Sunday, December 22, 2019

Mitsuhide Landmark Magazine

The Akechi Mitsuhide landmark magazine is out just in time for the Taiga drama.  Magazine will cover Mitsuhide's career, Mitsuhide and Nobunaga, and Hosokawa Gracia.  I plan to pick this up while in Japan in late February.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Things to Come

Hopefully, the Akechi Mitsuhide Taiga drama will be a hit, Kirin ga Kuru!  It needs to be a barnstorming blockbuster for the sake of Sengoku Era dramas in general.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

2019 Awards

It is that time of year where I give out the awards.  Fairly simple this year.

Historian of the year: Owada Tetsuo.  Yes, that guy who writes books on the Sengoku Era as well as Nobunaga.  I finally was able to meet him in person this year while in Shizuoka.  We were able to discuss the Battle of Okehazama as well as Nobunaga.  It was a rare event indeed. 

Book of the year: Moshi Honnoji no hen ga nakkata Nobunaga wa Ajia wo douiitsu shita by Izawa Motohiko.

This small book is a what if Nobunaga survived the Honnoji. It is well thought out and explains that Nobunaga would have Japan under his control in 1585, invasion of China by using the port Ninpo in 1587, and the invasion of the Philippines in 1589.  There is a section in the book that discusses Nobunaga's abolishment of toll barriers and why if he had some near Kyoto would have kept Mitsuhide in-check.  I have also met Izawa Motohiko a few years ago at the Toyoake City Okehazama battlefield.  He may look like a small potato, but he is a warm man.

Movie of the year:  Wakakihi no Nobunaga 

This film is average at best by Ichikawa Raizo's performance as Nobunaga is worth it.  Made in 1959.  I prefer Nakamura Kinnosuke's Nobunaga movie Fuunji Oda Nobunaga since it is more accurate.  Raizo's performance of Atsumori is one of better ones I have seen.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Urabone at Azuchi

In 1581, Nobunaga held an Urabone or lantern festival at Azuchi Castle.  It was well noted in Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki and it was a hit with the locals. 

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga, p. (406)

"On the 15th of the Seventh Month, Nobunaga had a great many lanterns suspended from the donjon of Azuchi Castle as well as from the Sokenji. Members of his horse guards, some posted along the new road and some riding in boats across the inlet, each lit a torch, so the foot of the mountain shone.  As the light reflected in the water, a spectacle delightful beyond words was created.  There were crowds of onlookers."

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mitsuhide Drama Opens Late January

The Akechi Mitsuhide Taiga drama will open on January 19th two weeks later than usual due to the arrest of Erika Sawajiri. As posted earlier, Kawaguchi Haruna will be the new Nohime actress.  The reason why for the late start is NHK plan to reshoot the scenes. 

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Taiga Drama Update

There is major news regarding next year's NHK Taiga drama on Akechi Mitsuhide.  Kawaguchi Haruna will replace the druggie Sawajiri Erika's roles as Nohime.  I am glad that NHK quickly found a replacement for the disgrace Sawajiri Erika.  There is so much riding on next year's Taiga drama.  The cast is good as well as the script.  Also everyone in Japan is looking forward to see the drama.  Hope for the best.

Nobunaga no tame!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Mitsuhide Taiga in Trouble

The 2020 Akechi Mitsuhide NHK Taiga drama is major trouble.  Actress Erika Sawajiri has been arrested on drug charges.  Erika's lead role in the 2020 NHK Taiga was Nobunaga's wife Nohime.  She  has been taken off the list.  So far, there will be no re-shooting of the drama or another actress to fill in the role.  I am in shock.  Why would do that type of garbage she knows Japan's policy towards drugs is brutal.  Unfortunately, in the US actors/actresses who are caught with drugs are often praised since there is no shame.  It is a badge of honor for them.  She was selfish and now she has nearly put the whole Mitsuhide project in jeopardy.

I had high hopes for drama.  From what I understand, the cast is great as well as the script.  Now, the drama is in limbo because one stupid bimbo decided to use drugs. As I chatted with a friend last night, the NHK Taiga drama needs a blockbuster to keep it moving.  This was it and now it looks like it might do down the toilet.  I still think in my opinion a new brutal and bloody Nobunaga Taiga needs to be made.   A Nobunaga drama that will scare the bejesus out of people.  Something like Ran, but more terrifying.  If a Nobunaga drama is going to be made like that.  I am in and willing to help.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Mitsuhide in Shincho-Ko ki

With the new NHK Taiga drama airing next year on Akechi Mitsuhide, I will write a post on Mitsuhide's first appearance in Ota Gyuichi's Shincho-Ko ki.  Mitsuhide first appeared in the Shincho-Ko ki in 1569 in Kyoto.

