Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When Hideyoshi wanted to invade Korea, the Tokugawa clan noticeably stayed out of the conflict. What were the reasons for them doing so?

share|improve this question
    
Got a link for "noticeably stayed out of the conflict"? I doubt I can provide an answer, but its been fun reading up on it. My guess would be it was political. Hideyoshi was old by this time, so if they thought things were likely to go badly, being the leaders in the opposition from the get-go might give them enough prestige to help gain the Shogunate (which they did indeed get about 5 years later). –  T.E.D. Jul 11 '12 at 19:15
1  
Well, on the Wikipedia article, it says that "he wisely kept his soldiers out of Hideyoshi's campaign in Korea." and "The Tokugawa samurai never took part in this campaign". However, it didn't say why he didn't take part though. –  Ken Li Jul 11 '12 at 19:46
    
OK. There is sort of kind of a link to that part of the wiki page. If that's the best you have, that's the best you have. I've added it for you. –  T.E.D. Jul 11 '12 at 20:00
add comment

1 Answer 1

Addressing the link you cited, Tokugawa Ieyasu taking no part in fighting is not the same as opposing the war in general. In fact, Ieyasu was the one who proposed the invasion strategy that Hideyoshi adopted. When combat operations began, Tokugawa troops were part of the reserves who stayed in Kyushu. But, as you said, whether or not Ieyasu actually opposed Hideyoshi's plan, he definitely ended up staying out of the fighting.

The immediate (and official) reason is because the Tokugawa clan is occupied. Keep in mind Ieyasu had only just been relocated to the newly vacated lands of the the Hojo clan. Hideyoshi's (ultimately failed) move uprooted the Tokugawa clan from their native land, and forced them to under the difficult process of integrating themselves into the Kanto provinces. Not only did Ieyasu now need to settle his retainers and their families, he also have to establish an administration in his new territories. Furthermore, he would have to pacify the provinces.

Moreover, not only did the Tokugawa clan face a great deal of work, having been generously rewarded already they also cannot expect to be rewarded with any more land. This contrasts with the western daimyos, who were looking forward to being rewarded with Korean conquests. Expending soldiers in that war thus would have been a waste for Tokugawa ambitions. Fortunately, because of Hideyoshi's ill-fated gift, Ieyasu could plead to be exempted from military service using the home front's difficulties as an excuse.

So while the western daimyos whittled their strength away on the fields of Korea for eight bloody years, the Tokugawa armies rested and managed their territoy of Kanto into the basis for their later victory over the Toyotomi clan.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.