Sunday, December 27, 2015

Azuchi Video

I found a great video on Azuchi Castle last night.  Beautiful and highly detailed.  In Japanese, this shows Azuchi might have been in its full glory while tourists climb and observe the castle ruins.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Paul Varley RIP

Japanese history lost one of its famous historians, Paul Varley.  From what I understand, he was a kind man.  I have read several of his works such as Samurai and the Onin War.  I have one of his written works "Oda Nobunaga, Guns, and Early Modern Warfare in Japan."  A great piece on Nobunaga and Nagashino.  He will be missed.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2017 Nobunaga Museum

There is news that there will be a temporary museum built for the 450th anniversary of Gifu.  The Nobunaga museum will be a theme of his economic policy of Rakuichi-Rakuza.  2017 is the 450th anniversary of Nobunaga's Gifu.

Link in Japanese:

Tenka no tame!

Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Awards

It is that time of year again where I hand out the awards for 2015.  The list is small this year due to my busy schedule traveling to Japan, writing the novel, and going to therapy at the Naval Hospital and VA.

Book of the Year: Japan's Medieval Population: Population, Fertility, and Warfare in a Transformation Age by William Wayne Farris.

Highly recommend this book since it explains why at times Sengoku warlords went campaigning.  To steal grain from other provinces and reduce the population's suffering at home by shipping them somewhere else.  Also Muromachi Kyoto was one of dirtiest and smelliest places in Japan.

Historian of the Year:  There are two.  One as an individual and a group.  I was fortunate this year to meet several historians while in Japan.  Owada Tetsuo was one of them.  A decent man.  Izawa Motohiko was another historian I met at the Toyoake City Okehazama Battlefield.  Nice man.

However, the award goes Ota Teruo.  This person wrote Okehazama Kassen Kishu no Shinjutsu.  Now I met him by chance at the Toyoake City Okehazama Battlefield.  He is a local historian.  I was able to spend a few hours with him to chat about the Battle of Okehazama.  There is a few things I disagree with him on the battle, but that is the beauty of it.  Discussing various opinions and coming to a conclusion.

The group award goes to the Arimatsu Okehazama Preservation Committee.  I am member of this committee.  That being said, I was impressed on how much work goes into planning and prepping for the Okehazama festival.  The Kajino family and others made sure everyone was welcomed.  They also provided visitors personal tours and lectures about the battle from a local perspective.  As a group, they earned the award.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Nobunaga Tray

Today I was going to write about the 2015 Awards, instead I found some interesting news.  Nobunaga's serving tray has been donated to Chofukuji Temple.  From the picture I have seen, the serving tray is in good condition.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nobunaga and ISIS

What would Nobunaga do about ISIS?  The answer is simple.  He would have slaughtered them with no mercy.  Nobunaga knew the confederates that he fought throughout the 1570s could be incorporated into vassal band.  This tick him off to the point he had no choice but to exterminate them.  And Nobunaga did his job well.

Quotes from Japonius Tyrannus:  "curse on the nation and if I do not suppress them, there will never be an end to it.  That is why I wipe them out." (p. 104)

"...I want to exterminate them root and branch this time, I shall not forgive their crimes." (p. 103)

So if you want to defeat ISIS and their ilk, you are going to need a guy like Nobunaga to do the job.  He would send them to hell.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Kiyosu Video

A good friend of mine from Kiyosu sent me a promotional video about Nobunaga and Kiyosu Castle.  The video explains how tourists can wear armor, visit the castle, see the Nobunaga Festival, and other activities people can enjoy.  One can receive an official samurai certificate.  Believe it or not, it is true.

The video is in English and easy to understand.  For a simple video trying to promote Nobunaga and Kiyosu Castle, it did its job.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Study Material

I bought this Nobunaga study guide earlier this year at the Kiyosu Castle gift shop.  As you can see, it is simple and basic.  Perfect for someone who is a newbie.  Even for the professional historian, it is useful in my opinion.  Included is dates, key battles such as Okehazama, Anegawa, and Nagashino, key Oda retainers, castles, and weapons.  If you can find one these study guides, buy one!

