HARVARD EAST ASIAN MONOGRAPHS
Cover: Hideyoshi in PAPERBACK

Harvard East Asian Monographs 146

Hideyoshi

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$24.95 • £19.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674390263

Publication Date: 01/01/1989

Short

312 pages

6 x 9-1/4 inches

3 halftones, 3 line-art, 1 table

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs

World

Here is the first full-length biography in English of the most important political figure in premodern Japan.

Hideyoshi—peasant turned general, military genius, and imperial regent of Japan—is the subject of an immense legendary literature. He is best known for the conquest of Japan’s sixteenth-century warlords and the invasion of Korea. He is known, too, as an extravagant showman who rebuilt cities, erected a colossal statue of the Buddha, and entertained thousands of guests at tea parties. But his lasting contribution is as governor whose policies shaped the course of Japanese politics for almost three hundred years.

In Japan’s first experiment with federal rule, Hideyoshi successfully unified two hundred local domains under a central authority. Mary Elizabeth Berry explores the motives and forms of this new federalism which would survive in Japan until the mid-nineteenth century, as well as the philosophical question it raised: What is the proper role of government? This book reflects upon both the shifting political consciousness of the late sixteenth century and the legitimation rituals that were invoked to place change in a traditional context. It also reflects upon the architect of that change—a troubled parvenu who acted often with moderation and sometimes with explosive brutality.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: A Brief History of Equality, by Thomas Piketty, from Harvard University Press

Five Reasons Why You Should Read Thomas Piketty’s A Brief History of Equality

In his surprising and powerful new work, A Brief History of Equality, Thomas Piketty reminds us that the grand sweep of history gives us reasons to be optimistic. Over the centuries, he shows, we have been moving toward greater equality. We asked him about his impassioned new book: why he wrote it, how it’s optimistic, and what we need to do to continue making progress on creating an equitable world.