Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉 February 2, 1537-September 18, 1598) was a daimio of the Sengoku period who unified Japan. He is known for his invasions of Korea and for leaving a rich cultural legacy, including the restriction that only members of the samurai class could bear arms.

From humble origins, Hideyoshi became one of the most important men of the time, and his political reforms effectively pacified the country and laid the foundations for the Tokugawa shogunate.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Biography


Little is known with certainty about Hideyoshi's life before 1570, when his name begins to appear in documents and letters so far preserved. His autobiography begins in 1577 but in it Hideyoshi speaks very little about his past.

Tradition has it that he was born in Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, in Owari province, home of the Oda clan. He had no obvious samurai lineage; his father, named Yaemon, had served as ashigaru in the armies of Oda Nobuhide, father of Oda Nobunaga, until he was wounded in battle and had to return to farming.

Due to circumstances of birth Hideyoshi had no surname. The name given to him in his childhood was Hiyoshimaru ('Gift of the Sun') although there are variations on it.

Many legends relate that Hideyoshi was sent to study at a temple as a boy, but renounced the temple way of life and ran away in search of adventure. Under the name 'Kinoshita Tokichiro', he joined the Imagawa clan as a servant of the local governor Matsushita Kahei.

From there he traveled to the lands of Imagawa Yoshimoto, daimio of Suruga province, and served there for a time, until he absconded with a sum of money entrusted to him by the samurai Matsushita Yukitsuna.

Beginnings in the Oda clan

Around 1557 he returned to Owari and joined the Oda clan as a lowly servant. He became one of Nobunaga's sandal bearers, and was present at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560, in which Nobunaga defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto and became one of the most powerful warlords of the Sengoku period.

He was later given more important tasks. In 1561, Hideyoshi married an aristocrat named Nene; by that time his mother had remarried a certain Chikuami, with whom she had Hashiba Hidenaga, his half-brother.

Hideyoshi was very successful as a diplomat. In 1564 he succeeded, largely through bribery, in getting a group of samurai to secede from the Saito clan of Mino province; among these samurai was the great strategist Takenaka Hanbei. Oda Nobunaga's easy victory over the Saito in 1567 was due in large part to his stratagems.

Despite his humble origins, Hideyoshi became one of Oda Nobunaga's most distinguished generals, and eventually took the name 'Hashiba Hideyoshi' (羽柴 秀吉). That name was derived from two characters, each taken from the names of two of Nobunaga's most important generals, Niwa Nagahide (丹羽 長秀) and Shibata Katsuie (柴田 񒷝家).

Likewise, Hideyoshi was a very colorful character, especially as a general and later as a ruler. Short in stature and thin, his peculiar features made him resemble a monkey, which is why Nobunaga, known to be rude, called him Saru (monkey) and the "bald rat".

About him it was said that he quite enjoyed liquor and women, and when he was young he made friends easily. He had an innate sense for manipulation and for seeing the intentions of other men, attributes that undoubtedly helped him in his rise through the ranks of the Oda clan.

In 1570 he commanded Nobunaga's troops during the Battle of Anegawa, in which Oda Nobunaga allied with Tokugawa Ieyasu to besiege two strongholds of the Asai and Asakura clans. Three years later, after successful campaigns against the Asai and Asakura, Nobunaga appointed Hideyoshi daimio of three districts in the northern part of Ōmi Province.

Initially based in the Asai clan capital of Odani, Hideyoshi moved to Kunitomo, and renamed the town Nagahama in honor of Oda Nobunaga.

From there he went to the coastal town of Imahama, where he began work at Imahama Castle, and took control of the nearby Kunimoto arms factory that had been established some years earlier by the Asai and Asakura. Under Hideyoshi's administration the factory's production increased dramatically.

Rise to power

On June 20, 1582 Oda Nobunaga and his son were killed at Honnōji Temple in Kyoto by the troops of Akechi Mitsuhide, Nobunaga's general. The incident, known as the "Honnō-ji Incident," brought great opportunities not only for Mitsuhide, but also for Hideyoshi and the Mōri clan, depending on which of the two learned the news first.

It suited Mitsuhide that the head of the Mōri clan, Terumoto, would be the first to know, as he would probably be in a position to confront and contain Hideyoshi's army.

However, the messenger Mitsuhide sent with the news of Nobunaga's death was apprehended in less than 48 hours and the letter he was carrying was delivered to Hideyoshi.

