Before I write about the 2012 Awards, I would like to tell you the reader about my condition. Ever since my accident in May of 2011, my life has changed completely. Two surgeries later, I am still suffering a lot of body pain and more important my mental health has declined drastically. At times, I do not think I am going to make it through the entire day. Still, my mental health is not the best and wonder if I am going to die today or the next. I am getting medical treatment, but I think the best treatment is being in Japan. I feel better there and my mental and physical health improves as well.
Okay, let us get back to business. Here are my awards.
Best book/Thesis: David D. Neilson Society at War: Eyewitness Accounts of Sixteenth Century Japan
Runner-up: Brandon C. Schindewolf Toki wa Ima.
The Historians of the Year: The 2012 Fuji TV Ii ne Nippon ga Daisuki Gaikokujin Grand Prix Sengoku Busho.
Finally after a couple of years of being the runner-up, Neilson's thesis finally on top. I cannot stress how important his thesis is. It covers the Men of the Fields who often did a lot of the dirty work in the Sengoku Era. Neilson's thesis covers the Battle of Okehazama, the Sunomata Project, and the cruelty of Sengoku warfare. As for the Battle of Okehazama scholar, his thesis is a gold mine and provides key evidence that Nobunaga really had a plan well thought out before he rode out into battle. Regarding Sunomata, planning was essential and the main weapon that was used was guns. Neilson covers this in great detail.
Schindewolf's paper Toki wa Ima, covers the Honnoji Incident. A major coup in my opinion. His thesis is balanced and covers all the angles on why Akechi Mitsuhide betrayed the Uesama. I have learned a lot and his thesis made me understand Mitsuhide's actions more easily. Schindewolf's bibliography is superb as well. If it was not for his thesis, I would have never known about the English translation of Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki. He receives major kudos for that. Hopefully, next year I will cover more on the Honnoji Incident and you can bet I will use Toki wa Ima as the main source.
I was in Japan in October to participate in a Japanese game show called. Fuji TV Ii ne Nippon ga Daisuki Gaikokujin Grand Prix Sengoku Busho. The photo is myself in armor and very lucky. Why? It was the same armor that was used in the Nobunaga Taiga drama. I was completely humbled and surprised. Me and three other people were quizzed on Oda Nobunaga. Everyone did well since we all knew what we were talking about. The show was in Japanese which made it more impressive. Why then us four are the historians of the year? The answer is simple. People like ourselves who love Sengoku warfare and its heroes make history more enjoyable. It is us who visits the battlefields, castles, and other landmarks. It is us who reads and studies up on the subject and breathes new life into it.
Tenka no tame!