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (p. 128)

"On the 4th of the First Month, the Miyoshi Triumvirs together with Saito Uhyoe no Tayu Tatsuoki, Nagai Hayato and others having recruited ronin from southern parts surrounded the shogun in his temple residence at Rokujo.  Yakushiji Kurozaemon commanded their advance guard.  His soldiers burnt down the neighborhood in front of the gate and were on the point of forcing their way inside the temple.  The shogun's men who were on guard at Rokujo included

Hosokawa Tenkyu, Oda Sakon, Nomura Etchu, Akaza Shichiroemon, Akaza Sukeroku, Tsuma Sama no Jo, Watanabe Shozaemon, Sakai Yoemon, Akechi Jubyoe, Mori Yagohachi, Naito Bitchu, Yamagata Genmai, and Uno Yashichi."

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Shizuoka Yoshimoto Statue

Big news regarding the Battle of Okehazama and Imagawa Yoshimoto.  Finally, there will be an Imagawa Yoshimoto bronze statue in Shizuoka.  Shizuoka is the home of the Imagawa family and now there will be a statue of Yoshimoto which will be place north of Shizuoka station next year.  On your left is historian Owada Tetsuo who I met earlier this year at the Imagawa Yoshimoto festival.  We chatted for a few minutes about Nobunaga and the Battle of Okehazama.  At the present time, there is only one Yoshimoto statue and that is located at the Arimatsu Okehazama Battlefield.


Tenka no tame!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Battle for Kiyosu

Nobunaga statue at Kiyosu Castle Park.

In the early 1550s, the Battle for Kiyosu started.  Nobunaga would have his hands on the the "Jewel of Owari" in 1555.  That being said, it was not an easy task.

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (pp. 70-1)

"On the 18th of the Seventh Month, Shibata Gonroku too the field against Kiyosu.  His light infantry included Abiko Ukyo no Suke, Fujie Kyuzo, Ota Matasuke [Gyuichi. the author of this work], Kimura Gengo, Shibazaki Magozo, and Yamada Shichigoro.

The Kiyosu forces joined battle at the approach to the Sanno Shrine but were put to flight.  Next, they tried to put a defense in Kojikimura but could not hold their ground.  Then they made a stand in front  of the Seiganji but in the end were forced to seek refuge at the entrance to the town, inside the large moat.  Kawajiri Sama no Jo, Oda Sanmi, Lord Hara, and Lord Saiga fought back ferociously, closing to within two or three ken [about four or five meters].  But their spears were short and those of Nobunaga's men long, so they could not avoid being stabbed.  For all that, they did not tale a single step back, preferring to die in battle.  Those who fell included

Kawajiri Samna no Jo, Oda Sanmi, saiga Shuri, Lord Hara, Yaita Kokita, Furusawa Shichirozaemon, and Asano Kyuzo.

In all about, about thirty warriors of standing were killed.

yu kiichi, a lad of seventeen or eighteen who had been in the service of lord Buei, stormed into the ranks of the Kiyosu forces, dressed only in a light summer kimono, and took the head of Lord Oda Sanmi.  Kazusa no suke Nobunaga was extraordinarily impressed by his fighting deed.

Even though Lord Buei had plotted treachery, the fact remains that his assassins were guilty of killing their hereditary and ancestral lord.  The retribution for their crime manifested itself immediately--on the seventh day they all lay dead.  The Way of Heaven is terrible."

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hakari koto wa

A lot of the lame stream media of late has been ripping Trump on his Syria pullout and the killing of that thug terrorist Al- Baghdadi.  The Democrats were pissed since they were not informed about raid.  Good on the President for not telling them since loose lips sinks ship.  It was the smart decision.  I would not trust them either.  The old Japanese phrase: Hakari koto wa mitsu wo motte yoshitosu.  A plan should be carried out in secret.  Now this brings up some similarities on Nobunaga's bold plan for the Battle of Okehazama.

As stated in earlier posts:

  1. Nobunaga had a plan from the start.
  2. He did not tell anyone about the plan since he was betrayed by his retainers in the past.
  3. Hired someone on the outside, The Men of the Fields to do his dirty for him.
Nobunaga had a plan to attack Yoshimoto when the time was right.  That being said, he had to play the role of the fool to keep the Imagawa spies and his own retainers off guard.  It was not easy.  Months before the Imagawa invasion, Nobunaga would often visit Ikoma mansion to see his concubine Kitsuno and the kids.  Often, he would fish at the rivers or perform song and dance.  This would convince the Imagawa and Nobunaga's retainers that he was not interested in military affairs and would rather see the Oda house wiped out.  It was the complete opposite.  While at Ikoma mansion, Nobunaga was secretly working out a plan with the Men of the Fields to crush the Imagawa.

