Friday, May 1, 2009
There has been a lot of speculation of late to figure out what was Yoshimoto's objective when he left Sunpu on 12 May 1560. The old theory was Kyoto. The new theory from the cocktail buzz is Nobunaga and Owari. To tell you the truth, I do not believe it was Nobunaga and Owari.
Here are some facts you need to know (Mentioned in the first and soon to be second edition in my book).
Yoshimoto spent time in Kyoto when he was a young boy.
His mother had noble Court blood which he had too.
He styled himself has Kyoto courtier and several of the buildings around Sunpu resembled Kyoto and the high life.
The Imagawa family did have ties to the Ashikaga government.
The mentioned above can easily point out that Yoshimoto's objective was Kyoto. In fact, his was dream to occupy the capital in the name of the Imagawa. Many other Sengoku warlords had the same dream. Most of them failed, others never had the chance.
Owada Tetsuo's Imagawa Yoshimoto no Subete, pp. 30-31 provides a balance.
He mentioned four key points: Kyoto, secure Mikawa, secure Narumi/Odaka Line, and Nobunaga and Owari. I have mentioned the key points in my book as well. Owada stated that the Sengoku warlords job was to expand territory within their own domain and outside of their domain as well. Which was true.
However, Kyoto was Yoshimoto's objective. That is what I believe since he was a fanatic about the capital. He had everything going for him. The family name, noble blood, and he acted and styled himself as a Kyoto aristocrat.
Others helped Yoshimoto pulled the Kyoto trigger. Uesugi Kenshin and Oda Nobunaga. Kenshin made two visits to the capital in 1553 and 1559. Nobunaga visited shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru in 1559 as well. Yoshimoto knew he had to act fast if he too would like to stake claim in Kyoto.
I do not buy the Nobunaga and Owari theory. It just does not add up. The other who differ are not wrong. I just disagree with them. When Yoshimoto departed on 12 May 1560 with 25,000 soldiers, Kyoto was his goal. He had the resources and the family pedigree for such an operation.
I go into great detail in both editions on my book. Remember, Yoshimoto would have changed history if was successful in his Kyoto campaign. The chances of him establishing himself a government in his name were high. It never happened. Nobunaga defeated the Fox of Suruga at the Battle of Okehazama on 19 May 1560.
Nobunaga no tame!