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Oda Nobunaga Redux
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Nobunaga and Ieyasu: The Dynamics of a Sengoku Partnersh Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:

Actually, I'd guess that at this point Ieyasu enters into more of a 'vassal' state, becoming an important general, but more subservient to Nobunaga to whom he has given his troops. It is no longer just two daimyo who happen to have an alliance and respect one another. Still, I don't really know what I'm talking about, so go ahead and post away!


It sounds like you do know what you are talking about. You're pretty much on the right track! Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
From what I understand, Nobunaga's entrance into Kyoto marked the first time that either he or Ieyasu had 'lent' troops to each other. Not only did Ieyasu supply troops, but he placed them (and himself) under Nobunaga's command, setting a precedent that was almost always the case in every other Oda/Tokugawa battle where they both supplied troops (Migatagahara being the exception, but likely only because Nobunaga was extremely busy elsewhere).
The prestige Nobunaga attained by becoming 'the protector of the Shogunate' also likely helped cement Ieyasu's position of 'second among equals'.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The Man from Mikawa Maybe the Junior Partner, but He’s got Clout

Both Josh and Tatsunoshi are right on the money. Until Nobunaga’s march to Kyoto in 1568, both Nobunaga’s and Ieyasu’s military forces operated independently of each other. However, as Nobunaga drew up his plans for the march on Kyoto, he called upon Ieyasu to provide troops, who would act under the overall command of Nobunaga himself. From this point onward, until the Honnōji Incident in 1582, Ieyasu would find himself and his military acting under orders and in accordance with strategies devised by Nobunaga.

If it isn’t already clear enough that Nobunaga dominated his relationship with Ieyasu, in the spring of 1570, Nobunaga, who was in the process of re-invigorating the authority of the Muromachi Bakufu under Yoshiaki, summoned Ieyasu to come to Kyoto with the explicit request that he offer his loyalty and services to the Shogun. Ieyasu readily agreed. Then, in May of that year, Ieyasu and his troops took to the field in support of Nobunaga’s campaign against the Asakura in Echizen, but were beaten back. When Nobunaga’s brother-in-law, Asai Nagamasa, joined his old allies, the Asakura, in opposition to Nobunaga later that summer, Ieyasu joined Nobunaga once again in the field and helped to route the Asai at the Ane River in Ōmi. In a report written by Nobunaga himself, it becomes very clear what kind of role Ieyasu played in the campaign and how he was regarded by Nobunaga vis-à-vis his own vassals. Lamers quotes the following passage from the report in Japonius Tyrannus:

Ieyasu from Okazaki participated in this campaign. There was disagreement between my own followers and Ieyasu about who should lead the first wave of the attack, so I assigned this task to Ieyasu. Together with Ikeda Shōsaburō [Tsuneoki] and Niwa Gorōzaemon [Nagahide], he attacked and routed the Echizen army.

So what does this tell us about Ieyasu’s standing with Nobunaga? Lamers states that Nobunaga referred to his own vassals as temawari no monodomo and distinguished between Ieyasu and this group, which according to a contemporary Jesuit dictionary, is defined as “people who owe duty to somebody, such as retainers, supporters, and so on”. Lamers then draws the following conclusions:
1) Ieyasu was not a direct vassal of Nobunaga, and thus had no formal ties of obligation to Nobunaga as a direct retainer would to his liege lord.
2) Ieyasu, as a military commander, had the same clout as Nobunaga’s top field commanders.
3) Ieyasu wasn’t under the command of any of Nobunaga’s generals, but did take orders from Nobunaga.

Lamers then backs up these conclusions by what happened in the fall of 1570, as the Asai and Asakura took to the field again. As the Oda forces under Kinoshita Hideyoshi (that’s the future Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and Niwa Nagahide were being marshaled in Ōmi, Ieyasu was ordered by Nobunaga to move his forces to Kyoto’s eastern border and link up with them as an independent force. This once more proves that Ieyasu was not under the command of any of Nobunaga’s senior retainers, but was treated as a separate, high-ranking general subject to the orders of Nobunaga himself.