Since Nobunaga took over the Oda House, everyone tried to push him out.  It failed.  They tried it on the battlefield.  It failed.  Shibata Katsuie and Hayashi Hidesada learned the hard way at the Battle of Ino in 1556.  Both of them barely made out alive.  Nobuyuki rebelled not only once, but twice and eventually killed off for his betrayal.  Nobunaga had a hard time trusting people.  To be honest, during the Sengoku Era, trust and loyalty was rare.  Any sign of weakness, and you were killed off or banished.  Nobunaga's retainers never knew that he had a plan, a bold plan that one mishap meant death.  Nobunaga did not trust them one bit.  Nobunaga's reatiners had their own soldiers to take care of.  If the Imagawa came knocking on the door with an option to serve them and keep their lands, of course they would accept.  The key was staying alive and being on the winning side.  Nobunaga was no fool.  He knew this from the start and that is why everything was kept in secret.

Nobunaga's decision to hire the Men of the Fields was superb.  He had the flexibility to do it since he was not tied to anyone.  The Men of the Fields were body guards, security agents, quartermasters, arms dealers, merchants and the like.  Hachisuka Koroku and Maeno Shoemon had strong ties to the Ikoma family.  The same family Kitsuno was from.  With this bond, Nobunaga had more trust in them and his own retainers. They would provide all the logistical and intelligence support Nobunaga needed.  Also they were excellent in adapting to any situation without failure.  Once everything was worked out, they were able to stall the Imagawa army by providing refreshments.  The weather was a factor too.  It was extremely hot on the day of the battle and of course, the rainstorm which caused the Imagawa army to run for cover.

Baghdadi was bagged and tagged while Nobunaga would say.  "Heads taken thousands, fucks given zero!"

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Gifu Flower Nobunaga Doll

If anyone plans to visit Gifu Castle Park in the fall, now is the time.  The yearly Nobunaga flower doll is now on display.  This picture above is a work of art.  Nobunaga is sitting down with his rifle while, Saito Dosan is on the left and Akechi Mitsuhide is on the right.  All of this is the lead up to next year's NHK Taiga drama on Mitsuhide.

Nobunaga no tame!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

2019 Kenkun Jinja Matsuri

The Oda Nobunaga Kenkun Jinja Matsuri in Kyoto will be held on Saturday October 19th.


Kenkun Jinja is the home of the armor Nobunaga wore during the Battle of Okehazama, copy of the Shincho-Ko ki, and the Samonji sword.  Earlier this year I visited Kenkun Jinja received a Meiwa certificate with a Tenka Fubu print along with Atsumori.  The festival will have a matchlock rifle squad along with samurai in Sengoku armor.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Battle of Ino 1556 I

Battle of Inogahara landmark:  Take Nagoya City Subway Tsurmai Line and exit at Shonaidori Station, use exit 2.

I will continue with the discussion of the Battle of Ino since it put Nobunaga on the offensive and it was a key victory for the unification of Owari.   Nobunaga was outnumbered almost 2 to 1 and still came out on top.  Why?  I do believe that Shibata Katsuie and Hayashi Mimasaka, along with Hidesada underestimated Nobunaga's military tactics and strategy.  After all, they heard nothing but how he was an idiot and scumbag.  It was the complete opposite.  Yes, Nobunaga often mock battles and firing the guns out in the Owari countryside while he should be attending to formal matters, but that is what made him strong.  The preparation made him a force to be reckon with.  Only a few noticed.  Hirate Masahide was one of those.  Even though he tried his best to train Nobunaga into a traditional samurai, it did not work.  That being said, he did know that Nobunaga was a rare gem because he was not traditional.  Shibata Katsuie, Hayashi Mimasaka, Hayashi Hidesada, long with Nobuyuki did not understand until it was too late.

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (p. 80)

"There were more than four hundred fifty heads in all, including those of Owaki Torazo, Kobe Heishiro, and many other samurai of standing.

From that moment on, Nagoya and Suemori were castles under siege.  Again and again, Nobunaga forced his way between them, burnt down everything as far as the entries to the townships below their walls, and launched attacks on them."

Nobunaga knew he did not have the numbers to compete with Nobuyuki's allied army.  That being said, Nobunaga knew the quality of his soldiers and put them in place where they can succeed at its highest capacity.  This is leadership at its best.  Katsuie found out the hard way and sided with Nobunaga.  After his brother's death at Ino, Hayashi Hidesada knew that being on the wrong side meant death.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Battle of Ino 1556

The Battle of Ino in 1556 was one of key conflicts for Nobunaga's quest of Owari.  He would end up in triumph and remarkably, he was outnumbered 2 to 1.  Shibata Katsuie (fighting for Oda Nobuyuki at the time) had 1,000 men while Hayashi Mimasaka (Hayashi Hidesada's brother) had 700. Nobunaga at the time of the battle only had 700 and his command post was on an edge of a bamboo grove to the east.

