Saturday, May 29, 2010

Recently bought books

Yesterday I bought two books on Nobunaga at my local Book-Off branch in San Diego.
Nobunaga by Sakaguchi Ango is a novel about young Nobunaga. I have only read the first chapter so far and it is good. The conclusion, Okehazama, of course. Published by Takarajimasha with the first printing in 2006.

The next book is by Huyuji Domon, the publisher is Nikkeibp, and published in 2003. Covers Nobunaga's career, but only skimmed through the book so far.

Next weekend is the Toyoake City Okehazama festival. I hope my good friend Mr. Yukio Kajino will visit the festival and take some pictures.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What if?

A portrait of the "Viper of Mino" Saito Dosan.

What if Saito Dosan was still alive and in power during Okehazama? Would the "Viper of Mino" still support his son-in-law? Would Yoshimoto still attack Owari and continue his crusade to Kyoto? These are some great questions that need to be asked and I do have answers to them.

  • I still believe that Dosan would have supported Nobunaga. Dosan did provide aid to Nobunaga during the Battle of Muraki in 1554, a battle that Nobunaga won. After the meeting in 1553 at Shotokuji in Tonda, Dosan knew Nobunaga was a rare bird and a self-made man. Dosan had to build his empire by himself as well. He knew the Imagawa was a threat to his son-in-law, but to him as well.
  • Imagawa Yoshimoto was no fool. If he knew that Dosan was still in total control of the Saito house, the Kyoto crusade would have to wait. Dosan still had the Mino Big Three: Inaba Ittetsu, Ujie Bokuzen, and Ando Morinari in his pocket along with several others. If the Oda/Saito alliance was still strong, Yoshimoto could not afford to waste any valuable resources he had. Sure, Yoshimoto did have Mikawa and Totomi as revenue cash cows, but Mino was stronger in my opinion.
  • More important, it is very hard to defeat self-made men like Nobunaga and Dosan. They saw the Sengoku world much differently than the traditional powers such as the Hojo, Takeda, and Imagawa. A Nobunaga/Dosan combo team would be hard to beat.

However, this was not the case. Dosan was betrayed by his evil son Saito Yoshitatsu in 1556 and Nobunaga had no more allies. Which make his success at Okehazama much more remarkable.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Old photo of Senpyo no matsu

Here is an old photo of the Senpyo no matsu (war council pine tree) taken during the late Taisho or early Showa Era. The location is the Arimatsu Okehazama battlefield. Again, many thanks to Mr. Yukio Kajino for the pictures. The area has sure changed, but the spirit of Okehazama among the locals has not and still going strong.

More links with photos of Arimatsu Okehazama festival.

The second link (31) is awesome. The photo of Nobunaga with the spear and finishing off Yoshimoto was classic!

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

History was made today

Today is the day that Nobunaga turned Japan upside down. His victory over Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama changed Sengoku Japan forever. The victory would launch Nobunaga's career to new levels never seen before.

An old photo of Dengakutsubo, the area where Imagawa Yoshimoto met his death. Kajino Wataru and Owada Tetsuo has mentioned that Dengakutsubo was place where Yoshimoto was killed.

The four key points in my opinion were the rain, Yanada Masatsuna's intelligence, Nobunaga's small army, and Okehazama itself. Imagawa Yoshimoto's lack of vigilance and total disrespect of Nobunaga was his demise.

Here is a great line from A.L. Sadler's book on Tokugawa Ieyasu The Maker of Modern Japan, "...Oke-hazama..., was one of the decisive actions of Japanese history, in that it placed Nobunaga in front rank of military leaders, and placed the acquisition of supreme power within his grasp."(p. 56)

More photos from last weekend's festival:

As for the Rekishi Kaido Okehazama issue (pp.56-57), Kajino and Owada got right when they wrote that Yanada Masatsuna provided the detail information on Yoshimoto's whereabouts. After all, he was rewarded with Kutsukake Castle and cash. However, Katsuhiro Taniguchi disagreed due to the Oze Hoan Shinchoki. My take, Yanada Masatsuna did provide the intelligence.

