Monday, August 22, 2011

More on Oze Hoan

This passage comes from The Chronicle of Lord Oda Nobunaga. It describes the major differences why the two biographies are so far apart. I have both copies in my private library and the Nobunaga scholar should have them as well.

Elisonas/Lamers (pp. 34-35).

"...substantially different account of Nobunaga's career that bears the title Shinchoki. That other book is from the pen of the physician Oze Hoan (1564-1640), a Confucianist who cast his design of Nobunaga in the mould of a Confucian exemplar. Hoan based himself on Gyuichi's work. Hoan's prefatory statement acknowledges that fact and expresses his desire to improve on his predecessor. Indeed, his book is full of embellishments. because it subordinates historical fact to interpretation, falsifies events and documents, and is essentially a work of fiction, scholars today unanimously regard his Shinchoki to be of far less value than Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki. In the Tokugawa period, however, Hoan's was widely read work. Printed on that novel apparatus, the movable type press, it was first published no later than June 1612. In other words, Gyuichi must have experienced the dubious pleasure of seeing himself plagiarized in his lifetime. Whereas Hoan's Shinchoki was reprinted repeatedly during the Tokugawa period, Gyuichi's chronicle, available only in manuscript form until the Meiji era, did not reach nearly as large a readership."

It would be interesting if Gyuichi's work was published on a wide scale during the time when Hoan's work as out. It probably would have stirred up a major debate.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Conquest of Mino II

Earlier this year I mentioned that there was archaeological excavations that were done in Gifu. The results were stunning. When Nobunaga put the castle town to the torch in 1567, everything was burned down creating a hadakajiro (naked castle). One of the Saito mansions that was burned down was built during Saito Dosan's Era and it belong to a high ranking officer. Lots of Chinese pottery and the like were discovered and I wanted to take a look at them. Unfortunately, from what I have heard from the Gifu Tourism Volunteers that the only way to see them is to go to the Gifu City Hall (shiyakusho). Even then, you will be only able to see pictures of them. Hopefully, in the near future, the museum will display the artifacts.

The above photo is where the mansion was found. It is south of the Gifu Museum of History. You can also see where the archaeologists did their work from the white pavement.

Paul Varley does a great job explaining the effects of a naked castle. The economic and psychological damage was devastating. Paul Varley's "Oda Nobunaga, Guns, and Early Modern Warfare in Japan" (p. 115).

"While engaged in this arsonous activity, they also cut down and discarded all the crops they came across. Once the fields and villages around a fort had been denuded and/or put to the torch, it became, in parlance of the SK, a 'naked fort' (hadakajiro). This was both economic and psychological warfare. It was economic warfare because it eliminated the nearest source of food to which a fort's defenders had access when they were directly under siege; and it was psychological warfare because in many, if not most, cases the defenders of the forts were recruited primarily from nearby villages, the villages, containing their homes, that were being destroyed." The SK=Shincho-Ko ki.

One of great reasons why I love the Sengoku Era, everything was expendable. No PC warfare here.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Conquest of Mino

After many years of trial and error, Nobunaga finally captured Mino in 1567. I think the key to Mino was the Mino Big Three (Ando Morinari, Ujie Bokuzen, and Inaba Yoshimichi) switching over to the Oda. Once that happened, the Saito control of Mino quickly disappeared.

The Shincho-Ko ki's take on Nobunaga's conquest of Mino. This comes from the new English version of The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga by J.S.A. Elisonas and Jeroen Lamers (p. 114)

"In the first decade of the Forth Month, [Eiroku 9 (1566)], Nobunaga crossed the wide expanse of the Kiso River and deployed his troops at Kagamino in Mino Province. His enemy Saito Tatsuoki had his men sally from Inokuchi and take up positions in the village of Shin Kano. the terrain between the two armies was difficult and unsuited for cavalry action. Nobunaga therefore terminated this operation on the same day.

On the first day of the Eight Month, [Eiroku 10 (1567), the Mino Triumvirs-Inaba Iyo no Kamai [Yoshimichi], Ujie Bokuzen [Naomoto], and Ando Iga no Kami-agreed among themselves to defect to Lord Nobunaga's side and asked him to accept hostages from them. Accordingly, Nobunaga sent Murai Minbu no Jo [Sadakatsu] and Shimada Tokoro no Suke to western Mino to pick up the hostages. But even before these had arrived, Nobunaga suddenly sent his men up Mount Zuiryoji, a spur of Mount Inokuchi. While the Saito were still trying to guess whether these troops were friends or foes, Nobunaga had already set fire to the town, denuding Inokuchi Castle. That day, an extraordinary strong wind blew. The next day, Nobunaga divided the responsibilities for constructing the siege works and had a bamboo palisade put up all around the castle, sealing it off from the outside world. In midst of this, the Mino Triumvirs presented themselves before Nobunaga to pay their respects. They were bemused by all activity. but Nobunaga went about his business in his habitual offhand manner.

On the 15th of the Eight Month, while his garrison surrendered, pleading in various ways for mercy, Tatsuoki escaped in a boat to Nagashima in the Delta, going down an arm of the Kiso River. Nobunaga now commanded the whole of Mino Province. He moved his seat from Mount Komaki in Owari to Mount Inaba in Mino and renamed the castle from Inokuchi to Gifu. One year later, the following took place:"

This was important step to controlling the nation. He controls central Japan, controls Japan. it would only one year later when Nobunaga marches his army into Kyoto. For the Tenka!

Nobunaga no tame!
Tenka no tame!