Ep. 5: Overthrow Your Superiors: Samurai Japan and the Rise of Hideyoshi

Before you listen…

The samurai era conjures up many ideas for most of us: honor codes, poetry, tradition, and splendid warriors with legendary swords. This image was never truly accurate, but it was gone by the 1540s. The once-glorious capital was half in ashes, the old lords had nearly all been destroyed, and the country had been in anarchy for two generations. It was a time of total disaster, but also a time in which the class structure was fluid enough that a simple peasant would rise in time to reunify Japan, restore the prestige of the samurai … and erase any opportunity for men like him to do the same again.

Check out this episode!

For Further Awesome Reading….

Hideyoshi by Mary Elizabeth Berry

The best and most expert source for the true history of the life of the great man, as well as the greater context of the Japan that had come before him and the Japan in which he lived.

A History of Japan 1334 – 1615 by George Sansom

Sansom was a beast at narrative history in the old style, when the idea was to tell the story of the facts in a compelling way rather than to get yourself published for saying something, anything, new. This is my main reference for the whole fascinating period from the ascendancy of the first Shogunate to the dawn of the last.

Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan by Eiji Yoshikawa

For fun, high drama, visual detail, and a more immersive reading experience, this historical fiction biography of Hideyoshi is a great read!

Support the Edge of History podcast!

You can support our podcast by downloading on iTunes, subscribing and leaving a review. The Centurion reads every single one!

Share it on social media using the links at the bottom of this post. Also, use our Amazon links on the book title or picture to check out and purchase a book or finish your other shopping on Amazon. When you click the link, all of your other shopping supports the podcast whether you buy a book or not.

Thank you!


Edge of History podcast is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


Leave a Reply