Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Okabe Mataemon's Mansion

Here is some information on Okabe Mataemon (Yoshikata), the head carpenter during the construction of Azuchi Castle. Hide's blog does a good job a photo of Okabe's mansion landmark and a map link.

According the map, Okabe Mataemon's mansion is located near Atsuta Shrine. Having been to Atsuta Shrine many times, I have to admit, I missed this one. If I do return to Japan for the Okehazama festival, you can be sure that I will take a photo of the landmark.

However, there is debate on his death. For example, Okada Masahito's Oda Nobunaga Sogo Jiten, lists Okabe's birth and death as unknown(p. 263). Then you have Jeroen Lamers Japonius Tyrannus who stated that Okabe's death was in 1582(p. 124).

I am tending to go with the Japanese source and not Lamers for now. By the way, I received the 2007 Taiga drama Furin Kazan for Christmas. A damn good drama and highly recommended.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2009 Favorites

Here are some of favorites for 2009.

Film: (1959) Fuunji Oda Nobunaga with Nakamura Kinnosuke.

Book: (Nobunaga related) Japanius Tyrannus by Jeroen Lamers.

Book: (Non Nobunaga related) State of War: "The Violent Order of Fourteenth Century Japan" by Thomas Conlan

Historian (Nobunaga related) Fujimoto Masayuki.

Historian (Non Nobunaga related) Thomas Conlan.

Owada Tetsuo would have been a no brainer, but he is in a different class by himself. He is the main man to go to for Sengoku history. The reason why I chose Fujimoto Masayuki and I disagree with a lot for what he has to say, the most important thing is that he makes you think.

I love Conlan's work and his State of War book is a must have for any one studying samurai warfare. He is also my of my favorite historians. As for Lamers, Japanuis Tyrannus is a must have for the Nobunaga scholar. Many have e-mailed me about the book. It is the only English book I know that fully covers Nobunaga's career in depth. Still many people do not want to fork out the money for it. I say to them, it is worth every penny. To this day, Lamer's book has been my number one source in English on Nobunaga.
One of my friends in Japan sent me a Christmas care package and I received a book on Shibata Katsuie by Aozono Kensaburo. A great book, but the main problem I have with it so far is that there is no bibliography.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wakaki Hi no Nobunaga

In 1959, Fuunji Oda Nobunaga was in theaters in Japan starring Nakamura Kinnosuke. However, there was another movie about Nobunaga that same year starring Ichikawa Raizo. He played Nobunaga's role in Wakaki Hi no Nobunaga. Sadly, I have not seen the film yet and dying to get my hands on it.

According the the link, Wakaki Hi no Nobunaga premiered in October 1952 at Kabukiza and the drama was made up of three acts and four scenes. From what I am being told is that Ichikawa's Nobunaga role was above average. I really enjoyed Nakamura's role and it was a treat. Again, I cannot comment on Ichikawa's performance until I see it.

Here is the link:

If anybody know where I can purchase the flim, let me know ASAP.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Okehazama Arimatsu Map

Just in time for the big party next year, the Okehazama Battlefield Arimatsu location team printed a color map with all the important landmarks. This is a must have and dying to get my hands on it. Even if you cannot understand Japanese, the red line trail makes the map easy comprehend.

Here is the link:

I received the Toyoake Okehazama Battlefrield Map from my friend Dohaland in October as a gift. the difference between the two is that the Toyoake Map is in English with all the landmark explanations. I could translate the Arimatsu map into English with some time in hand.

Also here is a photo of me at Kiyosu Castle ready to serve Nobunaga.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Takane-yama (Okehazama Arimatsu)

Takane-yama was the area where Matsui Munenobu had his troops.

Takane-yama landmark: "This place was the highest point around here, where Matsui Munenobu, a retainer of Imagawa had his force take a position. While they defeated Oda's detached companies, Oda's main force secretly passed though the valley and went toward Kamagatani."

The pictures were taken during the Okehazama walking tour with Mr. Yukio Kajino in October.

As for Matsui Munenobu, he was killed in action at Okehazama. Both the Arimatsu and Toyoake battlefield locations has a tomb for Matsui Munenobu.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sena Ujitoshi's Camp during Okehazama

Sena Ujitoshi, a retainer of the Imagawa, camped around the Okehazama area on May 17th, 1560 for tactical reasons. However, the English translation on the bulletin board stated the year date as 1563, which is wrong. A big mistake.

Sena Ujitoshi had around two hundred soldiers with him at the time.
The location of the three landmarks are at the Arimatsu Okehazama Battlefield. The open country area is where Sena Ujitoshi camped and the Senpyo-no-matsu is only a three minute walk from the camp area.

As for the photos, they were taken in October while I was in Japan.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nobunaga Forum in Gifu This Weekend

I just want to remind people that the Nobunaga Forum in Gifu is this weekend. If anybody is planning to attend, let me know how it went. I wish I could be there to see Owada Tetsuo and my former Gifu University professor Matsuda Yukitoshi.

I also ordered the 2002 Taiga Drama Toshiie to Matsu and looking forward how Nobunaga was portrayed in the series.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shincho-Ko ki link II

I found this link on the Shincho-Ko ki yesterday. This is the Ota Gyuuichi version, not the one written by Oze Hoan. You must have Adobe Reader 9 or something similar to download the text. I love this link and text since it is easy to read. I have download at least four parts of the book and printed some several sections for research. Here is the link:

I am currently writing a short fictional story on the meeting between Nobunaga and Saito Dosan at Shotokuji Temple in 1553. The text is about five to six pages long and the first draft is finished. I plan to post the story in several parts after Christmas or in January.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Azuchi Castle Facts

Advertisement for the movie Katen no Shiro in Kyoto.

Azuchi Castle was Nobunaga's greatest building project ever. No doubt about it. Warlords, Artists, and Commoners Japan in the Sixteenth Century edited by George Elison and Bardwell L. Smith contains some nice information on page 304.

The Shincho-Ko ki mentions that Niwa Nagahide was the commissioner of construction. However, Nagahide did not stay on the job for long since he was sent to the Osaka front to fight. The man who replaced was Kimura Jirozaemon as the new commissioner of construction.

Kimura has done some previous construction projects for Nobunaga and was the perfect replacement. He also witnessed the the horrible castle destruction June of 1582 as well.

As for Okabe Mataemon, he was the main carpenter of the Azuchi construction project.
Azuchi Castle ruins.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Imagawa Yoshimoto's Tombs

While I was studying and writing about Okehazama, one subject caught my attention. Imagawa Yoshimoto has various tombs in around Aichi Prefecture and in Shizuoka. The one above is located at Daisyoji Temple Aichi Prefecture, Ushikubo Town.

There are seven known to date.

