Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dosan/Nobunaga Meeting Fiction Story Part III

At the main temple hall, Dosan was having second thoughts. Was this a big mistake? Is he really the "Fool of Owari?" Dosan was walking impatiently as he was for his son-in-law. Nobunaga was taking his time on purpose since he knew psychological warfare was part of the game. Then the Saito attendants started to hear footsteps on the creaking wooden floor. "Who goes there?" Doku yelled with a snobbish attitude. Then Doku gasped for air. "Oh my! It is your son-in-law my lord." The "Fool of Owari" was a new man. He was dressed as if he was an aristocrat. His attire was brown colored with a white tunic. His hair was nicely done and now looked handsome. Dosan quickly noticed Nobunaga's nagabakama that stretched almost three feet long.

"I am Hotta Doku, a retainer of the Saito. Lord Nobunaga, please take your seat." Nobunaga acted as if nothing happened as he took his seat. The Doku introduced the Viper to Nobunaga. "This is Lord Saito Yamashiro Dosan." Nobunaga responded in a pompous voice, "Is that so." Dosan and Doku's faces expressed more disbelief. Then Nobunaga replied in an elegant matter. "I am Oda Kazusanosuke Nobunaga. It is a pleasure to finally meet the 'Viper of Mino' at last." Dosan shook his head in agreement.

After the introductions, the two began to talk. "Father-in-law, on my way here earlier today I noticed someone hiding in abandoned cabin. In fact, I think it was you." Beads of sweat started to form on Dosan's head as Nobunaga embarrassed him. Dosan had no choice but to create a story as he laughed quietly. "You are mistaken by someone else. I used to be an oil merchant in my younger days." Dosan knew he had to change the subject quickly before the conversation went out of hand. Then Dosan noticed the dagger he gave to Lady Noh before the marriage on Nobunaga's sash. "How is my daughter? "She is fine. Not only Noh is beautiful, but she is the best wife in Japan. Dosan was delighted to hear Nobunaga's answer. "Nice to hear that my daughter is safe." The situation was much calmer and the two felt very comfortable with each other. Then Dosan ordered Doku and the rest of the attendants to leave, as he wanted to have a private discussion with his son-in-law.

The two started to eat their meal. While they eating, Dosan began the dialogue. "Nobunaga, it is okay to leave your guard down. I have no ill will towards you. Your father Nobuhide was a brave man and admired his courage." Nobunaga thanked Dosan and then replied in a much serious manner. "The Imagawa are a threat not only to me, but you too. They can march to Kyoto at any moment and I must meet them head on." Dosan did not have any faith in the Imagawa, as he knew the Matsudaira were being used. Nobunaga continued, "I would rather fight and die against the Imagawa than submit to them. Look at the situation in Mikawa. They are used as pawns." Dosan nodded in acknowledgment. Then told his son-in-law that he would help him fight the Imagawa. "Nobunaga, I will assist you against the Imagawa. Just let me know and I will help you." "Thanks! I am counting on your support."

The end was near then Dosan asked Nobunaga what he thought of him. "What do do think of me?" Nobunaga replied with enthusiasm. "Oh that is easy. The 'Viper of Mino.' What about me?" Dosan answered back with a smile, "The Fool of Owari." Both were laughing out loud that it could be heard throughout the temple precincts. both were elated that they were able to meet each other. Dosan rapidly knew his son-in-law was no fool and was an extraordinary man who could survive Sengoku Japan.

Dosan escorted Nobunaga's army for a few miles. Then he spoke from the heart, "Nobunaga.... I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet you. May our friendship continue to grow. Again, I will assist you against the Imagawa." Nobunaga merrily replied, "Thanks. As I said before, Noh is the best wife in the entire nation. When the Imagawa decides to attack, let us both send them to hell!"

As Nobunaga's army headed back to Nagoya, Dosan again noticed the Oda spears were twice as long. He shook his head in disgust, but knew the Imagawa could not be trusted. "Nobunaga is a damn fool my lord. He did not have any attendants with him and he was rude." Yelled Doku. Another Saito retainer, Inoko Takanari said something similar. Dosan answered quietly with mixed emotion. "Doku, you are loyal to the Saito house and I thank you for that. However, Nobunaga is a rare bird. He has the ability to conquer Japan. My children are no match for him. Regrettably, my children will come to him begging. Doku and Tango, if I leave this world unexpectedly, serve Nobunaga." Doku and Tango were taken aback by Dosan's answer. they could not believe that their lord admired Nobunaga. However, they had no choice but to accept Dosan's request. It was either Nobunaga or the Imagawa. Both Doku and Tango knew the Imagawa could not be depended on.