The one time Nobunaga gave Ieyasu command of joint Oda-Tokugawa forces was at Mikatagahara against Takeda Shingen. Tatsunoshi already pointed out that Ieyasu ignored Nobunaga’s orders and paid dearly for it as he was barely able to escape with his life and soiled hakama! It should be noted that for whatever reason, perhaps skeptical of Ieyasu’s battle plan, Nobunaga only contributed 2,000 troops to the battle.

In the next installment, we’ll discuss that the alliance was not a one-way street by discussing how in the aftermath of the Mikatagahara disaster, Nobunaga came to the aid of his ally in countering the Takeda threat. We’ll also talk about one tragic development in the Nobunaga-Ieyasu relationship that put the strength of the alliance to the ultimate test.
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Last edited by Obenjo Kusanosuke on Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
In the next installment, we’ll discuss that the alliance was not a one-way street by discussing how in the aftermath of the Mikatagahara disaster, Nobunaga came to the aid of his ally in countering the Takeda threat. We’ll also talk about one tragic development in the Nobunaga-Ieyasu relationship that put the strength of the alliance to the ultimate test.


Way to keep us on the edge of our seats!

-Josh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
Then, in May of that year, Ieyasu and his troops took to the field in support of Nobunaga’s campaign against the Asakura in Echizen, but were beaten back.


It's also telling that during that campaign (when the Asakura were joined by the Asai and Nobunaga beat a hasty retreat), Ieyasu along with Hideyoshi formed the rearguard in what was seen at the time as a suicidal situation to allow Nobunaga to escape-clearly showing who was considered the Big Boss.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Most interesting and illuminating. Thanks for the reply. It's really helped me understand the delicate balance of power between Nobunaga and Ieyasu.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
Most interesting and illuminating. Thanks for the reply. It's really helped me understand the delicate balance of power between Nobunaga and Ieyasu.
You are welcome! But I haven't even finished talking about the relationship between Nobunaga and Ieyasu yet! Laughing

You will see that the relationship was heading in a very interesting and telling direction. If it wasn't for Nobunaga's sudden death in 1582, it is hard for me to envision Ieyasu staying even nominally "independent". As always, stay tuned! I should be able to get my last major post on the "relationship" up sometime in the next few days. I just have to get over some work hurdles first! Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Very much looking forward to it... I second Heron's comments. This has been very interesting indeed. A continuous many thanks...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tried but True
Picking up from where we last left off, Ieyasu, disobeying Nobunaga’s advice (or perhaps an order) to await the on-coming Takeda storm from behind the sturdy walls of Hamamatsu Castle, decided to make his stand at Mikatagahara, where his joint Tokugawa-Oda force was easily routed. Mikatagahara was an important wakeup call to both Ieyasu and Nobunaga. To Ieyasu, his defeat pointed out how clearly he needed Nobunaga’s support to deal with the Takeda threat, and to Nobunaga, it revealed just how weak his eastern flank would become should Ieyasu’s front collapse. Thus, after Mikatagahara, Nobunaga decided to give more active military support to his ally’s struggle against the Takeda, which would reach its climax in June 1575 at the famed battle of Nagashino. It was here that Nobunaga and Ieyasu delivered a debilitating blow to the Takeda. I won’t go into the details of the battle here, but let’s just say that the use of arquebus effectively neutralized Takeda Katsuyori’s ability to pose a major threat to the Oda and the Tokugawa.

