|Section 3 Objectives
l1 To summarize how three powerful daimyo succeeded in unifying
l2 To describe Japanese society and culture during the Tokugawa
LESSON PLAN Japan Limits Western Contacts
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.
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SECTION QUIZ Japan Limits Western Contact
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
What was the “closed country policy,” and how did it affect Japan?
An Age of Exploration and Isolation 65
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HISTORYMAKERS Tokugawa Ieyasu
“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
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
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
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