  1. Shogakuji Shinkawa Town, Sukaguchi
  2. Nishio-shi
  3. Daisyoji Temple, Ushikubo Town
  4. Rinzaiji Temple, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture
  5. Tokai-shi
  6. Okehazama Battlefield (Toyoake City location)
  7. Okehazama Battlefield (Arimatsu location)
All are in Aichi Prefecture with the exception of Rinzaiji which is located in Shizuoka. I have visited all but two. The two are in Nishio and Tokai and did not know about them until I read Mr. Wataru Kajino's book Jimoto no Karo ga Kataru Okehazama Kassen Shimatsuki pages, 98-101.

Here is a photo of the Okehazama Walking Tour that I participated in last month.
Here is also a link to the Moon Viewing Festival.

Here is another link from my friend Dohaland. The Sengoku big armor festival with Nobunaga and the gang.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Okehazama Moon Viewing Festival

Good Evening friends!

I received an e-mail from my great friend Mr. Kajino with a link to last weekend's Okehazama Moon Viewing Festival. The photos are sublime. Here is the link:

Also I received a photo from Mr. Kajino on October's Okehazama walking tour and plan to post it before the weekend.

The Moon Viewing Festival was held at the Arimatsu battlefield location.

Nobunaga no tame!

Aichi Sengoku Warriors in Armor

Aichi Prefecture is getting ready for next year's big Sengoku bash. There is a video where the big three Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu are present and in armor. Here is the link from Dohaland's blog.

The date from her blog is 11/05/09.

I wish I was there and dying to see next year's Okehazama's 450th anniversary festival.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kyoto's Nanbanji Landmark

When I was Kyoto last month I finally found the landmark that eluded me for years. Nanbanji Temple was the Christian church built during the Nobunaga Era. No doubt, that Nobunaga's compadre, Luis Frois prepared Mass here.

Then question I have: Did Nobunaga ever entered Nanbanji to have a chat with Luis Frois? A must see landmark anybody who studies Nobunaga and Christianity in Japan.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Okehazama Nobunaga Statue

Today I received an e-mail from my great Okehazama friend Mr. Yukio Kajino. I was so happy to hear from him and there will be a moon viewing party at the Okehazama battlefield on October 31. I know it is a bit late, but you can take a look at the party on the Okehazama link.

Also If you want to know what the Nobunaga statue will look like next year at the battlefield, here is the link with a nice photo.

Here is the Okehazama link:

Many thanks to Mr. Yukio Kajino and the Okehazama staff.

Owari no utsuke de owaru ka. Tenka wo toru ka.

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nobunaga's niece Ogou

There is a book out on Nobunaga's niece Ogou. She was the youngest of Oichi's three daughters. Ogou would later marry Tokugawa Hidetada. This will be a good read leading up for the 2011 Taiga drama.

Oichi's three daughters. Chacha would be Hideysohi's concubine, Ohastu married Kyogoku Takatsugu, and as mention above, Ogou married Tokugawa Hidetada.

The link to the book:

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nobunaga Forum in Gifu Coming November

Gifu will hold a Nobunaga Forum November 21-22. I wish I could be there since Owada Tetsuo and my former professor Matsuda Yukitoshi will be speaking. Tetsuo is the Sengoku king in my book. Nobody better than him.

Here is the link:

This should be a good one and wonder if Dohaland from Samurai Country will attend. Here is a photo from 2001 when I was studying at Gifu University. Professor Matsuda Yukitoshi is next to me. He has taught me so much about Nobunaga and the Sengoku Era. Now he is teaching at Gifu Women's University (Gifu Joshi Daigaku). If anybody knows how I can get in contact with him, let me know ASAP.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nobunaga Book by Frederic P. Miller

There is a new book on Nobunaga by Frederic P. Miller on Amazon. I found out this morning while checking my mail. Does anybody know about this book? The price is steep at $43.00 and do plan to buy the book in the near future.

Update: I just found out the book is a hoax and a total scam. Do not waste your money on it. For more information:

Tenka no tame

Monday, October 19, 2009

Okehazama during the Taisho Era

Here is an old photo of the Okehazama area during the Taisho Era. The photo has a crease due to packing my bags while heading home. The chances are high in my opinion that this is what Okehazama looked like during Nobunaga's time. Nothing but farmland and trees. This photo blew me away. Now I have a picture of what the Battle of Okehazama was like in my head. No matter what people say about the frontal attack, I still say it was surprise attack all the way.

Also there is a link that has some photos taken by Dohaland during the Nagoya Festival. The Nobunaga Zen bento was superb. If anybody who is in the Nagoya area, please try it. It is worth the 1200 Yen price. The miso yakionigiri was the best in my opinion. There is construction going on at Atsuta Shrine at the moment and the fresh smell of new wood is so delicious! Dohaland also took some photos of me at the Nobunaga Victory Wall as well. When I visit Atsuta Shrine, the Nobunaga Victory Wall is the first place to go. The wall is still the original and constructed with mud, lime and grease.

Yes, I do enjoy wearing kimono and it was not a rental. I own a couple of kimono and yukatas in my personal collection.

Many thanks to Dohaland who made the day special.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Okehazama Tour

October 4th was a day to remember and a real treat. My friend Dohaland from Samurai Country by accident bumped into Mr. Yukio Kajino during the Nagoya Festival. I met Mr. Kajino at the Okehazama booth and told me he was going to led a walking tour of the Arimatsu Okehazama Battlefield. This was a must and I was in heaven.

The next I arrived at the reception near Arimatsu Station where Mr. Kajino gave me the Okehazama book mention in the last post as gift. I only took a quick peek, but found out right away that the book will be useful. The tour was about to start and around thirty people should up.

Mr. Kajino led the way talking about the battlefield and Okehazama's geography. He also possessed a picture of the area from the Taisho Era and was amazed how Okehazama has changed. The map above was the tour route and the pace was slow.

There were many things that were new to me as I took pictures of various locations. I did not even know when to start. Mr. Kajino continued to give information on the location of the Oda and Imagawa at various times during the battle. To my surprise, the Arimatsu location has the same landmarks as the Toyoake city location, but with Arimatsu more spread out.

I never questioned Mr. Kajino with the touchy issues, just listened and learned. He did ask me to chime in when needed which was nice. I also told him I was more familiar with the Toyoake location than the Arimatsu.

Finally the tour stopped at battlefield where it was closed off for construction. People where still able to shoot some pictures and I did as well. Mr. Kajino explained that the construction is for next year's anniversary event. He also gave a quick glimpse what the Nobunaga statue would look like.

When the tour was finally over, I was asking questions myself. How come I did not know the Arimatsu area better earlier? One reason why is the the Arimatsu's Battlefield landmarks are hidden and hard to find. Mr. Kajino asked me if I could a tour in English next year. I would if I can able to do it. If I was able to do it, then I must spend at least a couple of days where I go on the route again covering everything. Taking notes and more pictures would help as well.

