The Sengoku Period: Unrivalled Conflict In Medieval Japan

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The Sengoku Period was a time of unrivalled conflict and disunity in medieval Japan. It spanned from 1467 to 1615 and was named by historians who compared it to the most warlike period in Ancient Chinese history: the Age of the Warring States. This parallel shows the great magnitude of the chaos and violence that occurred during Japan in these years. The onset of the Onin War marked the beginning of this period. The authority of the Ashikaga Shogunate dissolved, and the country was left in the hands of power-hungry daimyos ("the great names"). Various daimyos across Japan gained authority and fought each other for land and the shogunate himself. They created an environment of endemic warfare which directly hindered the unification of Japan.…show more content…
Ujitsuna captured Edo castle and Kawagoe from rival daimyos, obtaining the key to controlling the Kanto region. Ujitsuna and following generations continued to acquire land and exert their prominence through superior military strength and cunningness. The Hojo family survived for a few more generations until 1590. Toyotmi Hideyoshi, one of the great Japanese unifiers, conducted the largest besieging operation until that point in Japan history on the capital city, Odawara. The Hojo inevitably surrendered and were absorbed into an empire that would soon reunite…show more content…
The Sengoku period saw many warlords accumulate power one moment and get absorbed into another daimyo the next. This constant handing of power from one power-hungry entity to another provided a large obstacle for unification. None of these daimyos gained enough power or lasted long enough to unify Japan. The regional rising of power exhibited in the Hojo family and other daimyos continued to plague Japan until it was unified with the help of three great unifiers. Oda Nobunaga, one of the great unifiers, had a lowly start similar to Soun Hojo. Oda, a young daimyo during the 1560's, was attacked by one of Japan's most powerful daimyos, Imagawa Yoshimoto. After breaking through the border of Nobunaga's fortresses, Yoshimoto grew complacent and oblivious. Nobunaga seized this opportunity to turn the tides of the battle; Yoshimoto was killed, and Nobunaga instantly rose in power. Within eight years of defeating Yoshimoto, Nobunaga in 1568 entered Kyoto and deposed of the last Ashikaga Shogun,

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