Sunday, June 1, 2008

The enemy is at the Honnoji!

June 2nd, 1582 was a day in infamy. Akechi Mitsuhide, Japan's version of Benedict Arnold, betrayed Oda Nobunaga. Mitsuhide cried out, "The enemy is at the Honnoji!" The early morning of June 2nd, Nobunaga heard some odd noises, but quickly found out, Satan was coming. Nobunaga yelled, "Treason!" and "Who is the traitor?" Nobunaga's loyal page, Mori Ranmaru yelled, "Akechi Mitsuhide!" Nobunaga grabbed his bow and started to fight. If he was going to die, he was going out with a bang. After killing many Akechi soldiers with the bow, it snapped. he took a spear and fought to the death. Once the Honnoji Temple was in flames, he took his own life. Mitsuhide did not have any luck in finding the body. Nobunaga would never let that happen. Nobunaga fought with valor. He told the women to flee at once. "The women are not my concern, get out of here!"
The Honnoji Temple, a Hokke (Lotus) temple, was Nobunaga's new Kyoto lodging. He held a tea ceremony for various Kyoto nobles. The temple had a deep moat, but did not matter. The Oda forces were only around 2,000 and the Akechi forces were around 13,000. No match!
Why did Akechi Mitsuhide revolt in the first place?
  • Power?
  • Nobunaga treated Mitsuhide as an outsider (Which was true)
  • Did not receive rewards?
  • Always insulted by Nobunaga
  • The murder of his mother? (still debated)
  • Nobunaga jealous of Mistuhide's poetic talent?
Not only Nobunaga perished, but his talented son, Nobutada took his own life as well at Nijo Palace in Kyoto. I will have more on Nobunaga's death. Included will be Luis Frois's account, references, and photos.

Tenka No Tame!

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