Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Frois's Hiei

Here is a passage on Nobunaga's attack on Mt. Hiei in 1571 by the Jesuit Luis Frois.  From Michael Cooper's, They Came to Japan (pp. 98-99)

The Destruction of Hieizan

"On his arrival at Sakamoto he realised that as he was accompanied by an army of 30,000 men he was in a good position to take revenge on the bonzes of the universities of Hieizan, and so he assembled his whole army to overcome the monks.  When the bonzes learnt of his intention and saw that there was no other expedient, they sent word offering 300 bars of gold (each worth 45 silver taels) and 200 bars were sent from the town of Katata.  But not one of them would Nobunaga accept, declaring that he had not come there to enrich himself with gold but to punish their crimes with all severity and rigour.  When the satraps of the universities heard this reply, although they knew that Nobunaga had but scant respect for the kami and hotoke, they still did not believe that he would destroy the idol of Sanno, for it was greatly venerated and its punishments were no longer feared.  And so for this reason they all decided to gather in the temple (which is on the top of the mountain) and abandon all the other monasteries and their treasures.  At the same time the bonzes persuaded all the people of the town of Sakamoto to go up as well with their womenfolk and children.

Knowing that he had them all on the top of the mountain, Nobunaga immediately gave the orders to set fire to Sakamoto and to put to the sword all those found within town.  This was on September 29th ofthis year 1571, the Feast of the Dedication of the glorious St. Michael.  And in order to show the bonzes who were up the mountain the little regard he paid to the chimeras (which they had described to him) of the punishments of Sanno, the second thing that he did was to burn all the temples of this idol which were below the foot of the mountain; he also destroyed by fire the seven universities so that nothing at all was left of them.  Then deploying his army of 30,000 men in the form of a ring around the mountain, he gave the order to advance to the top.  The bonzes began to resist with their weapons and wounded about 150 soldiers.  But they were unable to withstand such a furious assault and were all put to the sword, together with the men, women, and children of Sakamoto, which is near the foot the mountain.

The next day, the last in september and the Feast of the glorious St. Jerome, they burnt down the large temple of Sanno, which, as i said was on the top of the mountain.  Then Nobunaga ordered a large number of musketeers to go out into the hills and woods as if on a hunt; should they find any bonzes hiding there, they were not to spare the life of a single one of them.  And this they duly did.  But Nobunaga was not satisfied with this victory and desired to slake his thirst for vengeance even more and to increase his fame.  So he commanded his whole army to go and plunder the remaining houses of the bonzes and to burn down all the four hundred odd temples of those famous universities of Hieizan.  And on that same day all of them were destroyed, burnt down and reduced to ashes.  Then he ordered the army to the town of Katata, which was unable to offer resistance and was also laid waste by fire.  They told me that there had perished about 1,500 bonzes and the same number of layfolk, men, women and children."

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Okehazama 2015

I leave for Japan this week for one reason only, the 2015 Arimatsu Okehazama Festival.  I plan to participate in this historic event.  It means a lot to me since the past 15 years or so, I have spent my time researching and writing on the Battle of Okehazama.  My good friend Hide will be there too.  He plans to lead a parade of people in full armor.  Yours truly, is expected to be in armor and participate.  Also Mr. Okehazama (Wataru Kajino) is expected to give a lecture on the battle at Chofukuji Temple.

Hide's link: http://s.ameblo.jp/mikawa-hide/entry-11814610209.html

My the Okehazama gods give great weather and fond memories.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ieyasu 1965

I found a review on the 1965 movie Tokugawa Ieyasu.  It was made during the golden age of Japanese of cinema.  The director was Daisuke Ito and starred Nakamura Kinnosuke and Kinya Kitaoji.  For Nakamura, it was his second role as the Uesama (Oda Nobunaga 1959).  In this film, Nobunaga's hairstyle changes from a chasenmage to a sakayaki (shaved head).

If you get anything out of this film, young Takechiyo/Matsudaira Motoyasu (Tokugawa Ieyasu) goes through a lot of hardship.  The separation from his mother (Lady Odai) at a young age and being a hostage of both the Oda and Imagawa houses.  Also the many abuses of the Matsudaira house by the Imagawa.  I have my own copy of the film and highly recommend it.

Review Link: http://uesama-dango.blogspot.com/2015/04/tokugawa-ieyasu-1965.html

Tenka no tame!

Monday, May 4, 2015

2015 Nobunaga Azuchi Festival

The 2015 Nobunaga Azuchi Festival will be held on June 7th.  More details in Japanese here: http://t.co/0MPHAmyb1v

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, May 1, 2015

1816 Okehazama Landmark

In 1816, a landmark was built for the Arimatsu Okehazama battlefield.  Due to the times, it was lost.  However, in 1938, it was discovered near a river.  One can see the landmark now at its present location, the Arimatsu Okehazama battlefield.

As always during the month of May, the Battle of Okehazama will be celebrated.  As for myself?  I am looking forward to participating in the Arimatsu Okehazama matsuri in a few weeks.

Tenka no tame!