How did Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu end 'eternal unrest' throughout Japan?
Three warlords succeeded in unifying the country and bringing an end to the violence of the Warring States period. These three are known as the ‘three unifiers’; Oda Nobunga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
"Little Bird if you don't sing for me I will kill you" - Oda Nobunaga
"Little Bird if you don't sing for me I will make you sing" - Toyotomi Hideyoshi
"Little Bird if you do not sing for me, I will wait for you " - Tokugawa Ieyasu
Nobunga ruled a small domain, although his brilliance as a strategist enabled him to defeat armies much greater than his own. His success majorly lied on their use of firearms. In 1573 he took over Kyoto and ended the civil war by essentially dominating.
A man called Toyotomi Hideyoshi grew up from a peasant family and rose through the ranks of society to find himself as one of Nobunga most trusted generals.
When Nobunga was assassinated Hideyoshi avenged his master’s death and set up the Shogunate. Hideyoshi finished his lord’s job of unifying the country. Hideyoshi did not succeed through force alone.
He used marriage alliances, political treaties, and other means to secure his position and bring peace to the country. For example he also ordered all peasants to turn over their weapons, creating for the first time a sharp distinction between warriors and farmers.
Throughout this time a boy called Tokugawa Ieyasu grew up in a noble family. Later in life Ieyasu allied with Hideyoshi and became a Daimyo. Ieyasu’s patience was his main asset that added to his success. The winning of the Sekigahara war made him the most powerful Daimyo. In 1603 he was proclaimed shogun by the Emperor and established the last of Japan’s major warrior governments, the Tokugawa bakufu.
The unifiers’ policies, and the peace that followed in the seventeenth century, led to profound changes in Japanese society.