Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Nobunaga\'s Last Six Months

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Recently I came across a very detailed timeline of events surrounding the last six months of Oda Nobunaga. I thought I'd post a brief synposis here, as some of the details are obscure and interesting.
    Unfortunatly, the dates are in the old Japanese lunar reckoning. A very ROUGH rule of thumb is to tack on about 3 weeks to account for the solar calander. For example, while western books normally record nobunaga's death as occuring on 21 June 1582, to the Japanese of the time, the Honnoji Incident occured on the Second Day of the Sixth Month of Tensho 10.

    On the 23rd day of the first month, Tensho 10 (1582), Nobunaga met with Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi and Ukita Hideie. At this time Hideyoshi reported on the situation in the western provinces and Nobunaga confirmed the young Hideie as the lord of the Ukita clan.
    On the 3rd day of the second month, Nobunaga and his allies begin preparations for an invasion of the Takeda domain. On the 12 day, Oda Nobutada departs Gifu at the head of an army bound for Shinano. Six days later Tokugawa Ieyasu departs Hamamatsu to play his own role in the invasion, marching for Suruga. Two days later Takeda general Yoda (that's right - Yoda Nobushige abandons Tanaka Castle in Suruga before the Tokugawa advance. Takeda Katsuyori, having by now established himself at Shimpu Castle in Kai, learns on the 2nd day of the third month that Takato Castle in Shinano has fallen to Oda Nobutada. Just the day before, Anayama Nobukimi betrays the Takeda and opens Eriji Castle in Suruga to the Tokugawa. The day after the fall of Takato, Katsuyori abandons Shimpu and orders the castle burned (3/3). On the 5th day, Nobunaga himself departs to join the invasion. On the 11th day of the third month, Takeda Katsuyori is cornered near the Temmokuzan after being betrayed by Oyamada Nobushige. He commits suicide while a handful of retainers hold off the Oda. Takeda Nobuchika, Shingen's second son, commits suicide that same day, and both Takeda Nobukado and Ichijo Nobutatsu (two of Shingen's brothers) will be captured and executed within the week.
    On the 14th day, Nobunaga examines Katsuyori's head. On the 23rd day of that month, Nobunaga awards Takigawa Kazumasu with the province of Kozuke and the latter takes up in Umabayashi Castle (which he will lose to the Hojo soon after Nobunaga's death). Six days later Nobunaga officially rewards Tokugawa Ieyasu with Suruga Province. On the 3rd day of the 4th month, Nobunaga orders that Shingen's favorite temple, the Erinji, be burned for harboring Rokkaku Yoshiharu (an old enemy of the Oda).
    Meanwhile and on the next day, in the west, Hashiba Hideyoshi surrounds Takamatsu Castle in Bitchu and calls for the commander, Shimizu Muneharu, to surrender. Muneharu refuses and the Siege of Takamatsu begins.
    On the 7th day of the fifth month, Nobunaga, having returned to the Kyoto area, orders his son Nobutaka and Niwa Nagahide to prepare for an invasion of Shikoku. the next day Hideyoshi orders the damming of a nearby river in the hopes of flooding out Takamatsu.
    On the 15th day, Nobunaga entertains Tokugawa Ieyasu and Anayama Nobukimi at Azuchi Castle. Elsehwhere on that day, uesugi Kagekatsu is defeated by Oda forces at the Battle of Tenjinyama in Etchu. Two days later, Oda Nobunaga, Akechi Mitsuhide, and Tokugawa Ieyasu meet to discuss the campaign in the western provinces. At this time Nobunaga orders Mitsuhide to prepare to march west to support Hideyoshi. On the 21st, Nobukata and Niwa Nagahide arrive in the Osaka area with their troops and begin preparing the invasion of Shikoku. That same day in the western provinces, Mori Terumoto and his uncles arrive with a relief army in the Takamatsu area - to find that Takamatsu is gradually being drowned out by Hideyoshi's strategm.
    On the 26th day, Akechi Mitsuhide arrives at Kaneyama in Tamba, ostensibly in preparation for a march westward.
    On the 27th day, Oda general Mori Nagayoshi takes advantage of Uesugi Kagekatsuĺs involvement in Etchu to make an excursion into Echigo from Shinano. Kagekatsu hastily returns to Echigo as a result. The next day, Oda general Hosokawa Tadaoki brings down Isshiki Yoshikiyoĺs Yumigi Castle in Tango.
    On the 1st day of the sixth month, Oda Nobunaga is entertained by wealthy merchants and others at the Honnoji in Kyoto. That same day Akechi Mitsuhide leads his army from Kaneyama in the direction of Kyoto. On the 2nd day, Nobunaga is attacked at the Honnoji by Akechi troops and is killed. Oda Nobutada dies soon afterwards at Nijo.

