By Donald Richie
The personal collections of longtime Japan resident Donald Richie trap the personalities of convinced jap people--some recognized, a few unknown--with perception and humor. Richie, who considers himself a foreigner regardless of dwelling in Japan for over fifty three years, is a prepared observer of human nature. In Japanese Portraits, he offers a chic and perceptive imaginative and prescient of Japan via exact, intimate pix of standard and amazing eastern humans. images comprise such impressive jap as acclaimed filmmakers Akira Kurowasa and Yasujiro Ozu, famed novelist Yukio Mishima, and celebrated actor Toshiro Mifune.
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Additional resources for Japanese Portraits: Pictures of Different People (Tuttle Classics)
Why was Oda Nobunaga such a successful conqueror? Because he was unconventional. To begin with, he did not rely on traditional samurai armies, mounted on costly horses, wielding expensive swords and wearing fancy lacquered armor. Instead he based his army upon the lowly ashigaru, the foot soldier. They could be easily recruited from the peasantry, they were cheap to arm, and they were easy to train. Second, Nobunaga’s forces were highly mobile. By improving roads, building bridges, and installing troop-ferrying ships on Lake Biwa, Nobunaga was able to move his armies around central Honshu with a speed that confounded his enemies.
Hideyoshi’s boundless confidence and ambition certainly had a good deal to do with the decision. But there was also a measure of strategic reasoning involved. To seize Korea was merely to chip a piece off the periphery of the Chinese empire, a piece that would likely cost him a good deal in men and wealth. After the task was complete, he would then have to rebuild his army before setting out to chip off another piece elsewhere. On the other hand, if he sent his forces in a rapid thrust through Korea to take Beijing, the entire world that the Ming Chinese presided over would fall to him.
If such concerns were in Hideyoshi’s mind—and it is hard to believe they were not—then to extend his conquests overseas might have been seen as a logical response. By replacing the goal of national unification with Asian domination, Hideyoshi could keep his daimyo busy serving his will rather than their own (with the promise, of course, of huge new territories to be divided up) and the people and resources in their domains working hard to achieve his new national purpose. In this way internal stability could be maintained and time purchased for Hideyoshi and his heirs to solidify their grip on the country.