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Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan
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Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  2,405 ratings  ·  219 reviews
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 extr
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Hardcover, 940 pages
Published January 16th 2001 by Kodansha (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Philipp
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.

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 944 pages big enough to kill a cat, there's enough Japanese
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Farhan Sani
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. its culture, spirit, people, way of life, language...anything.
Not mentioning that currently I am working in a japanese company :)
Dhieta
Novel ini mengambil seting Jepang zaman dahulu ketika keshogunan dalam masa kritis dan peperangan perebutan kekuasaan terjadi di mana – mana. Cerita dimulai dari tahun Temmon kelima, 1536, yaitu masa ketika Kinoshita Hiyoshi menjalani masa kanak – kanaknya yang berat. Setelah ayahnya meninggal, ibu Hiyoshi menikah dengan Chikuami. Hubungan Hiyoshi dengan ayah tiri yang memanggilnya Saru ini tidak baik, sehingga Hiyoshi dikirim ke kuil untuk belajar, namun dipulangkan karena berbuat kenakalan. Ak ...more
Bryan
Jul 03, 2010 Bryan added it
Great Story; Somewhat Difficult Read: This is a story of feudal Japan and unification of the clannish and war torn country by a once poor, downtrodden commoner who became Taiko (supreme ruler) through a series of battles and diplomatic strategies.

The story is captivating and the subject matter is rich with possibility. However, there are two main shortcomings with the novel that I believe detract from what could have been a five star effort:

1. The virtual avalanche of Japanese names, for both
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Sean
Taiko is an epic: prepare for a long, long 1,000 page journey.

If you've got a serious interest in Sengoku period Japan, this book is essential: it walks you through the life of a samurai--in many ways the most successful samurai ever--and gives you a front-row ticket to the great battles of the period. 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: what made him a great general w
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nanto
Saya dulu pernah membaca beberapa jilid novel Musashi. Waktu itu bacanya karena tukar pinjam sama seorang teman. Saya punya novel silat lokal, Wiro Sableng, dia punya novel fiksi sejarah dari Jepun itu. Terakhir kemaren dapat lemparan buku dari Andri. Buku The Swordless Samurai yang bercerita mengenai sosok Hideyoshi. Lalu, saat Kopdar Goodreads di Rawamangung kemarin, saya berbincang-bincang dengan Haikal mengenai buku The Swordless Samurai itu. Di situ saya mengungkapkan kelebihan dan kekurang ...more
Rick
Eiji Yoshikawa’s historical novel TAIKO chronicles the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the 16th-century unifier of Japan.

Of humble origins, Hideyoshi found a way to attach himself to the court of the powerful Oda Nobunaga. Starting in the most menial positions, the brilliant, energetic and ambitious Hideyoshi excelled at every task and gradually worked his way up to become Nobunaga’s top general. After Nobunaga’s death, he succeeded in unifying Japan, completing the task Nobunaga had started.

The nov
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Shan Vrolijk
Dec 25, 2011 Shan Vrolijk is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Antara Taiko dan Inggit Ganarsih

Taiko, julukan bagi Kinoshita Hideyoshi, telah menjadi pembicaraan yang legendaris. Bagaimana seorang Taiko yang dulunya hanya anak petani miskin berwajah monyet, akhirnya mengubah tak hanya hidupnya tapi juga seluruh Jepang. Figur Taiko yang bisa mengubah dirinya dengan belajar dengan tekun membuatku terkagum-kagum, sampai aku berjanji aku harus bisa seperti Hideyoshi: nggak kenal lelah, nggak kenal waktu, aku bakal terus belajar.

Novel setebal 1142 halaman ini t
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Max Fallon
It took me over a year to read this epic. Partly because I was busy and partly because there were a few parts of the story that were a struggle to get through. However the main reason it took so long is that I didn't want it to end.

This is probably a novel more for the Japanese history buff, or the samurai nerd, however, like other Eji Yoshikawa novels like Musashi, there is a lot of practical wisdom in there, particularly for those interested in long-range strategy.

This is the story of the rise
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Isnaini Nuri
Whuahhh,,,hilang semua review gara2 inet ngerror :(
Padahal udah nulis panjang bangettttt.... T,T
Jadi singkat ajah lah....

bagaimana jika seekor burung berkicau?

Nobunaga menjawab "Bunuh saja!"
Hideyoshi menjawab "Buat burung itu ingin berkicau"
Ieyasu menjawab "Tunggu"

dari jawaban ketiga orang tersebut terlihat bagaimana sifat ketiga tokoh besar zaman keshogunan Jepang tersebut.

