Monday, February 2, 2009

Soft side of Nobunaga

Believe it or not, Nobunaga was human and did show his soft side at times. The most famous and well known incident is letter to Hideyoshi's wife, Ne-Ne. This was written around 1576 0r 1577. Nobunaga showed some sympathy and tried to cheer her up.

Text is from Berry's Hideyoshi, pp. 56-57

"Your recent journey here [to Azuchi] for the first time and your visit with me were felicitous events. I cannot exhaust mu brush or my eyes [in appreciation of] the great beauty of the gifts [you brought]. Although I thought I might send something in gratitude, I have given up the idea at the present as I can make no fitting return for the pleasant things I have received from you. When we meet again i shall present something. I particularly looked with admiration upon your features and your appearance which seemed doubly [beautiful] since we last met. That Tokichiro [Hideyoshi] is said to be ceaselessly dissatisfied is a great wrong, beyond words. However far he searches, this bald rat will never find again anyone like yourself. Thus from now on be steadfast, become strong as a wife, and do not give in to jealousy. It is best, in your role as a woman, to leave some things unsaid. Please show this letter to Hashiba [Hideyoshi]."

It is rare to find a letter with such concern since most of the surviving letters from Nobunaga are business like.

Nobunaga Rex! (latin for king) Nobunaga no tame!


Suigetsu said...


I haven't seen this letter before~~
What a soft side of Nobunaga Sama~~

otsuke said...

Elizabeth Berry's Hideyoshi is a great book. There is some of the letter to Nene as well in Neil McMullin's Buddhism and the State in Sixteenth-Century Japan.