I just soaked up the moment. I was like a kid in the candy store. The book he gave me will be helpful and thank him for it. Before heading back for Nagoya, Mr. Kajino and I discussed briefly about the two battlefield landmarks. I told him both are legit and should be treat as such.

I am grateful for Dohaland and Mr. Kajino's kindness. More later.

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

More Pictures of Golden Nobunaga in Gifu

Here is two more photos of the Golden Nobunaga statue in front of Gifu Station. The bottom photo explains Nobunaga's relationship with Gifu. The more I look at the statue, I begin to enjoy it more. Nobunaga looks ready to to stake his claim on the Tenka for himself.

Tenka no tame!

New Nobunaga statue in Gifu

This is the new Nobunaga golden statue in front of Gifu Station. I solarized the picture and it turned out freaking awesome. The statue was surprisingly done in good taste. This will be quickly one of favorite Nobunaga statues in no time at all. However, I would to see a statue of Saito Dosan since he was another key player who made Mino strong.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ohehazama Festival and New Friends

I have just returned home from an awesome trip back to Japan. I would like to thank Dohaland from Samurai Country who made the opportunity to meet Mr. Yukio Kanjino (Mr. Okehazama) possible. Dohaland was a great guide to the Nagoya area and it was a pleasure to meet her. We also had the 'Nobunaga Zen" for lunch. It was superb. Dohaland, thank you for your friendship.

Next year will be the 450th anniversary of the Battle of Okehazama. Mr. Kanjino gave a tour of the Okehazama battlefield (Arimatsu location) and it was a good one. He was also very kind to give a book Jimoto no Karo ga Kataru Okehazama Kassen Shimatsuki by Wataru Kanjino. This book is one of best I have seen on Okehazama and ranks it up there with Owada Tetsuo's version.

The Arimatsu Okehazama Battlefield is closed at the moment due to construction. Do not worry. They are getting ready for the big event next year. There will be a statues of Nobunaga and Yoshimoto. As for the Toyoake City location, a festival on a smaller scale.

Check out the Okehazama link:

It looks like the great Sengoku historian Owada Tetsuo will give some sort of lecture on December 6th this year.

Nobunaga no tame! Tenka no tame!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Nobunaga statue in Gifu

Next Friday i plan to take a photo of the new Nobunaga statue located in the Gifu Station area.

Here is the link:

I think it would be appropriate to have a statue of Saito Dosan in the Gifu area as well.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Anjo Castle

Anjo Castle ruins located in Anjo City, Aichi Prefecture

In 1540, Oda Nobuhide attacked Anjo castle which was held by the Matsudaira family. the lord of Anjo Castle during the time of the siege was Anjo Nagaie. According to Okada Masahito's Oda Nobunaga Sogo Jiten, Nobuhide led the attack with 3,000 troops and had some allied help from Mizuno Tadamasa.

The attack was successful and Anjo Nagaie was killed along with fifty others. Nobuhide then placed his son, Oda Nobuhiro as the new lord of Anjo. Nobuhiro held the castle until 1549. That year, the Imagawa led by Taigen Suufu attacked the castle and Nobuhiro was captured. Negotiations started between the Oda and the Imagawa and hostages were exchanged.

Oda Nobuhide exchanged a young boy named Takechiyo for his son Nobuhiro. Takechiyo would later be known as Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu would in the hands of the Imagawa until Nobunaga killed Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560.

Reference: Okada Masahito, Oda Nobunaga Sogo Jiten, pp. 306-7.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nobunaga/Sengoku Books

I found this link recently and thought it was important to post. You can order various Nobunaga or Sengoku books through Amazon Japan.

This link is awesome since it contains rich resources on Nobunaga or anything related to the Sengoku Era. I plan to buy some of the Nobunaga books while in Japan next month.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Okehazama Comic

Okehazama Senki vol. 2 by Miyashita Hideki is out and the art work is stunning. I do own a few comics related to Nobunaga and the Sengoku Era. However, I bought the first two volumes of the series this year.

Sengoku Era comics can be a mixed blessing and this one is no different. The author is trying to explain the Imagawa and Oda histories before the real fun begins. To tell you the truth, this series will be long in my opinion and can be shorten in my opinion.

If there is anything that was accurate on this volume was the fact that Nobunaga loved Kitsuno. It was true. Nohime is nowhere to be found yet in the story. I do not know why and left me thinking. Then again, this Miyashita's work, not mine.

The art work is so well done that I will continue to buy and read this series. Miyashita does have a story to tell and looking forward to reading it.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nobunaga, Nagoya, and Tourism

Nobunaga has stolen the show again! I think he is the only man who can promote Sengoku tourism in Aichi Prefecture. Nobunaga riding on his horse in fully glory with a hot babe Nohime.

I would like to thank Dohaland of Samurai Country for posting this up on her blog. Also I plan to get my hands on it when in Japan. Give your opinion on the guide book.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nobunaga Summit III

Here is another link that has a story about the Nobunaga Summit at Komaki.

Again, I wish I was there. If anybody did attend the Nobunaga Summit, please share your thoughts.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nobunaga Summit at Komaki Part II

Samurai Country was at the Nobunaga Summit at Komaki. I wish and probably would have met some great people who study Nobunaga.

Here is the link:

I would like to know how long the Nobunaga bento would be on sale. My first full day in Japan will be the second of October and would like to get my hands on the bento. Speaking of my trip, I will spend time around the Okehazama area, Gifu City, and Kyoto.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shincho-Ko ki link

I found this Shincho-Ko ki link on the net. It should and would be useful for any scholar of Oda Nobunaga. The link is on the link page.

Here is the link:

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nobunaga Zen

This is awesome. A Nobunaga bento. Check the samurai country link date 9/4/2009.

My friend Dohaland from samurai country has some great stuff on Nobunaga time to time. The question is, will the Nobunaga Zen still be sold where I arrive in Japan in October?

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Book Review

Title: Okehazama no Shinjutsu
Author: Ota Mitsuaki
Publisher: Best Shinsho
Pages: 198
Year: 2007

I have just recently read Okehazama no Shinjutsu and have to admit this book could have been better. There has been a lot revision of Sengoku history of late and Mr. Ota tries to revise the Battle of Okehazama to his own liking. I think Mr. Ota had good intentions, but failed to realize what made this battle special.

Mr. Ota first falls into the "Owari no utsuke" right off the bat. Calling Nobunga a coward puts him in the hot seat. He fails to see Nobunaga's genius and I do not know if he did it on purpose or not. I presume by accident. The author also fails to explain Imagawa Yoshimoto's family history. Once you know Yoshimoto's history, you know why Kyoto was the objective.

