Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Komaki and Azuchi New

Komaki Castle is in the news again and for a good reason.  There is more archaeological evidence that Komaki Castle was a dry run for Azuchi.  Nobunaga built Komaki Castle in 1563 and construction on Azuchi started in 1576.  The pictures above are related to Komaki.

Mr. Seishiro Mizuno Okehazama blog has a post on this subject: http://okehazama.jp/blog/?p=967

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nagoya and the Big Three

The past weekend, I received a special gift from the Kajino family.  A book on Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu and their relationship with Nagoya.  There are lots of woodblock prints, artifacts, armor, weapons, and letters.  Since my specialty is the Battle of Okehazama, there are few maps, wooden statues, prints on the battle.  There are two pages of the Owarimeisho Shozuezenpen prints on Okehazama.  There is even one print on Oda Nobuhide on page five.

I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of any of the big three.  The book is useful for research and it would be a nice add to any historians library.  At the end of the book, there is a simple paragraph in English on Nagoya and the big three.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Awards: Nohime

2014 was a good year for Nobunaga's lovely wife Nohime (1535-1612).  An English novel, a bus in Gifu, and a couple of dramas on the Viper of Mino's daughter.  There is still a lot mysteries on this woman from Mino.  Nohime had various names such as Lady Sagiyama (born at Sagiyama Castle in Mino), Kicho, and Azuchi-dono.  Good looking and a mind like a genius, she provided Nobunaga the support he needed to conquer Japan.  Kyoko Kagawa has played my favorite Nohime so far.  She starred in the 1959 Nobunaga movie as Nobunaga wife.


Nohime no tame!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kondo Kageharu's Grave

This is the grave of Kondo Kageharu, who was the lord of Kutsukake Castle in Owari.  Kondo Kageharu (?-1560) was the ninth lord of Kutsukake Castle and served under the Imagawa during the Battle of Okehazama.  Kageharu was killed right after Imagawa Yoshimoto's defeat at the Battle of Okehazama.  Nobunaga then granted Yanada Masatsuna Kutsukake Castle for his merits at Okehazama.  The grave is located not far from the Kutsukake Castle ruins in Aichi Prefecture.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Documents Found I

When Nobunaga's Tenka Fubu seal (Rule the Empire by Military Force) was created in 1567, there were two seal stamps that were used.  One was red and other was black.  Both colors had different meanings.  The red Tenka Fubu seal was more illustrious and was used for formal public documents.  On the other hand, the black Tenka Fubu seal was less formal and was used for private correspondence.  For example, the black Tenka Fubu seal was used in the recent document that was found in Kobe written to Nobunaga's captains Kuki Yoshitaka.  Another example for the red was an office public notice written to Toji Temple (located in Kyoto) in 1568.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Documents Found

Documents have been found recently in Japan regarding to Nobunaga and Hideyoshi.  Nobunaga wrote a letter to one of his captains, Kuki Yoshitaka expressing his gratitude.  The document has the black Tenka Fubu seal stamped.  The documents are being planned to be displayed to the public in the near future.


Tenka no tame!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tradition Broken

A 400 year plus tradition was broken recently in the Oda family.  Mr. Oda Nobutaka, the 18th head of the Oda clan did not name his sons "Nobu."  He was quoted as saying, "People easily detect I have the Oda bloodline because of the name.  I hated it."  Here is the link to the article: http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/9473172/

Kind of sad to see tradition go away, but I know "Nobu" will be used again in the near future.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Okehazama News

There is some recent news on the Battle of Okehazama 1560.  The news is related to people want to travel to the battlefield from Atsuta Shrine.  Both Arimatsu and Toyoake battlefields are mentioned, but Arimatsu grabs the headlines with the Oda Nobunaga and Imagawa Yoshimoto statues.


Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Nobunaga Drama

This Sunday in Japan, BS-TBS will air the 1989 movie/drama Oda Nobunaga starring Ken Watanabe.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, December 1, 2014


Shobata Castle is in the news again.  This time however, there is strong evidence that Nobunaga was born at Shobata Castle.  According to the Owari Shussei Zamurai Oboe Gaki (Information Regarding the Samurai of Owari), Nobunaga was born at Shobata Castle.  The document was recently discovered a few years ago and so far historians have seen it as a credible source.  That being said, I still think Nobunaga was born at Nagoya Castle.

To be fair, if Nobunaga was born at Shobata Castle, he did not stay there very long.  One must remember that Shobata was near the Mino border.  The most likely scenario: Nobunaga was born at Shobata and was quickly taken to Nagoya for safety reasons.  Oda Nobuhide's retainers who heard the news of Nobunaga's birth was at or near Nagoya Castle and probably thought the baby was born at Nagoya.

Nobunaga no tame!


Photo of the Kamatogi Pass.

During the Battle of Okehazama, the chances are high that Nobunaga and his army passed through Kamatogi just before crossing the Tegoe River after leaving Fort Nakajima.  I found this to be very interesting.  I did not know about this until late last year.  Last year, I received a book Okehazama Kosen Konko (The Study of the Old Battle of Okehazama) by Obata Tazo.  The book has several maps and old pictures related to the Battle of Okehazama.  As for the maps, it includes historians Taniguchi Katsuhiro, Owada Tetsuo, Fujimoto Masayuki, and writer Karino Kakujin.  Of course, it includes maps from Mr. Okehazama (Wataru Kajino) and his father Magosaku's opinion on which route Nobunaga took to the Okehazama battlefield.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Reunifying Hideyoshi

The San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park has a special exhibit on Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  The exhibit, Reunifying Hideyoshi: A Photographic Essay by Felix Bonomo.  I have not seen the special exhibit yet, but plan to do so very soon.  The special exhibit on Hideyoshi is on display until January 4th, 2015.  The link to the Japanese Friendship Garden: http://www.niwa.org

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Aichi Festival

Next weekend on November 30th, the Odaka area will host a huge Sengoku festival.  Aichi Sengoku World along with other guests will share their love for the Sengoku Era.  There will be a busho parade, firing squad, and tours.  In fact, the Arimatsu Okehazama battlefield will host a tour as well.


Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nobunaga and Gifu

I found a nice blog post on Nobunaga and Gifu this morning and would like to share it with everyone.  http://blog.gaijinpot.com/oda-nobunaga/

One must remember that Gifu's origins are Chinese.  Gi/Gizan is the place from which the Chou ruler Wu Wang began his military campaign to unify China in twelfth century B.C.  Fu/Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius.  All this started when Nobunaga conquered Mino in 1567.  Of course, his famous motto "Tenka Fubu" was created not long after Nobunaga took over Mino.  However, there is one problem that is bugging me.  There is no statue of Saito Dosan.  Dosan was a major figure in Mino and he should be recognized in Gifu.  I will be back in Gifu to do more research early next year as well.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Meeting

I found this picture of Nobunaga and Dosan right before the two met at Shotokuji Temple in Tonda near the Mino/Owari border.  Here is a reminder of the meeting's four key points:

  • Saito Dosan never met Nobunaga.
  • To see if Nobunaga was a fool.
  • To find out if Owari was weak enough to invade.
  • To see if the Saito/Oda alliance was good enough to continue.
Dosan soon found out that his son-in-law, Nobunaga was no fool.  He knew Nobunaga saw the future of warfare due to matchlock rifles and a trained infantry.  More importantly, the Saito/Oda alliance was good enough to continue until Dosan's death in 1556.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stavros Kyoto

Nijo Castle landmark in Kyoto.

