warring Clans. To fill in background and other details Mr. Kitami could safely omit, I referred to a number of histories, biographies, and scholarly.
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This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Summary It was the Age of Wars, a time of endless chaos and bloodshed, when the only law was the law of the sword, and a peasant boy named Hideyoshi dreamed of becoming a samurai.
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Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Notes on the Text Though Hideyoshi left thousands of pages of letters and other documentation, scholars continue to disagree over facts of his life as basic as his year of birth unsurprising given that Hideyoshi was born half a generation before William Shakespeare.