The author also left out many sources that would have made the book better. Two in mind: Okehazma Kassenki and Imagawa Yoshimoto by Owada Tetsuo. What stunned me was that this book has so many secondary sources and very few primary sources. Owada Tetsuo's version was written on mostly primary sources and the bibliography was much smaller. To tell you the truth, Owada's version book on the Okehazama is the gold standard at the moment.

The author mentions that there was no surprise attack all. However, he fails to put himself into Nobunaga's or Yoshimoto's shoes. I presume by accident. Again, the author uses secondary sources as his backbone for the book. I do not know why. The same for the number of troops in the battle and he leaves out the Ii family in his work as well. There is so much wrong with this book I could list many reasons why.

With that being said; however, there were some positives. He breaks down both sides economically which I thought was refreshing. The author goes into detail on Sakuma Morishige's death, Okabe Motonobu, and Hachitsuka Goroku. Again, I was pleased even though did not agree with the author.

This book could have been better with some careful use of more primary sources. I would like the author to put himself in the Battle of Okehazama scenario. If Mr. Ota did that, he would have understand the battle a bit more.

With all the mishaps with this book, I still recommend it since it is important to understand all sides. Sure, I did not agree with the author on much, but the book made me think. There will be many books on Okehazama within the next year or so due to the 450th anniversary of the battle. I plan to update mine after the party is over.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Poll

I found another poll on Samurai Country page. This is interesting. Check the link and scroll down to the Nobunaga and Tenka poll.

Apparently this was aired during the week.

The way the Oda machine was going after eliminating the Takeda in the spring of 1582 was full steam ahead.

Lamers Japonius Tyrannus page 195.

"At the time of his violent death (Nobunaga), says Berry, 'Nobunaga still faced the Mori, Shimazu, Uesugi, Date, Hojo, and Chosogabe-houses-collectively more formidable than those he had already taken. The Oda advances by 1582 provided little assurance that further gains were likely.' The fact of the matter is, however, that both Shimazu of southern Kyushu and the Date of northern Honshu maintained friendly relations with Nobunaga. Additionally, the Hojo had fought under his command in the 1582 Takeda Campaign; the Uesugi was a house divided against itself; the Mori was a formidable but retreating opponent; and the Chosogabe was a second-rate, if not a third-rate enemy."

Things did look bright for Nobunaga before his death. If he did not perish on June 2, 1582, Sengoku Japan would have been very different than what we know today.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seminar In Aichi

This is a bit late, but please check this out. On August 30, there will be a seminar with various speakers. Topics include Ieyasu's mother Odai no kata and the Battle of Nagashino.

Here are the links.

I think the topics that will be discussed are great. Love to attend. However, I will be about a month late since I will be in Japan on the first week of October.

Still no arrival yet on my books. When I do receive them, plan to write a book review.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nobunaga versus Shingen Poll

I found this poll on the net and it was interesting. Oda Nobunaga versus Takeda Shingen: who would win? The poll showed Shingen would have triumphed.

Here is the link:

Normally, I would disagree with this garbage. However, I do agree with this poll for several reasons. Tokugawa Ieyasu lost big time to Shingen at the Battle of Mikatagahara in 1572. Ieyasu barley escaped. If he was KIA at Mikatagahara, Nobunaga would have been in deep trouble. However, Ieyasu lived for another day and the rest is history

Shingen was clearly making his move in late 1572 and the early part of 1573. The Asakura and the Azai would have helped Shingen by trapping Nobunaga. However, 1573 changed everything. Shingen passed away in April of 1573, the Asakura and the Azai were no more, and the banishment of shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki created more breathing room for Nobunaga and Ieyasu.

I would like to see an open battle between the "Fool of Owari" and the "Mountain Monkey." I think most Sengoku history buff would too.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Akechi Mitsuhide The Movie

Directed by Nishitani Hiroshi (2007)
Akechi Mitsuhide Karasawa Hiroaki
Oda Nobunaga Uekawa Takaya
Hashiba Hideyoshi Yanagiba Toshiro
Hiroko Nagagawa Masami

I have to admit this film could have been better. I expected a three to four hour movie about Mitsuhide, but left with a sour taste in my mouth. The movie is about less than two hours and I am thinking why? To tell you the truth, I do not know why.

Karasawa Hiroaki played a decent Mitsuhide, but at times drifted away. Nobunaga was portrayed as stiff, cold, and inhuman like. I was upset about that, but I am going to let this slide because the movie was not about him. The movie is about Mitsuhide. Hideyoshi is the star of the show. His energy and enthusiasm alone carried the movie. Without his spunky behavior, the movie would been a dud.

The action is the movie are few, but tense. At least the director got me hooked on that. The slaughter at Mt. Hiei is one of the best I have seen since the movie captures the horror. The expressed shock the Oda army when the people fled for their lives. Mitsuhide looks horrified about the massacre. I do not blame him on this one. However, one of the best parts of the movie was when Nobunaga threw his sword at a bunch of monks praying stabbing one in the back. The Nobunaga way: finish them off.

Mitsuhide had enough and eventually rebels against his lord. It is bit different from most of the Honnoji Rebellions I have seen, but enjoyed it. Nobunaga puts up a good fight before he dies. However, the two talk before Nobunaga walks into the flames of hell to kill himself. Not to be missed was the part of the movie was when Nobunaga beat the living hell out Mitsuhide.

That being said, I think this was a chick flick in many ways. I cannot describe it. The director should have gone back further in Mitsuhide's days in Mino and Echizen. After all, Mitsuhide was a talented man in warfare and in the cultural arts. He did loved his wife Hiroko and family and it showed in the movie. Mitsuhide at times was unsure about himself and it showed in the movie. That trait alone eventually cost him his life.

I will keep the movie since I plan to watch it again in about six months. Hopefully, my opinion would change. Doubt it.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nobunaga Summit at Komaki

There is a conference or summit about Nobunaga in the Komaki City area on September 5-6. I hope Dohaland and Samurai Country will cover it. I would love to go, but the conference is one month early since I will arrive in Japan the first day of October.

Here are the links to the event.

I would love to attend. If anybody does attend the Nobunaga conference, please share your thoughts.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Mino deed

Before Saito Dosan perished at the Battle of Nagaragawa in 1556. He wrote his will/deed to his son-in-law, Nobunaga. Dosan did not want his evil son, Yoshitatsu to obtain the deed. Dosan was one of the few men who recognized Nobunaga's genius. I have loosely translated the deed to the best of my ability. Here it is:

I write out this malice to soon end
to my hearts content.
I give Oda Kazu no Suke Nobunaga Mino

and present transfer documents to him.
Rather than suffering and dying in old age,
I would be happier dying in a midst of bloody battle
and then attain nirvana.
I shall lose tomorrow's battle, that I am sure.
However, where my soul shall dwell
after leaving this world.

