Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fujimoto Masayuki's theory since 1982?

I bought Suzuki Masaya's book Sengoku 15 Dai Kassen no Shinsho last week and read his take on Okehazama. The book was published in 2003 covering battles from Okehazama to Osaka. What was his take on Okehazama? Suzuki noted that Fujimoto Masayuki's theory first appeared in 1982 (p.14)? Does anybody know about this? If this is true, let me know.

If this is true, then Fujimoto's theory (Okehazama was not a surprise attack) is not new. His theory was calculated a long time ago. As everyone knows, I disagree with his opinion and respect it as well.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Edo Era Okehazama Map

This a reproduction of a Okehazama map from the Edo Era. the map has all the key places such as the Oda forts, Imagawa castles, and the story of the battle. I have translated the story of the battle, but quickly found out it is very similar to Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki. There is one key element that is different. Yanada Masatsuna is mentioned in the story. A big plus in my opinion.

"Yanada Masatsuna returned from scouting with a dispatch. 'Imagawa Yoshimoto is resting at Dengakuhazama!'"

It is great map, but it is from the Edo Era which sometimes can distort the truth.

Tenka no Tame!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Narumijo wo Houi shite toride wo kizuku

Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki (modern translation by Nakagawa Taiko) Introduction book; chapter 35, p. 84.

"Yoshimoto's army came to invade Owari. Nobunaga said, 'This is a serious matter' as he made preparations which he took to heart. The Suruga forces occupied Narumi Castle. On the south side was the Kurosue River which the tides flowed into the bay. Continuing east was the valleys, the west was deep paddies, from the north to east was the mountains. Built ready for use was Fort Tange which was twenty cho from the castle. Mizuno Tatewaki, Yamaguchi Ebi no Jo, Tsutsugen Ban no to, Maki Yojuro, Maki Sojuro, and Ban Ju zaemon were deployed at Tange. The historic ruins from the east was Zenshoji. sakuma Nobumori was placed at stronghold. The south was a small village of Nakajima and here Kajikawa Takahide was deployed. On the opposite side of the Kurosue River were two forts to counter Narumi and Odaka Castles. Sakuma Morishige was deployed at Marune and Io (Ino) Sadamune at Washizu."

My translation is not perfect. However, it will give a clue on Nobunaga's preparations against Imagawa Yoshimoto.

Nobunaga no Tame!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What happened to the five pages after Okehazama?

After Nobunaga turned the world upside down at Okehazama, what happened to the five pages after the historic battle? To tell you the truth, a sad one.

In 1561, Iwamuro Nagato no Kami was killed at Okuchi (Okuji) and the other four were killed fighting at Mikatagahara in 1572. Gato Yasaburo, Hasegawa Hashisuke, Sawaki Tohachi, and Yamaguchi Hida no Kami were killed in action.

Taniguchi Katsuhiro's Nobunaga no Shineitai, pages 214, 224, 233, and 239 has some information on the four. Also if you read Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki on the Battle of Mikatagahara, the four are mentioned as well.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shincho-Ko ki: Okehazama Part V

This is the last segment that I have tried to translate. Some things were left out, but very minor at best.

"...Yamada Shinzaemon, a man from Suruga found out that Yoshimoto was killed in action. It was said that he saddled up on his horse, went back to fight, and was killed. The he said, 'In order to observe the morale principles, you must no regret to abandon one's life.' Matsui Munenobu of Futamata Castle was killed. A part of two hundred were killed. In this battle, many famous warriors were killed in action.

Nobunaga hoisted Yoshimo's head on his horse and quickly headed back to his headquarters. Later that day he returned to Kiyosu. The next day the viewing of around three thousand heads took place. After Yoshimoto's death, they were asked to inquire the many heads taken and were noted down. ...Yoshimoto's head was taken back to Suruga along with ten Buddhist priests.

At this time, Twenty cho south of Kiyosu was Atsuta's Sukaguchi. Nobunaga ordered his men to build a Yoshimoto-zuka. Here a memorial service and sutras were performed as well as a big sotoba erected. On the occasion of Yoshimoto's death, Nobunaga confiscated the prize Samonji sword and tested it out....Okabe Motonobu was holed up at Narumi Castle and then gave the command to surrender. The enemy castles Odaka, Kutsukake, Chiryu, and Shigehara also surrendered.

This was by no means perfect, but at least get a glimpse what Gyuchi wrote on the battle.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shincho-Ko ki: Okehazama Part IV

"Then Nobunaga got off his horse and rushed forward with his young soldiers. Enemy soldiers falling forward and backwards as young soldiers fought in chaos. It was blade against blade, sword guard against sword guard, and sparks were flying everywhere. In all this chaotic action enemy and friendly soldiers were never confused with each other since they were distinguished themselves by color. Many of Nobunaga's horse guards and big shot pages were either killed or wounded in action. Hattori Haruyasu attacked Yoshimoto, but his knee was slashed. Then Mori Shinsuke cut down Yoshimoto and took his head. After many years ago when the Kiyosu Castle's shugo was attacked and killed (Shiba Yoshimune) Mori Juro helped to protect the young master, then a Divine protection appeared that was able to take Yoshimoto's head as the people gossiped.