Oda Nobunaga, sang penguasa Oda, brutal, gegabah, tegas
Dalam menjalankan strategi militer dia mengandalkan keberaniannya. T
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George
An absolute must read for anyone who want to see Sun Tzu's Art Of War in practice.

This book gives an accurate picture of the waring period of japan, when provincial warlords vied for the title of shogun. The book follows the struggle of Hideyoshi in his attempt to become a samurai of worth, which he achieves (and then some).

Although a book about about Hideyoshi it also delves into the lives of the other warlords, notibly the the great Oda Nobunaga who had a reputation for both ruthlessness and
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Matthew
This was a surprisingly approachable historical novel for a 1200+ page century old novel that includes over 100 figures from the Sengoku Period of feudal Japan. I came in knowing a fair amount about the period, knowing the major figures like Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Hideyoshi, Nene, etc. Characters were easy to remember and manage near the beginning of the novel, but at some points I forgot the allegiances of some of the minor characters that popped up. But compared to something like Romance o ...more
John
An excellent historical novel of the Sengoku period of Japanese history. The book centers around the life story of Hideyoshi (aka Taiko), the second of the three great unifiers of Japan, the first being Oda Nobunaga and the third Ieyasu Tokugawa.

The story begins with Hideyoshi as a young child, and ends with him at the age of 50 as he has overcome the last great obstacle between him and his rule of Japan. Interestingly, it does not cover the dozen years of his rule that followed, except to summa
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Kevin
Taiko is a story set in the middle of the 16th century as the Ashikaga shogunate crumbled. As a consequence Japan came to resemble a huge battlefield as rival warlords vied for dominance. Three very different men emerged seeking to control and unify Japan. Those men were the brutal, rash, and charismatic Oda Nobunaga; the cunning Toyotomi Hideyoshi; and the patient Tokugawa Ieyasu. Their divergent leadership styles are eloquently expressed in the answers to this question presented at the beginni ...more
David S
As suggested in the title, this is a truly epic tale of the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the era of civil war in 16th century Japan in which he was a prominent player. Much as with Yoshikawa's novel on Musashi, the author breathes life into the historical figures that he portrays in the book. The character of Hideyoshi is very likable, though not without his faults. Hideyoshi has a charming ability to bend and break the rules of social convention to his advantage and extricate himself from imp ...more
Frank
As its title says, Taiko is a truly epic novel about the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi who went from what is basically the peasant version of a samurai to regent of Japan. The book starts with his childhood and follows his quest to become a 'proper' samurai in a rather humorous way. After he joins the Oda clan, the focus shifts to the bigger theatre and affairs of state until his victory over Tokugawa Ieyasu (who later started the Tokugawa Shogunate which lasted until the 19th century). The epilogu ...more
Margaret Sankey
I am embarrassed it took me this long to read this, given all my complaining about bad historical novels and wanting to read as close to sources as possible. While Clavell's Shogun was a more fictionalized account of the ascent of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, centered on a European, this is the same story by a Japanese author, centered on the Japanese characters and adhering to the contours of history. Epic, massive in scope and richly detailed.
Bea
as a fan of Japanese culture and Japanese martial arts, this book was clear choice as soon as i knew about it. it couldn't be bad maybe, but as skeptic i read first page before i really decide if i'm going to continue or not. already first page caught me and never let me go. it's awesome book explaining why samurai era was that short, but still deserves that much respect. i think anybody can read and like this book, not only persons like me, interested in martial arts or Japanese culture.
what i
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Martha Sockel
As shown by Musashi, Yoshikawa Eiji was one of the best loved writers in Japan.

Hideyoshi is a plucky warrior that the reader can't help but root for as he seems to be the only man capable of carrying the fantastic task of unifying Sengoku Japan. The book, like Yoshikawa's, other works pushes all the right buttons.

Hideyoshi is always keener, smarter and less prey to emotional breakdown than other characters. The purported various romances promised on the dust jacket never come true. Herein lies
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Helena rintha sari
Oct 17, 2007 Helena rintha sari rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Buku ini bener-bener mengajarkan tentang seni kepemimpinan yang sangat hebat. Antara lain bagaimana mengubah musuh jadi teman dan kerendahan hati yang dapat menghindarkan sebuah pertempuran yang hebat.