Nobunaga no tame! Tenka no tame! Okehazama no tame!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Okehazama Festival Pics

Here are some pics from last weekend's Okehazama Festival in Arimatsu. From what I heard, it was a huge success!

The Nobunaga and Yoshimoto statues look awesome and will certainly beautify the battlefield.

The Toyoake City Okehazama Battlefield will hold their festival on June 5th and 6th.

A book on Imagawa Yoshimoto and Taigen Sessai has been written by Emiya Takayuki and should be out in stores in Japan this week.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

King of Zipangu Guide Book

I finally found and bought the Nobunaga Taiga "King of Zipangu" official guide book. Not bad at all, but my favorite is the interview with the actors who played the role as Nobunaga in previous Taigas. They include Takahashi Koji in Taikoki, Sugi Ryotaro in Ten to Chi to, Takahashi Hideaki in Kunitori Monogatari, and Yakusho Koji in Tokugawa Ieyasu.
I am still reading the Rekishi Kaido Okehazama issue and pleased to say that Fujimoto Masayuki's longstanding theory (Okehazama was not a surprise attack) was mentioned. Why am I pleased? The answer is simple, it means that his theory was thought out carefully, stuck to his gut, and did not give in to the trends (theory first appeared in 1982). I still disagree with his theory because it was a surprise attack. Even Owada Tetsuo mentioned it a frontal surprise attack.

As for the Okehazama Festival, here is a video with Wataru Kajino speaking.


Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Okehazama Rekishi Kaido Part II

I received my copy of the Okehazama Rekishi Kaido magazine today and what an issue. There are articles from Owada Tetsuo, Taniguchi Katsuhiro, Mr. Wataru Kajino, and others. The Okehazama issue contains lots of color photo as well as all of the landmarks. Some of the photos are some nice black and white from the early Showa. I plan to read the magazine tonight and give my opinion on it.

Some juicy information on the magazine, Owada Tetsuo, Taniguchi Katsuhiro, Wataru Kajino, and others gives their opinions on how Nobunaga won on pp. 56-57. Owada Tetsuo stated that Nobunaga's attack was a frontal surprise while Taniguchi Katsuhiro's opinion was frontal.

Mine has always been a surprise attack of some kind. So I go will Owada on this one. More later.

I would like to express my thanks to Mr. Yukio Kajino and the Okehazama staff for the magazine and postcards.
Tenka no tame!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nobunaga Clothing at Kiyosu Castle

If you plan to visit Kiyosu Castle anytime soon, take a look at the Nobunaga clothing from the recent Taiga dramas.

Clothing from the following Taiga drama: Tenchijin, Toshiie to Matsu, Hideyoshi, and of course, Nobunaga. My favorite is the the "Owari no utsuke" outfit worn during the Nobunaga Taiga.

The photos come from my Aichi friend's blog Dohaland,

Update: The link has been unfortunately deleted.
Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Okehazama Rekishi Kaido

Rekishi Kaido magazine has a special issue on Okehazama. The title "Okehazama no Nazo" should be an interesting read. I would love to get my hands on it. Earlier this week I received an e-mail from my great Okehazama scholar friend, Mr. Yukio Kajino. He was very kind enough to inform me on the Okehazama issue.

The link to the magazine:

Next weekend will be the Okehazama festival. If you are around in the Aichi Prefecture next weekend, by all means go to the festival.

I finally saw the movie Katen no Shiro and plan to write my opinion on it. The movie was sure different from the others I have seen of late.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Okehazama Statues

Here are two links with a nice huge photo of Oda Nobunaga and Imagawa Yoshimoto. Each photo contains a brief summary. Only a couple of weeks away from the big party. Nobunaga's victory at Okehazama in 1560 definitely started the fusion process in my opinion.

Nobunaga no tame!