Hideyoshi knew he had to seize the opportunity: of the Oda clan generals, only he and Shibata Katsuie, the clan's chief general, were capable of taking the initiative to avenge Nobunaga. At the time Katsuie was in the midst of a feud with the Uesugi clan in Etchū province, which was why he would be slow to confront Mitsuhide.

On the other hand, although Hideyoshi was in a position to reach Kyoto quickly, he first had to confront the Mōri clan, who were unaware of Oda Nobunaga's death.

Since April 1582, the Oda clan had been at war with the Mōri clan. In this context, under Nobunaga's orders, Hideyoshi undertook the siege of Takamatsu Castle, considered an impenetrable fortress.

The castle was defended by Shimizu Muneharu, a dedicated warrior who had rejected several bribery attempts. At that time Hideyoshi had noticed that the castle lay on a plain below sea level, and ordered the waters of the nearby Ashimōrigawa River to be diverted into the castle, flooding it.

If he wanted to take advantage of the juncture and reach Kyoto, Hideyoshi had to take the castle as soon as possible, for only then would the Mōri clan be willing to negotiate.

It was then that Hideyoshi decided to communicate directly with Shimizu Muneharu and promised him that he would not harm either his family or his soldiers if he surrendered. Muneharu, who knew the deplorable condition of his soldiers due to the flooding of the castle, accepted the proposal and committed seppuku.

Hideyoshi then rushed into peace negotiations with the Mori, and Terumoto agreed to cede the provinces occupied by the Oda clan: Hōki, Mimasaka, and Bitchū.

Thus, just two days after Nobunaga's assassination, Hideyoshi entered Takamatsu and then soon made preparations to advance toward the capital, Kyoto. But first he headed for Settsu province, which he reached after four days of forced marching.

There he caught Mitsuhide off guard and defeated him at the battle of Yamazaki. Nobunaga's generals then met to choose a formal successor to lead the clan.

On the one hand, the chief general of the Oda clan, Shibata Katsuie, supported Oda Nobutaka as a possible successor to his father. Hideyoshi, on the other hand, decided to go against him by supporting Nobunaga's eldest grandson, Oda Hidenobu.

The succession issue was hotly debated at the "Kiyosu Conferences," where the domain of the Oda clan was divided among the most important generals; Hideyoshi received the provinces of Yamashiro, Tamba, and Kawachi, while Shibata retained Echizen and added Ōmi to his fief.

Takigawa Kazumasu, Hideyoshi's opponent in Kiyosu, received Ise, which he fortified in case a war occurred. No agreement was reached. Perhaps the whole affair was a mere formality for Hideyoshi, in order to establish his legitimacy as Nobunaga's de facto successor and assert himself over his opponents.

This possibility may be substantiated by a letter he sent during this period to one of his young consorts, which read as follows:

When there is time I will recapture Osaka and install my men there. I will order them to tear down the castles throughout the territory and prevent future rebellions and keep the nation at peace for fifty years.

When he won the support of two elderly clan generals, Niwa Nagahide and Ikeda Tsuneoki, Hideyoshi strengthened Hidenobu's position and at the same time increased his influence within the Oda clan.

Tension soon increased between Shibata and Hideyoshi, leading to the Battle of Shizugatake the following year, in which Hideyoshi defeated Shibata and established himself as Nobunaga's de facto successor as head of the Oda clan. In 1583, Hideyoshi began construction of Osaka Castle.

However, Hideyoshi had not yet consolidated power within the clan. Another son of Nobunaga, Oda Nobukatsu, was still hostile to him. In the spring of 1584 Tokugawa Ieyasu and Nobukatsu allied and began to make defamatory statements against Hideyoshi while calling for the support of the other clans.

Ieyasu took the initiative and invaded Owari Province, but on May 7, 1584 Hideyoshi responded by taking command of an army, which moved toward that province. Before the two sides clashed, General Ikeda Nobuteru suggested to Hideyoshi that since most of Ieyasu's troops were deployed in Owari, they could attack the relatively undefended Mikawa province.

Consequently, Tokugawa would have no choice but to withdraw to meet the threat, at which point Hideyoshi could press hard enough to secure a settlement. Hideyoshi approved the plan and sent Nobuteru, who was accompanied by his two eldest sons, to carry it out.

Unfortunately for the Ikeda family, the villagers informed Ieyasu of their movements, and he was able to organize his army to surprise them from the rear on May 15 near Nagakute. During the battle of Komaki and Nagakute, Nobuteru and his son Yukisuke were killed and the army fled.

