Kodaiji Sho Museum, Kyoto
Toyotomi Hideyoshi was once the most powerful person in Japan. In the 16th century, he and his men unified the country after centuries of upheaval. Yet his family’s reign was short-lived; after his death, his followers split into rival factions once more. Hideyoshi’s son was defeated and his stronghold, Osaka Castle, was destroyed. Through all this betrayal and chaos, Hideyoshi’s wife Nene managed to maintain the family legacy from her sanctuary at Kodaiji. Among her deeds was the preservation of paintings of Hideyoshi and other important figures involved with the Toyotomi clan. These ephemeral portraits of revered historical figures remind us of the short but significant lives they led.