In 1978, Michal H. Hart released a book on the 100 most infuential people who ever lived, of all categories, religious people, state leaders, scientists and artists. The list can be found here: http://www.biographyonline.net/people/1 ... ntial.html
While such a list is of course pretty subjective, I still think its an entertaining thought, and I would like to see different suggestions for the 10 most influential Japanese people in history (Actual Japanese people, not influential to Japanese history, in which case a few Chinese and Westernes would make their way in.) My own personal list would be:
1. Toyotomi Hideyoshi (for creating the first truly powerful Japanese state, solidifying the Japanese class system, and launching Japan as an East Asian power by his invasions of Korea. )
2. Fukuzawa Yukichi (For creating modern scientific method and universitis in Japan, and laying the theoretical groundwork for the Meiji government.)
3. Minamoto no Yoritomo (For creating the first feudal samurai government in Japan. )
4. Fujiwara no Michinaga (For wrestling power from the emperor. )
5. Tokugawa Ieyasu (For creating Japans final shogunate, and the beginning of its first nation state, as well as initiating isolationism.)
6. Empress Genmei ( For starting the Nara period, and ordering the writing of the Kojiki and the Shincho-Koki, thereby defining the imperial house and the shinto religion.)
7. Taira no Kiyomori (For establishing Japans first samurai based government.)
8. Emperor Meiji (For being the figurehead and cetral figure of the modernization of Imperial Japan in the 1800's. )
9. Murasaki Shibiku (For writing Genji Monogatari and setting the stage for Japanese litterature.)
10. Saigo Takamori (Both for leading the Boshin War against the shogunate, and for later rebelling and thereby making the Bushido code important for the Imperial Japanese Army, leading up to its wars. )
Would be happy to see some other suggestions!
That's a good list, also...
- Tokugawa Yoshimune... revitalizing the shogunate during the early 18th century.
- Oda Nobunaga... for having the ambition (^_^) to unite Japan in the first place, and for allowing Hideyoshi to carry his sandals.
- Hideyo Noguchi... For discovering (and spreading) Syphilis, and lending a familiar face to the 1000 yen note.
-Masaki Sumitani... working Hard to spread happiness worldwide. (okay, not top 10, but definitely top 100)