Philip IV of Spain was the King of Spain during the time of ‘HIDDEN BY THE LEAVES’, which takes place in 1626 Japan.
Philip IV of Spain lived during the years 1605 – 1665. He was both King of Spain, and for a period, King or Portugal. He ascended the thrones in 1621 and reigned in Spain until his death, and in Portugal until 1640.
Philip IV is remembered as a patron of the arts and his rule over Spain during the Thirty Years’ War in Europe.
On the eve of his death in 1665, the Spanish Empire had reached a significant 12.2 million square kilometres. (As a comparison point, modern-day Canada is approx. 10.0 million square kilometres in size, so the Spanish Empire was massive at that point in time.)
However, while Spain had considerable land under its control at this time, it was otherwise in decline in other respects. Many attribute this decline to Philip IV’s inability to achieve successful domestic and military reforms.
In the eyes of the Shogun (“military leader”) in Japan, Philip IV of Spain remained a threat as a general fear of foreign invasion loomed, particularly as it was conveyed, and rumoured, by their long-standing rivals, the Dutch and the English.
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