Friday, March 27, 2009

Nobunaga's Sword Hunt

Source: Elison and Smith, Warlords, Artists, and Commoners: Japan in the Sixteenth Century.
Elison, "The Cross and the Sword: Patterns of Momoyama History," pp. 68, 299.

In 1576, Nobunaga had his own sword hunt in Echizen Province. The purpose was to separate the farmer from the samurai. The farmers job was to grow food and the samurai to fight. Nobunaga's vassal, Shibata Katsuie issued a seven-article document that ordered the farmers to the land and prohibited them from seeking new masters.

However, this was not Katsuie's own independent action. Nobunaga had full control of everything. This was a good idea since it disarmed the peasants and would make it harder for them to revolt. Twelve years later Hideyoshi would do the same in 1588. He probably took a page from Nobunaga book and expanded it.

Nobunaga was first to act before Hideyoshi and had full control. They had to get Nobunaga's blessings knowing full well Nobunaga would have complete control.

I would also like to know if any other Sengoku warlord did they own sword hunt.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fuuuji Oda Nobunaga

Title: Fuunji Oda Nobunaga
Year: 1959-Color
Studio: Toei
Director: Kono Toshikazu
Oda Nobunaga: Nakamura Kinnosuke
Nohime: Kagawa Kyoko

I bought the movie this week for only ten bucks. Did not think much of it since it was made in the late 50s. However, this movie was worth every penny and learned some new things even with some inaccuracies.

The movie starts out with Nobuhide's funeral and Nobunaga was late as usual. Nobunaga enters the temple and throws the incense at the altar. He has tears flowing down on his face. the tears are not of sadness, but anger. It goes on with the Yamaguchi of Narumi switching sides and Nobunaga is going about his usual business. He makes sure his army is up to speed with the matchlock rifle. His attire is that of the "Fool of Owari."

The death of Hirate Masahide is one of the moving moments of the movie. It shows Nobunaga's human side. For once in his lifetime, Nobunaga is does not know what to do. Nobunaga's tears are full of sadness. He rides his horse to the river where he expresses his sadness and anger. He knows now he has to change.

Then it continues with the meeting with Saito Dosan. Nohime is worried that her father will kill Nobunaga. As always, Nobunaga shows no fear and is able to meet with the Viper of Mino at Shoutokuji. Dosan realizes that Nobunaga came prepared with his army. He curses Nobunaga's rags and wants to kill him right away. Nobunaga changes into formal attire and Dosan is shocked. He knows he lost the battle. The two joke around and laugh. The laughter was that of evil, not happiness.

It contines to build up to the climax which is the Battle of Okehazama. Nakamura Kinnosuke sings and dances to Atsumori well. Much better than Ken Watanabe and Ogata Naoto (the worst Atsumori ever). Nohime plays the hand drum gracefully and Nobunaga heads out to war.

The battle scene was OK. Then again the movie was made in 1959. What ticked me of was that Tange and Zenshouji was burnt. Never happened. It did the day of the battle was hot. You can see it Yoshimoto and the Imagawa faces.

The final act shows Nobunaga and Nohime at Kiyosu Castle enjoying the moment while the people of Owari celebrate.

I enjoyed the movie and glad that it is in my Nobunaga library. Nakamura's role as Nobunaga was not bad at all. Better than what I have seen of late. Kagawa Kyoko's role of Nohime was decent. She showed Nohime's qualities as an iron lady, but the ending ticked me off. She weeps while she embraces Nobunaga (WTF). Again, somehow a movie made in late 50s even with some mishaps is better than most of garbage I have seen of late.

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

Nobunaga no tame! Tenka no tame!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I found some information on the Battle of Terabe in 1558. In A.L. Sadler's book, The Maker of Modern Japan, the lord of Terabe was Suzuki Shigeteru (Sadler, p.51). However, Owada Tetsuo's Okehazama no Tatakai, the lord of Terabe was Suzuki Hyuga no Kami, Shigetoki (Owada, pp. 104-105). Owada rarely fumbles so I presume the name was Shigetoki.

This was Tokugawa Ieyasu's first baptism of fire and it was successful. I did manage to add the information in the 2nd edition to the Okehazama book as well. The battle started when the lord of Terabe switched sides and became an ally for the Oda.

Terabe is located in Aichi Prefecture. Toyota-shi, Terabe-cho.

As for the Battle of Terabe, it was many of the endless conflicts that led to the Battle of Okehazama in 1560.

Nobunaga no Tame!

Monday, March 9, 2009


I found this link on Azuchi Castle. The photos are nice and there are quite a few.

Here is the link:

The site is one of the better ones related to Azuchi. I love this site.

Another link I posted last week.

This is a great site however, there is not much related to Oda Nobunaga. It actually ticks me off. That is the only bad part about the site. I like this one because it has a map where the castles are located. It does a disservice to Nobunaga. What up with that?

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book Review

Title: Oda Nobunaga Otoko no Miryoku
Author: Owada Tetsuo
Publisher: Mikasashobo
Date: 1991
Pages: 245

I found this book by Owada Tetsuo about two weeks ago at Book-Off. What a find. OwadaTestuo sure knows how to blend in academic work with pop culture. Oda Nobunaga Otoko no Miryoku was written as a supplement to the 1992 Tiaga Drama Oda Nobunaga. This book is easy to understand in Japanese. Those who cannot read Japanese, do not worry. The pictures make it very easy to understand what Owada is try to explain.

The book has at least forty frames of the Ehon Taikoki, which is a bonus. this is one of main reasons why I bought the book. If you cannot afford to buy the Ehon Taikoki. this book is for you. It also has a sketch of Azuchi's Seminario as well. Pages 188-197 explain the Oda family so well, it is easy to understand. Page 189 is one of the best. It has a picture of Nobunaga's mother giving her love to Nobuyuki. Nobuhide is minding his business while Nobunaga in rags eating a rice ball or fruit with an attitude "Who are you looking at."

It continues with Nobunaga's offspring. This is one of the better parts of the book. Pictures explain easily how his sons died by battle, sickness, or bumped off. As for his daughters, there is a chart explaining who they were married to.

The book has many details on Nobunaga's life and his battles. Sure, the Nagashino data used in the book is outdated, but is still useful in many ways. There are tons of maps which helps everybody. A picture is worth a thousand words. It does a good job explaining how Saito Dosan knew Nobunaga was no fool. If you need an English translation from Anjokuji Ekei point of view of Nobunaga. Just look at page 101 in Lamers book. This book is very similar to NaramotoTetsuya's Sengoku Busho Monoshiro Jiten.

If there was one negative drawback, the book lacked a bibliography. Kind of strange since Owada usually has a bibliography in most of his books. I think this book was written for the average Joe. However, what about the Nobunaga scholar? This book a jackpot of information. A must have. I am glad I have in my personal Nobunaga library. I know this book will come in handy in the future. One last note: If you have any doubts on Nobunaga. Owada tells the reader that Nobunaga was born three hundred years too soon! I totally agree with that.

Nobunaga no tame!