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (p.79-80)

"On the 24th of the Eighth Month, at the Hour of the Horse(around noon), Nobunaga opened the attack toward the southeast, striking at Shibata Gonroku's unit with the greater part of his forces,  Blows fell thick and fast, and Yamada Jibuzaemon was killed. Shibata Gonroku took Yamada's head but was wounded himself and left the battlefield in a hurry. Sassa Magosuke was killed,and numerous accomplished warriors either were killed or fled to Nobunaga's presence.  At his side Oda Shozaemon, Oda Sake no Jo (Nobufusa), Mori Sanzaemon (Yoshinari), and about forty attendants armed with pikes.  Sake no Jo and Sanzaemon together struck down Ohara of Tsuchida, a samurai originally of the Kiyosu warrior band, and then shoved and pished one another while trying to snatch Ohara's head.  the two sides clashed; the battle raged; Lord Kazua no suke roared.  The enemy fighters, who were after all his kinsman and retainers, saw grandeur.  In the end, the enemy collapsed and fled.  A servant of Sake no Jo, a man called Zenmon, cut down Kobe Heishiro and said, 'My lord, take his head.'  But Sake no Jo merely replied responded, 'Just cut him down as many as you can,' and kept moving.

Next Nobunaga turned south, to take on Hayashi Mimasaka's force.  Here Kuroda Hanbei and Hayashi Mimasaka slashed at each other for hours, and Hanbei's left hand was cut off.  when Hanbei and Mimasaka both were spent, Kazusa no Suke Nobunaga engaged Mimasaka.  Guchu Sugiwaka, one of Oda Shozaemon's menials, fought so well that juncture that he was subsequently promoted and given the name Sugizaemon no Jo.

Nobunaga struck down Hayashi Mimasaka and cut off his head, taking revenge for Hayashi's treason.  the enemy was routed with united forces, but then it was every man for himself.  each of Nobunaga's men had his horse brought up from the rear, jumped on it, and took off in pursuit of the fleeing enemy.  They came back from the chase with many a head.  That day, Nobunaga returned from the battlefield to Kiyosu.  the next day, he personally inspected the heads that had been taken:

The head of Hayashi Mimasaka  taken by Oda Kazusa no Suke Nobunaga.
Kamata Suke no Jo  Taken by Tsuda Sama no Jo (Moritsuki).
Tomino Sakyo no Shin  taken by Takabatake Sanemon.
Yamaguchi Matajiro taken by Kimata Rokurosaburo.
Hashimoto Juzo taken by Sakuma Daigaku.
Tsunoda Shingo taken by Matsura Kamesuke."

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Nobunaga Meme

Here is a nice Nobunaga Meme.  Oichi asked Nobunaga how many did you kill this time?  Here is Nobunaga's reply.  Perfect!

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Update Rekishi Gunzo Okehazama Article

I have an update on the new Rekishi Gunzo Okehazama article.  To tell you the truth, I am somewhat surprised since it is a totally new theory.  According to the Mikawa Monotagari, Imagawa Yoshimoto's army left Chiryu for Odaka, not Kutsukake Castle.  I do own a copy of the Mikawa Monogatari, and have read up on that Yoshimoto left Chiryu for Odaka.  I can understand that and have no problem with it.  The truth is that Yoshimoto left Chiryu for Kutsukake.

Now here comes the most bizarre part of the article.  According to the article, Yoshimoto's main army arrived at Odaka Castle.  After stopping at Odaka, the main army left southeast, passing Takaneyama to Okehazama.  This shocked me.  Why head southeast instead continuing north.  Odaka was the launching pad to Kiyosu.  Even from my own military experience, you do not retreat or quit the campaign unless something drastic happens.  At least Yoshimoto should have gone north to Narumi.  This is a completely different theory for sure.  If it was true, that Yoshimoto stopped at Odaka and later headed southeast, it was a good omen for Nobunaga since the enemy was caught in the open.

I am not completely sold on this theory.  It goes against military logic.  That being said, I will continue to study this theory since it is different.

Tenka no tame!

Friday, September 20, 2019

2019 Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri

Big news from Gifu.  The 2019 Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri will be held on October 5/6.  This will be the 63rd yearly event.  The poster includes Nobunaga with his rifle along with Saito Dosan and Akechi Mitsuhide.  This is one of the better Nobunaga festivals in Japan and I have been to the festival at least three times.  If you are in Gifu during the time of the festival, by all means go.