As the Oda marched home to Nagoya, Tsneoki wondered how the meeting with Saito Dosan went. "How as the meeting my lord?" Nobunaga nearly fell down laughing as he made his father-in-law submit to him. "The Viper's venom was sweet. However, Dosan is a remarkable man. He is a self-made man just like myself. He is the only parent I have at the moment and will be a great help against the Imagawa." The Oda army finally arrived at Nagoya Castle in full glory and Nobunaga was greeted by his wife who was deeply worried. The two later viewed a beautiful garden on the castle grounds. Lady Noh then put her arms around Nobunaga tighter and tighter as she was elated that her husband returned safely. "Noh, I am glad that I met your father. The Viper is a fine friend and respect him a lot. The alliance will continue with full steam ahead." The sun was setting as the two sat and viewed the lovely garden. As for Nobunaga, his bright future to unify Japan was about to begin.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dosan/Nobunaga Meeting Fiction Story Part II

Nobunaga was alone lying on the wooden floor. He was thinking about the meeting and knew this was the perfect opportunity to show his true colors. Then a voice called was out by one of the attendants. "Lady Noh has arrived." "Please enter and make yourself comfortable,"Nobunaga happily said. Noh brought some miso yakionigiri for her husband for a simple meal and quickly crammed them in his mouth. "Delicious!" Then Lady Noh spoke to her husband. "I understand that you will meet my father." Nobunaga shook his head in agreement. "Be careful my lord. My father is truly a viper." Nobunaga replied laughing, "I cannot wait to see him. Noh, I want take you with me, but I must know your father's true intentions. After the meeting, I will let you see your old man."

Nobunaga's head was resting on Lady Noh's thigh. Her kimono was a mix of various colors ranging from pink, red, yellow, and shy blue. Her gorgeous long jet-black hair was shiny and her lips were dark ruby red. She began to clean Nobunaga's ears and he felt nothing but pure satisfaction. Then Lady Noh took out a dagger and gave it to her husband. "This is the dagger that my father gave to me right before our marriage. I was supposed to kill you if you were really an idiot. I was wrong. If the viper gets to close for comfort, use this dagger to kill it." Nobunaga's face expressed astonishment, but took the dagger since he had no choice. "To tell you the truth, I do not think there will be any chaos of any kind. I have heard stories about your old man. He has heard the same about me." Nobunaga finished up on his meal and asked for seconds.

The Oda and Saito agreed to have the meeting at Shotokuji Temple in Tonda. Shotokuji was a branch temple of Osaka's Ishiyama Honganji. The temple was near the Mino/Owari border and seven hundred houses or so surrounded it. It was the perfect place for the two to meet. Nobunaga crossed the Kiso and Hida rivers by boat and prepared to show his father-in-law, The Boys from Owari.

Dosan arrived early so he could make preparations. Then he ordered his troops to surround the temple area. His troops were armed with archers and gunmen, but he started to feel a bit tense. Doku was a little surprised by Dosan's facial expression. "Are you okay my lord? You look nervous." "Yes I am. I wonder what my son-in-law looks like. I have only heard stories about him. Minute by minute, the time is almost near to meet him." Doku then received a suggestion from one of his attendants that an abandoned shack is the ideal place to spy on Nobunaga. "Great idea Doku!" Dosan responded. "I can see what my son-in-law looks like without him seeing me." Dosan and Doku laughed as they left the temple's main hall.

Dosan and Doku entered the shack. The shack had plenty of cobwebs, chicken feces, and other critters that created a tenacious odor. "Oh my! It reeks in here!" Doku said covering his face. "I do not mind for the time being. Nobunaga is more important now than some disgusting smell. Deal with it for now." Dosan replied with a serious look.

A messenger came with the news Dosan was waiting for. "The Oda army is coming my lord. Lord Nobunaga is located in the middle of the procession with his bodyguards." "Good. Now let us see what my son-in-law is made of." The Oda army marched along the main road with confidence. They came prepared to show the Saito how strong the "Boys from Owari" was capable of doing. First, came the spearmen. The spears were longer than usual and Dosan noticed it. "What is this? The Oda spears are twice as long than ours." The spears were crimson lacquered and eighteen feet long. then came the archers, three hundred of them. Dosan was feverishly stroking his moustache and scratching his bald head. Then came the moment he was waiting for.

Nobunaga was on the opposite side of his horse. His attire was infamous and shocked both Dosan and Doku. Nobunaga's trousers were made of tiger and leopard skins, his robe was tan colored scattered with a purple colored Oda crest with one sleeve down. His hair was tied up chasen mage style with a green cord and carried several other personal belongings. he was equipped with two swords, short and long. The long sword's scabbard was decorated with gold and silver. He was clearly enjoying the moment. Dosan expressed disappointment. "Is that him? Is that my son-in-law Nobunaga?" Doku replied with a heavy heart. "Unfortunately, yes it is my lord." However, the procession was not over yet. Nobunaga brought over five hundred rifles with him. This terrified Dosan and the rest of the Saito army. "Nobunaga's physical appearance is above average. That being said, he lacks proper etiquette. I feel sorry for my daughter. Nobunaga is truly the 'Fool of Owari,'" said Dosan with disbelief.

