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!

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