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Rekishi Gunzo Okehazama Article

The October 2019 Rekishi Gunzo magazine will have an article on the Battle of Okehazama.  As for myself, I need this issue.

Tenka no tame!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Azuchi Sumo 1579

Nobunaga held a sumo basho during the summer of 1579 at Azuchi.  Nobunaga was impressed by a young wrestler and rewarded him well for his efforts.

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (p. 325)

"On the 6th of tghe Eighth Month, Nobunaga summoned wrestlers from throughout Omi Province and watched them compete at Mount Azuchi.  A man from Koka whose name was Tomo Shorin, some eighteen or nineteen years old, showed good skills and scored seven wins.  The next day, too, Nobunaga put on sumo matches, and Tomo again outclassed the others.  As a result, Nobunaga selected Tomo to become his stipendairy.  At about that time Nobunaga had to take disciplinary measures against a gunsmith by the name of Yoshiro, whom he locked up in a cage.  Now Tomo Shorin received the private residence, household goods, and other possessions of this Yoshiro.  Nobunaga also gave him an estate of one hundred koku, a sword and a dagger with gold-encrusted sheaths, a lined silk garment, and a horse with complete gear--glorious recognition for Tomo."

The sumo statue is located at the south side of JR Azuchi station.

Nobunaga no tame!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Nobody Was Spared

During the time of Nobunaga, Sengoku warfare was just brutal.  Bloodshed was king and the losers were often slaughtered.  The quote above says it all.  In a time of constant chaos and warfare someone had to be strong enough and brutal enough to unite the country.  Nobunaga was that man.  The holocaust of Mt. Hiei was a prime example of Nobunaga's brutality, but in the end it was worth it and peace came to the surrounding area.

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (pp. 165-66)

"The 12th of the Ninth Month, he invested Mount Hiei.  Surging round in swarms, his troops,in a flash set fire to a multitude of holy Buddhas, sacred shrines, monks' quarters, and sutra scrolls; they spared nothing. from the Konponchudo and the Twenty-One Sanno Shrines on down.  How miserable it was to see it all reduced to ashes and scorched earth!  At the foot of the mountain, men and women, young and old ran about panic-stricken. In feverish haste, barefooted, they all fled up Mount Hachioji, seeking refuge in the shrines there.  Soldiers shouting battle cries advanced up the mountain from all sides.  one by one they cut off the heads of priests and laymen, children, wise men, and holy men alike.  they presented the heads to Lord Nobunaga, saying 'Here is an exalted prelate, a princely abbot, a learned doctor, all the men of renown at the top of Mt. Hiei.'  Moreover, they captured countless beautiful women and boys, and led them before Nobunaga.  "We don't care about the evil monks,' they shrieked, 'but spare us!'  Nobunaga, however absolutely refused to reprieve them.  One by one, they had their heads chopped off, a scene horrible to behold.  Thousands of corpses lay scattered about like so many little sticks, a pitiful end."

Nobunaga even burned down the surrounding forts Nakae and Yanagashima in the Delta in 1574 and burned it down killing 20,000 plus.  The strongman rises to the top while the weak is killed off.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Wakakihi no Nobunaga Review

Wakakihi no Nobunaga

Released in 1959 (Black and White)
Director: Kazuo Mori
Nobunaga: Ichikawa Raizo Yayoi: Kindaichi Atsuko

After several years of trying to find Ichikawa Raizo's take on Nobunaga, I have finally was able to see it myself.  To tell you the truth, I was disappointed in this film in general.  The link above gives you the whole story of the film.  This film has nothing to do with Saito Dosan nor Nohime.  It focuses on the Yamaguchi and Nobunaga's hostage Yayoi.  As for Raizo's role, he makes it worth to watch.  His performance of Nobunaga is above average.  As for Raizo's performance of Atsumori, I enjoyed it and it is one of the better ones I have seen in awhile.  Nakamuea Kinnosuke's Fuunji Oda Nobunaga is much better and more dramatic.  That film too, was released in 1959.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Azuchi 7th Floor

Ota Gyuichi does have some written material on Azuchi Castle.  The Azuchi Castle Museum does have a replica of the 6th and 7th floors.

Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga, p. 257.

"The seventh, top story is 3 ken [6.36m] square.  Inside the room all is gold.  The outside, too, is gold.  On the inside pillars to the four sides dragons ascend and descend; on the ceiling are angels in their earthly manifestations.  Inside the room are portrayed the Three Emperors and Five Sovereigns, the Ten Accomplished Disciples of Confucius, the Four Wise Men of Shang Shan, and the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove.  The number of angle braces and their pendent wind bells is 12.

The aperture shutters are of iron.  There are more than sixty of them, and they are all lacquered black.  The outside and inside pillars of the sitting rooms are generally varnished with black lacquer applied on linen and the top of that lacquered black."