Then instead of facing the powerful Ieyasu, Hideyoshi decided to attack his ally Nobukatsu, whose army was much more vulnerable. Nobukatsu suffered a series of defeats, and by December was anxious to achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

He finally signed peace with Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa had no choice but to sign the peace in January. Thus ended the pretext for war between the Tokugawa and Hashiba clans. Eventually Tokugawa consented to become a vassal of Hashiba Hideyoshi.

Once hostilities with Tokugawa were over, Hideyoshi set about consolidating the domains of the Oda clan. As personal territories he took the central and most important provinces, while in the remaining territories he appointed as governors both former dependents of the clan and his personal followers.

There was a decided method for most of his ratifications and rewards, which were employed to keep his new domains intact. The efficacy of these provisions is demonstrated by the fact that the lands within the boundaries established in 1584 of Hideyoshi's domain remained virtually free from rebellion until his death.

Beyond this immediate sphere, relations were strengthened with the Mōri and Uesugi clans; both families essentially became obedient vassals even though they were treated as allies.

In recognition of his achievements, the imperial court awarded him the title of naidaijin in April, the same month he attacked the warrior monks of the Negoroji and Saiga Buddhist complexes in Kii province and subdued them.

The Negoroji complex was destroyed, while the Saiga complex was spared once the monks surrendered. Hideyoshi then set out to conquer Shikoku. Chosokabe Motochika, by then master of that island, had long ago theoretically opposed Hideyoshi, although all he did was defeat Sengoku Hidehisa, a Shikoku warrior allied with Hideyoshi.

However, Hideyoshi could still consider that as a pretext, and demanded the Chosokabe clan to surrender the provinces of Iyo and Awa. Motochika requested that only Awa be surrendered, an attempt at negotiation that prompted Hideyoshi to order an invasion.

In the largest operation carried out during the Sengoku period, a total of 90 000 warriors landed in Shikoku in June, between Hideyoshi's forces and the Mōri clan.

After little more than a month of vague resistance, Motochika surrendered. Clearly departing from Oda Nobunaga's policies, Hideyoshi showed the defeated Chosokabe leniency. Motochika was forced to surrender Iyo, Awa and Sanuki, but was allowed to keep Tosa.

The group of dependents of the Chosokabe clan was also pardoned, and Motochika was expected to continue as head of his clan.

What happened to the Chosokabe contrasted with what Nobunaga did with the Asai, Asakura and especially Takeda clans, which were eradicated after being defeated. Hideyoshi could afford to be generous to the Chosokabe clan, and later, the Shimazu clan, for they were on the periphery of Japanese politics and also proved to be useful, and grateful, allies.

By comparison, Hideyoshi would never have forgiven Shibata Katsuie, and his policy toward resistance by the lower classes was not much different from Nobunaga's.

In any case, the conquest of Shikoku sent a powerful message to the other daimio: four provinces had been subdued in a month and a half, and the Mōri, one of the most powerful families in Japan, had undertaken the invasion on Hideyoshi's orders.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Exercise of the imperial regency

Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Hideyoshi desired the title of shōgun in order to be considered the active ruler of Japan. However, the emperor of Japan could not bestow such a distinction on a person of humble origins. So he asked the last Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, to accept him as an adopted son, but Yoshiaki refused.

After finding himself unable to become a shōgun, on 6 August 1585 he acquired the more prestigious position of "Imperial Regent" (Kanpaku), a remarkable fact, for until then all regents had been members of the Fujiwara clan. To add some legitimacy to his new position, he managed to be adopted by Konoe Sakihisa, a noble courtier.

Hideyoshi dealt with domestic affairs with the same speed and breadth with which he launched his wars; he established a team of five administrators (bugyō) to administer Kyoto and issued an edict making merchant guilds illegal. A series of surveys of all surrounding lands began almost immediately and by 1597 had been carried out throughout the country.

Also, to conceal his humble origins, he devoted himself to the study of the Japanese tea ceremony and poetry.

In November 1585 Hideyoshi displayed his cultural acumen with a grand tea ceremony held at Kitano Shrine, an extravagant event where the finest ceramic wares were displayed and which provided a fortunate few with the opportunity to have tea personally prepared for them by the Kanpaku, to such an extent that Hideyoshi served 803 people in a single day.