Earlier this week I bought Matthew Stavros new book, Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan's Premodern Capital.  So far, it is a great book and I highly recommend it.  As for Nobunaga, it covers the construction of Nijo Castle in 1569.  It has nothing about the Nijo Palace which was built in 1576.  In fact, Nobunaga's construction of Nijo Castle would change Kyoto completely.  First, Nobunaga's fortress in no way reflected Kyoto's past or architectural history.  Second, it located in the heart of the city on the east side of Muromachi Road between Kamigyo and Shimogyo.  The road was cleared out by the Onin war.  Third, the size was huge in its day, wall, moats, and a castle tower, a first in its time.  Forth, it was the birth of Japan's early modern castle town.  Fifth, once Yoshiaki was expelled from Kyoto in 1573, the castle fell into disuse.  Its materials were used in the construction of Azuchi Castle.  Also Nobunaga ordered the residents of Kyoto's Kamigyo to fill in the moats so the enemy could not use the favorable location.

I would also like to include one theory on stones being used in the construction of Nijo Castle in 1569.  You can look back to Nobunaga's first major construction project which was Komaki Castle in 1563.  It did have some stone foundation and might have been a dry run for Nijo and Azuchi Castles.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sumo at Nijo

Nobunaga was known to hold various sumo bouts at Azuchi.  However, one bout was held at Nijo residence in Kyoto in 1578.

Elisonas/Lamers (Gyuichi) Shincho-Ko ki/The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (p. 295)

"Tiger, Tenth Month, 5th day: Nobunaga summoned sumo wrestlers from the Home Provinces and Omi and had them compete in a courtyard of his newly built Nijo residence.  He hosted this spectacle for the important persons of the regency lineage and the rest of the high nobility."

Tenka no tame!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sekigahara Book I

One of my Sengoku colleagues, Chris Glenn has his new book on the Battle of Sekigahara published and available to the public.  http://www.booklocker.com/books/7721.html  The price is kind of hefty, but I had a chance to look over a rough draft of the book last year while meeting with Chris in Japan.  From what I seen and read, the book will be a great read for those who love Sengoku Japan.


Nobunaga no tame!

Gifu Flower Dolls

Fall is a special time of the year in Japan.  The weather is cooler and nature shows its true beauty.  It is no different in Gifu.  If you are in the Gifu Castle Park vicinity, please see the Chrysanthemum flower dolls.  Nobunaga, Nohime, and several others make their appearance.  It is truly a work of art.  I was lucky to visit Gifu around this time last year.  The flower dolls are displayed for public viewing until November 24th.


Tenka no tame!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sakuma Morishige Print

Just in time for Halloween, a print showing Nobunaga's retainer Sakuma Morishige drinking blood from a decapitated head!  Now, Sakuma Daigaku Morishige (?-1560) had an interesting career for the Oda.  He served under both Oda Nobuhide and Nobunaga.  During the Battle of Ino in 1556, Nobunaga put Morishige in charge of Fort Nazuka near the Odai River in Owari.  Later, in the battle, Morishige took the head of Hashimoto Juzo.  In 1560, he was in charge of Fort Marune.  On the eve of the Battle of Okehazama, Matsudaira Motoyasu attacked Fort Marune and Sakuma Morishige was killed in action.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Imagawa Yoshimoto Print

Earlier this month I received my Imagawa Yoshimoto Battle of Okehazama Print.  The print is a reproduction.  Yoshimoto's name is located in the upper left hand corner in yellow.  This is the first print I own related to the Battle of Okehazama.  I own lots of photos (old and recent) and postcards related to the battle as well.  Once Nobunaga defeated and killed Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560, Sengoku Japan changed forever.

Here are three books on Imagawa Yoshimoto I recommend for further reading:

Owada Tetsuo: Imagawa Yoshimoto no Subete, 1994.
Owada Tetsuo: Imagawa Yoshimoto, 2004.
Arimitsu Yugaku: Imagawa Yoshimoto, 2008.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jeroen Lamers

The Asahi Shimbun has a great article on Nobunaga's biographer, Jeroen Lamers.  Mr. Lamers has written Japonius Tyrannus: The Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga reconsidered and the English version of The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga.  Here is one line that stands out: "His paper depicted the samurai lord (Nobunaga) not as a genius or an oppressor, but as a more realistic individual with his own personal struggles."

I would like to see Lamers work on Oze Hoan's Shinchoki in the near future.

