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LEGENDS OF THE SAMURAI

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After Nobunaga's betrayal and death at Honno-ji Temple in 1582, Toyotomi Hideyoshi went on to complete what his leader had started. In 1190 he visited Kyoto and in 1192 became Sei'i Taishōgun, establishing the Kamakura shogunate, or Kamakura bakufu. After Nobunaga was betrayed and forced to commit suicide by Akechi Mitsuhide in 1582, Hideyoshi obliterated the Akechi forces at the Battle of Yamazaki, then threw his support behind 2-year-old Oda Hidenobu to succeed Nobunaga. The reality was quite different—hand-to-hand combat featuring spears, swords, arrows, and flintlocks is rarely pretty. The distinction between samurai and non-samurai was so obscure that during the 16th century, most male adults in any social class (even small farmers) belonged to at least one military organization of their own and served in wars before and during Hideyoshi's rule.

He was born in 1580 or 1584, in either the village of Sakushu or Banshu in Harima Province, near Kyoto. With the ascent of Ieyasu Tokugawa as shogun in 1600, Japan enjoyed more than 250 years of relative peace, broken by sporadic rebellions.The Japanese sword ( tachi and katana) became renowned around the world for its sharpness and resistance to breaking. Ieyasu was too late to take revenge on Akechi Mitsuhide for his betrayal of Nobunaga—Hideyoshi beat him to it.

Adams undertook various expeditions around Southeast Asia between 1614 and 1619, finally dying at Hirado in 1620, where he is buried. In 1604, Musashi fought famous duels against three Yoshioka brothers—Seijuro, Denshichiro, and Matashichiro—samurai from the respected Yoshioka School of swordsmanship near Kyoto. Between 1553 and 1564, the two samurai would battle five times at Kawanakajima, located in the southern part of what's now Nagano City. Tanegashima ( Matchlock) Large numbers of ashigaru (foot soldiers) in close formation began to use yari (spears) and tanegashima (gun), changing battlefield tactics and the equipment of the samurai class. By the end of the Sengoku period, allegiances between warriors vassals, also known as military retainers, and lords were solidified.

He traveled again for a time, offering himself as a sword instructor or vassal to various major figures, including Tokugawa Ieyasu himself (who rejected him), until in 1633 he finally took up residence with the daimyo of Kumamoto Castle, by which time he dueled less and was interested in learning to paint. The victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position.

A samurai’s life was devoted to Bushido, the way of the samurai, summed up by warrior Tsunetomo Yamamoto: “I have found the essence of Bushido: to die! He would ram his opponents, sometimes killing them on impact, throw dirt in their faces, maneuver so that the sun was in their eyes, and stab at their faces. Thereafter, Yasuke's fate is unclear, though it's possible his presence was recorded around Kyushu in 1584. Their ethos embodied a code of honour and loyalty the bushidō (way of the warrior) where a Samurai will fight to the bitter end for his master, the only option in case of a dishonourable defeat was to commit seppuku a ritualized suicide through self disembowelment by plunging a sword into the abdomen.Ieyasu ultimately made Adams a samurai, presenting him with two swords and an estate on the Miura Peninsula in what's now Kanagawa Prefecture, where he came to be known as Miura Anjin ( anjin means "pilot"). In 1612, when he was about 30 years old, Musashi sought a match with Ganryu Sasaki Kojiro, a sword stylist. Thus, the Sengoku Period overlaps with the Muromachi, Azuchi–Momoyama, and Edo periods, depending on the theory. The invading army was harassed by major thunderstorms throughout the invasion, which aided the defenders by inflicting heavy casualties.

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