Such a thing had never been seen in over a century, and Hideyoshi surpassed the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in terms of extravagance, perhaps with the intention of making his name go down in posterity. On September 29, 1586 Hashiba Hideyoshi adopted the name 'Toyotomi', which consisted of characters meaning 'Generous Minister'. Thus he showed his intention to rule Japan.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi

But he still had to overcome two obstacles to make his dream come true: on the one hand, he had to defeat the Shimazu clan, which was about to conquer the province of Bungo, thus being able to completely control the island of Kyūshū;

and on the other hand he also had to defeat the Hōjō clan, which ruled the vast region of Kantō and had a strong defensive position thanks to the walls of Odawara Castle and the mountains of Hakone. Since he had seized Shikoku, Hideyoshi could concentrate on conquering Kyūshū.

On November 12, 1585, he wrote a letter to the head of the Shimazu clan, Yoshihisa, demanding that he withdraw from Bungo. Yoshihisa in turn responded by means of an aggressive letter. Consequently, on February 20, 1586 Hideyoshi's army landed at Kyūshū, and on June 6 they completely defeated the Shimazu clan.

Within days of this battle, Shimazu Yoshihisa appeared before Hideyoshi with his head shaved and surrendered. Hideyoshi accepted the surrender and announced that he would allow his clan to retain the provinces of Satsuma, Ōsumi and southern Hyūga. Yoshihisa was ordered to retire and was replaced by his younger brother Yoshihiro as the clan's warlord.

Hideyoshi built a sumptuous palace, the Jurakudai, in 1587 and expelled Christian missionaries from Kyūshū to gain the support of Buddhists, prevent foreigners from interfering in Japan's internal politics by giving their support to those who were critical of his rule,

and prevent through trade with foreigners daimio from having the opportunity to obtain resources to resist the central authority of his government. On May 9, 1588, he hosted the reigning emperor, Go-Yōzei.

It was an elaborate event that marked the pinnacle of his career: Hideyoshi, once a humble sandal-bearer, the son of an ashigaru, now read waka to the emperor and entertained him with a series of lavish feasts during his five-day visit. Additionally, he made generous contributions to the imperial treasury;

indeed, it could be argued that Hideyoshi and the imperial court had a mutually dependent relationship: Hideyoshi returned lost luxury and pomp to the court while the court, in turn, provided Hideyoshi with legitimacy.

In August 1588, Hideyoshi pushed through a controversial policy that prohibited peasants from carrying weapons. His intention was to prevent insurrections, and he defended it with an iron fist. Then, in 1591, he promulgated his edict on the Change of Status.

This latter document declared three points: first, all warriors who returned to peasant life would lose their samurai status. Secondly, all peasants were forbidden to become merchants or engage in any form of trade. Finally, the edict forbade the employment of warriors who had abandoned their former lords.

With these measures he clearly differentiated warriors from peasants, effectively ended peasant revolts and ensured greater stability in Japan, although he sacrificed the individual freedom of his citizens.

During the 1590s he had a series of plays written about his life, which he himself starred in before an audience of nobles and daimyos in Osaka. Between 1592 and 1593, during the invasion of Korea, he starred in some plays at his headquarters in Nagoya, and invited his men to perform in them, including Tokugawa Ieyasu.

By then he controlled much of the country, from Kagoshima Bay to the mountains of Hakone and the eastern borders of Echigo province. Only the Hōjō clan and a few daimyos in the north of the country were outside its sphere of influence. Of these, only the Hōjō constituted a real threat, for if Hideyoshi did not defeat them, the political ramifications they would form would be damaging.

In May 1590 Hideyoshi finally decided to subdue the Hōjō clan, attacking them on three fronts: the Tokugawa Ieyasu forces marched along the Tōkaidō coast, generals Sanada and Uesugi advanced into Kozuke province, and general Chosokabe, among others, landed at Izu.

The Hōjō chose to enclose themselves within the extensive defenses of Odawara Castle, a strategy that had proved successful against invaders in the past. The Hōjō clan was confident that the sheer size of Hideyoshi's deployed army would cause them problems, as it would require a great logistical effort that could easily fail.

However, aware of this, Hideyoshi delegated logistics to experts. To keep morale high he brought actors to the battlefield, allowed markets to be set up to supply his soldiers, and even allowed his generals to send for their wives. Finally, with few supplies and no end in sight to the war, the Hōjō clan surrendered.