Link: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/people/AJ201410020073

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gifu Castle Link

Gifu Castle Kyokan has updated their link.  http://www.nobunaga-kyokan.jp/

The link includes the history of Gifu Castle, the relationship of Saito Dosan and Oda Nobunaga, and pictures of the archaeological work being done around Gifu Castle Park.

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

2014 Soken-in Temple

If you are in Kyoto between early October to early December, I suggest you visit Soken-in Temple located at Daitokuji.  Soken-in is only open to the public in the fall.  It has a huge statue of Oda Nobunaga, his grave along with his sons, the grave of his daughter Gotoku, and the grave of his wife Nohime and concubine Onabe no Kata.  I usually visit Soken-in every year since it is a rare treat.  The temple also has beautiful tea rooms as well.  Usually, there is a volunteer (Japanese only) who guides you along with a group through the temple grounds.

Here a post from last year:http://otsuke.blogspot.com/2013/06/soken-in-temple.html

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Chosokabe Letter I

The Chosokabe letter is back in the news again and there is a link in English explains the letter.

Read the link and what is your opinion?

Now I am no expert on the Honnoji Rebellion.  My focus is mainly on young Nobunaga and the Battle of Okehazama.  That being said, I do have the best paper in English on the Honnoji Rebellion, Toki wa Ima by Brandon Schindewolf.  Here is my opinion on this subject.  The Chosokabe first refused Nobunaga's offer and later changed their minds at the last minute in order to survive (at least keep some of their lands in Shikoku.  In reality, they were second or third rate at best).

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kicho&Nobunaga Review

Author: Rumi Komonz
Publisher: Balboa Press
Published: 2011
Pages: 139

I received Rumi Komonz's Kicho&Nobunaga as a Christmas gift last year.  After reading the book many times and going through each page carefully, I must say that Kicho&Nobunaga is one of the better Sengoku fiction/historical novels.  The story is about Nobunaga's wife, Nohime (1535-1612), who came from Mino Province during the Sengoku Era.  She was brave, beautiful, and intelligent.  That being said, she was barren and desperately wanted her own child.  Unfortunately, it never happened.  Nohime finds out quickly Nobunaga was no fool, brave, odd, smart, cunning, and saw the future better than most people.  She also know Nobunaga is cocky and overconfident which leads to his death.

If I had any complaints about this well written book, there are two.  First, some of the names do not have a long vowel symbol, which makes reading the novel a bit awkward.  For example, the Mori of western Japan is spelled Mohri and Omi is Ohmi.  Azuchi was spelled as Azchi.  One other problem was the names.  Mrs. Saucepan as Onabe no Kata (Nobunaga's concubine) and Lord Strange as Oda Nobutada (Nobunaga's oldest son).  Still, even with the minor setbacks, Kicho&Nobunaga is a great book.

The novel has a lot of positives.  It contains a character and key events list.  This makes the novel easier to understand.  It contains many of Nobunaga's key events such as Okehazama, the construction of Nijo mansion, the lacquered skulls at Gifu Castle in 1574, and of course, the Honnoji Rebellion.  Mrs. Komonz also explains Nohime's life after Nobunaga's death in which she became a nun and lived a quiet life.  Also Mrs. Komonz believes that Nohime held some secrets that are are not known and will never been known.  I tend to agree.

How well written was the novel?  Here are some other reviews:

"Experience the world of samurai." Yoko Pinkerson, author
"Love in the turbulent setting." Elizabeth Beattie, writer, Making Sense
"Beautiful and evocative." Victorian Writers' Centre

Out of five stars, I am giving Kicho&Nohime five out of five. *****

Kicho&Nobunaga is the only book in English that will give you all the details into Nohime's life as the wife of Oda Nobunaga.  More importantly, life as a woman in an era where the sword was mightier than the pen.

