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!


Toshogu said...

I am surprised that Nobunaga had his men form ranks and start shooting when they apparently did not have sufficient number to withstand an attack. The ikki overwhelmed the 700-800 Oda forces. Why allow that to happen?

Also why did the ikki strip off their clothes?

otsuke said...

If you Lamers's book, it will give you the details. It was one last shot for the Nagashima Ikki. They knew they were going to die since Nobunaga was not going to let another opportunity slip by. 1574 was the end of that and the "cleansing" of Echizen in 1575.

The signore description is very bloody.