There was a person who sent a cuckoo as a gift.
However, the cuckoo would not sing,
Nobunaga Oda would just kill the cuckoo
Hideyoshi Toyotomi would persuade the cuckoo to sing
Ieyasu Tokugawa would wait patiently until it sang.

The Cuckoo That Wouldn't Sing is a song written by Seizan Matsura, daimyo of the Hirado clan of Hizen domain (present day Nagasaki prefecture) in the late Edo era , that compares the personalities of Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and Ieyasu Tokugawa. This song can be found in Kasshiyawa, a collection of essays about politics, economics, diplomacy, anecdotes, manners and customs of the late Edo period that Matsura wrote between 1821 and 1841.

Nobunaga Oda was arrogant, brash, impatient, and above all, a man of action. If his subordinates or allies failed or did not do as he liked or wanted, he would ruthlessly deal with them the same as his enemies. His personality can be seen from his genocide-like dealing with rebelling peasants, to his elimination of the Asakura, Azai, Saito, and Takeda clans.

Contrastingly, Hideyoshi Toyotomi would negotiate and find ways to make allies out of enemies, avoid conflict totally, and most of all, avoid loss of human life at all costs. From his brilliant dealings with the Mori clan in chugoku, to his conquest of Kyushu, he persuaded many of his enemies to become his allies or subjects without lifting a weapon. He took to armed conflict only as a last resort.

Tokugawa Ieyasu was ever patient and always bided his time until the opportunity presented itself. He waited until he gained enough power and momentum to crush all his enemies and seize control of feudal Japan. Until his death in 1616, he kept a picture in his sleeping quarters drawn of himself 44 years earlier after his disastrous defeat at Mikatagahara by Takeda Shingen. It reminded him of the value of patience and a keeping a level head even when faced with adversity.

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