Koji 2 Year
April 19 Saito Yamashiro Nyudo Dosan

I have high respect for Dosan since he knew Nobunaga's rare talent. God Bless him for that.

Nobunaga no tame! Mino no mamushi!

Friday, August 7, 2009


I just ordered three movies and plan to see them next week.

The three ordered movies:

The Conspirator
Tokugawa Ieyasu and his Three Ladies
Akechi Mitsuhide: The Man God Hated

I must admit I am truly looking forward to seeing Akechi Mitsuhide: The Man God Hated. What I heard from the grapevine was that the movies is a must see. I plan to write a review of the movie. Also I am in the middle of planning a trip back to Japan in early September. As always, my trip is centered on Nobunaga.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yamauchi Kazutoyo's Birth Place

Yamauchi Kazutoyo who started to serve Nobunaga in the 1560s, was born at Kuroda Castle located in modern day Owari Ichinomiya. He was one of many so called Aichi bushi. Kazutoyo was born in 1545/6 and died in 1605.

Link to Kuroda Castle.

Owada Tetsuo has written a book on Kazutoyo as well.

The book is easy to read and a must for anybody who wants to know more about Kazutoyo's career.

I will be out for about two weeks and please leave comments for any breaking news on Nobunaga.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kunitori Monogatari and The Man God Hated

Recently shopping at Book-Off I found the 2005 movie box set of Kunitori Monogatari.

Ito Hideaki-Oda Nobunaga
Watabe Atsuro-Akechi Mitsuhide
Kitaoji Kinya-Saito Dosan
Kikukawa Rei-Nohime

I did not buy the set because the price was too high. However, what I understand is that the movie is worth buying

The link to the movie:

Kami ni aisarenakatta otoko (The Man God Hated) is the movie about Akechi Mitsuhide. The title suits Akechi Mitsuhide perfectly.

Akechi Mitsuhide-Karasawa Hiroaki
Oda Nobunaga-Uekawa Takaya


This is a must see and I plan to watch the movie later this year.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shibata Katsuie's Birth Place

Shibata Katsuie was one of Nobunaga's captains and one of the Boys from Owari. Katsuie was born at Shimoyashiro Castle.

Here is two links related to the Shimoyashiro Castle landmark located in the Nagoya City area.

The date to look for on Hide's link is 7/10/09. His post on Shibata Katsuie's birth place is rich and has plenty of feedback.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yanada Masatsuna

New information has been found on the man who changed Sengoku warfare forever. There is a link I found the data this morning that provided new details on Yanada Masatsuna.

Please see
and the date of his blog you should look is 7/9/09. Hide provides photos of Kunotsubo Castle and a links to maps as well.

Before Yanada Masatsuna received Kutsukake Castle as his reward for providing Nobunaga the intelligence that helped defeat the Imagawa at the Battle of Okehazama. It seems that Yanada came from Kunotsubo Castle. See Owada Tetsuo's Nobunaga Tettei Bunseki Junana Sho, p. 38.

In conclusion, Yanada Masatsuna started at Kunotsubo to Kutsukake Castle and cash.

Photos of Kutsukake Castle. The photo on the top is the ruins of Kutsukake Castle. The photo below is the Kutsukake Castle landmark. The most important historical fact was that Yanada Masatsuna's reward was bigger and better than Mori Shinsuke and Hattori Koheita combined.

I also added Hide's link to the link area.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Okehazama Discussion

The Okehazama discussion last night went well. I spoke for about forty minutes before the audience asked questions related to the battle. Most of the questions from the audience was about the so called surprise attack. To tell you the truth, the audience was split. However, as everybody knows my position on this touchy subject, Nobunaga DID use the surprise attack on the Imagawa at the Battle of Okehazama.

I would like to thank Ms. Hosokawa for letting me use her house as a place for me to talk about my book. Thanks again.

The Oda Nobunaga Guide Book is broken into six courses.

  1. Utsuke
  2. Tsushima
  3. Okehazama
  4. Road to Mino
  5. Sengoku no Onnatachi
  6. Nagashino
I really like this guide book and will be using it when I return to Japan. Hopefully this year. If you are in the Aichi area, please make sure you obtain this book. it is very useful and a must for any Nobunaga scholar.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, July 6, 2009

First Speaking Forum

Tonight I will speak about my book for the first time with some close friends of mine. I am a little nervous, but will be able handle it. My friends and colleagues want to know more about my book, Nobunaga, and Okehazama. The book is still not perfect. However, I am very satisfied and blessed with the work that I done since the book is now at least respectable.

I found the person who was responsible for the Nobunaga/Ieyasu Guide Book illustrations.

Here is the link to the artist's web page.
Mr. YSK (nickname) has a blog and he was the one who created the book covers. Great job! Nobunaga is ready to take over the world!

Tenka no tame!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The New Edition Is Better

I finally received the copy of my new edition of the Okehazama book. I must say, I am am very happy with it and glad that I took the time to work out the kinks. The book is so much better than the old one and there is no comparison. I am completely satisfied with the work I done. Nothing is perfect and will likely add new information in a year or two.

I would like to thank Mr. Brent Massey who made this publication possible, Kitsuno who persuaded me to take the time to rewrite it, Obenjo who gave me a swift kick in the rear end at times to make sure the book is decent enough for the general public, Mr. Sekigahara, and God.

You can order the book at Amazon and at the Samurai Archives Bookstore. If you order the book at the SA, you will help their awesome site at no additional charge. Make sure you order the book new. The new version is the revised edition while the used one is the crummy one.

I did receive one negative review and it was well deserved. The person who wrote the review gave me strength to rewrite a better book. Thanks.

Saturday will be the 4th of July. Remember freedom comes at a price and it is precious. The price is always paid in blood.

Update : someone pointed out some errors on a couple of names. Yoshimoto's Timeline there are two. Yoshimoto's father was Ujichika not Yoshichika (Ujichika is listed later in the book) and Yoshimoto's wife Jukeiin (her name was Jokeiin). Page 32, Kitsuno's father was listed as IkomaIenaga. Her father was Ikoma Iemune. The first two, I do not know what happened. The last one was my fault. they name will be edited by the end of the year.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Movie on the construction of Azuchi Castle

I found some links on the SA on the story of the construction of Azuchi Castle. The movie looks interesting and would love to get my hands on them.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nobunaga Guide Book

I have just received my Nobunaga Guide Book in the mail today. To tell you the truth, the people of Aichi Prefecture did an excellent job and it is highly useful even though the guide book is in Japanese (for you non-Japanese readers the guide book is still easy to comprehend). The Nobunaga Guide book includes a timeline, Nobunaga's history related to Aichi Prefecture, maps, photos of the historical landmarks, and where to locate them as well. There is even an Ieyasu Guide Book as well, but the Nobunaga one will always be the better guide book. This is one of the best I have seen so far and it is a must for any Nobunaga/Ieyasu fan out there.