Perbandingan ketiga pemimpin dalam cerita ini pun memberi cermin tersendiri bagi masing-masing pembacanya, pembaca dibebaskan untuk menginterprestasikan sendiri siapa pemimpin yang paling baik sesuai karakter pembaca masing-masing. Walaupun pemimpin bernama Hideyoshi lebih ditonjolkan didalam cerit
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Victor Bruneski
Everything that can be done right, is done in this book. Which is pretty amazing considering it is translated from Japanese.

It's about Hideyoshi, a person from humble origins. This is first and foremost a Historical Fiction, but it is more then that. The novel is very inspirational. Hideyoshi is like the "Rudy Ruettiger" of Shoguns. It had a feel good thing going on, even if it was about civil war in Japan.

The battles and politics of Sengoku Japan are well played out here. If you are a fan of J
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usman ★
Petualangan di buku ini menarik. Tokoh utamanya Hideyoshi yang diceritakan dari masa kecilnya, bagian awal, sampai akhir cerita. Dari novel ini didapat gambaran kehidupan Jepang masa lalu, budaya, sosial, politik. Mungkin karena merujuk priode sejarah tertentu, tidak ada penggambaran tokoh yang terlalu jahat. Mungkin tiap tokoh dalam cerita ini, termasuk yang saling berperang, juga memiliki cerita/kisah yang besar masing-masing. Hal juga yang banyak digambarkan dalam novel ini: moralitas Samurai ...more
Victor Hardjono
Please be reminded that it's a BIG and THICK book, about the size of serious dictionary from Oxford or Merriam-Webster. No paperback, pocket-size version available. So, yeah, it takes a strong will to start read it.

But afterwards, you won't put it down. Well, unless you hate to read foreign names, hate to read novel with hundreds (or at least dozens) of characters in it, never have any interest on Japan, or just too lazy to pick it up.

Long story short: superb!
Ruth
Yoshikawa is one of Japan’s greatest historians who died in 1962. His work is now starting to hit American shelves, but you need to be careful of the translator. A good one makes the book an incredible read, as in this example – however, a bad one is just not worth your time, as in another readily available one called “Musashi”. Taiko tells the story of Hideyoshi, who lives in the sixteenth century and winds up becoming the ruler of Japan.
Sharika
What i love about this book that it's based on true story, a story about a young (very naughty) peasant that dreams to be somebody famous. Turns out from his hard work and his smart ideas he reached to the top and became one of the greatest ruler of Japan.

This book shows that everything starts from a dream and we can be whoever we want to be as long as we work hard (starting from the bottom) and be smart, but also be tactful.
Jeffrey
For my opinion on Yoshikawa, see the book Musashi. Or, simply, best historical fiction novelist ever. Taiko is about the creation of a nearly unified Japan in the late 1500's & early 1600's. Specifically about the rise of Hideyoshi from poor boy to leader of a country. Fascinating and entertaining, it's more than just great wars, it was great statesmanship in early Japan.
Esti
Another history of samurai.
Kalo di Musashi kita bener2 diajak untuk menyelami kehidupan seorang samurai pengembara, di buku ini lebih kepada sisi politis dan diplomatis seorang samurai.
Dari seorang yang bukan apa2 sampai jadi penguasa negeri.
Banyak intrik, banyak tokoh (jadi suka lupa yg mana..), banyak kisah, tapi menarik.
Novie Octavia
From zero to hero. From errand to Taiko is telling you amazing story in Japan feudal background. Hideyoshi is a poor peasant and dealing with a life count on his confidence and clearly head to solve the problem. With some intrigue, politics in war and samurai exintent in past life, make a history. The novel images very real in mind.
Night
A very large tomb that follows the life of a simple peasant who rises to lead a nation. Sometime the large array of characters become difficult to follow along with all the names of the places in the book but if you persist you will be well rewarded. A fascinating look into the past. Also recommend Musashi by the same author.
Claire_D
Finished at last! It took me around a year to finish reading this novel.

Taiko tells the story of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the great generals of 16th century Japan. The novel details the life of Hideyoshi from being a lowly sandal bearer of Nobunaga until he became the Taiko.







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58917
Pen-name of Yoshikawa Hidetsugu. Yoshikawa is well-known for his work as a Japanese historical fiction novelist, and a number of re-makes have been spawned off his work.

In 1960, he received the Order of Cultural Merit.
Eiji Yoshikawa (吉川 英治, August 11, 1892 – September 7, 1962) was a Japanese historical novelist. Among his best-known novels, most are revisions of older classics. He was mainly influ
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“Her only weapons were her tears.” 6 likes
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