Words of Wisdom:

"Don't bother people who disike you...proove to them that someday you're going to be something better that them" - Na7as


  • Date Submitted: 06/17/2013 11:43 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.9 
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Fending Off the West: Japan's Reunification and the First Challenge. During the sixteenth century an innovative and fierce leader, Nobunaga, one of the first daimyos to make extensive use of firearms, rose to the forefront among the contesting lords. He deposed the last Ashikaga shogun in 1573, but was killed in 1582 before finishing his conquests. Nobunaga's general Toyotomi Hideyoshi continued the struggle and became master of Japan by 1590. Hideyoshi then launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea. He died in 1598. Tokugawa Ieyasu won out in the ensuing contest for succession. In 1603, the emperor appointed him shogun. The Tokugawas continued in power for two and one-half centuries. Ieyasu, who ruled from Edo (Tokyo), directly controlled central Honshu and placed the remaining daimyos under his authority. Outlying daimyos, over time, were also brought under Tokugawa rule. The long period of civil wars had ended and political unity was restored.
Dealing with the European Challenge. European traders and missionaries had visited Japan in increasing numbers since 1543. The traders exchanged Asian and European goods, the latter including firearms, clocks, and printing presses, for Japanese silver, copper, and artisan products. The firearms, which the Japanese soon manufactured themselves, revolutionized local warfare. Roman Catholic missionaries arrived during Nobunaga's campaigns. He protected them as a counterforce to his Buddhist opponents. The Jesuits, by the 1580s, claimed hundreds of thousands of converts. Hideyoshi was less tolerant of Christianity. The Buddhists had been crushed, and he feared that converts would give primary loyalty to their religion. Hideyoshi also feared that Europeans might try to conquer Japan.
Japan's Self-Imposed Isolation. Official measures to restrict foreign influence were ordered from the late 1580s. Christian missionaries were ordered to leave; persecution of Christians was underway during the mid-1590s. Christianity was...


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