Before we begin the story of Hideyoshi, it is important to explain to students the significance of seppuku to the samurai code of honor, bushido. There's a lot of seppuku in this story and whether the kids find it weird, cool in a gross way, or so gangsta, it deserves a bit of context. Today seppuku is often viewed as a senseless, dated, war-time ritual- a ceremonial suicide by self-inflicted disembowelment, executed in the presence of vengeful, sadistic onlookers. While in some cases the suicide was commanded, seppuku was mostly executed voluntarily because it was far more honorable than dying by an enemy's sword. For the samurai class, dying with honor was simply a part of a life of honor.
Hideyoshi Unifies All of Japan
THE RISE OF HIDEYOSHI: Among Oda Nobunaga’s officers was a common man, not a samurai, named Hideyoshi. A man of great talent, he became one of Oda’s most favored & trusted generals. Many times he proved his skill on the battlefield & his cleverness led him to become popular among Oda’s troops.
MUSKETS IN JAPAN: A new discovery came to Japan in 1542 when a Portuguese trading ship got caught in a storm & washed up on Japan’s shore. 3 Portuguese sailors who survived the shipwreck came upon shore & demonstrated the power of their muskets & gunpowder. Hideoyoshi quickly understood the power of this new weapon in battle. He showed it to Oda & together they used this new weapon to win battle after battle.
ODA ASSASINATED: Although Oda was named Shogun by the emperor, the fighting continued among the different Daimyo uji. Oda eventually defeated most of his enemies but in 1582 he was betrayed by one of his own men who forced him to commit seppuku. Hideyoshi sought revenge for the murder of his leader & when he found the betrayer- he forced him to commit suicide. This act of honor & respect allowed Hideyoshi to gain power & popularity & he became the leader of Oda’s army.
HIDEYOSHI CONQUERS JAPAN: In the next 10 years, Hideyoshi set out to conquer the remainder of Japan. His army of 170,000 soldiers dealt cruelly with those that resisted. One obstacle was a powerful warlord named Ieyasu Tokugawa, who could not be defeated. Hideyoshi made peace with Tokugawa & severely crushed all other armies. He became the military ruler of Japan. Although Hideyoshi was now the ultimate ruler of Japan, he could not become shogun because he was born a common man & not born a samurai.
HEIR TO POWER: Hideyoshi hoped that his son would become ruler but when his son died in 1590 new plans had to be made. Hideyoshi asked his nephew to become the next ruler after his death & his nephew agreed. To everyone’s surprise, in 1593, another son was born. Because Hideyoshi wanted his son to rule instead of his nephew- he ordered his nephew to commit suicide, & he had all of his nephew’s children killed to insure his son’s succession to power.
- Highlight the MOST IMPORTANT sentence of each paragraph (therefore you should have 5 important sentences)
- Place each of those sentences in the Flow Chart ________ PTS
- Draw a picture depicting the scene ( I should be able to look at the picture & know what the story is about without even having to read your sentence) – ________ PTS
- You must color your picture(s)- ________ PTS
- Neat & Visually Appealing- ________ PTS
Total Points Possible for This Assignment= _______________
DUE DATE ___________________
Alia Klein, "Hideyoshi Unifies All of Japan". September 2007. Lesson Plan.