Robert Oxnam :: The
unification of Japan at the turn of the seventeenth century was a crucial
event. It brought an end to a hundred years of warfare and to the constant
military struggles among the feudal lords or daimyo.
Three famous daimyo spearheaded the unification in the late sixteenth century.
And then, after the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, one man took control
of all Japan. He was Tokugawa Ieyasu, who became shogun in 1603.
While the Tokugawa period is well known as a long era of peace, perhaps
we'd better understand these 250 years by focusing on two themes: order and
change. Both sides of the Tokugawa years were crucial to the later making
of modern Japan.
Carol Gluck :: The Tokugawa period in itself,
if I were to sum it up, would be characterized first by the word "order," stability.
The Tokugawa system had a penchant for order.
H. Paul Varley :: The central thought in the minds
of the Tokugawa rulers was to prevent the country from lapsing into the kind of
conflict that had existed. There was more fighting in Japan during the sixteenth
century than anywhere else in the world. And the rulers of the Tokugawa were determined
that that would not happen again.