Toyotomi Hideyoshi

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi


Born 1536; died Sept. 15, 1598, in Fushimi. Military leader and statesman of feudal Japan.

Of peasant origin, Toyotomi evinced extraordinary military talents, in recognition of which he was made a close aide of Oda Nobunaga during the latter’s campaigns to create a centralized state. After Oda’s death in 1582, Toyotomi assumed full power, although he formally held only the post of chancellor (kampaku). In his efforts to strengthen the centralized state machinery, he undertook several expeditions against Japan’s princes; he also carried out reforms intended to consolidate the feudal system. In 1588, Toyotomi issued an edict directing that all weapons—swords, daggers, bows, and guns—be confiscated from the peasants. Between 1589 and 1595 he put into effect a series of measures aimed at restoring serfdom. Among them was a census of landed estates; after it was taken, the peasants were forbidden to leave the lands to which they were registered.

In 1592, Toyotomi led Japan’s feudal lords in a predatory war against Korea, hoping to go on to conquer China and the other countries of the Far East. The Japanese, however, were defeated in the Imdin War in 1598.


Zhukov, E. M. “Politika Khideesi v otnoshenii krest’ianstva.” Izv. AN SSR: Ser. istorii i filosofii, 1946, vol. 3, no. 6.
Personality in Japanese History. Berkeley, Calif., 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The unifier of Japan, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, launched major invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597.
Western music was introduced to Japan when Francisco de Xavier (1506-1552), a Jesuit missionary, arrived there in 1549 and asked leaders of the time, including Yoshitaka Ouchi (1507-51), Yoshishige Otomo (1530-87), Nobunaga Oda (1534-82) and Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1536-98), to support Christianity.
(36.) The folk story holds that when Hideyoshi Toyotomi sought to conquer Korea in 1592, he amassed a force of 158,800 troops on Kyushu, where blowfish was a favorite dish, for the task.
Born in 1563, he came to the attention of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who admired his incisive intelligence and took him into his service; as Hideyoshi's vassal he was master of Sawayama Castle (1585); served as inspector general during the Korean campaign; one of the five bugyo (commissioners) appointed by Hideyoshi on his deathbed (1598) to carry out the decisions of the regents for his infant son, Hideyori; worked to form a coalition of daimyo to isolate Ieyasu Tokugawa, the most powerful of Hideyoshi's supporters, and the chief regent; their struggle for power in Japan culminated in the great battle of Sekigahara (October 21, 1600); captured in the aftermath of the battle, he was executed on Tokugawa's orders (late October 1600).