Hideyoshi's victory during the siege of Odawara against the Hōjō clan in the Kantō region ended the last trace of resistance against his authority, and signaled the end of the Sengoku period. Shortly thereafter, the daimio Date Masamune came before him to show submission, and after a brief campaign he subdued the north of the country.

By January 1591 all of Japan had been unified. In September 1591 Hideyoshi experienced a time of uncertainty after the death of his only son, and sole heir, Tsurumatsu. When his half-brother Hidenaga died shortly thereafter, Hideyoshi named his nephew Hidetsugu as his new heir, adopting him in January 1592.

On February 11 Hideyoshi resigned as Kanpaku to adopt the title by which he would become better known: Taikō (retired regent); his successor as Kanpaku was Hidetsugu. During this period Japan achieved an important development in trade with foreign countries, as Hideyoshi attempted to open new trade routes through East and Southeast Asia.

Even small Japanese quarters were formed in Manila. In 1592 Hideyoshi dared to send a letter to the Governor General of the Spanish Philippines in Manila demanding tribute and submission.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Invasion of Korea

Despite his deteriorating health, Hideyoshi indeed wished to accomplish some feat to magnify his legacy, and accordingly adopted Oda Nobunaga's dream of a Japanese conquest of China, carrying out two ill-fated invasions of Korea.

As early as 1586 Hideyoshi told the daimio Mōri Terumoto of his expansionist intentions. Since 1587 Hideyoshi had been in contact with the Koreans to request that they allow Japanese troops to transit through their territory into China.

The Koreans absolutely refused to negotiate, and in April and July 1591 rejected Japan's demands. In August, Hideyoshi ordered preparations for an invasion of Korea.

On May 23, 1592, the first Japanese troops landed on Korean soil. It was a huge army of more than 200,000 men, composed of forces from several clans, most notably the Mōri, Chosokabe, Shimazu, Nabeshima, Katō, and Konishi; it was divided into two main assault forces, commanded by Konishi Yukinaga and Katō Kiyomasa.

They departed from Kyūshū and made a rapid advance across the Korean peninsula. Hideyoshi was not part of the expedition, and remained in Kyūshū. During the first campaign, the Japanese troops were victorious. By June 1592 the Japanese had already occupied Seoul, and the Korean king, Seonjo, had escaped to the north of the territory.

By the end of July, the Japanese general Konishi Yukinaga took Pyongyang. Meanwhile, General Katō Kiyomasa moved north across the peninsula. In just four months Hideyoshi's troops had a route to Manchuria and had occupied much of Korea.

However, three factors combined to cause the expedition to fail: The intervention of the Korean navy, which under Admiral Yi Sun Sin soon counterattacked the Japanese naval fleet, cutting off the Japanese supply line;

Korean guerrillas; and the arrival of Chinese troops in the vicinity of Pyongyang. The Chinese, sent in 1593 by Emperor Wanli of the Ming dynasty, outnumbered the Japanese, and forced General Yukinaga's troops to withdraw from Pyongyang in February so as not to be cut off.

Kiyomasa also had to withdraw, and in July the Japanese military operation was halted. Hideyoshi then saw fit to negotiate, and made a bold offer: he would make a cease-fire provided that, among other things, a daughter of the Ming Emperor be given to him as a concubine.The Chinese did not agree to any of his demands, so hostilities resumed in 1597.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Decline and death

In 1593 his second son, Hideyori, was born, which created a problem for Hideyoshi, who had already designated Hidetsugu as his heir.

To avoid a war over the succession Hideyoshi sent Hidetsugu into exile on Mount Koya, and then ordered him to commit suicide in August 1595. Hidetsugu's family members who did not follow his example were killed in Kyoto, among them 31 women and several children.

After several years of negotiations, on March 19, 1597 Hideyoshi ordered the resumption of the war in Korea after the Chinese ignored his demands. By June 1598 the campaign lost steam and the number of warriors was reduced to approximately 60 000, under the generals of the Shimazu clan, Shimazu Yoshihiro and his son Tadatsune.

The second invasion of Korea was a resounding failure, sealed by the "Miracle of Myongyang" of October 26, in which 16 ships commanded by Yi Sun Sin defeated a Japanese fleet of 133 ships. Katō Kiyomasa and Asano Yukinaga were isolated in the fortress of Ulsan and endured a long and brutal siege that lasted until 1598.