Nohime no tame!  Nobunaga no tame!  Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri I

Here are some pictures from the Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri from the past.  More importantly, I have included a link in English on this year's popular Gifu festival.  http://travel.kankou-gifu.jp/en/see-and-do/58/

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri

The 2014 Gifu Nobunaga Festival will be held on October 4th and 5th.  I urge anyone who is in Gifu at the time to see this beautiful festival.  I have seen the Gifu Nobunaga Festival at least three times and every one of them was brilliant.  The festival will include the teppo firing squad, a huge parade, and an open air market.

The link below is in Japanese


Tenka no tame!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Shobata Castle News III

Shobata Castle is in the news again stating that Shobata Castle is the birthplace of Oda Nobunaga.  For those who have read my blog, everyone knows my position on this matter: Nagoya Castle was Nobunaga's birthplace.  The article mentions the only source, the Bishukojoshi as why Nobunaga was born at Shobata.  Shobata was too dangerous at the time in my opinion.

The article is well done since it promotes historical tourism and people to get interested in Oda Nobunaga.


Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Takeda Nobutora

I received my copy of the Saga of the Samurai series on Takeda Nobutora earlier this week.  Terje Solum and Anders K. Rue's take on Takeda Nobutora (1494-1574) is very good and highly recommend this book for anyone who is a scholar on the Sengoku Era.  Nobutora was banished by his son Shingen (Takeda Harunobu) in 1541.  Nobutora ended up in Sunpu as a guest of Imagawa Yoshimoto.  The two did get along well.  Nobutora did have some freedom to move as long as he did not set foot in Kai.  He visited Kyoto in 1558.

That being said, Nobunaga's victory at the Battle of Okehazama in 1560 changed everything.  Not only Yoshimoto was killed in action, but Nobutora's situation changed too.  Yoshimoto's lame son Ujizane did not get with Nobutora.  There are two reasons why.  1) Imagawa Ujizane was a feeble minded fool.  2) Nobutora probably scared Ujizane to death as he struck fear into people.  Nobutora ended up leaving Sunpu in 1563.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Okehazama Book

I received Watanabe Fumio's book on the Battle of Okehazama today.  It is decent and it does contain maps.  However, I have been warned that Mr. Watanabe has never been to the Okehazama battlefield and reaches his conclusions by the use of maps and books.  That being said, one interesting theory Mr. Watanabe has stated was that one of Imagawa Yoshimoto's weaknesses was he was not militarily educated or prepared compared to Nobunaga.  Yoshimoto let his retainer's do the job while he enjoyed the Kyoto court noble lifestyle.  Very interesting indeed!

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Taniguchi's New Book

Oda Nobunaga historian Taniguchi Katsuhiro has a new book out on Nobunaga and shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki.  The reviews are good and this is a must have for the Nobunaga scholar.


Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2014 Kiyosu Festival

The 2014 Kiyosu Nobunaga Matsuri will be held on October 12th.  This is one of the more popular Nobunaga festivals in Japan.  If you are in the area during this time of the year, by all means go.  My good friend Mikawa Hide has a link to this year's festival.  http://ameblo.jp/mikawa-hide/entry-11919201236.html

The official link in Japanese: http://www.city.kiyosu.aichi.jp/event_calendar/matsuri/nobunagamatsuri.html

There will be a parade of samurai in armor, Nobunaga and his friends, and the gunnery squad.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Other Nijo

Nobunaga constructed the Old Nijo Mansion or Nijo Lower Palace in 1576.  I was able to take a picture of the landmark while in Kyoto last December.  The mansion was built on a vacant residential lot that belong to Lord Nijo.  Nobunaga ordered Murai Sadakatsu to be in charge of the construction project.  Landmark is located near Karusama/Oike in Kyoto.

Ota Gyuichi (Elisonas/Lamers) Shincho-Ko ki, p. 249.

"Fortunately, a residential lot belonging to Lord Nijo was vacant.  Contemplating a spacious garden design with a fresh water spring and scenic views, Nobunaga gave Murai Nagato no Kami a list of directions regarding this construction project."

In 1579, Nobunaga gave the mansion to the Crown Prince.  This is a different Nijo Castle/Palace that Nobunaga built for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki.  The one that was built for Yoshiaki was in 1569 and fell into disuse after the shogun was disposed in 1573.  Some of the building material was reused for the construction of Azuchi Castle.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Nobunaga Blog

There is another Nobunaga blog out there on the net and it is not bad at all.  http://uesama-dango.blogspot.com/  I read this blog time to time to see if I can can anything out of it.  However, it is not an academic blog, so you might not find key papers or books on this particular blog.  That being said, I enjoy reading the Uesama Dango for pleasure.

Regarding to the Battle of Okehazama novel and research, I found a lot of interesting new data of late which I plan to post soon.  As for the novel, I just finished adding the character list.

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gifu Castle News II

According the Nobunaga Kyokan blog, archaeological work near the Gifu Castle grounds has started up again.  The archaeological work is being done near the ropeway.  http://www.nobunaga-kyokan.jp/blog/  Please see the 8/11/2014 post for more information and pictures.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nobunaga Omotenashi II

The Gifu Nobunaga Omotenashi Kaiseki Sengoku Cuisine gets even better.  I found a video on the Asashi Shinbum link a day ago.  The article includes a minute video showing the cooking director, Mr. Yasuo Mori discussing the menu.  The food looks delicious for sure!


Tenka no tame!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nobunaga Omotenashi I

The Nobunaga Omotenashi cuisine is back in the news again.  Here are two pictures of the delicious food that Nobunaga might ate during his time in Gifu.  I wrote my first post on this subject in June: http://otsuke.blogspot.com/2014/06/nobunaga-omotenashi.html

Here is a link from the Asahi Shinbumhttp://www.asahi.com/articles/photo/AS20140821000978.html

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Okehazama NHK Documentary I

I found a link to the NHK Okehazama documentary that was aired in July 2007.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrdUP0oEzic  I have my own personal copy that I received a couple of years ago.  The reason why I added this link is the Randori (chaos taking) that is mentioned in the Koyo Gunkan.  Around the eight minute mark or so, the Koyo Gunkan Randori is mentioned.  I have doubts that there was a randori during the Battle of Okehazama.  That being said, I am glad the documentary aired all view points.

Fujimoto Masayuki's Okehazama*Nobunaga no Kishu Shinwa Wa Uso Datta, mentions this documentary on p. 107.  Again, read and decide for yourself.  I wrote a post on the Okehazama documentary last year: http://otsuke.blogspot.com/2013/07/okehazama-nhk-documentary.html  I suggest one should take the opportunity the see the documentary while they can.  Yes, it is in Japanese.  However, the host Matsudaira Sadatomo speaks softly and easy to understand.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sengoku Cuisine

It is well known that Nobunaga loved strong country flavored foods.  He was known to eat foods that was brought by the Europeans.  For example, bananas, onions, and maybe even corn.  I found a link earlier this week that focuses on Sengoku cuisine.  http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?452907-Food-during-the-Sengoku-Era  The link is interesting and I suggest one should do their own research after reading it.  There is a book by the name of Nobunaga no gohan Ryouma no obento that goes into detail on eating habits of famous Japanese people.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Honnoji Magazine

Rekishi Kaido magazine's newest issue deals with the Honnoji Rebellion.  Articles are contributed by Owada Tetsuo, Kirino Sakujin, and Domon Fuyuji.  I have several issues of Rekishi Kaido dealing with Nobunaga regarding Okehazama, Nagashino, Azuchi Castle, and the Araki Murashige crisis.  I highly recommend to read this issue on the Honnoji.  Speaking of the Honnoji, Brandon Schindewolf's Toki wa Ima is the best academic paper on the Honnoji Rebellion in English.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Eguchi Yosuke

Eguchi Yosuke has played the role of Nobunaga in the 2014 Taiga drama Kuroda Kanbei.  After watching him perform, he has been top notch.  He has been the best actor since Takashi Sorimachi to play Nobunaga.  It has been a blessing.  This year's Taiga drama in the early stages goes through some of the situations regarding the Mouri and the Ishiyama Honganji in Ozaka.  There is one other person who appeared quite often in this year's drama, Araki Murashige.  Nobunaga's former vassal who betrayed him and he paid the price.  Not with his life, but his wife Dashi's.