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gifu Nobunaga Forum II

Last month, the city of Gifu held their yearly Nobunaga academic forum.  One of my Okehazama colleagues, Seishiro Mizuno attended the forum and wrote a post on the subject.

Mr. Mizuno mentions Nobunaga hospitality, the work being done at Gifu Castle, and the 450 Project.  I have been a few of these forums before.  A few years ago I went to an Okehazama forum and earlier this year a Sekigahara forum which the great Sengoku historian Owada Tetsuo spoke.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Okehazama Walk I

November 29th Okehazama Walk was a huge success!  From all the news I received from Japan, this was a must see.  Starting from Kiyosu Castle to the Okehazama area.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

450 Project

2017 will be the 450th anniversary of the birth of Gifu.  Nobunaga changed the name from Inoguchi to Gifu in 1567.  The picture above is the logo for the 450 Project.

Link in Japanese:

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Gifu Nobunaga Forum I

The 2015 Gifu Nobunaga Forum was held over the weekend at the Gifu Juroku Plaza.  Around 600 people attended the event.  More on the story:

Tenka no tame!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Okehazama Walk

On November 29th, there will be three Okehazama walking courses.  The three spots are Kiyosu Castle, Atsuta Shrine, and Odaka Ryokuchi.  I would love to participate.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Shotokuji Information

Earlier this year I visited the Shotokuji landmark where Nobunaga and Saito Dosan met in April of 1553.  The temple was located near the Mino/Owari border.  From Inabayama Castle, the temple was approximately 10 miles south.  From Nagoya Castle, it was approximately 15 miles north.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Okehazama Novel Published

My new novel on the Battle of Okehazama is published and available.  This is a fictional take on the Battle of Okehazama.  You can order the book at Createspace and Amazon.

Nobunaga no tame!  
Tenka no tame!

2015 Rekishijin

The December issue of Rekishijin magazine will discuss Nobunaga's battles.  Battles include Okehazama, the conquest of Mino, Anegawa, Nagashino, and the 10 year holy war against the Ishiyama Honganji.  A must have issue in my opinion.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nobunaga's Diplomacy

Nobunaga historian Taniguchi Katsuhiro's Oda Nobunaga no Gaikou is now published and available. I have several of Katsuhiro's books in my personal library.  Nobunaga's Diplomacy should be another must have in my opinion.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dosan Moat

While in Gifu earlier this year, I found a beautiful discovery with the help of locals.  The moat that Saito Dosan built for Inabayama/Gifu Castle is still around and useful for the people of Gifu.  Look at the top picture and the pen shows you were the moat was at during Dosan and Nobunaga's time.  The bottom picture shows you the what moat is used for at the present time.

The location is across the street from Gifu Castle Park.  I had a long chat with one of the local volunteer guides for about an hour on this subject.  Blown away, I was.  The moat that Saito Dosan built and was used during the time of Nobunaga is still around and useful.  The volunteer guide also told me about the current archaeological work being done at the castle park.  He was stunned on how much I knew about the history of Dosan and Nobunaga.  It made his day.

My advice, seek the local volunteers and ask for the castle's secrets.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Okehazama Satire

There is a video on the Battle of Okehazama:  Now I have to warn you, the video is pure satire.  This is not a serious documentary like Sono toki Rekishi ga Ugoita.  This video is for laughs.  Miyamoto Musashi mentioned?  Awful (laughs)!  Imigawa instead of Imagawa.  Edo Era stick figures.  This video was so full of mistakes, yet I enjoyed the satire.  Yes, this is not a video I would use in serious research.  That being said, if you want a few laughs and enjoy the battle's satire, this video does the job.  And yes, I could not stop laughing.  Sometimes you need some satire to keep you honest and enjoy life.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Useful Okehazama Map

