Within the tempestuous last many years of the 16th century, the Empire of Japan writhes in chaos because the shogunate crumbles and rival warlords conflict for supremacy. Warrior priests of their armed citadels block the line to the capital; castles are destroyed, villages plundered, fields placed to the torch.
Amid this devastation, 3 males dream of uniting the state. At one severe is the charismatic yet brutal Nobunaga, whose ruthless ambition crushes all ahead of him. on the contrary pole is the chilly, planned Ieyasu, clever in suggestions, courageous in conflict, mature past his years. however the keystone of this triumvirate is the main memorable of all, Hideyoshi, who rises from the menial submit of sandal bearer to develop into Taiko-absolute ruler of Japan within the Emperor's identify.
When Nobunaga emerges from obscurity via destroying a military ten occasions the scale of his personal, he allies himself with Ieyasu, whose province is susceptible, yet whose canniness and loyalty make him helpful. but it's the scrawny, monkey-faced Hideyoshi-brash, impulsive, and completely fearless-who turns into the not likely savior of this ravaged land. Born the son of a farmer, he is taking at the international with not anything yet his naked palms and his wits, turning doubters into dependable servants, competitors into devoted neighbors, and enemies into allies. In all this he makes use of a piercing perception into human nature that unlocks citadel gates, opens men's minds, and captures women's hearts. For Hideyoshi's passions usually are not constrained to warfare and intrigue-his trustworthy spouse, Nene, holds his love expensive, even if she needs to percentage it; the chaste Oyu, sister of Hideyoshi's leader strategist, falls prey to his wants; and the seductive Chacha, whom he rescues from the fiery destruction of her father's fort, tempts his weak spot.
As mentioned via Eiji Yoshikawa, writer of the overseas best-seller Musashi, Taiko tells many tales: of the fury of Nobunaga and the deadly vanity of the black-toothed Yoshimoto; of the pathetic downfall of the home of Takeda; how the scorned Mitsuhide betrayed his grasp; how as soon as impregnable ramparts fell as their defenders died gloriously. so much of all, even though, Taiko is the tale of ways one guy remodeled a state throughout the strength of his will and the intensity of his humanity. packed with scenes of pageantry and violence, acts of treachery and self-sacrifice, tenderness and savagery, Taiko combines the panoramic spectacle of a Kurosawa epic with a vibrant evocation of feudal Japan.
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Extra info for Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan
He stated in a intentionally loud voice. He seemed round. good fortune used to be with him. not anyone was once in sight. yet simply to make certain, he confronted the small river and whereas relieving himself, seemed round, trying out the world. Then he quietly took out the letter from the folds of his garments and skim: this night, on the Hour of the puppy, if the wind is from the south or west, come to the woods at the back of the Jozaiji Temple. If the wind is from the north or stops altogether, remain away. He accomplished interpreting, tore the letter into small items, and rolled them right into a small ball, which he then chewed right into a wad. Needle vendor! " Startled, he had no time to spit the object into the river. He palmed the paper wad in his clenched fist. “Who is it? " “Over the following. we need to shop for a few needles. " there has been no one in sight, and Hiyoshi could not inform the place the voice got here from. “Needle vendor, over the following! " at the different part of the line was once an embankment and, atop it, double dust partitions. A small wicker gate within the wall opened and a tender servant caught his head out. Hiyoshi responded hesitantly. Any samurai place of abode during this local has to be that of a retainer of the Saito extended family. yet of which aspect? There will be not anything to fret approximately if this one belonged to a retainer of Dosan, but when it belonged to Yoshitatsu's faction, issues may possibly nasty. “There's somebody right here who'd like a few needles. " Hiyoshi's uneasiness intensified, yet he had no selection. "Thank you," he acknowledged distractedly. Following the servant, he went in during the wicker gate and walked round an artificial hill in what a rear backyard. The mansion most likely belonged to a major retainer. the most condo used to be separated from a couple of annexes. Slowing down, Hiyoshi took within the grandeur of the structures and the neatness of the rocks and and streams. Who may are looking to purchase needles from him in a spot like this? The servant’s phrases instructed that it used to be a member of the owner's relatives, yet that didn't make feel. In a mansion this enforcing, the woman of the home or her daughter would not be deciding to buy needles for herself. And, as a minimum, there will be no cause in any respect to name in a peddler who hawked his wares on the street. “Wait the following a moment," the servant stated, leaving him in a nook of the backyard. A two-story construction with tough plaster partitions, good faraway from the most residence, stuck Hiyoshi’s recognition. the 1st ground looked to be a research, the head flooring a library. The younger servant known as up, "Master Mitsuhide, I introduced the fellow in. " Mitsuhide seemed at a sq. window very like a gap in a battlement. He was once a tender guy of twenty-four or twenty-five, with a good complexion and clever eyes. conserving a few books in his hand, he caught his head out of the window. "I'll come down. Take him to the veranda," he stated, and disappeared within. Hiyoshi seemed up and spotted for the 1st time that somebody may have visible him over the wall whereas he used to be status on the river interpreting the letter. He used to be certain he needs to been saw, and that this Mitsuhide had turn into suspicious and used to be approximately to query him.