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

Within the tempestuous final a long time of the 16th century, the Empire of Japan writhes in chaos because the shogunate crumbles and rival warlords conflict for supremacy. Warrior clergymen 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 tips, 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 put up of sandal bearer to turn into Taiko-absolute ruler of Japan within the Emperor's identify.

When Nobunaga emerges from obscurity by way of destroying a military ten instances the dimensions of his personal, he allies himself with Ieyasu, whose province is vulnerable, yet whose canniness and loyalty make him worthwhile. but it's the scrawny, monkey-faced Hideyoshi-brash, impulsive, and totally fearless-who turns into the not likely savior of this ravaged land. Born the son of a farmer, he's taking at the global with not anything yet his naked fingers and his wits, turning doubters into unswerving servants, opponents into devoted buddies, 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 are usually not restricted to warfare and intrigue-his trustworthy spouse, Nene, holds his love pricey, even if she needs to proportion 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 fortress, tempts his weak spot.

As mentioned by way of Eiji Yoshikawa, writer of the overseas best-seller Musashi, Taiko tells many tales: of the fury of Nobunaga and the deadly conceitedness 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, notwithstanding, Taiko is the tale of the way one guy reworked a kingdom during the strength of his will and the intensity of his humanity. choked 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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Hachiman! Victory! " whilst the horses had under the influence of alcohol their fill of water, the youngsters threw plants at them, too, cheering them on. A samurai status beside his horse noticed Hiyoshi and referred to as, "Yaemon's son! How is your mom? " "Who, me? " Hiyoshi walked as much as the guy and regarded immediately up at him along with his dirty face. With a nod, the guy placed his hand on Hiyoshi's sweaty head. The samurai was once not more than two decades previous. considering this guy had simply come from conflict, and feeling weight of the hand in its chain-mail gauntlet on his head, Hiyoshi was once beaten by way of a sense of glory. Does my family members particularly comprehend any such samurai? he puzzled. His acquaintances, who coated up within sight, gazing him, might see how proud he used to be. "You're Hiyoshi, are usually not you? " "Yes. " "A reliable identify. sure, an exceptional identify. " The younger samurai gave Hiyoshi's head a last pat, then struck the waistband of his leather-based armor and straightened up a piece, learning Hiyoshi's face all of the whereas. whatever lade him chortle. Hiyoshi was once quickly to make buddies, in spite of adults. To have his head touched by means of a stranger—and a warrior at that—made his significant eyes shine with delight. He quick grew to become his traditional talkative self. "But you recognize, no one calls me Hiyoshi. the one ones who do are my mom and dad. " "Because of what you appear to be, i guess. " "A monkey? " "Well, it is stable that you simply comprehend it. " "That's what all people calls me. " "Ha, ha! " The samurai had a noisy voice and fun to check. the opposite males joined the laughter, whereas Hiyoshi, attempting to glance bored, took a millet stalk from his jacket and commenced chewing on it. The grassy-smelling juice within the stalk tasted candy. He carelessly spat out the chewed-up stalk. "How previous are you? " "Six. " "Is that so? " "Sir, the place are you from? " "I comprehend your mom good. " "Huh? " "Your mother's more youthful sister frequently involves my apartment. if you happen to pass domestic, provide my regards for your mom. inform her Kato Danjo needs her stable health and wellbeing. " whilst the remaining holiday was once over, the warriors and horses received again in line and crossed the shallows of the Shonai River. With a backward look, Danjo fast fixed his horse. donning his sword and armor, he radiated an air of the Aristocracy and tool. "Tell her that once the fighting's over, i will be preventing via Yaemon's. " Danjo gave a yell, spurred his horse, and entered the river's shallows to meet up with the road. White water lapped at his horse's legs. Hiyoshi, remnants of the millet juice nonetheless in his mouth, gazed after him as though in a trance. * * * each journey she made to the garage shed left Hiyoshi's mom sorely depressed. She went there to fetch pickles, grain, or firewood, and used to be constantly reminded that provides usually ran out. taking into consideration the long run introduced a lump to her throat. there have been in basic terms the kids, Hiyoshi, six, and his nine-year-old sister, Otsumi—neither, after all, the right age to do any actual paintings. Her husband, wounded in conflict, used to be in a position to not anything yet sitting by means of the fireplace and staring into the distance underneath the striking teakettle, even in summer season while there has been no hearth.

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