Wednesday, April 18, 2012


DKIA (Demon King in Action) and he was good at it. This is a passage from Carol Richmond Tsang's War and Faith: Ikko Ikki in Late Muromachi Japan. She uses the Echizen no kuni soetsuki.

Tsang (p. 1).

"In the autumn of Tensho 3 [1575], a Buddhist priest visited the military commander Oda Nobunaga during one of the latter's campaign conquest. His temple had economic interests in the province Nobunaga had just absorbed, and the priest hoped to safeguard them by being on the spot. His diary of the stay mentions some of Nobunaga's forces returning to camp after a 'mountain hunt,' which usually referred to tracking wild boar, a common samurai pastime. This time they did not hunt wild boar or the like, however, the priest noted a new definition of the term: 'a mountain hunt means killing members of the ikki (league) and cutting off their noses to bring back as an indication of the number killed. Also, more than two hundred were alive and beheaded in the rice fields to the west of camp.'

The soldiers' prey was human. In the sixteenth-century Japan, rewards for warriors depended largely on the number and status of those they killed, and their commanders required proof. Noses sufficed as trophies from low-status enemies."

This brutality was nothing new in the Sengoku world. The grim warfare was a necessity since only the meanest, evilest, and wicked ruled and survived in Sengoku Japan. I stated this before, nice guys do not finish last in Sengoku Japan, they are dead! Nobunaga used his wickedness to scare the living the hell out of his enemies and he excelled at it.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Funeral story

I wrote a short story on Oda Nobuhide's funeral and Nobunaga's behavior. Enjoy.

The sound of horror was heard when a few matchlock rifles were fired directly at the temple building. "Take that! That is what you blasphemous monks get for lying to me! If you would have said that my father's life was in God's hands, I probably would spare your lives!" Yelled a livid Nobunaga. He had the monks locked inside the temple with no escape and shot them to death. When Nobunaga's father, Nobuhide was mortally ill, he asked them if his father would recover. The monks replied yes he would recover, but regrettably it would not be the case.

Nobunaga was wearing a yellow yukata with a rope sash; his hair was tied up like a tea whisk with a red and green cord, and his face of that of the devil as he loaded the rifle one more time. The roar of the rifles shook the earth and those monks who were wounded or escaped being hit pleaded Nobunaga for mercy. "Get the hell out of here or I will kill all of you!" One of his pages Maeda Toshiie replied,"What about the ones who cannot escape my Lord?" Nobunaga with an evil look answered,"Kill them since they are no use anymore and burn the building to hell!"

Nobunaga's elders Hirate Masahide and Hayashi Hidesada were at Nagoya Castle when they heard the news about the massacre. "The young Lord has gone crazy. I do not know what he is thinking. His behavior worries me." Hayashi said. Hirate replied, "I have done everything I could to curb him, but he just goes his own way." Hayashi answered back,"Nobunaga is truly the Fool of Owari!" Hirate responded in a low and unconfident voice. "It will get only worse before it will get better. Unfortunately, it has not hit rock bottom yet."

The Tiger of Owari (Oda Nobuhide) unexpectedly passed away in early 1551 at the age of forty-two at Suemori Castle. He was a capable man and struck friendships with many. Nobuhide was often at war against the Saito, Imagawa, and the Matsudaira. a few days later the former lord's funeral was held at a Soto Zen temple called Banshoji. Nobuhide's posthumous name was Togan and the funeral attracted several monks who wondered around and were lured in by the cash that was handed out. In all, some three hundred clerics attended the ceremony. However, one monk from Kyushu that was present at the funeral service would soon recognize Nobunaga's future as the new warlord of the ages.

Lord Nobunaga's elders were in attendance. Hayashi, Hirate, Naito and others included Nobunaga's lovely wife Nohime (Kicho) was present and everyone was wearing formal attire. Nohime's heart was heavy in sorrow as her mother Omi no kata recently passed away last month. As for his younger brother Nobuyuki, his retainers were also in presence. Nobunaga's mother Dota Gozen, Shibata Katsuie, Sakuma Morishige, Sakuma Jiemon, and others were there. As for Dota Gozen and Nobunaga, sadly, never got along since she sided with Nobuyuki.

As the monks were chanting the sutras, the temple had a gloomy tense feeling since Nobunaga was not in attendance. His elders were nervous and terrified. They began to ask each other questions on Nobunaga's whereabouts. Hirate then politely asked Nohime,"Do you know where the young Lord is at this hour?" She whispered softly with prayer beads in hand. "Unfortunately no. I did see him this morning, but he left." Hayashi then asked the same question to Nobunaga's pages. Again, no word on the young Lord's situation and everyone looked bewildered. Nobunaga's page, Maeda Toshiie then told Hirate that the young Lord went riding alone in the countryside. "You got to be kidding me. At this time of hour, the young Lord is riding alone? He should know better than that." Replied Hirate with beads of sweat all over his face due to stress.

Just about when the head priest rang the bell to start burning the incense for the dead, Toshiie cried out,"The young Lord has finally arrived!" Hayashi and Hirate's faces of nervousness and confusion turned into liberation. "Thank God, Nobunaga is finally here to pay his respects to the former Lord." Hirate said to himself as he slowly breathed a sign of relief. The rest of the Oda house was happy as well. That being said, the fireworks were about to begin.

Nobunaga then slowly walked on the wooden floor. His apparel was not proper at all. Instead he wore a red yukata caked with mud with a rope sash, from his waist sway a couple of gourds, his hair tied up as a tea whisk with a green cord as he normally prefers, and carried his sword and dagger. Hirate then harshly scolded Nobunaga. "Learn from your younger brother Nobuyuki who is dressed in formal attire!" Nobunaga paid no attention to Hirate or his elders. He pounded the sword on the floor and with his right hand grabbed a handful of the incense powder. The temple was dead silent. Nobunaga's face was a bit dirty and sweaty,showed no emotion at all, and his elders were terrified. Nobunaga then threw the incense powder, ignored everybody and left. Everyone in attendance was in total shock and said that Nobunaga was the biggest fool in the entire province of Owari. However, the monk from Kyushu begged to differ. "That young Lord will rule many provinces in the future. Yes, that one who just left the building." Nobunaga's elders were certainly embarrassed and could not believe what they just saw. Some say that young Nobunaga purposely played the role of the fool in order to survive.

Nobunaga wanted to grieve alone and in his own way and rejected traditional authority. He was facing north towards Iwakura (home of the Oda Iwakura house) and started to load the matchlock rifle. He lit the fuse and was about to fire and then said, "Do not worry father. I will finish the job you started and unify Owari!" The somber sound of the rifle was something as if were a twenty-one gun salute. Black smoke filled the air and the smell of gunpowder was pungent. Nobunaga again fired and told his father he will unify Owari. The future Demon King quietly saddled up on his gray horse and slowly headed back to Nagoya Castle.

Nobunaga no tame!