Yesterday, I received a Battle of Okehazama map from the Kajino family and from the Okehazama Battlefield Preservation Society.  As you can see, the map is in Japanese.  That being said, the map has provided Nobunaga and Yoshimoto's route to the battlefield.  This map is useful in my opinion.  The legend on the top right hand corner provides everything you need to understand the battle.  Again, many thanks to the Kajino family and the Okehazama Preservation Society.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, October 19, 2015

October Okehazama Article

Last night I found an article on the Battle of Okehazama.  It is general, but mentions historian Fujimoto Masayuki and Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki.  The article mentions Fujimoto's theory that Nobunaga did not use a surprise attack because it was not written in the Shincho-Ko ki.  The Shincho-Ko ki is not perfect and does have some errors.  My opinion on Nobunaga's tactic at the Battle of Okehazama, frontal surprise attack.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2015 Kiyosu Nobunaga Festival

Here is link from the 2015 Kiyosu Nobunaga Festival.  Near the end of the video, Nobunaga performs "Atsumori."

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, October 16, 2015

New Nohime Novel

There is a new Nohime novel out in Japan by Morota Reiko "Kicho".  The author is known for historical fiction.  She also wrote a novel on Ieyasu's wife Lady Tsukiyama "Tsuki wo Haku" back in 2003.  I would love to get my hands on her new novel on Nohime.  Unfortunately, I will probably have to wait until March when I am back in the motherland.

The author's link:

Tenka no tame!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Gifu Nobunaga Forum

The 8th annual Nobunaga Forum will be held in Gifu at the Juroku Plaza Hall on November 22nd.  Time of the forum will be from 1-4:30 and admission is free.  Historian Kaneko Hiraku will be discussing Nobunaga and the Court.  I do own a copy of one of his books, Oda Nobunaga toiu Rekishi [Shinchoki] no Kanata he, 2009.

There will be also a discussion on Lord Nobunaga's Education and Culture.  If anyone is in Gifu and is a fan of Nobunaga, I highly suggest you attend this wonderful event.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ichijodani News

The Ichijodani Castle ruins is promoting a Sengoku Time Slip.  People dressed in Sengoku clothing selling vegetables at the open air museum.  Ichijodani was the home of the Asakura family.  Nobunaga burned the place to hell in 1573.  That being said, the Ichijodani ruins is one of best Sengoku open air museums in Japan.  You can learn a lot how people lived during the Sengoku Era.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

2015 Gifu Nobunaga Festival I

Photo of Nobunaga, Saito Dosan and Nohime.

From what I heard through the grapevine, the Gifu Nobunaga Festival was a success.  That is great news.  I wish I was there.  The Nagoya Festival with Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu will be next.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I as continue to study the Battle of Okehazama, there is many questions that comes up.  Here is another one.  Jiganji.  It was said that Nobunaga visited and prayed at Jiganji during the Battle of Okehazama.  Really?  I will be honest, this is the least known temple or shrine that Nobunaga prayed at during the battle.  In fact, the place is far away from the battlefield route and the battlefield itself.  I am skeptical on this one for sure.

My good friend Mikawa Hide has a link on this subject.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, September 28, 2015

September News

There is some public performance and Nobunaga festival news.  Next year in January and February, there will be a performance "Honganji" that will be performed in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo.

Also the cast for next month's Nagoya festival has been announced.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ikoma Link

Earlier this week I found an excellent link in Japanese on the Ikoma Manison.  The link covers Ikoma Mansion, Nobunaga's concubine Kitsuno, The Men of the Fields, and the Bukoyawa.

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

2015 Gifu Nobunaga Festival

It is that time of year again.  Early fall.  The weather a bit coolor, the leaves change color, and the Nobunaga Festival.  Yes, you read it right, the Nobunaga Festival.  Gifu City will host the Nobunaga Festival on October 3rd/4th.  I have seen the festival a few times and it is worth it.  One of the better festivals dedicated to the Uesama.  After all, the Uesama created Gifu.

