Monday, June 27, 2011

Nobunaga and kid games

This is another passage from Okanoya Shigezane and it quite a good one. The story involves Nobunaga playing games when he was a kid and gave away gifts on those who did well. The kids knew that young Nobunaga would be a great warlord someday. One reason because Nobunaga made it a policy to reward those on merit, not on lineage.

A Stone-Throwing Game: Translated by Andrew and Yoshiko Dykstra.

(pp. 28-29)

"The young Nobunaga, called Kipposhi, studied with forty or fifty children at a temple of Kiyosu. In his youth, on the fifth of May [which is Boy's Day], he used to love to play a stone-throwing game called injiuchi with other children who were divided into two teams called East and West.

For the occasion, his mother used to send him gifts including writing brushes, ink cakes, paper, three to of rice and one kan of Eiraku coins. Nobunaga gave the coins to the children who did well in the game. Thus he gave away all the gifts to the children according to their merits in the game, and did not keep any for himself. Those who watched this were all impressed, saying, 'This child will surely become a great lord and general

Here are two links related to the archaeological work being done at Gifu Castle.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Small Snake

This story comes from Shogun and Samurai: Tales of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu by Okanoya Shigezane (1835-1919). The text is translated by Andrew and Yoshiko Dykstra.

(p. 29)

"Once, when Nobunaga was playing in the yard, a small snake appeared. Grasping it in his hands, Nobunaga asked one of his attendants, 'Do you call my action brave?' The attendant replied, 'You don't need to be afraid of such a small snake.' The young Nobunaga asked again, 'The size of the snake has nothing to do with its poison. If you are not afraid of a snake because it is small, then do you disdain your lord if he is young and small?' At this, the attendant was most embarrassed."

Very clever by Nobunaga. It just goes to show that Nobunaga and most of the Sengoku warlords had much more common sense back then. It would be great if any of our modern leaders today had any common sense like Nobunaga and others had during Sengoku Japan.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Punishing Higuchi Naofusa

Book 7 Chapter 10 of Ota Gyiuchi's Shincho-Ko ki is translated by David D. Neilson and can be found in his paper Society at War (p. 299).

"Lord Nobunaga built a fort at Kinome Pass in Echizen and put Higuchi Naofusa in charge of defending it. Higuchi [made peace with the Ikko Ikki], abandoned the fort and escape with his wife and children to Koga [in Omi province]. Hashiba Chikuzen no Kami (=Toyotomi Hideyoshi) pursued them, captured, and killed them. He sent the heads of Higuchi and his wife to Lord Nobunaga's camp in Nagashima.

The Nagashima people were not prepared to fight a long battle and from the thirteenth day of the seventh month, many men and women, including people from both higher and lower classes of Nagashima, sought shelter in Nagashima Castle, and Nakae Castle. since the castles were under siege for three months, most of the people trapped there died of starvation. on the twenty-ninth of the ninth month, an apology (=a letter of surrender) was sent from Nagashima Castle [and hostilities ended]. As the [defeated] Ikki people were preparing to board the many waiting ships [and sail away], Lord Nobunaga ordered his men to form ranks and shoot them. Countless Ikki people were cut down and fell into the river. The most spirited of the Ikki people stripped off their clothes, drew their swords and attacked 700 or 800 of Nobunaga's men. In this battle, many notable warriors in Nobunaga's army (that is to say, not ashigaru, but higher ranking samurai), were killed, including some of Lord Nobunaga's relatives. The spirited Ikki people overwhelmed the undermanned Oda force and broke through an area uninhabited cabins and prepared to cross the river. Heading in the direction of Tagi Mountain and north Ise, they eventually escaped into Ozaka.

20,000 men and women who were besieged in Nakae and Okunagashima Castles were captured. A huge corral consisting many layers fences was set up to contain them. Lord Nobunaga ordered that fires be set from four directions, burning them to death. Lord Nobunaga was greatly pleased and returned to Gifu on September 29."

The wrath of Nobunaga strikes again! Mess with the best and die like the rest. A perfect example of WWND (What Would Nobunaga Do).

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Frois take on Mitsuhide

Brandon C. Schindwolf's Toki wa ima is a great paper on why Mitsuhide rebelled against Nobunaga. He provided his paper with all sides of the story. That being said, my favorite is on Luis Frois's opinion on Akechi Mitsuhide.

(Schindewolf, pp. 23-24)

"He explains that Akechi was a man who, through his own resourcefulness, foresight, and cunning, gained Nobunaga's favor, though not being of any noble orgin. However, to those in Nobunaga's inner circle, Akechi was an outsider, and was not held in high regard--but ever so, Akechi had a mysterious or strange way of holding on to, and even increasing his standing with Nobunaga. A man prone to betrayal and to secret gatherings, cruel in handing out punishment, and a despot who was shrewd in disguising himself, he was skilled in conspiracy, strong in perseverance, and a master of deception and scheming."

Tenka no tame!