It was very evident that the Imagawa ran out of luck. Okehazama's terrain is a valley with deep mud paddies which made mobility hard. Those who did flee were trapped in the deep mud and unable to get away. Then the young warriors were able to catch up taking two or three heads and brought them to Nobunaga. Then Nobunaga told his troops that he would conduct a head inspection at Kiyosu. However, he was in complete satisfaction seeing Yoshimoto's head. He returned to his headquarters along the same route he had taken earlier...."

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shincho-Ko ki: Okehazama Part III

"He continued, 'If the enemy attacks, retreat. If the enemy retreats, give chase. The goal is to bring down and destroy them in the chase. Do not capture anybody, leave them alone. If we win this battle, those participating will bring honor to your house and reputation assured in generations to come. Work hard!'

While Nobunaga was speaking, the following returned carrying the heads of enemy soldiers. Maeda Toshiie, Mori Nagahide, Mori Juro, Kinoshita Yoshitoshi, Nakagawa Kinemon, Sakuma Yataro, Moro Kosuke, Ajiki Yataro, and Uozumi Hayato. Then Nobunaga took his troops to the hills. All of a sudden, a violent downpour of rain occurred. It was so violent that catapulted ice stones struck the enemy as Nobunaga held the rear. The rain was so powerful that a camphor tree growing near the pines on the Kutsukake Pass facing east fell. It was so deadly that Nobunaga wondered if the Great Deity of Atsuta started its own war.

Then the sky cleared and Nobunaga with a spear in hand shouted in a loud voice 'Charge! Charge!' The enemy, seeing the assault coming forward like black smoke quickly fled. Bows, spears, guns, banners, and battle markers were thrown into confusion as the enemy retreated. Even Yoshimoto's lacquered palanquin was abandoned. Then Nobunaga yelled, 'There is Yoshimoto's camp. Attack!' It was approximately two in the afternoon when Nobunaga attacked east. At the beginning, there were three hundred riders who made a circle around Yoshimoto as they fled back, but they fought off the Oda two, three, four times their number which gradually decreased. In the end there were only fifty riders left...."

Nobunaga no tame!

Shincho-Ko ki: Okehazama Part II

"Nobunaga looked towards east seeing the smoke rise from Marune and Washizu. During this time, Nobunaga had around two hundred soldiers. If Nobunaga continued forward from the coastline, it would be the shortest distance. However, the tides were up and would not allow the horses to pass. From Atsuta, he rode through the countryside arriving at Fort Tange and then Fort Zenshoji where Sakuma Nobumori was stationed. Then Nobunaga reviewed the situation at hand.

The enemy Imagawa Yoshimoto leading an army of 45,000 was resting his soldiers and horses at Okehazama. On May 19th around noon time, Yoshimoto facing northwest said, 'I could not be more happier that Marune and Washizu was attacked and brought down.' Then he had three rounds of Noh songs chanted. During this time, Tokugawa Ieyasu, led the attack with soldiers wearing red armor carrying supplies to Odaka Castle. He had difficulty at Marune and Washizu and now resting his troops at Odaka.

From Zenshoji Nobunaga sent two of his commanders Sasa Masatsugu and Senshu Suetada along with three hundred soldiers to attack the Imagawa, but the two men along with fifty others were killed. For Yoshimoto, he was quite pleased and saw this as a great omen and even Heaven's demons or Gods would not put a fight with his power. After Nobunaga looked at the war situation, he made the decision to move forward to Nakajima. Nobunaga's retainers protested. 'The road to Nakajima is flanked by deep paddies. Once you step into them, you will not be able to move. It will make our small army visible to the enemy. Besides, you will be forced to march single file.'

At Nakajima, Nobunaga tried to sortie out, but his retainers succeeded in stopping him. Then Nobunaga spoke to his troops. "Everyone listen carefully. The Imagawa soldiers came in last night to bring provisions to Odaka Castle, took Marune and Washizu, and are exhausted. On the other hand, our army is fresh. Besides, you have the old saying, ' Do not be afraid of a large enemy because your army is small. Luck resides in Heaven....'"

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shincho-Ko ki: Okehazama Part I

Since the Okehazama text in Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki is long, I will break it up into several parts. I have translated the text the best the best I can do at the moment. Nothing is perfect. I am using Nakagawa Taiko's version of Gyuichi's classic (introduction book, chapter 36; pp. 85-92).