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Nohime's Room

While I was in Gifu Castle Park in the early spring, I found many new landmarks.  One of them was the location of the room of Nobunaga's wife Nohime.  It was on the second floor of the mansion.  From the picture above, the computer graphic replica of her room is gorgeous.  The Portuguese missionary Luis Frois did describe her room.

They Came to Japan An Anthology of European Reports on Japan 1543-1640.  Michael Cooper, p. 133.

"The first floor contains the apartments and chambers of the queen and her ladies-in-waiting, and these rooms are even finer than those on the ground floor.  All of them are hung with brocade tapestries, and there are many balconies, some overlooking the city, others facing the open country with all the music and beauty of birds that you could desire in Japan."

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Azuchi Festival 2019

This was a real treat for back in early June.  I was able to go to the Nobunaga Azuchi Festival for the first time.  Also it will not be the last.  Now, the town of Azuchi is usually dead quiet for most of the year.  The only day of the year Azuchi seem to get lively is the Azuchi Nobunaga Festival.

I arrived early in the morning and met a few of the Sengoku princess and warriors before the parade started.  Then the group gathered at a local temple for the opening ceremonies.  After that was over the parade began.  In fact, I was able to participate due to befriending one of the caretakers of the Azuchi Castle ruins.  Unfortunately, there were no matchlock rifles or the such, a big disappointment in my opinion since it is needed for a true Sengoku Era Matsuri.  Later I met Nobunaga, the lovely Nohime, and several other Sengoku Era historical figures.  I chatted with them on my work regarding the Battle of Okehazama.

Now, for all its worth, this is one of the better Nobunaga Festivals I have been to.  The Azuchi Nobunaga Matsuri is extremely local.  And on good day, one can see Nobunaga and his posse walk in the footsteps of history. 

Tenka no tame

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ban Naoko

Who is Ban Naoko?  Ban Naoko was the younger sister of Nobunaga's retainer Ban Naomasa (?-1576).  Naomasa's wife was Shibata Katsuie's daughter.  Now back to Naoko.  She became one of Nobunaga's beautiful concubine and gave birth to a son Nobumasa in 1554.  Nobumasa (1554-1647) was born at Nagoya Castle and had his genpuku in 1566.  This is important since Nobumasa was born three years before Nobutada.  It is also safe to assume that Nobumasa was an illegitimate child.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Old Photos of Marune and Washizu

Here are some old photos of Fort Marune and Fort Washizu.  The photo above is Fort Marune and that was taken in 1969.  The bottom photo is Fort Washizu.  Just by looking at the photos, the geography did not change much at the time.  The area was almost virgin to a degree.  The photos can give historians a clue on what the Battle of Okehazama was like.

Nobunaga built the two forts back in 1559, a year before the Battle of Okehazama.  He knew the Imagawa army was going to invade Owari, sooner, not later.  Sakuma Morishige was in charge of Fort Marune.  It was built to counter Odaka and Kutsukake Castle.  Morishige was killed in action during the Battle of Okehazama.  As for Washizu, Oda Genba and Iino Sadamune was put in charge of the fort.  Washizu was to counter Odaka and Narumi Castle.  Both Oda Genba and Iino Sadamune were killed in action at the Battle of Okehazama.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2020 Mitsuhide Taiga Gifu

For those who plan to visit Gifu in 2020, you are in for a real treat.  The Gifu City Museum of History will have a special display for the 2020 Akechi Mitsuhide Taiga drama.  This is good news.  From what I understand, the display will cover Nobunaga, Saito Dosan, and Mitsuhide.  Landmarks and temples include, Gifu Castle Park, Sofukuji, Jozaiji, and Ryushoji.  I have been to all of these places and plan to visit again next year.  As for the museum, Gifu has one of the best Sengoku Era related museums in Japan.  The second floor has a replica of what Gifu might have looked liked during the time of Nobunaga.  The small library is great too since you can read up on Nobunaga and other Sengoku Era battles.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Okehazama Trip 2019

While in Japan in May and June I was able finally to visit Jigenji, a shine that Nobunaga allegedly visited during the Battle of Okehazama.  The only problem with Jigenji is where it is located.  Jigenji is is on the east side of Nagoya and far from the route that Nobunaga took during the Battle of Okehazama.  It is the least known shrines that Nobunaga visited during the Battle of Okehazama.  The known shrines Nobunaga visited during the battle were Enokihakusan Jinja, Hioki Shrine, and Atsuta Jingu.  Now it is confirmed that Nobunaga did in fact stopped at Jigenji.  Now the question is did Nobunaga visit before or after the battle?  At the moment, I am thinking after due to the location.