Faced with military and political challenges elsewhere, Nobunaga left the wounded, but still very dangerous Katsuyori to Ieyasu to handle on his own. We must remember that the Takeda were a military powerhouse, and although they were bloodied quite badly at Nagashino, Katsuyori’s army was still packed quite a punch. Katsuyori still had so much fight in them that that it took Ieyasu about six more years of campaigning in Tōtōmi province to rid it of the Takeda and further weaken to their near breaking point. When this point was reached, in the early spring of 1582, after securing victory over the Ikkō Ikki and the Uesugi, Nobunaga once again turned his attention to Ieyasu’s struggle against the Takeda and together, the two allies planned the knockout blow. In something of a Sengoku blitzkrieg, Oda-Tokugawa forces easily swept into the Takeda-held provinces of Shinano, Kōzuke, part of Suruga and the seat of Takeda power itself, Kai. From these Takeda domains, Nobunaga parceled out new fiefs to his inner circle of generals. However, the biggest chunk of land assigned as a fief by Nobunaga, the entire province of Suruga, went to Ieyasu. Wait a minute. You are probably wondering if you misread something or if I screwed up. After all, wasn’t Ieyasu an independent daimyō not under anybody’s direct authority? Well, it is already been established that Ieyasu was the junior partner in his relationship with Nobunaga? And as Nobunaga grew more powerful, wouldn’t this even put Ieyasu in an even more “junior” position? Nobunaga did offer Ieyasu all of Suruga as Lamers states, “in return for past and future military services” Lamers goes on to say that by doing this, Nobunaga “created a hierarchical relationship between himself and Ieyasu. As for the latter, by accepting Nobunaga’s gracious gift, Ieyasu de facto entered into a vassal-overlord relationship with him. It might therefore have been a blessing in disguise for Ieyasu when Nobunaga dies at the Honnōji only three months later.” So, it does look like by 1582, Nobunaga, for all intents and purposes, had become Ieyasu’s liege lord.

Now, way back when Nobunaga was still a mere first among equals in his relationship with Ieyasu, a very heart-wrenching event took place that tested the mettle of the Oda-Tokugawa alliance. As stated earlier, Nobunaga married off his daughter, Tokuhime, to Ieyasu’s eldest son, Nobuyasu, back in 1567, when both children were eight years old. Fast forwarding 12 years, what started off as a happy marriage between two kids was now in a very sorry state. It was said that Ieyasu’s wife, Tsukiyama, an alleged meddlesome schemer, was driving a wedge between the couple—to the point where Nobuyasu and Tokuhime were on awful terms. Things got so bad between Tokuhime, husband and Tsukiyama that in 1579, Tokuhime wrote to her father that accused both Nobuyasu and Tsukiyama of plotting with the Takeda to bring about the downfall of the Oda.

Confronted with this accusation, Nobunaga decided on what Lamers describes as a “drastic but logical conclusion.” He simply wrote a note to Ieyasu that it was unacceptable to have this sort of thing going on within his own family and to clear it all up for the sake of harmony and the future of the alliance, Ieyasu must have Nobuyasu and Tsukiyama put to death. What was Ieyasu to do? Order his son and wife to kill themselves? That’s exactly the painful decision Ieyasu made. If he defied Nobunaga, he risked incurring his awful fury and being sandwiched between a hostile Nobunaga and a dangerous Takeda Shingen would all but guarantee the destruction of the Tokugawa. For the sake of the clan, Ieyasu did what he had to do, as tragic as it was. Nobunaga realized that his partner was man of “true grit”, and as a result, the alliance endured, and the Tokugawa clan indeed survived quite nicely.

Well, there are lots of other interesting topics to talk about, such as Nobunaga as a commercial developer—in terms of creating favorable economic policies in urban areas, his other civil administration policies, the development of Azuchi, his military campaigns, etc. Feel free to start up a new topic for discussion. I’m turning this thread into a sticky so we can have all future Nobunaga discussions here under one “roof”.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Great job, Obenjo!

One question I have on the relationship between Ieyasu and Nobunaga:

The story as I recall, following the defeat of the Imagawa, was that Ieyasu, having failed his lord, was considering committing seppuku. He was waved off of this course of action by a monk, who was a close friend. The monk suggested he join forces with Nobunaga instead.

It has been awhile, but does anyone else know of this story? I can't be sure I'm remembering the details correctly.

