Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ota Gyuichi, Oze Hoan, and the Bukoyawa

Here is more from Society at War by David D. Neilson. This section of his paper will sure raise your eyebrows (pp. 31-33).

"Perhaps the most radical and intriguing theory regarding the possible motivations behind the creation the Bukoyawa beyond the simple recording of the Maeno Clan history is a hypothesis put forth by one such amateur, Inunoe Tsutomu, in his book Mo Hitotsu no Sengoku Jidai, or 'One More Sengoku Age' (I do have a copy of the book). He makes the interesting claim that in addition to penning his own works, Ota Gyuichi had considerable influence over both Oze Hoan's Shincho Ki and more indirectly, the Bukoyawa. The Bukoyawa connection is plausible if you accept Inoue's theory that the name Ota Magozaemon that appears in both the Shincho Koki and the Bukoyawa was simply another name used by Ota Gyuichi. He also says that Magozaemon was a good friend of Magokuro, Maeno Shoemon's older brother, hence the possibility exists that there wasa sharing of information between Gyuichi and the Maeno/Yoshida families, perhaps over several generations on the Maeno side.

Ota Gyuichi was busy writing the Shincho Koki at roughly the same time that Yoshida Katsukane was working on the Bukoyawa. The Shincho Koki was intended to be Nobunaga's official history and as such, could not be too critical of Nobunaga for fear of Bakufu censorship which was sometimes accompanied by harsh punishments upon both authors and publishers alike. As this was the early Edo Period, the Tokugawa Bakufu was also compiling the Fudoki, its own version of events that because of the Bakufu's political primacy was to become the official history of the unification age.

Inoue claims that the Bukoyawa was also written with Gyuichi's collusion and that all three works are mutually supporting. He claims that this cooperation was intended to preserve historical facts that could not be included in or his own work and that were being overwritten by the victor's history that was the Fudoki. If this is true, it would mark the Bukoyawa, the Shincho Koki, and the Hoan Shincho-Ki as subversive histories that were intended to be oppositional to the Tokugawa Bakufu's version of events.

Inoue believes that Gyuichi's methodology was a follows: when the same events appear in both the Shincho Koki and the Hoan Shincho Ki and when they differ as to anything number-related, dates, koku, people, etc., the figures in the Hoan Shincho Ki are correct. He claims that Gyuichi did this intentionally and that the section he or she was currently reading is purposefully inaccurate. He claims that when Gyuichi wanted to convey something important, but could not be truthful because of the official nature of his work and was unable to criticize Tokugawa Ieyasu or the Tokugawa Bakufu openly, or contradict the Fudoki, that at the point in the text, he chose to insert mistakes to alert the informed reader to his subversive message. He then also inserted irrelevant digressions and stories at those same points to further distract the censors or overly-curious but uninformed readers from discovering his secret intent.

So, according to Inoue, if one wants to get a full and true picture of the activities that took place under the Oda and Toyotomi administrations, free from the omissions, embellishments and untruths that the Tokugawa Bakufu wrote into the Fudoki, one must read the Shincho Koki, Hoan's Shincho-Ki, and the Bukoyawa as one text. Each is incomplete and contains contrary or new information that is not contained in the others. He claims that Gyuichi's Shincho Koki is the skeleton, Hoan's Shincho-Ki is the flesh and the Bukoyawa is the parts, or details that flesh out the whole. While Inoue has come up with some pretty wild theories that are not discussed here, and his argument that the three works are intentionally intertwined may initially seem far-fetched, he has done a great deal of very tedious and precise comparisons that lend some credence to his theory. There is just enough substance to his ideas that if nothing else, demonstrates that they merit further investigation."

If Inoue theory is correct, it changes everything. My first thought came to mind was Nagashino and the guns. I like Inoue's theory since it radically different, but also agree that it needs more research on the matter.

Nobunaga no tame!

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