In the 16th century, Japan joined the nations that tried to found an empire overseas. For nearly 200 years, rival warlords had carved the country into ever-smaller slices. The feuding brought fragmentation, anarchy and ruin.
But one who helped restore order was Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a peasant soldier known as "the Bald Rat" who completed the unification effort begun by Oda Nobunaga.
Hideyoshi's achievement was such that he came to be worshipped as an architect and rebuilder of Japan.
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