Episode 523 – Reunification, Part 3

This week on the Revised Introduction to Japanese History: Hideyoshi may have brought peace, but Tokugawa Ieyasu would be the one to make it lasting. How did Ieyasu seize power from Hideyoshi, and what did he do to secure it?


Totman, Conrad. Tokugawa Ieyasu: Shogun.

Berry, Mary Elizabeth. Hideyoshi

Asao, Naohiro. “The Sixteenth-century Unification” in The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol IV: Early Modern Japan.


The Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 (shown here) cemented Tokugawa Ieyasu’s control of Japan.
Tokugawa Ieyasu upon his ascension to the rank of shogun.
A stone marker on the grounds of Osaka castle commemorating the suicides of Yodo-dono and Toyotomi Hideyori.
These bronze cannon are emblematic of the type of weapons you’d see at Osaka castle.
A painting of the Siege of Osaka Castle in 1615, commissioned by the same Kuroda Nagamasa who spent outrageous sums of money to repair just part of the castle walls.
The Battle of Osaka at the start of the siege in late 1614. I’m including this so you can get a sense of the castle layout; the blue are the defenders, and they’re arrayed around that third outermost wall designed to defend the main keep from cannon fire.
Osaka Castle’s surroundings are now a beautiful park. I have been during cherry blossom season. It is worth it.