"If the cuckoo does not sing, make it sing."
The second of the unifying warlords of Japan and a prime example of Rags to Riches
. Born Kinoshita Tokichiro, he began his career as the sandal-bearer of Oda Nobunaga
. He was eventually drafted into Nobunaga's army, changed his name to Hashiba Hideyoshi, and used his resourcefulness to become a valuable asset. When Nobunaga was murdered, Hideyoshi had the good fortune to intercept his killer, Akechi Mitsuhide
, first and annihilated his army. From that point on, Hideyoshi continued Nobunaga's conquest and succeeded in unifying Japan. He changed his name to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and became known as the Taiko (since he was of lower class stock, he could not become Shogun). As if that wasn't enough, shortly after unifying Japan, Hideyoshi tried conquering Korea, but that failed spectacularly. He died of sickness, and from that stems the conflict that would lead to the famous Battle of Sekigahara, which ends with Hideyoshi's subordinate Tokugawa Ieyasu
victorious and replaces Hideyoshi's family in ruling Japan.
As noted, Hideyoshi is most known for his resourcefulness and his ability to manipulate events. Some historians to this day still
argue that he might be The Starscream
, and that Mitsuhide's betrayal was secretly engineered by Hideyoshi. That being said, props should be given that he actually succeeded in unifying Japan and actually did good to his people's welfare. Too bad that his dynasty didn't last past two generations, his failure at the Korean Campaign was credited as one of the reasons why and it left a sour note to his legacy.
His nickname was 'monkey'. Usual portrayal would depict him being a Manipulative Bastard
or a wannabe schemer. He's also included in one issue of Badass of the Week
Due to his invasion of Korea, naturally Koreans hate him a lot
Examples of works featuring Hideyoshi:
- The famous novel Taiko. Chronicles with the life and times of Hideyoshi, from sandal-bearer to the Japanese unifier.
- Sengoku Rance where he's... a literal monkey. He's also directly responsible for the Demonic Possession of Nobunaga as a catastrophic Spanner in the Works.
- Of course, KOEI's Samurai Warriors. Hideyoshi starts out as a smug sleazeball NPC in the first game, but at the first expansion, he's given a more sympathetic personality where he really wants to make Japan a place for happy people. That trait sticks to his future portrayals. Although he looks more of a goofball in future games...
- Warriors Orochi is also notable of his inclusion, especially in the English version, whereas his voice now literally sounds like Bugs Bunny trying to sound like a monkey. Eww...
- In the Nobunaga's Ambition crossover with the Pokémon series, Pokémon Conquest, Hideyoshi appears with an Infernape (and through DLC Reshiram).
- The Onimusha series. Hideyoshi starts out as Nobunaga's smug henchman. But when Nobunaga dies, Hideyoshi Took a Level in Badass and unifies Japan off-screen. Then come the 4th game, he became the Big Bad using the Genma forces to wreak havoc. However, he did get an Alas, Poor Villain moment when the Genma forces ditched him and he realized that he's done something horrible, meaning, there was a time that Hideyoshi had a genuine Heel-Face Turn...
- The Sengoku Basara series. Forget about scrawny monkey-like Hideyoshi and say hello to gorilla-sized Hideyoshi who fights with huge grappling gauntlets and solves all problems by punching them. Hard. If that fails, grab a nearby mook (usually a hostile one but friendly ones will do), then bludgeon the problem at hand with said mook. Instead of a Smug Snake, he becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist who'd do ruthless things to shape Japan into a strong nation. To put it simply, he's a Captain Ersatz of Raoh.
- In Age of Empires II's special mission, you actually control Hideyoshi's forces trying to beat down Mitsuhide after he killed Nobunaga. There's also a mission where the player must prevent Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea.
- Hideyoshi makes an appearence in Genzo without playing a major role. Here he looks like a monkey dressed as a samurai.
- Hideyoshi (or rather, Yoshino Hide) is the main character of Sengoku Otome, here gender flipped into a young, somewhat clumsy girl with blond hair who gets thrown into the past, and may very well becomes the actual Hideyoshi.
- Hideyoshi is one of the main players in Hyouge Mono. He is a friend and fellow tea enthusiast of main character Sasuke, and is also a deft manipulator who conspires to overthrow Oda Nobunaga by turning his vassals and generals against him.
- Hideyoshi is a teenager that meets Raimon 11 in Inazuma Eleven Go Chrono Stone after they traveled to the past. He idolizes Oda Nobunaga and wishes to fight by his side.
- In Oda Nobuna no Yabou, Hideyoshi dies saving the main character's life at the very beginning of the series, leaving him to serve Oda Nobuna under the "Monkey" nickname.
- In The 39 Clues, he is really Thomas Cahill, the founder of the Tomas branch.