The Era of Wars
 One Nation

Unlike Nobunaga before him, Hideyoshi grew tired of the influence of foreigners in Japan. Even though he ordered all Jesuits out of Japan in 1587, the Jesuits continued to influence the politics and society of medieval Japan for the next 30 years. For example, during the 1590’s Western art, clothing, artifacts, and books served as the social fad in Japan. Furthermore, between 1591 and 1610 the Jesuits introduced moveable type to Japan and printed over 50 books. Arguably the most important thing the Jesuits introduced (to the power hungry Hideyoshi’s delight, no doubt) was Western Style Artillery in the 1580’s. Projectile incendiary mortar shells rendered all previously constructed Japanese military fortifications obsolete in a matter of years. Unfortunately, these expensive, powerful weapons were not brought over in quantities large enough to strongly shift the state of war to any side.

Subsequently, castles, which had long since become obsolete in Europe due to Artillery, flourished during the 1600’s. The idea of the cannon and other artillery did not bode with Japanese cultural perceptions of war.  Samurai preferred light, mobile, fast acting weapons such as arrows, swords (both wooden and metal), and guns. It wouldn’t be until the Meji Restoration that Japan truly opened itself to the fighting machines of the west - primitive Battleships known as Ironclads, Gunboats, Heavy Artillery, Explosives, and later, Airplanes, and Advanced Battleships (during World War II, the Japanese built the most advanced Battleship of the War - The Yamato).  Hideyoshi’s edict of eviction was largely ignored until 1597, when he began harshly ordering missionaries to leave Japan.  This practice continued until about 1640 when this grim period of Japanese history came to a close.