Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Honnoji by Luis Frois

Today is June 2, the day that Oda Nobunaga was betrayed by the evil Akechi Mitsuhide. I will use Luis Frois's writings in Michael Cooper's They Came to Japan: An Anthology of European Reports on Japan, 1543-1640 (page 103).

"As our church in Miyako is situated only a street away from the place where Nobunaga was staying, some Christians came just as I was vesting to say an early Mass, and told me to wait because there was a commotion in front of the palace and that it seemed to be something serious as fighting had broken out there. We at once began to hear musket shots and see flames. After this another report came, and we learned that it had not been a brawl but that Akechi had turned traitor and enemy of Nobunaga and had him surrounded. When Akechi's men men reached the palace gates, they at once entered as nobody was there to resist them because there had been no suspicion of their treachery. Nobunaga had just washed his hands and face and was drying himself with a towel when they found him and forthwith shot him in the side with an arrow. Pulling the arrow out, he came out carrying a naginata, a weapon with a long blade made after the fashion of a scythe. He fought for some time, but after receiving a shot in the arm he retreated into his chamber and shut the doors.

Some say that he cut his belly, while others believe that he set fire to the palace and perished in the flames. What we do know, however, is that of this man, who made everyone tremble not only at the sound of his voice but even at the mention of his name, there did not remain even a small hair which was not reduced to dust and ashes."

Sad indeed! Here is some Taiga drama videos related to the Honnoji Incident.

Tenka no tame!


Tornadoes28 said...

Thanks for the video links. Very important date in history no doubt.

otsuke said...

A painful day. But this line by Patton always cheers me up. "Do not mourn that they died, but thank God that they lived."

May God Bless Nobunaga!

Anonymous said...
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Obenjo Kusanosuke said...

Come on, Les. Isn't it just a tad melodramatic to be labeling Akechi Mitsuhide as "evil"? Sure, he took your boy out, but "evil"? A lot of people would on the contrary define Nobunaga as "evil", which is also over the top. I don't think one can simply slap the label "evil" on any of the major Sengoku daimyo as they were ambitious and violent products of their times. The only really "evil" daimyo that comes to mind is Takeda Nobutora--that is if the stories about him are true.

And let this comment serve as proof that I do read your blog. :p

otsuke said...

I agree with you on Takeda Nobutora. If the stories were true about him, then he was one EVIL guy. Mitsuhide was an outsider and eventully turned his back on Nobunaga. That being said, Mitsuhide was talented and had certain high qualities.

After his successful attack on Nobunaga, from I understand, Mitsuhide stalled and did not know what to do next. This was his downfall in my opinion because it allowed Hideyoshi to quickly advance and eventually won the Battle of Yamazaki.

If Mitsuhide had planned out his objective more carefully, I think things would have become more interesting for sure.

Nobutora, oh my!

Thanks for your imput Obenjo! :)

07_TeddyF_Silvey0 said...
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ltdomer98 said...

You do realize that the date of the Honnoji was 天正10年6月2日, which actually corresponds to TODAY, 21 June, right?

So Happy Honnoji Day for the second time!

otsuke said...

Yes I do Domer and thanks for bringing it up. Lamers mentions the date in his book Japonius Tyrannus, p. 216.

I have to say, Finding the Honnoji landmark was a pain in the rear end and the old Nijo-jo was well.