Saturday, May 23, 2009
Okehazama by Owada Testuo
Author: Owada Tetsuo
Title: Okehazama no Tatakai
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!