During the Azuchi-Momoyama Period, Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi attempted to transform the samurai from a warrior class into an aristocracy by encouraging the cultivation of culture. The art of tea ceremony was used to enforce principles of Zen Buddhism among the samurai, and poetry and the arts were actively promoted. Hideyoshi cemented the social ranks of the samurai by declaring samurai status to be hereditary, and prescribed a strict social code to which the samurai had to adhere. He also decreed that the social classes should live in separate areas of town, so that they would not intermingle.
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