Toyotomi Hideyoshi was the second of the three leaders who progressively united Japan at the end of Sendoku Jidai period. Hideyoshi rose from obscurity as the son of a peasant to become one of the chief retainers of Oda Nobunaga and a powerful daimyo. Through clever military and diplomatic maneuvers, he achieved Nobunaga’s vision of a united Japan and effectively ended the Sendoku Jidai period; and he introduced social reforms that survived many centuries after his death.
Uesugi Kenshin was known as one of the most powerful Daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japan. He is famed for his prowess on the battlefield, military expertise, strategy and his worship of the Buddhist god of war.
The Romans used suicide as a means of avoiding further disgrace, but the feudal Japanese took this a step further. Their ritual of suicide not only avoided further disgrace, it could actually be used to recover lost honor.
Looking back, the Onin War was inevitable. Looking forward, it brought stability to a troubled realm once the torches of war were extinguished.
The introduction of the arquebus to Feudal Japan by Portuguese (1542 A.D) and Dutch (1561 A.D) traders heralded the start of a tactical revolution which would change the face of warfare during Sengoku Jidai. However, it was not until Oda Nobunaga, daimyo of the Oda clan, that the arquebus' importance in Sengoku Jidai warfare would become fully apparent.
While the basic processes of forging a blade are universal, the Japanese swordsmiths employ a few variations in the forging process which result in a higher quality blade than the standard produced in the West during the Middle Ages.
During the Edo Period the Tokugawa Shogunate enforced a strict caste system upon Feudal Japanese society. Ruling Japan from 1603 A.D to 1867 A.D, the Tokugawa Shogunate ended when the fifteenth Tokugawa shogun resigned and returned power back to the Emperor. During the Tokugawa Shogunate ultimate power, and status within society, lay with the Shogun. Civil rights and influence diminished the further down one was in the caste system. With the lowest caste lucky if they had any influence or civil rights at all.
It is a popular misconception that only samurai were allowed to wear swords. The truth was a bit different - only samurai were allowed to wear the Daisho. So, what is a daisho?
Bushido. boosh-ee-doe. The way (do) of the warrior (bushi). The written code of the samurai, as most people believe. They are wrong. Bushido was a way of life that permeated all levels of Japanese society.