Nobunaga no tame!
Tenka no tame
Tenka Fubu!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Okehazama Talk Show I

My Okehazama scholar colleague, Mr. Seishiro Mizuno has written an article about the Okehazama Talk show that was held earlier this month in Nagoya.

I wish I was there.  I would have certainly given my opinion on Okehazama's tourism.  For those who may not know, I am part of the Arimatsu Okehazama Battlefield Preservation Committee.  Earlier this year I submitted an English Okehazama landmark draft.  So, I am doing my part for tourism and preservation.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

2015 Nobunaga Summit

The 2015 Nobunaga Summit will be held in Kiyosu on Saturday, October 10th.  If you are in the Kiyosu area during this time, I highly suggest you go.  It will be worth your time.  You can learn a lot about Nobunaga and how he practically almost unified the country by himself.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Nobunaga Lectures

Starting in October, my good friend Seishiro Mizuno will be giving lectures on Nobunaga in the Nagoya area.  Topics include Shobata Castle, Battle of Kayatsu, Furuwatari Castle, Ryounji Temple, Battle of Ino, and Suemori Castle.


Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nobunaga Moyu

Big news on the jidaigeki front.  There will be a New Year's special on Nobunaga.  The Nobunaga movie Nobunaga Moyu will air on January 2nd, 2016.

The movie is based on Abe Ryutaro's novel,  Nobunaga Moyu (Nobunaga on Fire).

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Origins of Gifu

Today I will give a short history how Nobunaga created Gifu.  Before Nobunaga's Era in Gifu, the area was known as Inoguchi.  Once the Saito was overthrown in Mino in 1567, Nobunaga decided to rename the city.  Along with his Zen monk friend Takugen Shuon there were three names to decide from.

  • Gizan
  • Giyou
  • Gifu
Gizan (in Japanese)/Qishan (in Chinese) was the area where Chou ruler Wu Wang began his military to unify China in the twelfth century B.C.  Nobunaga took the character "Gi" because of this.  His ideology was almost the same, to unify Japan.

  • Kyokufu (in Japanese)/Qufu (in Chinese) was the birthplace of Confucius.  Nobunaga took the character "fu" to create the word Gifu.  Gifu's origins were from China.  Nobunaga and Takugen decided to rename Inoguchi to Gifu since they knew this was the perfect opportunity to unify Japan under the slogan Tenka Fubu (Rule the Empire by Military Force!).
See Neil McMullin, Buddhism and the State in Sixteenth-Century Japan, p. 330. for more information on Takugen Shuon.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rekishi Gunzo

Earlier this week I received one of the new edition of Rekishi Gunzo's take on Oda Nobunaga.  The one on the right is the one I received in the mail.  It was published in 2010.  The one on the left was published in 2001 and I bought the copy in Japan a few years ago.  There is a major difference between the two.  The new copy on the right is repacked and condensed.  The one on the left has more meat and potatoes.  For example, a list of the Oda history, Nobunaga's relationships, and a list of battles.

While the new copy on the right is only a fraction of the old issue, it does has its perks.  For example, it has a list of museums dedicated to Nobunaga.  Also there is a one page article on Komaki Castle.  The key question is for me:  was it worth it to buy the condensed repacked material in the new issue?  My answer is yes.  Why?  Simply I am a sucker for anything Nobunaga related.  Also I did like the museum listings and the article on Komaki.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Nobunaga by Kuniyoshi

Earlier this week I was in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles to see a friend and edit my Okehazama novel in peace.  I was lucky to find 101 Great Samurai Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.  Without hesitation, I bought the book.  This is a color woodblock print of Oda Nobunaga by Kuniyoshi in the Taiheiki Eiyu Den (Heroic Biographies from the Tale of Grand Pacification).  In the print's text, the Battle of Okehazama was mentioned.

