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This daimyo had given
evidence of good-will towards Hideyoshi during the Komaki War, but it
was naturally a matter of great importance to establish really
cordial relations with so powerful a baron. History relates that, on
this occasion, Hideyoshi adopted a course which might well have
involved him in serious peril. He entered Echigo with a mere handful
of followers, and placed himself practically at the mercy of
Kagekatsu, judging justly that such trustful fearlessness would win
the heart of the gallant Kagekatsu. Hideyoshi's insight was justified
by the sequel. Several of the principal retainers of Kagekatsu
advised that advantage should be taken of Hideyoshi's rashness, and
that his victorious career should be finally terminated in Echigo.
But this vindictive counsel was rejected by the Uesugi baron, and
relations of a warmly friendly character were established between the
two great captains.

INVASION OF KYUSHU

There now remained only three really formidable enemies of Hideyoshi.
These were Hojo Ujimasa, in the Kwanto; Date Masamime, in Dewa and
Mutsu, and Shimazu Yoshihisa, in Kyushu. Of these, the Shimazu sept
was probably the most powerful, and Hideyoshi determined that Kyushu
should be the scene of his next warlike enterprise. The Island of the
Nine Provinces was then under the rule of three great clans; the
Shimazu, in the south; the Otomo, in Bungo, and the Ryuzoji, in
Hizen. The most puissant of these had at one time been Ryuzoji
Takanobu, but his cruel methods had alienated the sympathy of many of
his vassals, among them being Arima Yoshizumi, who threw off his
allegiance to Takanobu and joined hands with Shimazu Yoshihisa.
Takanobu sent an army against Yoshizumi, but the Satsuma baron
despatched Shimazu Masahisa to Yoshizumi's aid, and a sanguinary
engagement at Shimabara in 1585 resulted in the rout of Takanobu's
forces and his own death.

Takanobu's son and successor, who was named Masaiye, being still a
boy, advantage was taken of the fact by Otomo Yoshishige, who invaded
Hizen, so that Masaiye had to apply to the Shimazu family for
succour. The Satsuma chieftain suggested that the matter might be
settled by mutual withdrawal of forces, but Yoshishige declined this
overture, and the result was a battle in which the Otomo troops were
completely defeated. Otomo Yoshishige then (1586) had recourse to
Hideyoshi for assistance, thus furnishing the opportunity of which
Osaka was in search. Orders were immediately issued to Mori, Kikkawa,
Kohayakawa, and Chosokabe Motochika to assemble their forces for an
oversea expedition, and in the mean while, Sengoku Hidehisa was
despatched to Kyushu bearing a letter in which Hideyoshi, writing
over his title of kwampaku, censured the Shimazu baron for having
failed to pay his respects to the Imperial Court in Kyoto, and called
upon him to do so without delay. This mandate was treated with
contempt. Shimazu Yoshihisa threw the document on the ground,
declaring that his family had ruled in Satsuma for fourteen
generations; that only one man in Japan, namely Prince Konoe, had
competence to issue such an injunction, and that the head of the
house of Shimazu would never kneel to a monkey-faced upstart.

Hideyoshi had foreseen something of this kind, and had warned Sengoku
Hidehisa in the sense that whatever might be the action of the
Satsuma baron, no warlike measures were to be precipitately
commenced. Hidehisa neglected this warning. Yielding to the anger of
the moment, he directed the Otomo troops to attack the Satsuma
forces, and the result was disastrous. When the fighting ended, the
Satsuma baron had pushed into Bungo and taken sixteen forts there, so
that fully one-half of Kyushu was now under the sway of the Shimazu.
Hideyoshi, on receiving news of these disasters, confiscated the
estates of Sengoku Hidehisa, and issued orders to thirty-seven
provinces to provide commissariat for three hundred thousand men and
twenty thousand horses for a period of one year. Soon an army of one
hundred and fifty thousand men assembled at Osaka, and the van,
numbering sixty thousand, embarked there on the 7th of January, 1587,
and landed at Yunoshima in Bungo on the 19th of the same month--dates
which convey some idea of the very defective system of maritime
transport then existing. In Bungo, the invading army was swelled by
thirty thousand men under the leadership of Kohayakawa and Kikkawa,
and the whole force, under the command-in-chief of Hidenaga,
Hideyoshi's brother, moved to invest the castle of Takashiro.

It is unnecessary to follow the fighting in all its details. The
salient facts are that Hideyoshi left Osaka with the main army of one
hundred and thirty thousand men on the 22d of January, 1587, and,
travelling by land, reached the Strait of Akamagasaki--now called
Shimonoseki--on the 17th of February. He marched through Chikuzen,
making friends of the local chieftains by forbearance and diplomacy,
and fighting the first great battle of the campaign at Oguchi on the
Sendai-gawa. The Satsuma baron's younger brother, Iehisa, after a
gallant resistance, surrendered to Hideyoshi, and was employed by the
latter to communicate direct with his chief, Yoshihisa. It was
generally supposed that Iehisa would never return from this mission,
but would remain in the camp of Shimazu. He did return, however, his
word of honour being of more importance in his estimation than the
opportunity of recovering his liberty.

