Thursday, July 31, 2014

Nobunaga's Death Mask II

Statue of Luis Frois
Here is the Honnoji version from Luis Frois:

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:
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!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nobunaga's Death Mask

Oda Nobunaga's so-called death mask has been in the news again.

It looks like Nobunaga's African attendant Yasuke took Nobunaga's so nobody from the Akechi army could get their hands on it.  It seems that the mask was molded from soft clay.  Here is my take on this:  I think it is fake.  The only way to prove that the mask is not a hoax is test it by carbon dating.  If the mask dates to the 1580s, then there might be a chance the mask is original.  If not, then the mask is a fake.

Death masks were popular in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  It was used in Europe when the face was disfigured.  However, it was really a French fad and did not become popular until the French Revolution.  As for 16th century Spain and Portugal?  No evidence so far and it was highly possible that Yasuke did not know what a death mask was.

That being said, if you read the link entirely, the story is interesting.  Which it is.  It is nothing more than fantasy history, which is fine by me if you separate fact from fiction.  One other important matter regarding the mask, Nobunaga's body was never found.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nobunaga Taiga List

I found a real gem on the internet of late, a list of all the actors who played the role of Oda Nobunaga in the Taiga dramas.

Actors start off with Koji Takahashi who was one of the better one who portrayed Nobunaga.  It ends off with the current actor Eguchi Yosuke who starring as Nobunaga in this year's Taiga drama.  Of course, I think Takashi Sorimachi is the best modern actor who has played Nobunaga in a Taiga drama in my opinion.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nobunaga drama in 2017?

There is a rumor that there might be a possibility that a Nobunaga television drama will be in the works for 2017.

2017 will be the 450th anniversary of the founding of Gifu by Nobunaga.  I hope this project will go through since it will be great news for fans of Nobunaga and the city of Gifu in general.

Tenka Fubu!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nobunaga Podcast II

Last night before retiring for bed, I listened to a podcast on Oda Nobunaga.  The podcast host, Cameron Foster is from Australia and his seventeen minute podcast on the rise of Nobunaga is perfect for the newbie.  The podcast discusses Oda Nobuhide a bit before introducing the Uesama.  The rest of the podcast discusses the Battle of Okehazama.  Again, it is very general.  In fact, it gets the newbie interested in Nobunaga and Okehazama.  I would suggest the newbie after listening to Mr. Foster's podcast to buy my book on the Battle of Okehazama, read the English version of the Shincho-Ko ki, Lamers Japonius Tyrannus, David D. Neilson's thesis Society at War, and listen to the SA (Samurai Archives) podcasts on Nobunaga.  I encourage everyone to listen to Mr. Foster's podcast and make their own decision.  Many thanks to Mr. Foster for trying something different.  I enjoyed it.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nohime Bus I

Here is a better picture of the Nohime bus that is being used in Gifu City.  Modern, beautiful, and classy.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nobuhide and Mikawa

There is an article out by the Yomiuri Shinbum on Nobunaga's father, Oda Nobuhide and Mikawa Province.  According to Chukyo University professor Mikio Muraoka, Nobuhide ruled Mikawa for a bit.  I am skeptical about it and this is just a new theory.  The article explains the conflicts between Oda Nobuhide and Matsudaira Hirotada.  Hirotada requests help from the Imagawa.  Hirotada's son Takechiyo (Tokugawa Ieyasu) was supposed to go to the Imagawa.  However, Toda Yasumitsu of Tahara Castle in Mikawa betrays the Matsudaira and Takechiyo is sent to the Oda.  For two years young Ieyasu is a hostage of the Oda.  In 1549, Anjo Castle is retaken by the Imagawa and Oda Nobuhiro is captured.  Both families agree to exchange the hostages at Kasadera in Owari.  As for why the Toda betrayed, there is still a lot of mysteries.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The grim reality of Sengoku warfare

There is a documentary by the Smithsonian Channel on Sengoku warfare.  It is not that bad, it is refreshing that this documentary focuses on the brutal side of Sengoku Warfare.  Even though it focuses on the Hideyoshi/Ieyasu Komaki/Nagakute conflict, this documentary can gives us clues on what Nobuanaga's campaigns might have looked like in the 1570s-early 1580s.

The actual video:

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Here are some replica Battle of Okehazama prints from the Owarimeishozue.  The two prints are highlighted in color and highly detailed.  The first print shows the Imagawa camp enjoying the party while the second shows Nobunaga and his army attacking the Imagawa army.  As for the Owarimeishozue, it was created between the late Edo and early Meiji Era.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Shobata Castle News II

Shobata Castle is in the news again as professors and the media are pushing heavily to prove that Nobunaga was born at Shobata Castle.  Professor Harima Yoshinori of Chukyo University was discussing ancient documents such as the Bishukojoshi and others to prove his theory.  His discussion took place at Aisai City Saori Community Center.

There is a major problem professors and the media are not talking about.  Shobata Castle was located near the Owari/Mino border.  The castle was located near enemy territory.  It does not make sense to have your heir born near enemy territory in an age of constant warfare.  Not only that, but Owari was far from being unified.  Nobunaga did that in 1559.  Nagoya Castle was perfect since it was surrounded by family members who were allies with Nobunaga's father, Nobuhide.

My job as a Nobunaga scholar is to provide all points of view to the reader.  With all the data provided from all sides, hopefully the reader will make his own decision.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Places of Learning

Ryounji Temple above and Nagono/Tennosha on the bottom.

During Nobunaga's crazy youth, he actually received some formal education.  Ryounji Temple built by his uncle Oda Nobumitsu was the place where Nobunaga learned calligraphy.  It was located near the Shonai River.  Inabaji Castle, a citadel of Oda Nobumitsu, was close by as well.  In fact, the Inabaji landmark is only few minutes from Ryounji.  At the grounds of Ryounji, Oda Nobumitsu's grave can be found.  The temple is peaceful and it has a beautiful small pond as well.

Nagono Shrine located near Nagoya Castle has a long history in the area.  The shrine was established in 911 and it was dedicated to the Shinto god Susanoo.  During the early part of the 16th century the shrine was a casualty of war as it was put to the torch.  Nobunaga's father, Nobuhide rebuilt the shrine in 1540.  When Nobunaga studied at the shrine as a young lad, it was known as Tennosha.  Hirate Masahide and/or Hirata Sanmi taught the future Demon King at Tennosha.

There is a high possibility that Nobunaga met young Takechiyo (Tokugawa Ieyasu) for the first time at Tennosha.  I tend to agree on that theory.  The shrine moved to its present site in 1876.  Both Ryounji Temple and Nagono Shrine can be easily visited in one day while in Nagoya.

Nobunaga no tame!