Saturday, August 11, 2018

Nagoya Debate

Photo of Nagoya Castle landmark 2006.

Nagoya Castle is back in the news for Nobunaga's birthplace.  Link:

No matter if Nobunaga's birth place is Shobata or not, chances are it was Nagoya.  Shobata was too close to enemy territory, Mino.  Nagoya, located in the heart of Owari was a safer place for the birth of Nobunaga.  If Shibota was Nobunaga's birthplace, he was taken to Nagoya as soon as possible for safety issues.  I still stand with Nagoya as the place of birth for Nobunaga.  At the same time, I add Shobata for another point of view to be fair.  Nagoya Castle during the time of Nobunaga was measured 1640 by 1968 feet in length.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Yasuke Part I

There has been a lot of news about Nobunaga's black attendant Yasuke of late.  Which is good.  Yasuke was only with Nobunaga for over a year or so.  Not that long.  Nobunaga came into contact with Yasuke in February of 1581.  He was about 6'2 in height and where he came from Africa is still a mystery.  Some say he was a Habshi from Ethiopia or a Dinka from South Sudan.  Who knows.  That being said he was able to some Japanese to communicate with the locals.

The Shincho-Ko ki does has a passage about him.

The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga pp. 385-6.

"On the 23rd of the Second Month, a blackmoor came from the Kirishitan Country.  He appeared to be twenty-six or twenty-seven years old.  Black over his whole body, just like an ox, this man looked robust and had a good demeanor.  What is more, his formidable strength surpassed that of ten men."

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Nobunaga promoted his captains and soldiers on merit, not linage and it proved to be a success.  He hated the the old order on how the long established families kept the the ones who did the work down and out.  He change it.  If you did well on the battlefield or other related works, you were rewarded.  At the same time he demoted, banished, or killed high or low for not doing their job.  Nobunaga was not afraid to hire someone on the outside, like the Men of the Fields, Hideyoshi, or even Akechi Mitsuhide to do the dirty work for him.  It proved to be extremely successful.  Competition created success for Nobunaga.

Neil McMullin, Oda Nobunaga and the Buddhist Institutions, p 84

"Breeding and proper blood lines meant nothing to Nobunaga.  Together with such patricians as Niwa Nagahide and Hosokawa Fujitaka, he added to his inner circle such low born people as Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Akechi Mitsuhide.  Oda promoted people on the basis of their ability, and demoted those--no matter what their breeding--who failed to meet his expectations.  A good example of the latter was Nobunaga's punishment of Sakuma Nobumori, a person of noble family and one of Oda's top ranking generals, for his poor performance during the siege of the Honganji citadel from 1575 to 1580. Persons, whether they were bonzes, kuge, or peasants, who showed loyalty to Oda were rewarded, and those who opposed him were destroyed."

Nobunaga also banished Hayashi Hidesada and Ando Morinari for not doing their job. Even maidservants were put to death for skipping work.  Yet, someone like Maeda Toshiie who was banished and allowed back in the Oda house due to his merits on the battlefield at the Battle of Moribe in 1561.  It must have been difficult for the old guard as well as the newbies to work for Nobunaga.  You had to perform or else.  Knowing your boss was not afraid to hire someone on the outside added the stress.  That being said, if you were consistent on the battlefield and the like, you were well rewarded.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2018 Nobunaga Gifu Matsuri News

There is some big news regarding the 2018 Nobunaga Gifu Matsuri which takes place in October.  Kaoru Nagata will play the role of Oda Nobunaga during the festival.


Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dosan Portrait

This is a portrait of Nobunaga's father-in-law Saito Dosan.  After Dosan was killed at the Battle of Nagaragawa in 1556, Nobunaga's wife Nohime, requested an artist to draw a portrait of her father.  Not long after the portrait was done, Nohime donated the painting to Jozaiji Temple.  The temple is about a five minute walk from Gifu Castle Park.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sunomata Summary

If wants to get a clear picture of the Battle of Sunomata or the construction of the fort, look to David D. Neilson's paper, Society at War.  The construction of the fort took months of planning and Nobunaga again used the Men of the Fields to do the job.

Neilson, p. 217  "Despite the fact that Sunomata was a defensive battle with an established perimeter, the situation here was much different than say, a siege of a castle.  In a castle siege the castle was surrounded by the enemy and the food and sometimes, the water supplies were cut off.  many sieges lasted for months and sometimes, more than a year before the besieged were starved into submission.  The fort at Sunomata was a forward outpost that was backed up to a river the opposite side of which was friendly territory.  Unless the Saito were willing and able to send their people into Owari and attack back across the river, which would have meant risking contact with Oda forces that were already gathering in the area, supply lines into Sunomata and escape routes into Owari were in no danger being cut off. Once the fortifications were in place, if the defenders of the Fort at Sunomata allocated their people and firepower wisely, control of the battlefield would have been theirs."

Sunomata was not a battle to kill the enemy as soon as they are found, but sneaking into enemy territory and securing the cooperation of the population.

Firearms was the main weapon used at Sunomata and there were about 500 or so used at the battle.   Quite a bit of rifles.  The Men of the Fields were also arms dealers and had the wealth and military power to be independent from daimyo control.  Nobunaga at the time needed their financial and military resources that they controlled at the times.  He tried to bring the Men of the Fields under his control earlier in his career, but at the time he could not be so picky.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Improvements at Sokenin

There has been major improvements at Daitokuji's Sokenin.  While in Japan in May, I visited Sokenin on their Spring opening.  The improvements has been the grave markers on Nobunaga's women.  The graves of Nohime, Onabe no kata, and Nobunaga's daughter Gotoku all have a name tage besides their grave.  This has been a major improvement since before the tags were in place, one had to ask where the tombstone was.  With the tags, one now can identify Nobunaga's women.

Nobunaga no tame!