: Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan ( ): Eiji Yoshikawa, William Scott Wilson: Books. Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa – EPUB and MOBI formats. Book Description: In the tempestuous closing decades of the sixteenth century, the Empire. As recounted by Eiji Yoshikawa, author of the international best-seller Musashi, Taiko tells many stories: of the fury of Nobunaga and the fatal arrogance of the.
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Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan – Eiji Yoshikawa – Google Books
Goodreads helps you keep track yozhikawa books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview Twiko a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa. William Scott Wilson Translator.
In the tempestuous closing decades of the sixteenth century, the Empire of Japan writhes in chaos as the shogunate crumbles and rival warlords battle for supremacy. Warrior monks in their armed citadels block the road to the capital; castles are destroyed, villages plundered, fields put to the torch. Amid this devastation, three men dream of uniting the nation.
At one extre In the tempestuous closing decades of the sixteenth century, the Empire of Japan writhes in chaos as the shogunate crumbles and rival warlords battle for supremacy. At one extreme is the charismatic but brutal Nobunaga, whose ruthless euji crushes all before him. At the opposite pole is the cold, deliberate Ieyasu, wise in counsel, brave in battle, mature beyond his years. But the keystone of this triumvirate is the most memorable of all, Hideyoshi, who rises from the menial post of sandal bearer to become Taiko-absolute ruler of Japan in the Emperor’s name.
When Nobunaga emerges from obscurity by destroying an army ten times the size of his own, he allies himself with Ieyasu, whose province is weak, but whose canniness and loyalty make him invaluable. Yet it is the scrawny, monkey-faced Hideyoshi-brash, impulsive, and utterly fearless-who becomes the unlikely savior of this ravaged land. Born the son of a farmer, he takes on the world with nothing but his bare hands and his wits, turning doubters into loyal twiko, rivals into faithful friends, and enemies into allies.
In all this he uses a piercing insight into human nature that unlocks castle gates, opens men’s minds, and captures women’s hearts. For Hideyoshi’s passions are not limited to war and intrigue-his faithful wife, Nene, holds his love dear, even when she must share it; the chaste Oyu, sister of Hideyoshi’s chief strategist, falls prey to his desires; and the seductive Chacha, whom he rescues from the fiery destruction of her father’s castle, tempts his weakness.
As recounted by Eiji Yoshikawa, author of the international best-seller MusashiTaiko tells many stories: Most of all, though, Taiko is the story of how one man transformed a nation through the force of his will and the depth of his humanity.
Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan
Filled 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 vivid evocation of feudal Japan.
Hardcoverpages. Published January 16th by Kodansha first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Taikoplease sign up. I have a problem with names in other languages. Does this book have a list of the characters’ names and who the are in the front to refer to? Conina Yes, it does. In every new chapter there’s a list with the active characters. See all 4 questions about Taiko…. Lists with This Book. Oct 13, Philipp rated it really liked it Shelves: You know there used to be this thing in Japan called the “Sengoku” period which was basically civil war all over the place, the Shogun was kind of a loser and every lord of any clan tried to become the leader of Japan.
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This book is a fictionalized account of the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the guy who finally united the country, first under Oda Nobunaga and later on by himself. Because that life was long and complicated the book is with pages big enough to kill a cat, there’s enough Japanese You know there used to be this thing in Japan called the “Sengoku” period which was basically civil war all over the place, the Shogun was kind of a loser and every lord of any clan tried to become the leader of Japan.
Because that life was long and complicated the book is with pages big enough to kill a cat, there’s enough Japanese names to confuse any non-Japanese person how many names are there? Even the main guy’s name changes three times!
The book details the life of Hideyoshi from son of a poor country warrior, to wandering salesman, to personal page, to soldier, to leader of a regiment, to trusted retainer to finally leader of the entire clan. There’s a billion small stories about a country which attitudes are completely alien to me, one example is: Hideyoshi is laying siege to a castle, the enemy’s leader doesn’t want to give in, Hideyoshi doesn’t want to lose thousands of soldiers in storming the castle, so he has a messenger approach the enemy general directly, asking him to commit suicide so that Hideyoshi can take the castle and everyone can safely go home.
The general happily agrees after all, his family and soldiers don’t have to die, and he doesn’t loose facehe commits ritual suicide on a boat in front of witnesses, everybody is happy and the campaign can continue.
It’s weird, but interesting.
The style may not be anyone’s cup of tea, here’s a pretty central paragraph: How boring would be a life lacking the confusions of many digressions or the difficult struggles! How soon would a man grow tired of living if he only walked peacefully along a level path. In the end, a man’s life lies in a yoshikasa series of hardships and struggles, and the pleasure of living is not in the short spaces of rest. As you can see, it’s a very “grandiose” style, but one that I find makes it relatively easy to read, yosbikawa me about 2 weeks to read the entire book.