Araki Murashige is a classic example of a samurai misbehaving badly, very badly.  Murashige flees Arioka Castle for Amagasaki taking with him a concubine by the name of Akoko, his tea utensils, and a hand drum.  His wife Dashi on the other hand, is put to death near the banks of the Rokujo in Kyoto along with other Araki family members.

David D. Neilson's paper Society at War: Eyewitness Accounts of Sixteenth Century Japan goes into great detail of the Araki crisis. The Shincho-Ko ki and Jeroen Lamers, Japonius Tyrannus is highly recommended for further reading on the Araki.  Also the samurai archives has a podcast on this as well.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nobunaga and Onion

Nobunaga was known to try foods that Europeans brought over to Japan.  He might have been the first Japanese to eat an onion.  http://www.asagei.com/25356  Jesuit missionary Luis Frois brought an onion to Azuchi Castle.  The onion was prepared with rice.  The onion might have arrived much later in 1770, in Nagasaki.  What the case maybe, Nobunaga might have had a sample of this famous vegetable.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Nobunaga and Mikawa

The past month or so I have been thinking about Nobunaga and Mikawa.  Could he have had Mikawa all to himself after the Battle of Okehazama?  The answer is highly possible if he wanted to.  The Matsudaira family was not in good shape before they allied themselves with the Imagawa and after Okehazama.  Nobunaga's father Nobuhide had some success against the Matsudaira in 1540s and taking a chunk of Mikawa.  All this while Owari was not fully unified.  The Matsudaira finally pushed back until they had help from the Imagawa.  The situation changed for the worse when Ieyasu's father was murdered in 1549.  The Matsudaira house was at its weakest.

An earlier post on Oda Nobuhide and Mikawa.  http://otsuke.blogspot.com/2014/07/nobuhide-and-mikawa.html

After the Battle of Okehazama, Nobunaga had success against the Matsudaira.  He attacked Umegatsubo and Yakusa Castles with a victory.  Young Ieyasu had to be horrified about the situation.  The Matsudaira house and Mikawa Province was not even close to being unified.  To make matters even worse, if Nobunaga launched a full scale attack on Mikawa, Ieyasu knew full well he would not receive outside support.  In fact, I believe Nobunaga would have easily taken Mikawa.  However, it did not happen because Nobunaga and Ieyasu made peace and created one of the more successful alliances in Sengoku history.  Besides Nobunaga giving away his daughter to the Tokugawa made him the senior partner between the two houses, I believe his military and economic strength made a huge difference as well.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Nobunaga's Death Mask II

Statue of Luis Frois
Here is the Honnoji version from Luis Frois: http://otsuke.blogspot.com/2010/06/honnoji-by-luis-frois.html

There is was no mention at all about Nobunaga's head being taken.  Nothing was written about Yasuke taking Nobunaga's head either.  In fact, if Yasuke did take Nobunaga's head, it would have been noted by the Jesuits.  Yasuke probably went to Myokakuji to inform Oda Nobutada the news of his father's death.  Now what if Yasuke did have Nobunaga's head?  The head would likely decay quickly due to the extreme heat and humidity at the time.  I think the death mask is a hoax and should be left to the midnight hours of conspiracy theories on the History Channel.  I have mentioned this before and still remind people that Nobunaga's body was never found.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nobunaga's Death Mask I

Here is a picture of the so-called Nobunaga death mask.  As stated in my earlier post, I think it is a fake.  Link to another article:http://mantan-web.jp/2014/07/30/20140729dog00m200055000c.html
The only way to prove it is an original is through carbon dating.  Even then, more evidence is needed.  Again, Nobunaga's body was never found.  I think it is a great entertaining story from a historical perspective.  It should left as nothing but historical entertainment.

Nobunaga no tame!