Just south of Atsuta Jingu is the location of the original Kami Chikuma no Yashiro.  Nobunaga did stop here for sure.  The picture of the building is where Nobunaga look towards the east and saw the smoke from Fort Washizu and Marune.  At that time, he knew the two forts were gone.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Azuchi's Jogonin

In late May, I was able to visit Azuchi's Jogonin.  The temple is a Pure Land sect of Buddhism and it is about a 10 minute walk from JR Azuchi Station.  Why is Jogonin so important in Nobunaga's and Azuchi's history?  Answer: The Azuchi Disputation!  It started when two believers of the Lotus sect harass a preacher from the Pure Land sect.

The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga, p. 316.
"The disputation took place in the Buddha Hall of the Jogon'in, a Pure Land temple on the outskirts of the town of Azuchi.  Oda Shichibyoe Nobuzumi, Suganoya Kuemon, Yabe Zenshichiro, Hori Kyutaro, and Hasegawa Take were put in charge of security inside the temple.  The Lotus sect appeared magnificently attired.  Its representatives were Nichiko of the Chomyoji, Jokoin, Kuon;in, Myokokuji (a younger brother of the Sakai merchant Aburaya), and Fuden.  Daizobo of the Myokenji acted as the scribe.  They brought the Lotus Sutra in eight scrolls, an ink stone, and paper with them."

In the end, Nobunaga declared the Pure Land sect's representative the winner and executed members of the Lotus team as a fraud.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sone Castle

Sone Castle during the Sengoku Era was located in western Mino.  It was the home Inaba Ittetsu (Yoshimichi) 1515-88.  The castle was a flatland type and it was abandoned in 1601.  The castle ruins is located at Ogaki City in Gifu Prefecture.  Ittetsu served under the Toki, Saito Dosan, and Oda Nobunaga.  He went to Sofukuji Temple to become a monk.  However, during the Battle of Makita, several of his siblings were killed in action and some became the head of the Inaba house.  During the time of Nobunaga, he never left Sone Castle, that is he never moved to a new residence.  Nobunaga did this to provide stability in western Mino.

Tenka no tame!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Nohime's Mother Omi no Kata

Picture of Nohime (1535-1612), Nobunaga's wife.

Nohime's mother Omi no Kata (1513-51) was the daughter of Akechi Mitsutsugu (1468-1538), the lord of Akechi Castle in Mino.  Omi no Kata's mother was possibly the daughter of Takeda Nobutoyo (Wakasa Takeda family).  In 1532, Omi no Kata married Saito Dosan of Mino and in 1535, she gave birth to a beautiful daughter Nohime.  Nohime would later marry Nobunaga in the late 1540s. Unfortunately, Omi no Kata died in 1551 due to lung disease.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Zenkoji and Hokkeji

These are the pictures of Gifu's Zenkoji and Hokkeji I took awhile back.  Now these two temples are important and related to Nobunaga for one reason only.  The Kyoto noble Yamashina Tokitsugu.  When Tokitsugu made his trip from Kyoto to Gifu, he took the Nakasendo Highway.  He made three trips between 1569 to 1571.  His lodging in Gifu was Zenkoji near Inaba Jinja and Hokkeji.  While in Gifu, he was able to visit the castle and the town in general.  Nobunaga also gave him some hospitality as well.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Nobunaga and Asia

I rarely do not buy any historical conspiracy books, but ended up buying one since it was too good to pass up.  Moshi Honnoji no hen ga nakattara Nobunaga wa ajia wo douitsu shita by Izawa Motohiko is just that.  It was too good to pass up and bought it at a bookstore in Nagoya Station.  Basically, if Nobunaga escapes from the Honnoji or no rebellion at all, he has Asia under his control in the near future.

Some key points about the book.

  • 1582 Nobunaga escapes from the Honnoji and crushes Akechi Mitsuhide.
  • 1585 Nobunaga has Japan under his control.
  • 1587 Nobunaga attacks China by controlling Ninpo, a key port on the silk road.
  • 1589 Nobunaga attacks the Philippines.
  • 1592 Nobunaga marches to Europe.
The book is a stretch at times but the author backs it up with historical evidence from Nobunaga's past military experiences.  To be fair, I have met Izawa Motohiko.  He is a small potato, but a warm man.  I am still reading the book at the moment and finding it quite interesting.

Nobunaga no tame!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Why Nobunaga was needed

During the middle of the 15th century and most of the 16th century, Japan was in a constant state of chaos and warfare.  The Ashikaga government was weak as well as the emperor.  If your lands and resources were taken over by a rival clan or warlord, you could not appeal to a higher authority for help since they were weak.  The central government had no monopoly to control the violence.  If you wanted to protect your land and resources, you either fight at all costs, create an alliance with a clan, or submit to a higher authority, which was costly.

