I have just started reading a book about Oda Nobunaga. The book is called Japonius Tyrannus and is by Jeroen Lamers. So far through the first 40 pages, the book is pretty interesting. If you are not familiar with Oda Nobunaga, he was one of the most powerful warlords in Japanese history. He lived near the end of the sengoku era, the Warring States period (1467-1568) in Japan. Nobunaga is often called the first of the three great unifiers of Japan, the other two being Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Oda Nobunaga (1534-82), one of the best-known figures in Japanese history, dominated the political scene in Japan between 1568 and 1582 as he gradually conquered the country's central region and initiated a process of military and political unification. The book is a chronological narrative and provides a thorough analysis of his political and military career. Nobunaga is often considered to be a tyrant and a dictator. It appears that the book is attempting to reveal Nobunaga in a different light. However, there is little doubt that Nobunaga was a ruthless warlord.
Nobunaga laid the groundwork for national unification by conquering much of central Japan and by overthrowing the Ashikaga Shogun after Nobunaga marched his large army into Kyoto. Nobunaga was murdered by one of his generals in 1582 before he could complete his dream of unifying the nation. One of Nobunaga's other generals, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, avenged his lord by hunting down and killing his assassin. Hideyoshi then proceeded to take control and eventually achieved Nobunaga's goal of unifying all of Japan under his rule. Upon Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu assumed power by defeating all other rivals and declaring himself shogun in 1603.
The end of the sengoku period is a very interesting time in Japanese history, maybe one of the most significant time periods. The end of over 100 years of civil wars led to 250 years of peace under the Tokugawa shoguns. Much of Japanese culture and ideas we see today were shaped by these events and the ensuing years of peace. Unfortunately I have not found many books on the three great unifiers, Nobunaga, Hideyoshi of Ieyasu. There are a few books and I plan on reading them next.