Also, how did Ieyasu become a daimyo in the first place? As a Matsudaira hostage of the Imagawa, did they eventually give him Okazaki and the surrounding territories, or did that come after their defeat, somehow?

I know that we are getting more into Ieyasu, now, so we can break this off into a separate thread if folks would prefer.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I remember a story about Ieyasu almost killing himself and being talked out of it, but that's all I remember. My impression at the time was that it was more of a legend than fact. I don't remember the circumstances - maybe someone with one of the two Ieyasu biographies could find it...?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have kind of assumed it is somewhat legendary (at least as far as him thinking about killing himself), but I've often wondered about that period between the fall of the Imagawa and his relationship with Nobunaga. And I've never been clear on his status under the Imagawa at that point, either.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I started reading Josh and Kitsuno's above posts from my cell phone while on a Kyoto-bound bullet train and started having fits. Why? Responding from my cell phone is a pain, I couldn't get an Internet connection for PC while traveling at speeds of 250 km, and lastly, Josh posed a great question and I want to research it but can't from a train! I have something like 3 or 4 books on Ieyasu in Japanese at home, and I can try to have a look when I get back to Tokyo, but it's times like this I wish I owned Totman's bio of Ieyasu, because I really want to read it! I tried ordering it from Amazon's list of used book dealers a few weeks ago, but they won't ship overseas! Mad

Feel free to keep posting on this Ieyasu issue here for the time being and I'll get around to splitting the Ieyasu stuff into its own thread and give it a graphic header worthy of the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate sometime soon.

Well, I am staying across from Nijo Castle tonight so I think I'm going to take a stroll over in that direction and then grab some ramen before heading off to Gion later tonight for some sake sipping and geisha spotting. I've got to do things in moderation tonight! I'm supposed to be doing some hands-on Bakumatsu field research tomorrow! Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
The story as I recall, following the defeat of the Imagawa, was that Ieyasu, having failed his lord, was considering committing seppuku. He was waved off of this course of action by a monk, who was a close friend. The monk suggested he join forces with Nobunaga instead.

It has been awhile, but does anyone else know of this story? I can't be sure I'm remembering the details correctly.

Also, how did Ieyasu become a daimyo in the first place? As a Matsudaira hostage of the Imagawa, did they eventually give him Okazaki and the surrounding territories, or did that come after their defeat, somehow?


Totman doesn’t mention the story of the monk, though Ieyasu was taught by the Zen monk Taigen Sûfu at Rinzaiji in Sumpu. Sûfu was an expert in the principles and practices of warfare, tactics and strategy and the relationship of warfare to government and administration.

Ieyasu was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada, the child heir of Kiyoyasu who died when his son was only nine. The Matsudaira had been a warrior family for several generations, going back to the 1400s, originating in the foothills north of Okazaki but eventually taking control of the Mikawa area and making Okazaki their castle town. The other powerful families in the central area at the time were Oda, Mizuno and more powerful than all the others put together, Imagawa. The death of Kiyoyasu (murdered by a vassal) left the Matsudaira family to be weakened by internal quarrels and under threat from external neighbours. By 1543 Hirotada was reduced to becoming a vassal of the Imagawa, who had helped him avoid defeat. In the meantime his wife’s family, the Mizuno, had become allies with the Oda. Ieyasu’s mother was sent back to her family and when Hirotada sought help from the Imagawa again he was told to send his son to Sumpu as a hostage.

Takechiyo (as Ieyasu was then called) was only 4 years old (by Western count). On the way his escort was intercepted by Oda’s forces and the boy transferred to Oda’s care (or captivity) in Kiyosu. Oda tried to force Hirotada to desert the Imagawa but Hirotada refused to be swayed. Somewhat surprisingly Oda did not kill Takechiyo as he had threatened, and two years later exchanged him for one of his own sons who had fallen into Imagawa Yoshimoto’s hands. At the same time Hirotada was killed by a vassal leaving the young Takechiyo lord of the Matsudaira. Yoshimoto granted him a small area of land in Sumpu and he was supported by a handful of loyal retainers.