History states that Hideyoshi thereafter treated this noble man with
the greatest consideration, but it is difficult to reconcile that
account with the fact that Hideyoshi subsequently pressed Iehisa to
guide the Osaka army through the mountains and rivers which
constituted natural defences for the fief of Satsuma. Iehisa, of
course, refused, and to Hideyoshi's credit it stands on record that
he did not press the matter with any violence. This difficulty of
invading an unknown country without any maps or any guides, a country
celebrated for its topographical perplexities, was ultimately
overcome by sending Buddhist priests to act as spies in the dominions
of Shimazu. These spies were led by the abbot, Kennyo, with whose
name the reader is already familiar, and as the Shimazu family were
sincere believers in Buddhism, no obstacles were placed in the way of
the treacherous monks. They were able ultimately to guide the Osaka
army through the forests and mountains on the north of Kagoshima, and
Hideyoshi adopted the same strategy as that pursued in a similar case
three hundred years later, namely, sending a force of fifty thousand
men by sea with orders to advance against Kagoshima from the south.
The Satsuma troops were completely defeated, and only the castle of
Kagoshima remained in their hands.

At this stage of the campaign Hideyoshi behaved with remarkable
magnanimity and foresight. Contrary to the advice of some of his
principal retainers, he refused to proceed to extremities against the
Shimazu clan, and agreed to make peace, on the basis that the clan
should be left in possession of the provinces of Satsuma, Osumi, and
Hyuga, the only further stipulation being that the then head of the
house, Yoshihisa, should abdicate in favour of his younger brother,
Yoshihiro. As for the Buddhist priests who had sacrificed their
honour to their interests, those that had acted as guides to the
invading army were subsequently crucified by order of the Satsuma
baron, and the Shin sect, to which they belonged, was interdicted
throughout the whole of the Shimazu fief. Yoshihiro was summoned to
Kyoto by Hideyoshi to answer for this action, but he pleaded that
such treachery amply deserved such punishment, and that he was
prepared to bow to Hideyoshi's judgment in the matter. The defence
was admitted by Hideyoshi, but the abbot Kennyo received such large
rewards that he was able to erect the great temple Nishi Hongwan-ji,
"which became the wonder of after-generations of men and which has
often been erroneously referred to by foreign writers as a proof of
the deep religious feelings of Buddhist converts three hundred years
ago."*

*A New Life of Hideyoshi, by W. Dening.

THE HOJO

From end to end of Japan there were now only two powerful barons
whose allegiance had not been formally rendered to Hideyoshi and to
the Emperor under the new regime. These were Date Masamune and Hojo
Ujimasa. The origin and eminence of the Hojo family from the days of
its founder, Nagauji, have already been described in these pages, and
it need only be added here that Ujimasa enjoyed a reputation second
to none of his predecessors. That he should stand aloof from all his
brother barons seemed to the latter an intolerable evidence of pride,
and they urged Hideyoshi to resort at once to extreme measures. There
can be no doubt that this was the intention of Hideyoshi himself, but
with characteristic prudence he had recourse at the outset to pacific
devices. He therefore sent an envoy to the Hojo's stronghold at
Odawara, urging Ujimasa to lose no time in paying his respects to the
Court at Kyoto. The Hojo chief's reply was that Sanada Masayuki had
encroached upon the Hojo estates in Numata, and that if this
encroachment were rectified, the desired obeisance to the Throne
would be made.

Thereupon, Hideyoshi caused the restoration of Numata, but the Hojo
baron, instead of carrying out his part of the agreement, made this
restoration the pretext for an unwarrantable act of aggression.
Whatever sympathy might have been felt in Kyoto with the Hojo family
was forfeited by this procedure, and in March, 1590, an army of over
two hundred thousand men was set in motion for the Kwanto.
Hideyoshi's troops moved in three columns. One, commanded by Ieyasu,
marched by the seacoast road, the Tokaido; another, under Uesugi
Kagekatsu and Maeda Toshiiye, marched by the mountain road, the
Tosando, and the third attacked from the sea. None of these armies
encountered any very serious resistance. The first approached Odawara
by the Hakone range and the second by way of the Usui pass. The
castle at Odawara, however, was so strongly built and so stoutly held
that its capture by storm seemed impossible, and Hideyoshi's forces
were obliged to have recourse to a regular siege which lasted nearly
four months.



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