Timeline of Hideyoshi Toyotomi's Life

From Peasant to Taiko

• 1467-1590 – Sengoku, or “Warring States” period in Japan. Begins with Onin War (1467-77), and ends when Hideyoshi unifies Japan.

• March 26, 1537 – Hideyoshi (birth name "Hiyoshimaru") born in Nakamura, Owari region, to peasant parents

• Date unknown – Young Hiyoshimaru sent to study at a temple, but runs off to find adventure.

• (?) 1557 – “Kinoshita Tokichiro” (Hideyoshi) returns to Owari, joins Oda clan service.

• 1560 – Battle of Okehazama, Oda Nobunaga defeats Imagawa Yoshimoto. Hideyoshi is Nobunaga’s sandal-bearer.

• 1561 – Hideyoshi marries One (also called Nene).

• 1561 – Hideyoshi and brother Hidenaga capture and repair Sunomata Castle

• 1564 – Hideyoshi convinces (bribes?) Mino warlords to submit to Oda clan, and desert the Saito family.

• 1567 – Hideyoshi becomes Oda clan general after capturing Inabayama Castle for Nobunaga

• 1567 – Hideyoshi takes name “Hashiba Hideyoshi.”

• 1570 – Hashiba Hideyoshi teams with Tokugawa Ieyasu against Azai and Asakura clans at Battle of Anegawa.

• 1573 – Nobunaga awards Hideyoshi daimyo-ship of three districts in Omi Province after fall of Azai and Asakura clans.

• 1573 – Hideyoshi becomes friends with Sen no Rikyu, master of tea ceremony, and awards him an estate.

• 1576 – Hideyoshi begins campaign to conquer western Japan for Nobunaga. Seizes Kozuki and Sayo Castles; Kuroda clan gives him Himeji Castle.

• 1577 – Makes base of operations at Himeji Castle, begins long fight against Mori clan.

• April 1582 – Hideyoshi besieges Takamatsu Castle, Mori clan stronghold.

• June 21, 1582 – Oda Nobunaga forced to commit seppuku by Akechi Mitsuhide at Honnon-ji.

• Late June 1582 – Hideyoshi quickly finishes conquest of Takamatsu Castle before news of Nobunaga’s death can get out.

• Late June 1582 – Hideyoshi makes peace with Moris, rushes to avenge Nobunaga’s death.

• July 2, 1582 – Hideyoshi hurries to Kyoto, defeats Akechi Mitsuhide at two-hour Battle of Yamazaki. He presents Akechi’s head at Nobunaga’s grave.

• May 1583 – Battle of Shizugatake, Hideyoshi destroys Oda general Shibata Katsuie’s army; Katsuie commits seppuku.

• 1583 – Hideyoshi begins construction on Osaka Castle, after Oda destroyed Ishiyama Honganji temple.

• March 13 to April 10, 1584 – Battle of Komaki and Nagakute, Hideyoshi versus Oda Nobukatsu (son of Nobunaga) and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Inconclusive.

• 1584 – Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu make truce. Hideyoshi gives Ieyasu his mother and sister as hostages; Ieyasu becomes Hideyoshi’s vassal.

• April 1585 – Hideyoshi defeats Negoroji and Saiga warrior-monks of Kii.

• August 6, 1585 – Hashiba Hideyoshi first non-Fujiwara clan member to become kampaku, or regent for the emperor of Japan.

• August 1585 – 48-year-old Hideyoshi arranges to be adopted by Konoe Sakihisa, a nobleman with Fujiwara blood.

• November 1585 – Hideyoshi hosts Grand Kitano Tea Ceremony to show off his cultural attainments, serves over 800 people.

• September 29, 1586 – Hideyoshi awarded noble name Toyotomi (“Bountiful Minister”) by imperial court.

• 1587 – Hideyoshi Toyotomi builds Jurakudai, lavish residence in Kyoto.

• 1587 – Hideyoshi conquers Kii Province, Shikoku and Kyushu Islands

• July 24, 1587 – Kampaku Hideyoshi bans Christian missionaries from Kyushu; they have 20 days to leave.

• May 9-13, 1588 – Hideyoshi entertains Emperor Go-Yozei at Jurkudai.

• 1588 – Hideyoshi decrees separation of classes; only samurai can own swords or other weapons. Institutes “sword hunt” (katana kari) to confiscate swords from peasantry.

• May to August 12, 1590 – Siege of Odawara, Hideyoshi defeats northern Hojo clan and unifies Japan. End of Sengoku.

• 1591 – Hideyoshi issues Edict on Changing Status, which ends social mobility, crystallizing Japan’s 4-tier social system.

• April 21, 1591 – Hideyoshi orders 70-year-old master of tea ceremony Sen no Rikyu to commit seppuku.

• September 1591 – Three-year-old Tsurumatsu Toyotomi, Hideyoshi’s only son, dies.

• 1591 – Hideyoshi’s half-brother Hidenaga dies

• January 1592 – Hideyoshi names nephew Hidetsugu as heir, adopts him.

• February 11, 1592 – Hidetsugu becomes kampaku; Hideyoshi retires and becomes taiko (“retired regent”), but still holds reins of power.

• May 23, 1592 – Hideyoshi launches first invasion of Korea, intent on conquering China.

• June 10, 1592 – Seoul falls to the Japanese; Korean King Seonjo escapes north.

• July 3, 1592 – Battle of Hansan-do, Korean Admiral Yi Sun Shin destroys Japanese fleet.

• July 24, 1592 – Hideyoshi’s army captures Pyongyang; Korean court flees to Chinese border.

• 1592 – Construction begins on Fushimi Castle, aka Momoyama, Hideyoshi’s gold-plated retirement home.

• 1593 – China’s Wanli Emperor sends troops to Korea; with Koreans, drive Japanese from Pyongyang and Seoul.

• 1593 – Hideyoshi’s invasion ends in stalemate; cease-fire, and Japanese troops return to Japan

• 1593 – Son Hideyori born to Hideyoshi and a concubine. Taiko exiles nephew/adopted heir Hidetsugu to Mount Koya.

• 1594 – Taiko performs in noh plays about his own life in Kyoto.

• August 1595 – Hideyoshi orders nephew/heir Hidetsugu to commit suicide. Hidetsugu’s family in Kyoto wiped out, including 31 women and numerous children.

• March, 1597 – Hideyoshi orders second invasion of Korea. Troops stall in southern coastal Gyeongsang province.

• September 19, 1597 – Admiral Yi Sun Shin defeats 133 Japanese ships with 16 Korean and Chinese vessels in “Miracle at Myongyang.”

• June 1598 – Hideyoshi recognizes that Ming Chinese regulars and Korean guerrilla fighters have defeated Japanese army.

• September 18, 1598 – Toyotomi Hideyoshi dies. Council of Five Elders keeps his death a secret.

• Late October, 1598 – Council orders Japanese troops to withdraw from Korea.

• December 16, 1598 – Battle of Noryang, final battle of Imjin War; Admiral Yi Sun Shin dies just before Korean/Chinese naval victory over Japan.

• October 21, 1600 – Battle of Sekigahara. Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats Toyotomi clan and 5-year-old Hideyori.

• 1603 – Tokugawa Ieyasu becomes shogun. The Tokugawa Shogunate would last until 1868.

• June 5, 1615 – Siege of Osaka Castle; Hideyori’s forces defeated by Tokugawas, Hideyori commits seppuku amidst fiery castle ruins. His 8-year-old son, last of the Toyotomis, is beheaded.