Widely considered to be one of the greatest heroes in Japanese history, Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a 16th-century military leader and gifted politician. He unified Japan after years of civil war and even tried to invade China. Hideyoshi served under Oda Nobunaga until Nobunaga was assassinated in 1582. A struggle followed to determine the warlord’s successor. At the Battle of Shizugatake, Hideyoshi defeated his rivals and established himself as the most powerful man in Japan. Yoshitoshi presents the hero in full armor on the shore of Lake Biwa, moments before his decisive morning attack. Hideyoshi’s iconic helmet bursts through the right margin of the composition as he uses a giant shell as a war trumpet, sounding the attack. The dawn moon sets behind Shizugatake Hill, its pale reflection mirrored in the water.