There are two people I would like to thank. Dohaland of Samurai Country and Mr. Hiroyuki Kawade. Thanks again! The Nobunaga Guide Book is useful and a must have for anyone who is studying Nobunaga or Ieyasu.

Nobunaga no tame! Tenka no tame!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nijo Castle Part III

Micheal Cooper, (pp. 93-95).

Luis Frois,

"He decreed that while the work was in progress none of the monasteries either inside or outside the city should toll its bells. He set up a bell in the castle to summon and dismiss the men, and as soon as it was rung all the chief nobles and their retainers would begin working with spades and hoes in their hands. He always strode around girded about with a tiger skin on which to sit and wearing rough and coarse clothing; following his example everyone wore skins and no-one dared to appear before him in a court dress while the building was in progress. Everybody, both men and women, who wanted to go and view the work passed in front of him; while on the site one day, he happened to see a soldier lifting up a woman's cloak slightly on order to get a glimpse of her face, and there and then the king struck off his head with his own hand.

The most marvellous thing about the whole operation was the incredible speed with which the work was carried out. It looked as if four or five years would be needed to complete the masonry work, yet he had it finished within 70 days."

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Here are some links I found at Samurai Country.

The first one is awesome. This guy goes all out as being a Sengoku warlord. And he goes all the way too.

This guy has some cool pics and information as well. Nice link and useful.

The second one is kind of cheesy. Nobunaga ramen? I could not believe it! Located in Kiyosu. Sorry, I prefer soba and genmai.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frois's Version of Nijo Castle Part II

Michael Cooper (pp. 93-95).

Luis Frois,

"He constructed a moat around the outside, spanned it with drawbridges, and placed different kinds of birds and fowl in the water. The walls were six or seven ells high, and in some places six ells wide and in other places seven or eight ells wide, according to the requirements of the building or place. He built three very large gates with stone fortifications. And there within he had dug another very broad moat and laid out one of the loveliest walks that I have seen in Japan. Nothing more can be said about the excellence, the good order and the neatness of the interior."

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Luis Frois's version of Nijo Castle Part I

Part I of Luis Frois account of the construction of Nijo Castle. Michael Cooper, They Came to Japan: An Anthology of European Reports on Japan, 1543-1640 (pp. 93-95).

"Nobunaga built a castle there, the like of which has never been seen before in Japan. First of all he gave orders for both temples to be razed and then commandeered the site, measuring four streets long and four wide. All the princes and nobles of Japan came to help in the building operations; usually there were from 15,000 to 25,000 men at work, all dressed in cloth breeches and short jackets made of skins. When he went around supervising the operations, he carried his sword in his hand or rested it on his shoulder, or else he carried a baton in his hand. He decided to build the castle completely of stone-something, as I have said, quite unknown in Japan. As there was no stone available for the work, he ordered many stone idols to be pulled down, and the men tied ropes around the necks of these and dragged them to the site. All this struck terror and amazement in the hearts of the Miyako citizens for they deeply venerated their idols. And so a noble and his retainers would carry away a certain number of stones from each monastery every day, and as all were eager to please Nobunaga and not depart iota from his wishes, they smashed the stone altars, toppled over and broke up the hotoke, and carried away the pieces in carts. Other men went off to work in quarries, others carted away earth, others cut down timber in the hills; in fact the whole operation resembled the building of the Temple in Jerusalem or the labours of Dido in Carthage."

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nobunaga Guide Book

It seems that there is a Nobunaga Guide Book hovering around Aichi Prefecture. I first found this out from Country Samurai's link. There is a Tokugawa Ieyasu Guide Book as well. The book covers are well done.

I would like to obtain the Nobunaga Guide Book. However, I live in California and I ask, is there any way I can get my hands on the book?

Here are some links related to the guide books.

At the moment, I am reading a book on Maeda Toshiie by Kaku Kozo. It is not that bad to tell you the truth. Hopefully, I will start Luis Frois's version of Nijo Castle by the weekend.

Again, I ask. Is there a way I can obtain the Nobunaga Guide Book?

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, June 15, 2009

More on Okehazama Festivals

Here is an article by the Japanese newspaper Chunichi Shibun. The article discussed in small detail about the Okehazama festival held at Koutokuin Temple in Toyoake City, Aichi Prefecture.

I also received the 2nd edition to my Okehazama book. A lot better and I can rest now. Nothing is perfect, but I am happy with it at the moment. I should be discussing more about Nijo castle and Nobunaga later this month.

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What happened to the Nobunaga statue in Gifu?

I just found out from a friend of mine in Japan that the Nobunaga statue in Gifu Park was removed.

Was it stolen? Or removed for further excavations and the planning to rebuild Nobunaga's mansion. If anybody has an answer to this please let me know ASAP! Anyways, I am very upset that is happened. Nobody messes around with my boy! That is Holy ground!

Here is what the statue looks like.

Here is a link to excavations.

Tenka no tame!

Update on the stones

I have received some help from the SA on the stones. They here kind enough to provide two links related to Nobunaga's Nijo Castle stones. The links are in Japanese and the information is useful.

Here are the two links.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nijo Castle's stones

Rekishi Gunzo Meijo Shirizu 11 Nijo-jo

I would like to know what happened to the Buddhist imaged stones that Nobunaga used during his construction of Nijo-jo. The magazine above on pages 22-27,36-39 has information on Nobunaga's Nijo-jo. It also has photos of the Buddhist imaged stones that were found during excavation in the mid 1970s.

The question I ask is where are the stones located at? A museum? Can the public view them at all? That is the question I ask. The photos in the magazine are in black and white. However, you can see the Buddhist imaged stones clearly.

Nijo Castle was built when the Miyoshi Triumvirs attacked shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki's residence Honkokuji located in Kyoto in January 1569. Nobunaga knew something had to be done and he constructed Nijo Castle for Yoshiaki.

Ota Gyuichi's Shincho Ko-ki has an account of the construction. For an English account see Lamers book on Nobunaga. Also see Micheal Cooper's They Came to Japan: An Anthology of European Reports on Japan, 1543-1640. Cooper's book is great since it has Luis Frois account of the construction. Frois does write about Nobunaga using Buddhist imaged stones for construction material.

If anybody has an answer where are the stones located at please let me know. I plan to gives Frois account soon. Since it is long, I plan to break it off.

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The SA interview with historian Constantine Vaporis

The SA just finished an interview with historian Constantine Vaporis who specialises in Edo history. Read the interview carefully since there are two key points.

  • Oda Nobunaga. He recognizes Nobunaga's genius and knows that if he stayed alive long enough, history would have been different. That was the answer I hoped for and he was right on the mark.
  • On the academic side, the importance of being able to read brush-written documents. When I was living and studying in Gifu, I was starting to learn how to read those types of documents. However, it was short and now I am on my own.
Here is the link to the interview.

