Lesson plan

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Section 3 Objectives

l1 To summarize how three powerful daimyo succeeded in unifying

feudal Japan.

l2 To describe Japanese society and culture during the Tokugawa


LESSON PLAN Japan Limits Western Contacts

pages 94–99

Section 3
1. daimyo

1. These feudal lords fought each other for over a century, but they eventually accepted the rule of a shogun.

2. Oda Nobunaga 2. seized imperial capital and set out on a mission to eliminate rivals for power

3. Toyotomi Hideyoshi 3. continued Nobunaga’s mission by combining brute force with political alliances, gained control

over most of the country

4. Tokugawa Ieyasu 4. defeated rivals, completed unification, and founded Tokugawa Shogunate

5. Tokugawa Shogunate 5. brought about more than two centuries of stability, prosperity, and isolation

6. Portuguese 6. introduced many unfamiliar items from Europe, including firearms which in turn changed samurai traditions and led to for-tification of castles and eventual-ly, the growth of cities and towns

the imagery of haiku poetry.

7. Christian missionaries 7. at first, Japanese converts to Christianity; later, religious per-secution and eventually the end

of Christianity in Japan 8. allowed the Tokugawa shoguns to monopolize profitable foreign trade; made Japan self-sufficient

and closed to European influences

8. “Closed country” policy Traditional culture mixed with new art forms such as kabuki—drama performed by actors wearing elaborate costumes and musi-cians, dancers, and mimes—and the imagery of haiku poetry.

© McDougal Littell Inc. All rights reserved.

SECTION QUIZ Japan Limits Western Contact

Section 3

A. Terms and Names Write the letter of the best answer.

______ 1. Under Japan’s new system of feudalism, the daimyo were

a. warlords. c. religious leaders.

b. emperors. d. peasant foot soldiers.

______ 2. The Tokugawa Shogunate was a type of

a. cultural institution.

b. religious authority.

c. military government.

d. commercial partnership or organization.

______ 3. Kabuki is a type of

a. music. c. poetry.

b. drama. d. religion.

______ 4. The leader whose rule ended the “warring states” period, even though

he did not succeed in unifying Japan, was

a. Oda Nobunaga.

b. Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

c. Tokugawa Ieyasu.

d. Tokugawa Hidetada.

______ 5. Who, in 1600, finally completed the long process of unifying Japan?

a. Matsuo Basho

b. Oda Nobunaga

c. Tokugawa Ieyasu

d. Toyotomi Hideyoshi

______ 6. Haiku is a type of

a. literature. c. fortified castle.

b. ritual suicide. d. riddle in Zen Buddhism.

______ 7. Ieyasu Tokugawa used the “alternate attendance policy” to control the

a. daimyo. c. merchants.

b. peasants. d. foreign traders.

B. Critical Thinking Briefly answer the following question on the back of

this paper.

What was the “closed country policy,” and how did it affect Japan?
An Age of Exploration and Isolation 65

© McDougal Littell Inc. All rights reserved.


Patient Planner

The traditional picture of Ieyasu is one of a crafty and grasping old man . . . On

the contrary, self-control and a truly marvelous patience stamped his character

from childhood.”—historians R. H. P. Mason and J. G. Caiger, A History of Japan


Section 3

There is a story about the three men who, from

the 1560s to the early 1600s, managed to unite

Japan under one rule. The leaders are all discussing

a caged bird that will not sing. Oda Nobunaga vows,

“I’ll make it sing.” Toyotomi Hideyoshi threatens,

“I’ll kill it if it doesn’t sing.” But Tokugawa Ieyasu

has patience. “I’ll wait until it sings,” he says.

Patience was not Ieyasu’s only virtue. He also

possessed a first-rate mind, political insight, and

superb military skill. Armed with these qualities, he

finished the job that Nobunaga and Hideyoshi had

begun. He placed all of Japan under one central

authority—himself—and then passed that power on

to others in his family.

Born in 1543, Ieyasu’s early life provided little

evidence of his future greatness. His father was

one of the daimyo, the landowners who controlled

Japanese politics and society. He was not one of the

major political forces in the country, though. He

had to agree to give his son as a hostage, first to

one clan and then to another, as proof of his loyalty

to them. During this time, Ieyasu was educated by

a Buddhist monk provided by his grandmother.

From him he learned the finer points of military

affairs and politics.

After the death of his father, Ieyasu returned

home and took the leadership of his clan at the age

of 13. Within two years, he proved his mettle at

war. He led a successful attack on a fort and then

defeated a force of soldiers that pursued him.

During the course of his life, Ieyasu fought more

than 45 battles. He won most of them and, in some

of the most important, showed his skill by defeating

armies much larger than his own.

While still in his teens, Ieyasu established a

strong political network. He made an alliance with

Nobunaga, who was moving to unite Japan under

his power. When that leader was assassinated,

Ieyasu made an alliance with his successor,

Hideyoshi. The deal proved a significant one

because Ieyasu gave up only traditional family

lands. He won the right to establish his base in

Edo, the area near modern Tokyo and home to the

richest farmland in the country. For the next few

years, he patiently strengthened his hand.

First, Ieyasu settled himself and his followers in

his new region. He built canals to drain the swamps

in the area around Edo so he could build a fortress

there. He lowered taxes and punished corrupt offi-cials

in order to win over the people. He also forti-fied

his own position by marrying his daughters and

granddaughters to neighboring lords. Meanwhile,

Hideyoshi twice attempted to invade Korea, but

Ieyasu avoided any involvement with those failures.

In 1598, just before Hideyoshi died, he won the

promises of Ieyasu and four other major leaders to

care for his young son until adulthood. However,

Ieyasu ignored his promise and moved to seize power

himself as soon as Hideyoshi passed away. In 1600,

Ieyasu defeated his most powerful rival in a major

battle and from then on had the allegiance of all

the other daimyo. Three years later he was pro-claimed

shogun, the military ruler of a united

Japan. Two years after that, he retired in favor of

his own son. However, the boy simply handled the

administrative details of ruling the nation. Ieyasu

ran the country from behind the scenes.

During this time, Ieyasu implemented the same

administrative system that he had tested earlier on

his own lands. Late in his life, he took the final step

to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. He master-minded

the complete defeat of Hideyoshi’s son,

now in his twenties. With this last victory, Ieyasu

secured the end of any rival claims to his family’s

power. Two years later, Tokugawa Ieyasu died.


1. Making Inferences How did Ieyasu show


2. Making Judgments Did Ieyasu always act hon-orably?

Give examples to support your answer.

3. Drawing Conclusions Why was it important

for Ieyasu to remove any rival claims to the

throne before he died? Explain.

Chapter 3, Section 3


Tokugawa Ieyasu

Possible responses:

1. He showed patience in his

youth, as he moved from clan to

clan as a hostage. He also

showed patience in strengthen-ing

his political position and by

not getting involved in the fail-ures

in Korea.

2. No, he acted dishonorably

toward the son of Hideyoshi by

breaking his word.

3. This last act ensured that his

family would rule over Japan for

many years and that there would

not be any rival claims to the


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