During the Korean campaign, Hideyoshi executed twenty-six Christians on February 5, 1597, on Nishizaka Hill outside the port of Nagasaki.:

160 Six Spanish and Novo-Hispanic Franciscan friars, three Japanese Jesuit friars, and eighteen Japanese assistants to the friars, including the Novo-Hispanic St. Philip of Jesus, canonized in 1862, as a Mexican protomartyr, were killed in it.

The exact causes of the martyrdom are difficult to determine since Hideyoshi had tolerated the presence of missionaries up to this date despite having promulgated in 1587 an edict of expulsion of Christian clerics in Japan.:160-161

Toyotomi Hideyoshi

In September 1598, in the midst of the second invasion of Korea, Toyotomi Hideyoshi died. News of his death was kept secret by the "Council of Five Regents" (five Tairō) to preserve the morale of the troops.

It was not until late October that they sent a decree to the Japanese commanders to withdraw. The military expeditions, instead of strengthening their position and prestige, left the Toyotomi clan treasury diminished and their vassals responsible for the failure, which is why the clans loyal to the Toyotomi were weakened.

After Hideyoshi's death, the "Council of Five Regents" was to rule Japan until his son, Hideyori, came of age. However, Tokugawa Ieyasu broke away from the Council. Finally, at the Battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu defeated Ishida Mitsunari, who was loyal to Hideyori, and was declared Shogun. Some time later, during the siege of Osaka, the Toyotomi clan was exterminated.

About Toyotomi Hideyoshi name

Due to his humble origins and rise to high nobility, Toyotomi Hideyoshi had several names throughout his life.

Although he is generally known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi in English, the last myōji (苗字, family name) Hideyoshi adopted is Hashiba (羽柴). Toyotomi (豊臣) is, in fact, an uji or sei (氏 or 姓, clan name) created and bestowed by the emperor and used concurrently with his myōji. As for the rule regarding the uji, its correct name is Toyotomi no Hideyoshi, as in the case of Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

The Toyotomi uji was simultaneously bestowed on a group of allies that Hideyoshi had chosen, who in turn adopted the new uji "豊臣朝臣" (Toyotomi no asomi, 'courtier of Toyotomi').

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Cultural legacy

Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Toyotomi Hideyoshi changed Japanese society in many ways. During the Sengoku period it was common for peasants to become warriors, or for samurai to turn to farming and ranching due to the constant uncertainty caused by the lack of a centralized government and the precariousness of peace.

After coming to power, Hideyoshi decreed that all peasants be completely disarmed. This measure solidified the social class system for the next 300 years. In addition, he ordered that all of Japan be registered, which is why a census was conducted throughout the archipelago.

Once the census was completed and all citizens were registered, he required all Japanese to stay in their respective provinces (han) unless they obtained official permission to move outside of them.

This other measure ensured order in a period when bandits roamed the countryside. Moreover, by registering the countryside, Japan's lands and resources could be properly used, and the foundations of systematic taxation were laid.

In 1590 the construction of Osaka Castle, the largest and most formidable castle in all of Japan during Hideyoshi's rule, was completed.

However, his contributions were not only limited to political or military matters. Inspired by the dazzling Kinkaku Temple ('Temple of the Golden Pavilion') in northwest Kyoto, he built a fabulous portable tea room, known as kigame no zashiki ('golden chamber'), covered with gold leaf and lined inside with red silk.

Using this mobile innovation, he could practice the tea ceremony anywhere, demonstrating his unparalleled power and status upon his arrival.

In 1599, shortly after his death, his remains were buried at the top of Mount Amidaga-mine near Hōkō-ji Temple, according to his will. At the foot of the mountain, as the patron of Hōkō-ji, the temple dedicated to Hideyoshi was built.

Emperor Goyōzei bestowed the first higher class of divinity on Hideyoshi, and the deity name, Hōkoku Daimyō-jin. In 1615 the Tokugawa shogunate abolished the deity title Hōkoku Daimyō-jin and the temple fiefs were confiscated.

However, in 1868 the Meiji emperor reversed that decision. In 1965 the temple was moved to its present site on the grounds of Osaka Castle. So important were the reforms implemented by Hideyoshi that Tokugawa Ieyasu built his shogunate on them, which is why Hideyoshi's cultural legacy endured in Japan for a long time.

On the other hand, his invasions of Korea caused much suffering to the Korean people, because of the way the Japanese treated the civilian population. Today Hideyoshi is considered a despicable villain by Koreans.

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