  2. #2

    Default

    thanks seal,

    so takigawa was granted kozuke? i assume he was transferred from ise? after his defeat by the hojo and N's death, how did he regain lands in the kinai to participate in the struggle for supremacy within the oda confederacy?
    indeed

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    The histories I have dealing with the events of the time merely say that Takigawa abandoned Kozuke after losing to Hojo Ujimasa and Ujinao at the Battle of Kanagawa and returned to his old fief in Ise and took up there, Perhaps his Nagashima fief had remained in Takigawa hands, just as Akechi Mitsuhide held Sakamoto in Omi and Kaneyama in Tamba concurrently.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member ShaiHulud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    2,266

    Default

    Seal... I've read that Nobunaga humiliated Mitsuhide publicly by grabbing him around the neck and hitting him in the head with a fan (reputedly mocking his baldness.

    Further, that he falsely accepted the surrender of Mitsuhide's father and brother and then killed them. True?

    ------------------
    Wind fells blossoms, rain
    fells steel,yet bamboo bends and drinks

    [This message has been edited by ShaiHulud (edited 02-28-2001).]
    O stranger, Go tell the Spartans that we lie here, obedient to their will.....

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    The one story of Nobunaga's treatment that I have seen the most often, in both western and Japanese sources, involves the banquet Nobunaga arranged for Tokugawa in 1582. Mitsuhide was made responsible for overseeing the preparation of the feast that would be served at Azuchi Castle (held on the 15th day of the 5th month). Nobunaga inspected the work in progress and became enraged, calling the food unsuitable and ordering that it be dumped. Mitsuhide was reputedly humiliated by this event. Nobunaga then sent a message to Mitsuhide ordering him to prepare for duty in the western provinces two days later. I have heard of the 'head-beating' incident, but its hard to say if that one actually happened or not.

    I believe you might be thinking of Nobnaga's treatement of the Hatano. Earlier, Mitsuhide had been tasked with subduing Tamba Province and punishing the Hatano for their support of Ashikaga Yoshiaki. Mitsuhide arranged the surrender of Yakimi Castle by promising Hatano Hideharu safe treatment. Nobunaga ignored Mitsuhide's promises and had Hideharu and his younger brother (I think it was Hidenao but I'm not sure off the top of my head) executed. According to one story, the Hatano retainers responded by abducting and killing Mitshude's mother n a most terrible fashion (another version has that it was Mitsuhide's mother-in-law).
    Mitsuhide's father, Mitsukuni, a retainer of the Toki of Mino (to whom the Akechi were related) had died back in 1538.

    [This message has been edited by FwSeal (edited 02-28-2001).]

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member ShaiHulud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    2,266

    Default

    Tamba is the right area so that's likely the story. I just mis-remembered the circumstances, I guess. Never heard of that banquet story. Seems there WAS some public humiliation or there wouldn't be such stories. Thanx!

    ------------------
    Wind fells blossoms, rain
    fells steel,yet bamboo bends and drinks
    O stranger, Go tell the Spartans that we lie here, obedient to their will.....

  7. #7
    Member Member Contubernalis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbus, OH America
    Posts
    140

    Default

    When I read _Taiko_, it seemed as though Mitsuhide's treachery came out of left field and was really only because of the banquet incident (sounds like a bad film "The Banquet Incident starring Derek Steele)
    I got the sense that Mitsuhide was a really petty guy for why he did what he did.
    True?

  8. #8

    Default

    Seal, u talked about Akechi's mother/mother in law being abducted in a most terrible manner, what do you mean by that? As for the reasons why Akechi did what he did was for me because his honor was slighted and men did crazier things in the name of honor.
    In my sword; the wind, in my heart; courage, in my eyes; death...I am Minagawa

  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    I read once that Akechi's mother was killed (assuming this part of the story is accurate) by being hung upside down from a tree and tortured to death. My understanding is that this did not occur immediatly following Hatano's death, but the problem is that the version of events seems to be different every time you read it.

