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:
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!


D_A Renoir said...

My experience as a student in Jesuit school tells me that making death masks is something that is unlikely for Luis Frois and/or his companions to do. It just doesn't fit with their teachings or the culture of their society.

I mean, making drawn portraits is one thing. Death masks is something else entirely.

otsuke said...

Another thing. Luis Frois did write an account on the Honnoji. However, there was no mention of Yasuke taking Nobunaga's head which makes the Nishiyama's case even more weak and unreliable. I do have Luis Frois Honnoji account in English and Japanese. Nothing was written about Yasuke and Nobunaga's head.

Bethetsu said...

One can better say, Frois did write about Yasuke, but nothing about Nobunaga's head.
There is no question that Frois knew and wrote about Yasuke's movements at the Honnoji so his silence about Nobunaga's head is particularly significant.
The only reason we know "Yasuke" was involved in Honnoji at all is because Frois wrote about it in the 1582 letter mentioned in the post above. He says, based on a letter from the Jesuits in Kyoto, that Yasuke was at Honnoji, then after his death went to Nijojo to defend Nobunaga's heir, but after a long fight surrendered his katana to one of Akechi's men, and Akechi had him taken to the church.

After writing all that about Yasuke, if the Kyoto Jesuits had made a death mask, wouldn't they have said so, and wouldn't Frois have passed it on? Why would it be a secret?
Besides, the account in Facebook has a strange contradiction. It follows Frois in saying Yasuke surrendered to Akechi. (And then the author wonders if Frois knew about Yasuke!) But can one think that Akechi's men would let him take a big bundle and Nobunaga's sword with him to the church?
I don't have a facebook account or I would write this there.

By the way, I don't think it surprising Nobunaga's body was "never found." Doesn't that mean never identified? How could they have identified charred bones back then?

otsuke said...

If the Jesuits would have known about the death, it would have been written. Yasuke was at the Honnoji. Okada Masahito's Nobunaga Sogo Jiten has a list of people where they were during the Honnoji. According to Masahito, Frois might have been in Nagasaki at the time. P. 421-422.