Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Azuchi Castle Link

                                                                        Azuchi Castle ruins.

Earlier today I found a decent link on Azuchi Castle.  For those who are going or planning to visit Azuchi in the near future, this link might be useful for you.  The link is in Japanese.  However, it does contains photos of the most popular spots at Azuchi Castle.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Meiji Era Okehzama Book

Earlier in the week I found Tsuzoku Nihon Senshi Okehazama no eki by Tsukahara Yasushi.  The book was printed in 1911 in Tokyo by Koseido.  The text in Japanese and a bit difficult to read.  That being said, it is a rare find with treasure troves of good information on the Battle of Okehazama.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Imagawa Yoshimoto Print I

I received another Battle of Okehazama print with Imagawa Yoshimoto (1519-60) in the mail earlier this week.  "Night Rain at Narumi" by Kuniyoshi.  I found an old original print about a year at an antique fair in Nagoya.  However, the price was almost $500.  It was too expensive.  The print I have is a reproduction.  If you notice the picture above, the print is the same as my book cover.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ukino I

Here is the English translation of the Battle of Ukino in 1558.  This was one of the first translations I did of the Shincho-Ko ki while studying at the University of Gifu almost fifteen years ago.  This passage however is translated by Lamers and Elisonas.  The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (pp., 105-6)

"The following took place on the 12th of the Seventh Month [Eiroku 1 (1558)].  The distance between Kiyosu and Iwakura was no more than thirty cho, but it was difficult terrain.  Nobunaga therefore conducted an envelopment operation traversing more than three leagues, maneuvered his troops to the other side of Iwakura, and occupied a favorable position.  Advancing from that foothold, he deployed at a place called Ukino.  When Nobunaga sent his light infantry forward, some three thousand defenders sortied spiritedly from Iwakura Castle, eager to bar the way.

On the 12th of the Seventh Month, at the Hour of the Horse, Nobunaga launched his attack toward the southeast.  After some hours of fighting, the enemy was routed.  As a man called Hayashi Yashihiro, a native of the village of Asano who was a famous archer was fleeing from the battlefield with his bow, Hashimoto Ippa, the famous harquebusier went for him.  Since they were long-time friends, Yashichiro shouted to Ippa, 'I'm not about to spare your life!'  'Understood,' was the response.  Yashichiro nocked a shaft fitted with an arrowhead about four sun [twelve centimeters] long to his bow, turned back, and sent the arrow flying deep into Ippa's armpit.  But Ippa, who had loaded his harquebus with a double charge, took aim and fired, too.  Yashichiro fell to the ground.  Right then, one of Nobunaga's pages, Sawaki Tohachi, rushed to the scene with the intention of taking Hayashi's head.  Still lying on the ground, Yashichiro managed to unsheathe his sword and strike Tohachi at the left elbow, lopping off the forearm along with the gaunlet.  But Tohachi, far from giving up, kept at it and finally took his head.  Hayashi Yashichiro was a great swordsman as well as an unparalleled archer.

That same day Nobunaga pulled his troops back to Kiyosu.  The next day he conducted the inspection of the heads taken.  There were more than 1,250 heads of accomplished samurai."

Tenka no tame!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


A little over a year ago, I was able to visit the Ukino battlefield landmark. In 1558, Nobunaga scored a huge important victory in goal to unify Owari after defeating the Iwakura forces at the Battle of Ukino.  From Kiyosu Castle to the Ukino area was around six miles.  From Iwakura Castle, it was approximately three.  Kiyosu to Iwakura around four miles.  Matchlock rifles, bow and arrows, and spears were used in battle besides the sword.  That being said, there was one person who stood out at the Battle of Ukino, Nobunaga's gun instructor Hashimoto Ippa.  It was known that in the heat of battle, Ippa fired a double charge shot at Hayashi Yashichiro.  Nobunaga's army took more than 1,250 heads in their victory over the Iwakura.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!  Happy New Year to my fellow ashigaru readers!

If everything goes right, I will be in Japan in February for the month doing more work on the Battle of Okehazama and young Nobunaga.  For those who are keeping count, this year would be the 455th anniversary of the Battle of Okehazama.  One of my main goals of the trip is how both Okehazama battlefields (Arimatsu/Toyoake City) can be preserved and used as a tool for the 21st century.  As for the novel, it is getting there and I will tell you for sure, it will be better than my first book.  LOL!

My main 2015 goal is to continue to give you information on the Uesama, Okehazama, new books on Nobunaga and the Sengoku Era in general, and pictures.

Owari ni hikari wo!