Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1537-1598) was the founder of Ōsaka Castle and an important figure who dominated the age of rival warlords, eventually conquering the entire country. Although he was born into a poor farmer’s family, he worked his way up to become the ruler of Japan. As a result, his career has been romanticized by many Japanese people.
Hideyoshi served under Nobunaga Oda, who was carrying out a campaign to unite the entire country. He distinguished himself in service under this great leader and, after Nobunaga’s death, Hideyoshi successfully subjugated his opponents, holding Ōsaka Castle as his stronghold. In 1590 he succeeded in unifying the entire nation.
In a bid to continue the Toyotomi family, Hideyoshi adopted many children, as he had none of his own. Later, when Hideyoshi was 57 years old, his biological son Hideyori was born.
Despite his current reputation, Hideyoshi was not always on the side of the general population; he upheld a rigid collection of land tax and invaded the Korean peninsula. However, a number of legends and anecdotes about Hideyoshi have emerged over time, and many Japanese now consider him as a cheerful and heroic ruler.
- Information signs at Ōsaka Castle