Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nobunaga by Luis Frois

A description of Nobunaga during his prime was written by the Jesuit priest Luis Frois is one of the best. He knew Nobunaga very well and quickly became friends. I do enjoy this entry by Frois and it accurately describes Nobunaga.

"This King of Owari, who would be around 37 years old, is tall of stature, lean, sparsely bearded, with extremely sonorous voice, given to military exercises, indefatigable, inclined to works of justice and compassion, arrogant, a great lover of honour, very secretive in his decisions, a master of stratagems, hardly or not at all mindful of the reprimands or advice of his subordinates, and is feared and venerated by all to the highest degree. He does not drink wine, is brusque in his manner, looks down upon all the other kings and princes of Japan and speaks to them with disdain as if to his inferiors, is totally obeyed by all as the absolute lord, has good understanding and sharp judgements, despises the gods, the Buddhas, and all other kinds of idolatry and pagan superstition. Nominally, he professes to belong to the Lotus sect, but openly declares that there is no creator of the universe, no immortality of the soul, or life after death. His buildings are very clean and refined, and always in perfect order. He hates delays and circumlocution, and not even a prince appears before him bearing a sword; he always has two thousand pages or mounted guards with him. His father was Lord of Owari Province, but he, through his immense energy, has subjected seventeen or eighteen provinces in the last four years. He conquered the eight [sic] central provinces, including the metropolitan province of Yamashiro, in seven or eight days."

This was written in 1569 by Frois. The location could be Kyoto because that was the first time he met Nobunaga. They met again the same year in Gifu and Frois had some written documentation about the meeting. The source can be found in Jeroen Lamers, Japonius Tyrannus, p. 10. More later.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Takeda Shingen and young Nobunaga

A monk named Tentaku of the Tendai sect went to Kai to visit the mountain monkey(Kai no Yama), Takeda Shingen(1521-1573). Shingen was from the province of Kai (Yamanishi Prefecture) and his residence is now modern day Kofu City. Shingen asked Tentaku where Nobunaga lived. He answered Nobunaga's residence was Kiyosu Castle. He also asked the monk what was Nobunaga's daily activities. Tentaku answered, "He rides the horse every morning and practice with the gun." He also gave Shingen the way of Nobunaga. For example, gun instructor Hasimoto Ippa; bow teacher, Ishikawa Daisuke; and military tactics, Hirata Sanmi. He mentions to Shingen about Nobunaga's hobbies of falconry, song, and dance. He also told Shingen that Nobunaga hanged out with a Kiyosu townsman named Matsui Yukan. As for the songs, Tentaku told Shingen Nobunaga liked "Atsumori" and the other ballad I wrote in my last blog was told to Shingen as well. All of this happened during the 1550s and after Nobunaga took over Kiyosu Castle. The interview can be found in the,Shinchoo Ko-ki, Introduction book,Chapter 21. This is a continuation of Nobunaga's character. Nobunaga was different from the rest and he was more successful than the rest. The photo above is Takeda Shingen, the mountain monkey! As for the monk, he was from Owari, Nobunaga's area.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Shinnen Akemashite Omedetougozaimasu! Happy New Year!
I have a little ballad from Nobunaga. He used to sing it during his youth.
Shinou wa ichijou Shinobu kusa ni wa nani wo shi yo zo Ichijou katari Okosu yo no.

Death is a certainty and not a thing the grasses can do, and so it is told from generation to generation. You can find the balled in Tsumoto Yo's novel, Geten wa Yume ka.

Tenka no tame! Nobunaga no tame!