    One funny thing about Mitsuhide's story is that he enjoyed a certain reevaluation of character during the Edo Period, going from villian to tragic hero. Certainy, he does seem to have been almost as complex a figure as Nobunaga himself. But to deal with the latter first, the contemporary and insightful western observer, Luis Frois, noted that Nobunaga tended to talk down to his generals and treat them with near contempt while being on casual and even friendly terms with even his lowest retainers. Akechi does seem to have been the brooding intellectual he's been made out to be, and some have even suggested the Nobunaga was jealous of Mitsuhide's poetic accomplishments. He was a talented general - as Nobunaga himself points out in a letter condemning Sakuma Nobumori for incompetance in 1580.
    One possible explanation that has been put forth regarding Mitsuhide's treachery is the recent culling Nobunaga had done in his retainer band. Between 1580-1582 a number of old hands were expelled from the ranks, of whom the best known are Sakuma Nobumori and his son Masakatsu, Ando Morinari (like Mitsuhide a old Saito hand who'd joined the Oda in the 1560's), and Hayashi Hidesada. These were all ordered to give up their domains without warning - probably making men like Akechi, who'd been moved about quite bit since 1568 and slowly being eclipsed by Hideyoshi and Shibata, a bit nervous. In addition, there is some speculation that Mitshude had the tacit support of the court, which does seem to have become more and more uncomfortable under Nobunaga (possibly illustrated by their offer following the Takeda Campaign to give Nobunaga the title of shogun or 'any other title he wanted'). As to whether or not Akechi really acted alone amongst the Oda retainers (that is, if he was the lone gunman), the world will never know. One certainly gets the impression that the Oda retainer band's sorrow over Nobunaga's passing was not overly great.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    I just did a bit more reading about Mitsuhide and it appears that the most commonly accepted story of his mother's death went like this...
    Essentially, Mitsuhide gave the Hatano his mother as a token of good faith when he arranged for Yakami's surrender. She was thus in Hatano hands when Hideharu was executed (as opposed to the Hatano seeking her out - really an odd thing to do, anyway, if you think about it). Yakami's soldiers hung her from a branch at the castle gates and murdered her (this according to the 'Kashiwazaki - I THINK I'm reading that word correctly - Monogatari'). Mitsuhide, needless to say, eliminated the rest of the Hatano family in revenge, and afterwards gave the castle to his cousin Mitsutada.

    [This message has been edited by FwSeal (edited 03-02-2001).]

  11. #11

    Default

    ... all because of nobunaga, i think this is reason enought for Akechi to dstroy nobunaga. Also Seal-dono, have you seen the woodblock painting of Mitsuhides cousin rising among the dead bodies to attack Hideyoshi after the battle that destroyed their armies, very dark and tragic. thanks for the info, sure appreciate it.
    In my sword; the wind, in my heart; courage, in my eyes; death...I am Minagawa

  12. #12
    Senior Member Senior Member ShaiHulud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    2,266

    Default

    I don't blame Mitsuhide, but Tokugawa would've sucked it up and waited til the time was right to win the whole ballgame. By comparison Mitsuhide appears rash as he allowed himself to be killed for his revenge.

    What I've read of Nobunaga gives the impression that he wasn't much fun to be around. I gather that he was loud and abrasive, a tough combo to endure, especially as he seems to have given little consideration to his minions. Hideyoshi was wiser, by far.

    ------------------
    Wind fells blossoms, rain
    fells steel,yet bamboo bends and drinks
    O stranger, Go tell the Spartans that we lie here, obedient to their will.....

  13. #13
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    I think its also safe to say that Hideyoshi, despite the rash actions he took later on in life, had a bigger heart.
    One example is that that followed the death of Ikeda Nobuoki and Mori Nagayoshi in the 1584 Battle of Nagakute. Hideyoshi is said to have been devestated by the loss of his old friend Nobuoki and Yoshinari, the one of another old comrade, Mori Yoshinari. He wrote Nobuoki's widow a heartfelt letter and expressed his grief over the loss of her husband (as well as her eldest son Yukisuke).
    He was also a very filial son and treated his long-lived mother with the greatest affection. When he sent her as a hostage to the Tokugawa following the Komaki Campaign, he learned that Honda Shigetsugu, a Tokugawa man, had taken the precaution of surrounding the house where she was staying with hay - ready to set alight should Hideyoshi prove treacherous. Ii Naomasa, on the other hand, was kind to her while she was in the Tokugawa domain - and was later thanked for his consideration by Hideyoshi himself. As for Shigetsugu, Hideyoshi compelled Ieyasu to send him off into retirement in 1590, never having forgotten his treatment of the Taiko's mother. Her death (and later that of his half-brother Hidenaga) put Hideyoshi in a state of misery and was considered a national event.
    At any rate, while Nobunaga did tend to keep his generals at arm's length, Hideyoshi forged more personal bonds with his men. He was very warm to his trusted followers, in particular Kobayakawa Takakage and Kuroda Yoshitaka. There's not alot of indication that Nobunaga felt any real kinship with his men - indeed, he seems to have held even his lonmg-standing retainers at arm's length. The one possible exception is Hideyoshi himself, whose rapid rise through the Oda ranks makes for a great topic in and of itself.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Senior Member ShaiHulud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    2,266

    Default

    Seal... You're earlier point that Nobunaga gave higher regard to his lowest-born retainers (which would include Hideyoshi) seems consistent. Considering the tradition of heritage then he may have felt safer with the low-born. It would be interesting to track his generosity to those more his equal in status as compared to those he would've considered much less so.

