Monday, April 28, 2014

Nohime Bus

Statue of Nohime at Kiyosu Castle

There is a new Sengoku busho bus in my adopted hometown Gifu.  Nobunaga's lovely wife Nohime, finally has a bus of her own.  This is fantastic news in my opinion.  The link below has an article in Japanese on Nohime and the city bus.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Azuchi Stone Story

                                                               Azuchi Castle Ruins

In 1576, Nobunaga broke ground to construct Azuchi Castle.  However, there was a huge crisis.  His staff and the surrounding daimyo were not supplying him with enough quality stones for the castle walls and fortifications.  The story goes that Nobunaga ordered his father's grave stone to be removed from Banshoji Temple (located in Nagoya) so it could be used for the castle construction.  It was said that the grave stone was laid amongst the rocks at Azuchi.  This scared the living hell out of the surrounding daimyo that Nobunaga would force them to use their families grave stones for the Azuchi project.  Out of fear, the surrounding daimyo and staff found suitable stones for Azuchi Castle.

I will be honest with you, I do not believe this story is true.  That being said, it is an interesting story.  It might have been made up and the story might have been used to spread fear among the staff and the surrounding daimyo.  In my humble opinion, the story was used to spread fear to get the suitable stones  quickly as possible.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


 Nijo Castle landmark in Kyoto

In 1569, Nobunaga constructed Nijo Castle for shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki.  When Yoshiaki was disposed in 1573, the castle fell into disuse.  However, Nobunaga did not let the buildings or materials go to waste as he used them for the construction of Azuchi Castle.  A very interesting relationship between Nijo and Azuchi.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Banshoji Temple News I

This weekend Chris Glenn will host a talk show at Banshoji Temple located at Osu Kannon in the heart of Nagoya.  Awhile back he wrote a great article on Banshoji.

I also wrote a short story back in 2012 on young Nobunaga and his father's (Oda Nobuhide) funeral at Banshoji.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2000 Okehazama Documentary

I recently found a documentary clip on the Battle of Okehazama that was aired back in November of 2000.  The show was hosted by Matsudaira Sadatomo and the Sengoku historian Owada Tetsuo appeared as a special guest.  The documentary is in Japanese.

Here are the topics that were discussed:

  • The bad weather (rain/thunderstorm)
  • Yanada Masatsuna's intelligence
  • Nobunaga's youth
  • Geography of the Okehazama area
  • The timing was critical when Nobunaga received the intelligence
  • Usage of the Shincho-Ko ki
The links to the videos:

I do own a copy of the Okehazama special that was aired back in 2007.  Both documentaries are very good and useful to understand the battle of Okehazama.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shot at Tennoji

Osaka's Tennoji.

In 1576, Nobunaga was shot in the leg while fighting near the Tennoji in Osaka.  He was fighting against the Honganji.  Even though Nobunaga was wounded, he was able to rally his army to victory.

Ota Gyuichi Shincho-Ko ki/The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (pp. 251-252)

"The third formation: Nobunaga's horse guards.
Having made these dispositions, Nobunaga rode up and down amidst his attacking light infantry, barking orders left and right.  He was wounded slightly when a harquebus bullet hit his leg.  But the Way of Heaven watched over Nobunaga, and he came to no harm."

Tenka no tame!

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Toyoake Okehazama

The 2014 Toyoake Okehazama Festival will be held on June 8th.  This is one of the more popular Nobunaga festivals that is held in Aichi Prefecture.  There will be a parade of both the Oda and Imagawa armies, a reenactment of the battle, and other displays of historical facts on the battle.

My friend Mikawa-Hide has a link for more information (Japanese).

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Battle of Anegawa

Here is the Battle of Anegawa from the Shincho-Ko ki.  The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (Elisonas/Lamers, pp. 147-148).

"Meanwhile Asakura Magosaburo [Kagetake] had set out with some eight thousand men to attack Nobunaga's rear.  To the east of Otani there was a long mountain ridge called Oyori that stretched from east to west, and Magosaburo pitched camp there.  Azai Bizen's force of some five thousand men joined this army, making a total of thirteen thousand.  On the 27th of the Sixth Month, the broke camp at daybreak and appeared to withdraw, but before dawn on the 28th they advanced about thirty cho [three and a quarter kilometers].  With the river Anegawa in front of them, they moved to the villages of Nomura and Mitamura and lined up in two divisons.

Lord Ieyasu opened the encounter by moving on the enemy positioned at the approach to Mitamura on the west.  Nobunaga's horse guards moved out against the division deployed on the east at Nomura, as did the Mino Triumvirs farther to the east.  All at once, the battle had begun.  On the 28th of the Sixth Month, at the Hour of the Rabbit [about 6 a.m.], Nobunaga attacked toward the northeast.  As the enemy moved toward Anegawa, a terrible, confused man-to-man battle ensued.  They crossed swords and slashed away amidst black clouds of dust.  Blades splintered, sword guards were cleft in two; on all sides everyone fought for all he was worth.  Finally ours crushed the enemy.  The list of the heads taken in battle said:

Magara Jurozaemon, his head taken by Aoki Shoemon [Kazushige]; Maeba Shinpachi, Maeba Shintaro, Kobayashi Hashuken, Uozumi Ryomonji, Kurosaka Bitchu, Yuge Rokurozaemon, Imamura Kamon no Suke; Endo Kiemon, his head taken by Takenaka Kyusaku [Shigenori], who had boasted beforehand that he would take this head; Azai Uta no Suke, Azai Itsuki, Kano Jirozaemon, Kano Saburobyoe, Hosoe Sama no Suke, and Hayazaki Kichibyoe.

In addition to these, ours killed more than elven hundred warriors of standing.  Nobunaga ordered pursuit over the stretch of fifty cho [five and a half kilometers] to Mount Otani and set fire to its foot.  Otani Castle, however, was on high and inaccessible ground, and Nobunaga realized it would be difficult to storm it right then and there.  So he marched his men back to Yokohama.  Of course the garrison of that castle surrendered, pleading for mercy, and withdrew."

Here is a link in Japanese on the Battle of Anegawa:

I made a visit to the Anegawa battlefield back in 2001 and it quite far from JR Nagahama Station.  Also  I suggest one to visit the Odani Castle ruins.  There you can find the landmark where Azai Nagamasa committed seppuku.  Some key points about the battle.  Asakura Yoshikage did not participate in the battle.  One of his relatives led the Asakura army.  The Azai gave Nobunaga a run for his money.  Nagamasa and his army put a lot of pressure on the Oda army until it ran out of gas.  Only 500 guns used by Nobunaga and his army?  Quite small, but more research needs to done on Anegawa in my opinion since it is often overlooked.

Tenka no tame!