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Thread: My everpresent obsession with...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member Zen Blade's Avatar
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    My everpresent obsession with the Asai. (if you have been in the history forum for the last half year or so, you knew what was coming after the "...")

    -something I just kind of realized, while looking through some sorted materials while trying to figure out a couple of names of cities.

    -As most of us know, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's yodo-gimi and Tokugawa Ieyasu's son's wife were both daughters of Asai Nagamasa.

    -however, another interesting thing, which I just put together is the fact that Ishida Mitsunari is from Omi and his father (who was alive until after Sekigahara)reportedly served under the Asai.

    talk about your coincidences.

    so, although the Asai clan was destroyed in 1573, they had strong connections [in a background sense... kind of like how Hideyoshi and a few other important figures-who went from page-boys to generals-were from the same general area] to both factions at Sekigahara and the later Osaka.

    now, of course this is probably no big deal since marriages for political purposes were always being made and such... but still, it's kind of wierd to see a clan that was utterly destroyed to have several ppl that were related to them [two daughters by blood and one retainer's son] present at the final two decisive battles of the Sengoku Jidai... and in rather prestiguous positions none-the-less.

    -Zen Blade

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    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
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    There was also Todo Takatora. A former Asai retainer who fought the Oda/Tokugawa at Anegawa, Takatora went on to eventually fight for Ieyasu at Sekigahara.

    As for the Asai, I think the most significant (and neatest) legacy came through Nagamasa's daughter, Sogen-in, who married Tokugawa Hidetada. Thanks to this, the late Nagamasa became the grandfather of the second Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu. In addition, one of Sogen-in's daughters, Kazuko, married the emperor Go-Mizunoo. A product of this union took the throne as the empress Meisho. Asai Nagamasa was thus the great-grandfather of the first empress of Japan since the 8th Century.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member Zen Blade's Avatar
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    good point Seal.

    btw, Seal... how do you properly pronounce Asakura. I asked a friend once, but I have forgotten. The reason I ask is that most "u"'s are extremely short in Japanese and the "r" doesn't really exist.

    -Zen Blade

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    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
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    I remember it being pronounced somewhere as 'ASaKuLA', with the second 'a' being almost silent.
    The Asai, by the way, are often pronounced 'Azai'. In fact, this one book I have comments that one is correct to say it that way, despite the way it is written.

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    Member Member Ieyasu's Avatar
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    It's actually the other way around, Zen... the Japanese have a very hard time pronouncing the letter "l". So, Asakura is with the proper "r".

    Accents always land in the first syllable (which is close to latin pronounciation)... another reason why those who grew up learning Japanese often find learning how to speak latin tongues rather easily.

    English is primarily Germanic... thus the horrendous problems they have with it (my mom included, lol).



    [This message has been edited by Ieyasu (edited 12-13-2000).]

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
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    To an extent, Ieyasu is correct, but here the western alphabet fails us. 'R is spoken with a bit of a trill, with the effect being rather like the letter 'l'. When I first started out, a Japanese teacher advised me to just go with a soft 'l' while thinking of 'r' while I was saying it - sound advice.
    As an aside, I would say that it is quite true that picking up the basics of Japanese is very easy but learning the nuances is hard. This contrasts with something like mandarin Chinese - penetrating it is very hard, but once you have your foot in the door, its not so bad.

  7. #7
    Member Member Ieyasu's Avatar
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    Yes, I guess it could be deemed a soft "L"... but I can't recall using it that way.

    For me, being born and raised in the States, learning Japanese was Hell. I took six years of formal education, and it didn't do much for me... lol. Of course, I was a distracted kid back then.

    I think learning the pronounciation of speak is probably relatively easy, but as seal had mentioned, it's the immense size of its structure and form... the kanji's... the thousands of characters. Chinese, to me, would be even harder. My hats off to anyone who dives into the Asian language when it isn't their "mother tongue".

    I broke down and went the easy route, lol... English major for half my college career. heh.


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