Professor Vaporis also has a book out as well.

Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo and Culture in Early Modern Japan.

You can buy his book at the SA bookstore.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Okehazama Festival

I would like to remind all of you that the Okehazama Festival will happen this weekend.

Here is the link.

Hopefully Samurai Country will have some photos on their site next week.

Also I ordered the 2nd edition of my Okehazama book and should receive it next week. As always, I will let you know how the book turned out. I spent the last couple of months trying to correct things and make the book more professional. My opinion, this one is a lot better and I can breathe a little easier now.

Yesterday, after shedding tears of Nobunaga's death, I bought Suzuki Eiji's book Yoshimoto Bosatsu at Book-Off. The book is a two volume set. I only managed to buy volume two.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Today is a sad day

Today is a sad day. June 2, 1582 Nobunaga died. He was betrayed by the evil Akechi Mitsuhide who attacked the Honnoji. Nobunaga was heavily outnumbered, but he will be remembered for his courageous fight against the evil Mitsuhide.

There are several reasons why Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled and here is a list.

  • Power
  • Nobunaga treated Mitsuhide as an outsider
  • Did not receive rewards
  • Always insulted
  • The murder of his mother (still debated)
  • Nobunaga jealous of Mitsuhide's poetic talent
Power was one of them. It was the perfect opportunity to attack. Once he succeeded though, did did not have the back up support he needed. The rewards is a key one. I believe that Nobunaga did not reward Mitsuhide enough to make him happy. In a time of chaos, rewards and morale will make the difference.

Mitsuhide was an outsider. He was not from the Owari band of warriors. He probably came from Mino. After Nobunaga took full control of Owari in 1559, most or all of the rebellions came from outsiders.

Nobunaga did experience constant betrayal in the 1570s. Matsunaga Hisahide in 1572 and 77, Araki Murashige in 1578. Then you have Mitsuhide in 1582. This constant betrayal made Nobunaga's authority a dictatorship. It was human nature to make sure he had total control of his vassals. It was only a matter of time for one to say enough is enough. Mitsuhide had enough of Nobunaga's brutal dictatorship because I think he received most of criticism.

Again, Japan lost a great man. If Nobunaga lived for at least another ten years, Japan would be a very different country for sure.

I plan to write more on the Honnoji later this month.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tokugawa Art Museum

The Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya will have a special exhibition on the battles of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu starting July 18th through August 30th. This will be a real treat. If anybody who is in the Nagoya area during that time, please go and visit the museum.

Here is the link to the museum.

Click on the special exhibitions, then click on current year exhibitions, and scroll down to the Battles of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu.

I plan to order the Okehazama book on Wednesday and really looking forward how it turned out. I know for sure this one is a lot better than the first. Also the Okehazama Festival is next weekend and Samurai Country (a blog from Japan which covers samurai from the Aichi area) will have more information.

June 2 will be a day of mourning. All Nobunaga fans know it was a terrible day. I will give some thoughts on the Honnoji Rebellion. Some of my older posts cover what went on that tragic day. However, I plan to gives reasons why it happened.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ieyasu Post Okehazama

Besides Nobunaga's great victory over the Fox of Suruga (Imagawa Yoshimoto) at the Battle of Okehazama 1560, there was one more important event that happened as well. Ieyasu's freedom. Without Nobunaga's victory, I do not think there would have been a Tokugawa dynasty.

With the peace treaty between the Oda and Tokugawa done in 1562, an alliance that lasted twenty years, a rarity in the Sengoku Era. This was very important. Without the alliance, Nobunaga would have never conquered Mino or made his presence known in Kyoto in 1568. Ieyasu would have never had the chance to clean up Mikawa either. He still would have been in the service of the Imagawa.

Here are some facts about the alliance. Nobunaga was the senior partner, no doubt about it.
Jeroen Lamers, Japonius Tyrannus, page 49 has most of the answers.

  • Ieyasu was not a direct vassal of Nobunaga.
  • He was on independently on par with Nobunaga's captains, but did not have to listen to them.
  • However, he did take orders directly from Nobunaga.
One occasion where Ieyasu was the commander-in-chief (Battle of Mikatagahara 1572) and he paid the price dearly! He was routed by the Takeda and it was almost a death sentence. After the defeat, Ieyasu realized he needed Nobunaga's help to defeat the Takeda.

Nobunaga and Ieyasu did team up together in 1570 to score a victory over the Azai/Asakura at the Battle of Anegawa in 1570.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Okehazama Map

As I continue with May as the month of Okehazama, here is a map. The map will be useful if you are traveling and do research on the Battle of Okehazama. However, the map is in Japanese.

Today is Memorial Day. Please thank those who has served our country and remember that freedom is not free. It is always paid with blood.

God Bless America!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Okehazama by Owada Testuo

Author: Owada Tetsuo

Title: Okehazama no Tatakai

Publisher: Gakken

Pages: 254

Year: 2000

If I had to choose one book from Owada Tetsuo, it would be this one. This book is so good that I own two copies. One is beat up and I take it everywhere I go. The second one is new and in my personal library. I bought this book late 2000 while living in Gifu at the time. What I did not know was this book would inspire me to write my own on the battle.

This is one of Owada's best since it covers everything you need to know about Okehazama. The book covers both histories of the Oda and Imagawa and has a family tree as well. It also goes into great detail on Yoshimoto's Kyoto campaign. If you are looking for information on young Ieyasu, it has that too. Owada also included a family tree of the Ii as well.

The book goes into great detail on the battle and gives his opinion on the the thunderstorm and Yanada Masatsuna's intelligence. Both were critical in turning the favor towards Nobunaga's side. He uses both Ota Gyuuichi and Oze Hoan as sources as well as the Okehazama war chronicle. I really want my hands on that one.

He also has pages dedicated to the Atsuta Shrine prayer and the war dead. There is also a least a page on the sword "Samonji" as well. More important gives an account of the rise of the Oda and the fall of the Imagawa.

I am impressed that the fact Owada did provide both sides to the Okehazama debate and the surprise attack. He was fair and there was no biased opinion either. The Oda/Tokugawa alliance story was explained as well. However, his maps were very basic. The book is pocket-size and information was and is more important than the visual.

The more I read this book, the more I feel I was a part of the battle. The book was easy to understand as well. If you read the book carefully, Nobunaga's country boy attitude won the day. I have been to most of the places that Owada wrote about in the book and it helped me to explain the battle better.

One last thing about this work of art. The book was dirt cheap. Less that 600 yen.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oda Nobunaga link

I found this Oda Nobunaga link earlier today while looking for Nanbanji photos. The link is sublime and it does have photos of Nanbanji which is located in Kyoto.