From the age of ten he was involved in combat duties and when he grew older he was allowed to return to Okazaki where an old retainer, Torii Tadayoshi, had preserved money and equipment against the day when his young lord would be free of the Imagawa. Slowly he began to rebuild the Matsudaira domain. Victories in the service of Yoshimoto against Nobunaga led his men to petition Yoshimoto for the return of Okizaki and the restoration of all the Matsudaira lands. Yoshimoto promised to do this after an assault on the main Oda centre of Kiyosu. However when the confrontation with the Oda came in 1560 Yoshimoto was killed and the Imagawa defeated. When Ieyasau, (actually now called Motoyasu) who had been ordered to lead his forces to a secondary front, learned of this defeat he made a swift decision, left the battlefield and went home to Okazaki. Here he told the Imagawa garrison to leave and took possession of his family domain and castle.

In the next few years he worked on strengthening his possessions, and shifting his alliance to Oda Nobunaga. In 1563 he changed his name to his final appellation: Ieyasu.

This is a summary of Totman’s account. It seems unlikely that the pragmatic Ieyasu would have contemplated suicice after Yoshimoto’s death. First of all, the defeat was no fault of his, as his own minor campaign had been successful. Secondly, Imagawa’s death was Ieyasu’s great opportunity. Yoshimoto had been stalling on the subject of restoring Ieyasu to his domain and in the eyes of his vassals did not appreciate the young Matsudaira heir. Did Ieyasu owe him loyalty for his upbringing and education? Ieyasu took Moto as part of his name which may be seen as a sign of loyalty, but I suspect Ieyasu felt he had already repaid all his dues to the Imagawa, in what had always been an uneasy relationship.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That all makes sense, but it also seems to emphasize something about Ieyasu's relationship(s): He was a junior (and pretty much a dependent) to the Imagawa, and so, with the Imagawa's defeat, while he gains independence he is still a very junior daimyo. In fact, it seems as though the Oda could have come down and taken Mikawa--but an alliance probably provided them with the same thing without expending the resources to do it. At the same time, though, Nobunaga and Ieyasu were never really 'equals' from the get go, as I see their positions here in the beginning.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:


Well, I am staying across from Nijo Castle tonight so I think I'm going to take a stroll over in that direction and then grab some ramen before heading off to Gion later tonight for some sake sipping and geisha spotting. I've got to do things in moderation tonight! I'm supposed to be doing some hands-on Bakumatsu field research tomorrow! Laughing


Don't miss the Yagi residence or the Mibu temple graveyard. Cool stuff. I wasn't impressed with Gion, but then again, I didn't have an Obenjo pass to the coolest spots Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
That all makes sense, but it also seems to emphasize something about Ieyasu's relationship(s): He was a junior (and pretty much a dependent) to the Imagawa, and so, with the Imagawa's defeat, while he gains independence he is still a very junior daimyo. In fact, it seems as though the Oda could have come down and taken Mikawa--but an alliance probably provided them with the same thing without expending the resources to do it. At the same time, though, Nobunaga and Ieyasu were never really 'equals' from the get go, as I see their positions here in the beginning.

-Josh


I suppose in real terms the Oda had become the dominant force in central Japan but historically they were no greater than the Matsudaira and less powerful than the Imagawa. I think in Ieyasu's mind he was Nobunaga's equal in rank which gave him the self-confidence to defer to him when and as long as it was necessary. Totman quotes a story that shows his aplomb (urinating with nonchalance in full view of his elders Laughing ) and proving he is indeed the grandson of Kiyoyasu.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I agree with Heron. The particular collateral branch, the Shobata Oda, that Nobunaga came from was of minor consequence until not long before Nobunaga came into the world. Nobunaga still bring his brothers and uncles to heel and then still had to over-power the two main Oda houses.