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


During the Battle of Nagashino 1575 Nobunaga moved his army from Mt. Gokurakuji to Chausuyama.  This was an important tactical move since Nobunaga moved his army to the high point where he can clearly see the entire battlefield.  Chausuyama was 134.5 meters or 441 feet above sea level.  Once the allied Oda/Tokugawa armies shorten the battlefield, the Takeda mounted infantry was at a disadvantage.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Portrait and Costume

In May, I was able to visit the Gifu City Museum of History again.  One of my favorite places in Gifu to visit and to do research on Nobunaga and Gifu.  I was fortunate enough to wear a replica of Nobunaga's clothing in Kano Soshu's (Motohide/1551-1601) portrait.  The painting was done in 1583, a year after Nobunaga's death.  As for the portrait, it is located at Chokoji Temple in Toyoda City, Aichi Prefecture.

I must admit, once fully dressed, you can feel the spirit of the Uesama.  You can feel the presence of the Uesama in Gifu, the city he created.  Again, very fortunate and many thanks to the museum staff.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Okehazama Talk Show

There will be a talk show on the Battle of Okehazama next month near Nagoya Station.  Sunday September 6th, is the date the talk show will be held.  The first stage will be hosted by historian Izawa Motohiko.  His theme will be "Sengoku Kassen Saikou"  Sengoku Battles Reconsidered.  I was lucky to meet Mr. Izawa earlier this year at the Toyoake City Okehazama Battlefield.

The second panel will be hosted by several people.  People such as my colleague Chris Glenn, Nagoya Mayor Kawamura, and Mr. Okehazama's son (Izumi Kajino).  The theme for the second panel is about the Battle of Okehazama and Tourism.  The second panel should be interesting since I know Chris and Izumi very well.  Mayor Kawamura will certainly entertain the audience.

As a member of the Arimatsu Okehazama Preservation Committee, I would love to attend.  I want to know what people think about Nobunaga and his victory at the Battle of Okehazama.  Also, what the people's opinions and ideas to promote tourism to the battlefield and how to preserve it.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nice Guy?

I found an online article earlier this afternoon on Nobunaga.  The article in Japanese starts off by listing Nobunaga's bloodthirsty conquests of Mt. Hiei, Nagashima, and Echizen.  Then the article explains Nobunaga's good side towards women.  The good news is there is some truth to this.  For example, he loved his concubine Kitsuno and made sure she was taken care of.  Also there is the famous letter that Nobunaga wrote to Hideyoshi's wife Ne-Ne.

That being said, Nobunaga was still Nobunaga.  There was once a group of maids who decided to skip work and have some fun back in 1581.  Once Nobunaga heard of this, he put the women to death.  No questions asked!

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Asakura Museum

Anyone who plans to visited Fukui, I suggest you visited the Asakura ruins.

Here is the website for the Asakura Family Museum:

The museum website has a lot of information on what to do and see while at the Ichijodani ruins.  Nobunaga put Ichijodani to the torch in 1573.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Shinchoki Display

Oze Hoan's Shinchoki will be on display at Sasayama Castle.  This is great news!  If you are in the Sasayama City area (Hyogo Prefecture), this is a must see.  The Shinchoki will be on display until February 28th of next year.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Kannonji Castle

Kannonji Castle was the home of the Rokkaku family in Omi Province.  The castle ruins is not far from Azuchi and can be reached by a rental bike.  Nobunaga assaulted the castle in 1568 with ease.

Passage from The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (Lamers, Elisonas/Gyuichi), pp. 120-121.

"That night Nobunaga set up his headquarters at Mount Mitsukuri, planning to assault Mount Kannonji, Sasaki Jotei's residence, the next day.  Sasaki and his two sons already having fled, however.  On the 13th Nobunaga went up Mount Kannonji and seized the castle by a trick.  As a result, Sasaki's remaining partisans surrendered, pleading for mercy.  Taking hostages to make sure of them, Nobunaga  left them in their original holdings.  Now the whole province of Omi had been pacified."

Sasaki Jotei was also known as Rokkaku Yoshikata.

Nobunaga no tame!