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The Failure to Execute Kobayakawa Hideaki, and the Fall of the Toyotomi

History shows us that we should not play things halfway.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was Undisputed Ruler of Japan. He had brought all the Japanese generals under his loyalty, set an extremely durable and efficient legal structure, and had achieved more than anyone in Japanese history - rising from a peasant servant to the height of command.

Unsatisfied with the fastest and largest ascent in all of Japanese history, Hideyoshi wanted to conquer all of Korea and China. In the year 1597, he launched the Second Korean Campaign.

In the most desperate times, strong cultures produce great heroes - and Korean Grand Admiral Yi Sun-Sin rose to the challenge, shattering the Japanese naval forces and cutting the supply lines. The Japanese forces pinned down in Korea had land superiority, solid defensive fortifications, and better artillery. But the Ming China/Joseon Korean alliance was winning the gradual war of attrition after establishing naval superiority.

Toyotomi had won basically every engagement he'd fought in throughout history. A scuffling defeat here and there, but he had seemed blessed by the gods themselves. He was, naturally, furious at the inability of his forces to conquer Korea.

The Art of Mainstream Rap

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The whole idea behind TED Talks have been brought under heavy criticism recently. TED is a platform that has the slogan "Ideas Worth Spreading" and it seems to be only that. Many good ideas float around TED conferences, but little to nothing happens. The ideas of each talk are interesting, but eventually put in the back of people's heads without any action being taken. So, I want to try to take an idea from a TED Talk and actually do something with it.

I recently watched this TED Talk by British hip hop artist Akala. In it, he discuses the origins of hip hop. It started off as a platform for musicians to transmit ideas, to transmit knowledge. Rappers are modern versions of Shakespeare. He ends his talk by talking about how music is able to unite people, something I touched upon in my comparison of country and rap music.

I enjoy music for this sense. It does bring people together. And, I believe it still spreads messages. Sure they are not all intellectual, but each song has a meaning regardless.

I will readily admit I do listen to a lot of hip hop and rap, but my preferences are more mainstream. For example, I am an avid Kanye West fan and most of the music I listen to experiences heavy radio airplay. I don't listen to artists known for their lyrics such as Nas. I still believe though that the music I listen to does have meaning and does convey knowledge.

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