Tsang (p. 1).
"In the autumn of Tensho 3 , 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!