The Matsudaira were, in my opinion, in a similar situation in many regards to the Shobata branch of the Oda clan. As both Nobunaga and Ieyasu were in the process of sorting out their own domains or backyards when the alliance between the two was formed, things were still relatively balanced between the two. Once Nobunaga had Mino firmly under his control, however, things started to drastically tip in his favor.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
The story as I recall, following the defeat of the Imagawa, was that Ieyasu, having failed his lord, was considering committing seppuku. He was waved off of this course of action by a monk, who was a close friend. The monk suggested he join forces with Nobunaga instead.



Also, how did Ieyasu become a daimyo in the first place? As a Matsudaira hostage of the Imagawa, did they eventually give him Okazaki and the surrounding territories, or did that come after their defeat, somehow?

I know that we are getting more into Ieyasu, now, so we can break this off into a separate thread if folks would prefer.

-Josh



This wasn't in either Sadler's or Totman's bios of Ieyasu (with Sadler's being by far the better), or a couple of Rekishi Gunzou selections on Ieyasu. It sounds more like one of the fanciful accounts cooked up during the Edo period to glorify Ieyasu-in this case, implying '...although Ieyasu wished to display his loyalty to his lord by joining him in death to atone for his failure to protect him, he reluctantly shouldered the burden of governance for the sake of his people.'
It should be pointed out that Ieyasu's break with the Imagawa wasn't quite as clear cut at first as many authors make it out to be. While he did return to Okazaki after the battle of Okehazama (rather than Sunpu), most accounts have the Imagawa retainers stationed there (who were not actually inside the castle, but nearby) leaving of their own accord after the battle to beat feet back to Sunpu(not being given their walking papers by Ieyasu). Ieyasu continued to communicate with and lend aid to the Imagawa during the next year or so. How much of this was due to 'loyalty' and how much was due to the large amount of Matsudaira family members the Imagawa still held as hostages (along with the families of many of Ieyasu's supporters) should be rather obvious.
Ieyasu at first attempted to expand his domain at the expense of the Oda, fighting against them for over a year in many small battles without having much in the way of success. He then decided to officially turn against the Imagawa, attacking their lands to his south and east, which proved to me much easier pickings than the Oda. This is when the Oda/Nobunaga alliance was formed. The alliance seemed to intimidate the remnants of the Imagawa to the point where they decided not to kill the Matsudaira hostages but rather to release them instead (although some of the vassal families were killed).

One thing I've always found touching is that while the Imagawa were smashed into pieces by Oda and then slowly eliminated by the Tokugawa, Takeda, and Hojo, is that Ieyasu always seemed to have some feelings for the clan in his heart. At the sige of Kakegawa, he gave Yoshimoto's heir Ujizane plenty of opportunity and time to surrender rather than just take the castle (which he could have done easily and in short order). After all the Imagawa's lands were lost, Ieyasu took them under his protection and eventually gave them a high status position in the Shogunate as Ceremonial Advisors. Of course, maybe he just liked the idea of having his former captors being his underlings...


Last edited by Tatsunoshi on Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This makes more sense when I put it in context. It is the period of the low overcoming the high--thus both Nobunaga and Ieyasu are in the 'Low' category on their way up. Nobunaga has a head start--he is the elder of the two and his branch of the Oda already control their province without the same type of ties that restrict Ieyasu (or Motoyasu) under the Imagawa.

As I see it, before the Imagawa attack, there doesn't seem to be anyone to whom Nobunaga is responsible, directly, while the same cannot be said for Ieyasu. Thus, Nobunaga seems in a good position to start playing in national politics, but Ieyasu is still subject to the Imagawa and therefore not quite so free.

This could also explain somewhat the relationship between them. After the defeat of the Imagawa, Nobunaga and Ieyasu are effectively equals, though Nobunaga is definitely the senior. However, Ieyasu probably had no intention of giving up his new found freedom to become anyone's vassal again. I wonder if it wasn't like "Hey, I grew up with you, remember?" Though they weren't overly close, they were still in the same neighborhood.

