The three most famous warlords in Japan

Four hundred years ago, the Imperial court of Japan didn't have much power and there were many warlords everywhere in Japan. They fought each other in order to keep their opponents under their control.

Oda Nobunaga beat most of his opponents and almost succeeded in keeping his all opponents under his control, but he was assassinated by his subordinate just before his final victory.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a distinguished subordinate of Oda, he fought against and beat Oda's subordinate who assassinated Oda. Then he brought the whole country under his rule.

After Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was also a distinguished subordinate of Oda, beat Toyotomi's family and subordinates and opened the Edo Bakufu. Bakufu is the Japanese government headed by a shogun.

Oda Nobunaga was cruel and sharp, and looked down on people clinging to vested interests. He was definitely a reformer. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a social and sympathetic person, so he was good at making allies. Also, he was a man of action and good at fighting. Tokugawa Ieyasu was a cautious and perseverant person. He was good at stratagems.

There are three short phrases that describe their characters,

Oda Nobunaga would say this, "Oh little cuckoo, if you don't sing for me, I will order someone to kill you."

Toyotomi Hideyoshi would say this, "Oh little cuckoo, if you don't sing for me, I will make you sing."

Tokugawa Ieyasu would say this, "Oh little cuckoo, If you don't sing for me, I will wait for you to sing."

Which character do you like most?

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  • I guess Tokugawa is the most sensible. 

    • Hi, Estanis. Thank you for your comment. Tokugawa Ieyasu is the most popular among EC members so far. I add some information about the others.

      Oda carried out many reforms and incorporated new technology and idea in conservative Japan at that time.

      Toyoyomi Hideyoshi was a son of a poor farmer. He became a subordinate of Oda and then rose in the world. Finally, he became a shogun. Japanese people like his success story.

  • Tokugawa Ieyasu sound nice.   

    i wonder the original japan king is now from which descendant ?  

    • Hi, Fizzy. Thank you for your comment. It is said that the first Japanese Emperor took the throne about 1400 years ago. Their family line has been continuing even now.

  • Hi, Tam.

    I don't like warlords at all, but if I had no other options and had to choose one, I would choose Tokugawa Ieyasu.

    Why he and not the other warlords?

    The reason is simple.
    He is obviously the only one who does not directly or indirectly threaten the little cuckoo.
    I will order someone to kill you = direct threat.
    I will make you sing = indirect threat although he doesn't exactly say how he will make the little cuckoo sing, it sounds at least like an encrypted threat.

    Both phrases demand unconditional obedience. If the little cuckoo doesn't sing, his life is lost or at least threatened.

    Demanding unconditional submission through the threat of violence or death will never produce the most beautiful songs.

    • Hi, Rose. Thank you for your comment. Tokugawa Ieyasu was the most successful person among them. Edo bakufu lasted for about 250 years. He prepared various things in order to last his and his son's government.

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