The main site oumi-castle is one of the best I have seen in a long time. There are several prefectures you can check out for historical landmarks related to Sengoku history. I have posted their link on the link page. Check it out.

They also have links to books and other memorabilia related to the Sengoku Era.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today is the day

Today is the day Nobunaga made history. No doubt about it, Nobunaga made excellent use of his rare opportunities. On the other hand , Imagawa Yoshimoto had so opportunities handed to him, he fumbled. I have to say that Okehazama is the battle that put Nobunaga on the map. His conquest was pure genius and talent that was given by God!

My second and revised edition should be ready to order in a week or so. I will order it sometime next week or the first of the month. As for a book recommendation, please read Owada Tetsuo's Okehazama no Tatakai. Published in 2000 by Gakken. This is one of my favorite books by Owada.

I did post a link earlier today. This gentleman is from the SA and a very smart one too. Please check it out.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Which is the correct battlefield

Unfortunately, Okehazama has two battlefields and which one is the correct one is still being debated today.

The Okehazama battlefield Midori-ku, Arimatsu location

Okehazama battlefield Sakae-cho, Toyoake City location. Became a national landmark by the Ministry of Education in 1937.

So which one is the correct one? They are both legitimate battlefields. the Arimatsu location has a lot going against them. First, it is hard to get to and hardly anybody knows it even exists. You have to take a taxi to get there from Arimatsu Station. On the other hand, Toyoake City location is only a five minute walk from the Meitetsu station.

However, Arimatsu does have some things going their way. For example, more historians are excepting the Arimatsu location as the original battlefield. The Arimatsu location has the well were Yoshimoto's head was cleaned, the senpyo-no-matsu tree (war council tree), and Chofukuji Temple. The Buddhist priest, Zenku gave the Imagawa army refreshments nearby.

As for Toyoake City, they have the landmark where the Imagawa was camped at, the seven pillars for the dead, Kotokuin Temple, Senninzuka (grave for the war dead. 15 minute walk from the battlefield), and more important, status from the Ministry of Education (granted in 1937). They used to have the Okehazama museum before it shut down.

I think both battlefields are justified no matter what the historians say. They are both related to the battle. I have to admit, I have been to the Toyoake City location several times and only once to the Arimatsu location. It comes down to one important issue: convenience.

I am more liberal on this one. No matter what people say, I always say both are legit. In fact, both locations have some sort of festival going on near the battle date. That is music to my ears.

I urge you to visit both battlefields with an open mind. If you do, both locations will reveal their secrets out.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Okehazama Anniversary

The Yomiuri has an article about the 450th anniversary of the Battle of Okehazama 1560 which will be next year 2010.

The 2nd edition should be out in a week or two.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Okehazama link

Here is a link to the Battle of Okehazama (Toyoake City).

It has information on the Sakae-cho, Toyoake City Okehazama Battlefield, Kutsukake Castle, and Senninzuka.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, May 11, 2009

More on Okehazama Festivals

There is an Okehazama Festival that will be held on May 17 2009 at the Chofukuji Temple area. Arimtasu-cho, Midori-ku.

Links to the festival.

Happy Birthday Nobunaga! Tenka no tame!

Nobunaga knew ahead of time

During the eve of the Battle of Okehazama 1560, Nobunaga and his retainers held a war council at Kiyosu Castle. The atmosphere was tense and his retainers wanted answers now, not later on how to deal with the Imagawa invasion. Others have suggested to Nobunaga that aid can received. However, Nobunaga knew he had no allies. He knew he had to go all alone. I go much in detail in the second edition of the Okehazama book.

Then Nobunaga acted as if was not worried at all. His retainers were in shock. This was a crisis and now death seems certain. He continued to play mind games with his council and they were still in complete shock. Nobunaga continued to shout, harass, and continued to be the Owari no Utsuke. He finally told his council to go home since he was tired and wanted some rest. One man, Hayashi Hidesada, was hurt. Nobunaga mocked him and called him an old man. What Hayashi did not know was that Nobunaga had a plan right from the start. Surprise attack when ready.

The Paul Varley article on page 114, he mentioned that Nobunaga was concerned about Imagawa spies. A logical answer. If there were Imagawa spies, Nobunaga made sure that he played the "fool" well to trick them. It worked if that was the case.

What I am trying to say is that Nobunaga knew all along something different had to be done. The old ways could not work anymore. He knew his retainers would disagree. So Nobunaga had to act as a fool to get his way. The Imagawa spies sure bought it if they were present.

The real fools were his retainers and his enemies who did know his pure genius. The next day Nobunaga proved his worth at the Battle of Okehazama. I go into detail much more in the second edition.

May 11/12 is usually Nobunaga's birthday.

Happy Birthday Nobunaga! You can eat all the kaki and mochi you want today!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Four Key Points

Okehazama Battlefield Landmark Toyoake City Location

In my Okehazama book (both editions) I have laid out four key points to the Battle of Okehazama.

  1. Thunderstorm
  2. Yanada Masatsuna's intelligence
  3. Small force
  4. Okehazama itself
The Thunderstorm caused the Imagawa troops to huddle closer to avoid the rain. It was a hot and steamy day and provided relief. The thunderstorm made Nobunaga's army less detectable. Either the Imagawa army was negligent or the storm prevented the army to scout efficiently. If the weather did change, so too the result. Yoshimoto's Kyoto campaign would have been much smoother.

Yanada Masatsuna's intelligence changed Sengoku warfare. He gave the key data where the Imagawa camp location to Nobunaga. Nobunaga knew he had to act quickly to the information. It changed everything. Nobunaga knew he had a chance to destroy the Imagawa in once punch. Okehazama went to the age of military exploitation, to the age of intelligence. Yanada was rewarded with Kutsukake Castle and cash for his service.

The small force was less detectable and provided just enough cover for a surprise attack. His earlier victories with a small army in the Owari unification process helped. He was outnumbered as well in the Battle of Moribe in 1561. More important, Nobunaga did not and could not receive any allied support. He was all on his own. The Saito/Oda allaince was broken in 1556 with the death of Saito Dosan. A larger army would have been easily spotted.

Okehazama itself. Yoshimoto could have continued to march to Odaka without the break. Sure, the weather was hot and sticky. Success was so fast for the Imagawa, Yoshimoto was very confident Nobunaga would fold by the next day. He was overconfident. Ieyasu was waiting for the arrival of Yoshimoto at Odaka Castle which never came. By resting at Okehazama, all three things occurred, thunderstorm, Yanada's intelligence, small army, and a recipe for disaster.

This is only a general explanation. The second edition goes into much detail.

Update: The second edition should be available by late May at the earliest. Made the final corrections before the publisher sent the manuscript to the printer.

Nobunaga no tame!