Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Multiple Dosan Graves?

Saito Dosan was defeated and killed by his son Yoshitatsu at the Battle of Nagaragawa in 1556. Donsan does have a grave located in Gifu City. According to this link, there is a chance that there might be multiple graves of Saito Dosan. http://ameblo.jp/mikawa-hide/entry-11202206062.html

One theory could be that Dosan's corpse was cut in to pieces by Yoshitatsu's soldiers who claimed they were the one who killed Dosan. If that is correct, then there should be more graves. Here is how Dosan was killed according to the Shincho-Ko ki, p. 103 Elisonas/Lamers (Gyuichi).

"Nagai Chuzaemon took on Dosan, laid hold of him as he was raising high his assault sword, and locked him in an embrace. Just when Nagai had almost succeeded in taking Yamashiro Dosan alive, Komaki Genta, a ferocious samurai, came running up, mowed down Dosan crosswise at the shins, and took his head as he fell prostrate. Chuzaemon, keen to get some evidence for later, sliced off Dosan's nose and made off."

Saito Dosan was an interesting and colorful figure in my opinion. If there are more of his graves/tombs scattered around Gifu City, I would like to know.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nobuhide's Death Part II

When Oda Nobuhide (Owari no Tora) passed away, he had some accomplishments and failures that were important for the future of the Oda house.

  • Formed a strategic alliance with Saito Dosan of Mino (the marriage between Nobunaga and Nohime).
  • Was able to told hold off the Imagawa/Matsudaira of Mikawa.
  • Failed to unify Owari. Nobunaga finished his father's job when he unified Owari in 1559.

Here is another story on Nobuhide;s death which can be found in Jeroen Lamers Japonius Tyrannus page 24. The Jesuit missionary Luis Frois tells the grim story when Nobunaga shot some monks to death because they lied to him about his father's health.

"When his father lay mortally ill in Owari, Nobunaga asked the bonzes to pray for his life and asked them whether he would recover from his illness. They assured him that he would, but he died a few days later. Nobunaga then had the bonzes thrown into a temple with the doors locked from the outside; he told the bonzes that, as they had lied to him about the health of his father, they had better pray to their idols with greater devotion for their own lives. After surrounding them on the outside, he shot some of them to death with harquebuses."

To be honest, the monks had no way of knowing when Nobunaga's father was going to die. That was in God's hands. It does show that even at a young age: you mess with Nobunaga, you pay the price--death!

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nobuhide's Death Part I

Oda Nobuhide passed away in 1551 0r some scholars say in 1552. When the Tiger of Owari (Owari no Tora) died, Owari was still not unified. This passage is from the Shincho-Ko ki and describes the funeral and Nobunaga's crazy behavior. One must remember the monk from Kyushu who recognized the true genius of the future leader of Japan-Nobunaga. Passage from Gyuichi The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga. Translated by Elisonas/Lamers (pp.60-61).

"Lord Bingo no Kami contracted a contagious disease, from which he failed to recover despite all kinds of prayer and medical treatment. In the end, he passed away on the 3rd of the Third Month in his forty-second year.

Birth and death: impermanence be the law of this world, The sorrow of it all! Whistling winds scatter The dew from the grasses. Huge tinted clouds obscure The light of the full moon.
Bingo no Kami was the founder of a [Soto Zen] temple called Banshoji. Its rector gave him the posthumous name Togan. Attracted by the alms being given out in cash, monks from all over the province flocked to Banshoji, where a stupendous funeral service was held. Many wondering priests who happened to be passing through on their way to and from the Kanto region also attended. Some three hundred clerics in all were at the service.

Lord Saburo Nobunaga came accompanied by his house elders Hayashi, Hirate, Aoyama, and Naito. His younger brother Kanjuro [Nobukatsu], was accompanied by his own retainers, from Shibata Gonroku [Katsuie], Sakuma Daigaku [Morishige], Sakuma Jiemon, Hasegawa, and Yamada on down.

When the time came for Nobunaga to burn incense for the deceased, he stepped up to the alter looking like this: He bore his long-hilted sword and dagger stuck in a straw rope that he had wrapped around himself. His hair was tied straight up like a tea whisk. He was not even wearing formal trousers (hakama). He abruptly grabbed a handful of incense powder, threw it at the altar and left.

His younger brother Kanjuro was dressed appropriately, in a stiff sleeveless robe (kataginu) and formal trousers, and comported himself impeccably.

It was generally agreed that Lord Saburo Nobunaga had been his usual self--a big idiot. Amid all the critics, however, there was an itinerant priest from Kyushu who is supposed to have said: 'Yes, but one day he'll lord it over entire provinces, that one.'"

Oda Kanjuro Nobukatsu was known as Oda Nobuyuki. Others at the funeral who were not mentioned, but probably there were Nobunaga' mother Dota Gozen and his wife Nohime. Nobunaga behavior was nothing new and one must remember that he rejected traditional authority because he was the boss. His free thinking attitude would become one of his greatest assets. The pictures were taken last July and a trip to Banshoji Temple is highly recommended for those who are interested in Nobunaga or Sengoku history.

Tenka no tame!