Monday, May 5, 2014
The role of the Men of the Fields at the Battle of Okehazama was critical to Nobunaga's victory. As I stated many times before, Nobunaga had more trust and loyalty in the Men of the Fields than his own retainers. The Men of the Fields knew Nobunaga had a plan to defeat Imagawa Yoshimoto, but his vassals did not due to betrayal.
David D. Neilson's Society at War (p. 88)
"Nobunaga had gone to the Men of the Fields precisely because they were outside of the formal military infrastructure and could be trusted. As Maeno Shoemon and Hachisuka Koroku said during their audience with Nobunaga, they appreciated the fact that he treated their clans with favor. They owed him a debt of gratitude and their performance in the planning and execution of the battle of Okehazama was payment due. In addition, their familial connections with Nobunaga through Kitsuno and the three sons she had with him, irrevocably tied the interests of the Ikoma, Maeno, and Hachisuka Clans as well as those of their wider network of the Men of the Fields to those of Nobunaga and created ties of loyalty and mutual self-interest which were stronger than any bond created by an oath of vassalage."
Neilson made a minor error when he stated that Kitsuno had three sons. She had two sons and a daughter. I did write a post almost four years ago on Nobunaga's Okehazama plan.
Nobunaga no tame!