    ------------------
    Wind fells blossoms, rain
    fells steel,yet bamboo bends and drinks
    O stranger, Go tell the Spartans that we lie here, obedient to their will.....

  15. #15
    Member Member Contubernalis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Columbus, OH America
    Posts
    140

    Default

    I think a lot of Nobunaga's "personality problems" are precisely because he was high-born. The elite families seem, to me, a veritable cauldron of scheming, power-hungry relatives, whereas a lowborn samurai family seems more stable and more of a family.
    Also, I'd be surprised if Nobunaga didn't treat lowborn retainers better--it's the old idea of "I made you-I can break you" where if he chose a highborn retainer, that retainer came with a sense of his own importance that did not rely on Nobunaga for its existence.
    Also, being unpredictable, alternating between abrasive and friendly, is, I think, a calculated move on Nobunaga's part. Keeping people off-guard and hungry for your approval is always wise for a feudal lord, methinks.
    And, while my only source for this is _Taiko_, it seems as if Nobunaga was much more friendly and caring about his retainers early in his career. As he grows in power, though, and more men flock to his standard, he has to come up with some way of keeping them from having the complacency to try to supplant him. He even treats Hideyoshi this way, and what happens: it spurs Hideyoshi to new levels of achievement.

    OT, but everytime I see the title of this thread "Nobunaga's last 6 months," I can't help but think of this book called "Elvis: Day by Day" that tells what Elvis did for almost everyday of his life, post-1955.

    Edit: Ooh--now that I think about it, Elvis did the same thing with his Memphis Mafia..treated them good one second and bad the next. And he never really felt comfortable around the big names (natalie wood, sinatra, etc.); he liked his friends to be small in comparison to himself. Guess that means Elvis was a Great Man too, eh?

    [This message has been edited by Contubernalis (edited 03-02-2001).]

  16. #16
    Member Member Anssi Hakkinen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    2,079

    Default

    Let us *please* leave Elvis out of this, he's an innocent victim

    There is lots of odd contradiction in Western sources as to whether Nobunaga really was high- or low-born. On the other hand, he *was* a nobleman, the son of a daimy˘, which is a lot compared to hopped-up peasants like Hideyoshi. On the other hand, his father, Nobuhide, was originally just another rank-and-file samurai, who managed to conquer a singleton province through the universal Sengoku process of "high opposing the low" (gekokuj˘, or whatever it was in Japanese). This isn't saying a lot in comparison to such august families as the Takeda, who could trace their noble ancestry back to the Heian period.

    In addition, Nobunaga had the faintest inkling of relation to one minor branch of the Taira family (and even this may well have been fabricated, considering nobody knew anything about it until he conquered Ky˘t˘).

    Seal-K˘, are the Japanese sources less divided on this issue? Or could it be the case that Nobunaga himself was actually unsure of his social standing? (That would explain a thing or two...)

    ------------------
    "The warrior who does not know his business is like a cat that does not know the way of ratting."
    - Tsukuhara Bokuden
    "It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this".
    - Yamamoto Tsunetomo: Hagakure

  17. #17
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    You could say that Nobunaga was high-born compared to Hideyoshi, but somewhat low-born compared to men like Imagawa Yoshimoto and Takeda Shingen (as Anssi mentions). While those warlords issued from families with a long and distinguished history, Nobunaga's own family has the most obscure of roots. In fact, they don't even really begin appearing in records until the dawn of the sengoku period. Even within the Oda, Oda Nobuhide was not especially great - at the time of Nobunaga's coming of age, the Oda were divided into two main branches - and Nobuhide wasn't even the actual head of his own branch. In other words, Nobunaga's father wasn't even the lord of Owari (though he was the most famous figure there at this time). It took a civil war within Owari to make Nobunaga the ruler of that province (this was completed for the most part when Nobunaga took Kiyosu Castle from the rival branch in 1555).
    The Japanese sources I've seen don't seem to have much to say on the matter (which doesn't mean it isn't an issue, of course). At the same time, Nobunaga's rather obscure roots may have played a part in the stance he took as the nation's leading power. Clearly uninterested in the trappings of his role (such as titles), Nobunaga vexed the court by playing by his own rules. I should mention one very important thing here, as I see it often in western books on the subject. Nobunaga's non-Minamoto roots had nothing to do with him not assuming the title of Shogun. In fact, the Court hinted that they would be willing to award him that title after the Takeda campaign of 1582. The fact seems to be, at least at the time, that he simply didn't want the title of shogun.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO