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!