To be continued.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dosan/Nobunaga 1553 Meeting Fiction Story

Noh will be used in place for Nohime in this story.

It was early spring 1553 at Inoguchi and the weather was on the cool side. At Inabayama Castle, Saito Dosan, Saito Yoshitatsu, Hotta Doku, and various Saito vassals were sitting and chatting about tactics. They knew the Oda house was in turmoil after the passing of Oda Nobuhide and Hirate Masahide. However, Dosan had other ideas and knew something extraordinary was about to come.

"The Oda are weak and now is the time to invade Owari my lord," said Yoshitatsu. "What about Lady Noh? She is now with the Oda. We will have to figure out a way to rescue her. I feel sorry that she has to put with that idiot Nobunaga," answered back Doku. Yoshitatsu continued to pressure his father to attack the Oda at once. "This is our golden opportunity to attack Owari!" Yoshitatsu shouted with vigor.

Dosan was not interested starting another war with the Oda at the moment. He already defeated Nobuhide twice in the 1540s, but somehow knew Nobunaga was a rare bird. Doku spoke with urgent care about the Saito house. "My lord, the Imagawa will surely invade and overtake Owari soon. We must do something. The Saito are no match against the Imagawa."

"Do you think we are weaker than the Imagawa at the moment? I do not think so. I built Mino into a prosperous domain with blood, seat and tears. I am not going to give Mino all away to that fat Imagawa warlord." Dosan said while scratching his bald head. He soon began to rub his mustache as if he already knew the answer to the problem.

"Doku. Yoshitatsu. What do you think of my son-in-law, Nobunaga?" Yoshitatsu answered unkindly. "Nobunaga is a complete fool. He is at all times wearing a simple robe with a rope sash. Always dancing, playing the hand drum, and riding horses." Doku knew Nobunaga was out of the ordinary. "My lord, your son-in-law swims and shoots the rifle well. He rarely loses in battle and showed little or no feelings towards the loss of his father or Hirate Masahide. I am terrified and concerned about Lady Noh."

Dosan clinched his fist with the armrest by his side. After a brief moment of silence, he spoke. "I have decided to meet my son-in-law. I want to know how Nobunaga ticks. All I have heard is rumors and want to know the truth. If he is truly an idiot, then we will kill him and invade Owari, creating a buffer zone against the Imagawa." The chamber was completely quiet. Doku, Yoshitatsu, and the other Saito vassals were stunned by their lord's decision to meet the Fool of Owari.

Meanwhile, Nagoya Castle was lively. Young Nobunaga with his hair tied up chasen mage style and a simple robe was conducting shooting practice. Nobunaga loaded the rifle and shot the target dead on. "Now, make ready and prepare to fire!" Nobunaga yelled. His gunnery squad quickly loaded their weapons. "Fire!" The next unit came. "Fire!" Then the next until Nobunaga was satisfied with the results. While loading their rifles, Nobunaga and Ikeda Tsuneoki were chewing the fat. "You know Tsuneoki, the gunnery unit is getting better by the day. I will unify the Oda house in no time." Tsuneoki nodded with a smile. Then there was a loud cry. A messenger on a horse arrived unexpectedly.

"I have a letter from Inabayama Castle. Let me in at once!" The castle guards let the messenger in and Nobunaga quickly wanted to know what was all the fuss about. "Bring me the letter to me at once!" Nobunaga yelled. He opened and briefly read the dispatch. The letter was from his father-in-law, Saito Dosan. Tsuneoki was curious to find out. "What is it my lord? "Bad news?" There was no emotion from Nobunaga. Then he spoke as if nothing happened. "The Viper of Mino wants to meet me."

There were only a few people in the main room. One of them was Hayashi Hidesada. He had some troubling concerns about the proposal of meeting Saito Dosan. Nobunaga then entered the room and Hayashi and others bowed. Nobunaga was in the center with an armrest by his side. "I do not think it is a good idea my lord to meet Saito Dosan," Hayashi said. Another spoke, "A terrible idea. The viper will surely kill you." Nobunaga knew his vassal's opinions were rubbish. "I want to see my father-in-law as soon as possible. I want to taste his venom. This is the only opportunity I have to see the Viper with my own eyes. Is my father-in-law really a snake or simply human? The meeting goes on as planned!" Nobunaga said with the up most confidence. The wooden floor soon had an evil chill as he told his vassals to leave.

To be continued.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nobunaga Shiki

Nobunaga Shiki is one of many great books written by historian/novelist Tsumoto Yo. If you have read is best selling novel on Nobunaga Genten wa Yume ka, then this book is also a must. The ten chapters explain Nobunaga's make up, guns, tactics, intelligence, leadership, ladies, economics, Honganji, the Honnoji Incident, and Nobunaga's dreams.

I have both hardcover and paperback. The paperback edition includes a couple pages written by Owada Tetsuo, a major bonus.

Nobunaga no tame!