Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sandal Bearer

This is a story about young Hideyoshi serving Nobunaga as a sandal bearer. Shogun and Samurai: Tales of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu. By Okanaya Shigezane and translated by Andrew and Yoshiko Dykstra (pp. 67-68).

"On September first og 1558 when Nobunaga was hawking, Hideyoshi came by, and begged to be hired as a sandal-bearer. Still young, Nobunaga nightly visited women. For such private rendezvous, Nobunaga took along only his footgear men. Since Hideyoshi wanted to keep the job longer, he asked the supervisor of the footgear men, 'I want to learn everything, so I would like to accompany our lord on night duty.' The supervisor agreed, and allowed Hideyoshi to take charge of the night duty. The wondering Nobunaga asked the supervisor, 'I see the same young man nightly. Is that because the older ones are neglecting their duties?' The supervisor explained, 'No, sir. He volunteered for the job himself.'

On one snowy night when Nobunaga was to leave to leave a woman's place, and began to put his wooden clogs, he felt they were warm. 'You must have been sitting on them. What a rude rascal!' Scolding him, Nobunaga hit Hideyoshi with his stick. 'No sir. I did not sit on them,' Hideyoshi contradicted him. The angry Nobunaga continued, 'Don't lie to me. I will punish you!' Then a woman came out, and interceded for Hideyoshi who was still excusing himself, 'I did not sit on them, sir.'

Nobunaga insisted, 'Then why are these clogs so warm?' Hideyoshi explained, 'Since it's a cold night, I thought your feet might be cold. So I have warmed your clogs by putting them on my back under my kimono.' 'Show me proof!' Hideyoshi took off his kimono, and showed his back which was clearly marked by the clog thongs. The impressed Nobunaga immediately promoted Hideyoshi to supervisor of the footgear attendants."

Tenka no tame!

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