Third Year of Eiroku 1560

"On May 17th, Imagawa Yoshimoto set up camp at Kutsukake. The night of the 18th, the Imagawa sent supplies to Odaka Castle with no Oda allies coming, the flow of the morning tide, and it was certain that the Oda forts will be attacked. Messengers from Sakuma Morishige and Oda Genba reported to Nobunaga. However, that evening Nobunaga and his retainers talked about various topics, but nothing on military matters. Then it was late and Nobunaga sent his retainers home. His retainers said, 'When luck runs out, the mirror of one's wisdom clouds up too.' As anticipated that night, more news from Sakuma Morishige and Oda Genba. "Both Fort Marune and Washizu are under attack by the Imagawa.' Then Nobunaga sang and danced to Atsumori.

Man's life is fifty years.
In the universe what is it but dream or illusion?
Is there any who is born and does not die?

Then Nobunaga shouted 'Blow the conch horn and bring my armor.' Nobunaga put on his armor and helmet, ate his meal standing, and went off to war. at the time, the pages Iwamuro Nagato no Kami, Hasegawa Hashisuke, Sawaki Tohachi, Yamaguchi Hida no Kami, and Gato Yaburo. The six of them rode to Atsuta and in front of the Kamichikama Shrine...."

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maeda Toshiie's role at Okehazama

Believe or not Maeda Toshiie participated and did well at the Battle of Okehazama (taking in a couple heads as war trophies). His name was mentioned in both the Shincho-Ko ki and the Shinchoki (biographies of Nobunaga). However, in 1559, Toshiie ended up killing Juuami who stole a hairpin that he coveted. Nobunaga dismissed Toshiie for his actions. Toshiie never left Nobunaga and continued to fight by his side.

Toshiie finally ended up being pardoned by Nobunaga and was allowed back into the Oda house after his glorious actions at the Battle of Moribe in 1561. Photo of Battle of Moribe.
My main question is why Nobunaga did not pardon Toshiie after Okehazama? Toshiie did well and must have caught Nobunaga's attention. To tell you the truth, I disagree with Nobunaga's decision not to bring back Toshiie after Okehazama. He should have reinstated Toshiie after displaying his loyalty at Okehazama. To tell you the truth, I do not know the reason why he waited until after the Battle of Moribe. There will be more discussions on Toshiie in the future. If anyone has any answers why or has an opinion, I would like to hear them.

There is a great book on Maeda Toshiie by Kaku Kozo published in 2002. I highly recommend this book on anyone who is interested in Maeda Toshiie's career.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Mizuno Family and Okehazama

Ehata Hidesato's take on Okehazama is decent at best. However, the number one thing I liked about his book was that he covered the Mizuno family, their roles with the Imagawa and Oda, and Okehazama (pp. 168-206).

If you read Sadler's book on Ieyasu he does explain why the Mizuno switched sides to the Oda. I do not blame Mizuno Nobumoto at all.

"A month before this (July 12, 1543) Takechiyo's grandfather Mizuno Tadamasa had died, and his son Nobumoto succeeded. But he was not satisfied with his treatment by Yoshimoto, so he went over to the Oda with his two strongholds of Kariya and Ogawa." (Sadler p. 40)

The Mizuno did play a role in helping Nobunaga win the Battle of Muraki against the Imagawa in 1554. Right after Okehazama Okabe Motonobu attacked Kariya and Mizuno Nobuchika. I mentioned this in a earlier post and in my book (p. 87).

Ehata thing brings up a major question (p. 194), if the Mizuno were allies of the Oda, why the Imagawa attack did not attack them from the start of the campaign? I have some ideas why Yoshimoto did not attack the Mizuno.

  • Ieaysu's mother came from the Mizuno. I think their were tensions between Yoshimoto and Ieyasu. The last thing Yoshimoto needed was to stir up a hornets nest.
  • Bypass and haul ass! Why attack the Mizuno first when Nobunaga is your objective. The campaign was going smoothly and why change course.
  • If Nobunaga was killed in battle, Yoshimoto can then have the tables turned to his favor to convince the Mizuno to switch sides again.
These are just a few and could be wrong. Anyone who has an opinion, by all means chime in.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mamushi no Dosan

Okada Masahito wrote a great piece on Saito Dosan on the Nobunagagaku blog called Mamushi no Dosan. Even though the essay is in Japanese, I highly recommend that you read it.

Here is the link: http://nobunagagaku.com/cn16/essay04_01.html

I am still reading Ehata's Okehazama book and found something interesting that fits with this post. On pages 288-89, he mentioned that there was a possibility that Nobunaga had 250 soldiers with bows and 250 with guns during his famous meeting with Saito Dosan at Shotokuji Temple in 1553. That caught my attention right away. To tell you the truth, I do not know if it was true or not. My humble opinion is Nobunaga had at least 500 gunners with him when he met his father-in-law.

Tenka no tame!