The Sengoku Era was brutal and won ton violence was necessary.  That man who became the most ruthless warlord in Japan, Nobunaga was needed to unify the country.  The strongman always rises to the top when there is a constant state of warfare and chaos.  Nobunaga was that man.  Yes, he was one brutal and evil son of a bitch, but he was the man Japan needed at the time to unify the country.  He one reason why he is the most popular historical figure in Japan to this day.  He did not give a damn what other think of him.  He had a job and that was to unify the country at all costs.  Yes, he was and is to this day, Japan's number one strong man!  Heads taken thousands, fucks given zero!

Tenka no tame!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

June Update

I just returned from a month or so in Japan.  I attended the 2019 Nagashino and Azuchi Nobunaga Matsuri as well as the Imagawa Yoshimoto Matsuri in Shizuoka.  Later did a walking tour at the Battle of Okehazama Battlefield giving key points on why and how Nobunaga won.  In Gifu, the castle grounds are continuing excavation work producing some incredible results.  Also Gifu is preparing for next year's Akechi Mitsuhide Taiga drama.  More later.

Nobunaga no tame!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Fujiwara Theory

This is my last post before I leave for Japan.  The Oda are considered to be offshoots of the Fujiwara clan.  In 1518, Oda Michikatsu the deputy governor of Owari issued a document signing it "Fujiwara no Michikatsu."  Now the oldest document with Nobunaga's signature was written in 1549, when issued the a public off-limits notice to The Eight Villages of Atsuta signed as "Fujiwara no Nobunaga."  That same year (1549), Nobunaga ordered 500 matchlock rifles from Kunitomo in Omi Province.

Now Nobunaga used the title "Fujiwara no Nobunaga" only once.  The reason why Nobunaga used the Fujiwara name still unclear to this day.  There is a theory that Nobunaga used the Fujiwara name to give him some special status claiming that the Oda was a descendent from a 14th century court noble by the name of Fujiwara Nobumasa.

Tenka no tame!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Kobayashi Castle

Kobayashi Castle landmark is located near the Osu Kannon district in Nagoya.  Nobunaga's younger sister, the 12th daughter of Oda Nobuhide was married to Maki Nagakiyo.  Nagakiyo died in 1570.  Kobayashi-dono, Nobunaga's sister died in 1587.  She was also known as Shintokuin.

Nobunaga no tame!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Okehazama at Obu Poster

Here is the Battle of Okehazama Exhibit at Obu Poster.  I will be able to see the exhibit in person next month and plan to give a report on once I return from my trip.

Toyoake City Battle of Okehazama Link:

I might have posted the link last year, but it is necessary to post it.  The Toyoake City Battle of Okehazama link provides one with the history and details of the Toyoake City Battle of Okehazama Battlefield.  It also includes reference materials to those who want to know the Battle of Okehazama.

Tenka no tame!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Okehazama at Obu

Earlier this morning I found out some fantastic new on the Battle of Okehazama from my friend Hide in Japan.  The Obu City History Museum will have a month long display on the Battle of Okehazama.  I will definitely be there to check it out.  The exhibition will be held April 13th-May 19th.  What I understand the exhibition will have topics related to:

  • Imagawa Yoshimoto/Oda Nobunaga's foundations
  • Oda Nobuhide's invasion of Mikawa
  • Yoshimoto's invasion of Owari
  • The Battle of Okehazama
  • Post Battle of Okehazama
  • Other related topics

Nobunaga no tame!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Nobunaga Children's Book

Komiku Nihon no Rekishi 1
Daisuke Hayakawa, Toru Sugita with historian Kaku Kozo.
Pages 118
Publsihed in 2007.

Last week I purchased a children's history book on Oda Nobunaga.  Normally, I do not buy children's books, but it was on sale for a dollar at Book-Off.  This book covers the history of Nobunaga and it does a decent job covering his youth to the Honnoji Incident.  It is easy to read (Japanese) and the artwork is modernized for the present generation.  The book starts off with Nobunaga as a young child experimenting with long spears, later with guns, and his father's death.  It covers the meeting with Saito Dosan, marriage to Nohime, death of Nubuyuki, and Okehazama.  The book moves forward with the conquest of Mino, Battle of Anegawa, Hiei-zan, his dealings with Ashikaga Yoshiaski and Azai Nagamasa, Ishiyama Honganji, Battle of Nagashino, Azuchi Castle, his use of iron clad ships, and the Honnoji.  This book is extremely general and it covers several topics in a page or two.  To be fair, there are books in this series that cover Okehazama and Nagashino.  I would recommend this book to those who have Japanese children.

Tenka no tame!