Were there any other daimyo of provinces nearby the Oda territory that were independent *and* friendly with Nobunaga? It seems like outside of Ieyasu I can't think of any--they were already in some kind of vassalage to the Oda already or else considered themselves rivals of the Oda.

It really is an interesting time and place, I definitely need to look into it more (but not just yet... for now I'll just stir the pot and see what floats to the top Smile ).

-Josh
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have some articles on PC dealing with Ieyasu and I scanned through those as well and came up empty about the story of Ieyasu contemplating seppuku following the defeat of the Imagawa. I do take this story with a grain of salt and agree that it most likely is a product of Edo-period fiction.

I do wonder what the source is. I'm betting it could be any one of these three:

Mikawa Monogatari(1622) by senior Tokugawa retainer Ōkubo Hikozaemon (Tadanori)

Resso Seiseki (1722) by Asaka Tanpaku

Tokugawa Jikki (1849)- the official history of the Tokugawa Bakufu up until that point

I have yet to see an English translation of any of these works, so if somebody wants to dive into the Japanese versions, go right ahead and let us know if I am right about my hunch! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Now that I think of it, Japan and Her People might have the "suicide" legend in it. I lent out my copy, but if one of the loyal forum members who picked it up could take a look, I'd be interested.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Japan And Her People does have a bit in it about Ieyasu attempting suicide, but not in conjunction with Okehazama. Maybe this is what you're thinking of? Anyway, here's the passage (I hope I'm not sued by the publishers for using it):

"So low were his fortunes at one time, that after a defeat at the hands of his neighbor, Takeda (probably Migatagahara, although later details of the story don't match up-Tatsu), he retired to a village house and prepared to end his life. But, as he was about to strike, the dagger turned in his hand, and thinking something must be wrong with the blade, he stopped to try it on an iron mortar. The steel point entered the iron, and Ieyasu, astonished, was about to strike himself again, when his followers broke in and forced him to escape to his own province. Joining with Oda Nobunaga, he afterwards defeated Takeda, and received part of his territory. He concluded that the spirit of the dagger had made it turn aside, and from that time weapons made by the Yoshimitsu family, who had fashioned this, were considered especially lucky for the Tokugawa; while the famous Muramasa blades were believed to have a particular grudge against anyone of the name."

Agsin, sounds like an Edo period yarn. If it is Migatagahara, Ieyasu was already in his home province (and hence wouldn't have to be forced to escape there) and retreated straight to his castle after the battle (not stopping a village).

I also checked Sansom and a couple of other likely sources, but nada.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:06 am    Post subject: Ieyasu and seppuku Reply with quote
The only source I found in English on the debate whether Ieyasu was going to commit seppuku or not was in Stephen Turnbull's book, [i]Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603[/i]. Which was listed on page 47. To tell you the truth, I do not believe it. The biggest problem I have was that Turnbull did not list the source where he got such information.

Les
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:37 am    Post subject: Re: Ieyasu and seppuku Reply with quote
nohime wrote:
The only source I found in English on the debate whether Ieyasu was going to commit seppuku or not was in Stephen Turnbull's book, Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603. Which was listed on page 47. To tell you the truth, I do not believe it. The biggest problem I have was that Turnbull did not list the source where he got such information.

Les


Well, at least you found the source that gives the story. I agree-it sounds like something that was cooked up in the Edo period to explain why Ieyasu adopted the 'Renounce this filthy world' banner, or invented by the temple itself (as is pretty common with Buddhist temples).

Here's the story for those who don't have the book:

"...following the defeat of the Imagawa family, of which he was then a vassal, in 1560, Tokugawa Ieyasu went to his ancestral temple of Daijuji in Okazaki with the intention of committing hara kiri in front of the tombs of his ancestors. Toyo, the chief priest, managed to dissuade him from this course of action, and presented Ieyasu with a white banner on which was written, 'Renounce this filthy world, attain the Pure Land', a flag which Ieyasu was to carry with him in all subsequent battles, including ones against the Ikko-ikki."
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