There are a couple of downsides – I don’t think Hideyoshi makes a single mistake in the entire book, which I find hard to believe, and judging from the Wikipedia-article on him it looks like his life isn’t that well documented that you can safely say “these things actually happened”. He’s got a couple of mistresses but that’s all the “bad” there is to him, the rest of the story he’s the most perfect human being imaginable, which makes it boring here and there. One interesting side-effect is that you learn so much about warfare in Japan of the 15th and 16th century that the entire movie ykshikawa Last Samurai” is revealed as the complete bollocks that it is.
Shogun Not recommended for: View all 8 comments. Jul 31, Barry rated it it was amazing. I read Taiko for the first time more than twenty years ago and enjoyed it enormously as you might suspect, since I have chosen to read it again. To some extent, reading this book a second time was in preparation for a trip to Japan that Claudia and I will take a bit down the road.
To that end, Taiko contains a great deal of Japanese history since it is a novel based on the life of one of the three great unifiers of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
It also describes many elements of Japanese culture th I read Taiko for the first time more than twenty years ago and enjoyed it enormously as you might suspect, since I have chosen to read it again.
It also describes many elements of Japanese culture that are still alive today. Although I am far from an expert on Japan, I have been there a dozen times, primarily on business, and have had the opportunity to learn a little about a culture vastly different from the one in which I have lived most of my life.
Taiko follows Hideyoshi from the time that he was a very young boy in a small village in Central Japan until his efforts to unify Japan ultimately succeeded when he 50 tailo old. I won’t yoshiiawa to summarize the book – the print edition is pages – because it might take more than the 20, characters I am allotted for this review.
Hideyoshi’s yaiko was a samurai disabled in battle and unable to work so the burden of providing for the family fell on his mother. As a result, Hideyoshi grew up very poor yoehikawa had to earn a living at a very young age. His progression through many positions in life is artfully described providing the reader with a detailed picture of his development.
Although focussing primarily on one man, Taiko paints an incredibly detailed portrait of feudal Japan during the time that war between clans was continuous and alliances forged and broken on a daily basis. But more than simply describing the many battles and campaigns, it provides a view into the emotional side of life for warring samurai.
Enduring relationships between people are woven through the entire book as the author, Eiji Yoshikawa, goes well beyond recorded history and imagines the inner feelings of the leaders, the warriors and the women of the time. The result of this is a set of primary characters yoshiikawa are truly three dimensional and who develop over time.
This is not say that battles were overlooked – quite to the contrary, yoshikawx were described in exceptional detail, perhaps too much for some readers but the fact is that battles between clans were an almost everyday part of life. An aspect of Taiko that I enjoyed was Yoshikawa’s description takko the changes taking place in samurai behavior. For example, the typical practice of shouting one’s own yaiko and clan before killing an opponent was beginning to disappear. By the time one finished his oration, his opponent who chose not to do so, may have won the contest.
Each section of the book was preceded by a list of the key characters and places but, frankly, there were so many that I badly failed to keep them straight. In fact, many samurai were only mentioned once or twice.
I was able to remember those characters and places that were mentioned frequently. After I stopped trying to keep every character straight, in my rapidly deteriorating mind, I was able to enjoy the book far more. If you enjoy historical novels describing conquest and civil war, you may well enjoy Taiko. I am four books into Conn Iggulden’s five volume series on Genghis Khan so, as you can well see, I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to such books.
Nonetheless, I eagerly looked forward to getting back to the book each evening during my customary reading time from If you don’t truly enjoy such books, this is just not one you should undertake. So, if you chose to read Taiko, make sure you find an edition that is less flawed.
View all 7 comments. Oct 20, Farhan Sani rated it it was amazing. Based on true story of Hideyoshi, the taiko, the ruler of japan on behalf of the emperor at feudal era. A fascinating story about a person who struggles from zero to hero, and yet still very “human” which his strengths and weaknesses. This book, together with “Musashi”, indeed made me, until now, eager to learn anything related with japan.
Not mentioning that currently I am working in a japanese company: View all 6 comments. Sep 29, Sean rated it really liked it. Taiko is an epic: If you’ve got a serious interest in Sengoku period Japan, this book is essential: For me, it pieced a lot of random knowledge together into a refreshingly coherent narrative.
It is also an incredible human novel. Hideyoshi was not a macho warrior: And that did not merely help him keep abreast with his peers: If you’re a fan of any of the other greats of the period–the impetuous Oda Nobunaga, the devoted but conflicted Maeda Toshiie Maeda Inuchiyoor the brooding Tokugawa Ieyasu, for example–you will not be disappointed, as they get plenty of stage time as well.