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Jackal57
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Tomoe Gozen Reply with quote
Hey guys/girls,
I'm working on designing a project for Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, where you can make maps for other people to play.

Basically I'm after as much information on Tomoe Gozen as I can get hold of, I already have The The Heike Store by Eiji Yoshikawa, trying to search for maps/details on the following is proving difficult however:

-The Battle of Kurikawa
-The Battle of Shinohara

Any ideas for books worth trying? I have some of Steven Turnballs stuff as well if I can dig it out.

Regards,

-will.
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, for starters, most everything about Tomoe is fictional. There really isn't a lot out there to substantiate any serious non-fiction attempts to piece together a reliable piece of work.

Supposedly Turnbull is working on an Osprey book covering Japanese female warriors, blending myth, legend and whatever kernels of truth are out there.

As for the actual battles you listed, it will be hard to find details. One of the problems with the Heike stories is that they were written in 1300s, quite a long time after the actual events happened. I personally don't have anything that goes into detail about those battles.

Does anyone have anything that can help Will on the battles of Kurikawa and Shinohara?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
In English, about all there is would be Turnbull's chapter on Kurikara (I assume that's what you meant) in "Battles Of The Samurai". Everything else would be taken straight out of the Heike Monogatari. There's a little more on her in the Genpei Seisuiki, but there's no English translation.
The problem is, as Obenjo pointed out, that it's generally accepted among historians that Tomoe never existed and most everything written on her sprang up from the fictional Heike account.
Having said that, she's as much a part of the legend of the Genpei war as the also largely fictional Benkei (and it seems Kiso Yoshinaka did have female attendants-just not her), so it wouldn't be out of place to use her.
As far as battle accounts of Kiso Yoshinaka's campaigns and battles, the Heike is also about all you'll find in English. There might be a little about them in something like 'The Founding of The Kamkura Shogunate' or other specialty books, but there's little real information on the battles even in Japanese histories.
I'll post a photo of Turnbull's rudimentary Kurikara battlefield map in the next couple of days.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
You can get a map of the location of the battle of Shinohara at
[url]maps.google.co.jp[/url]
Search on 篠原古戦場 (Shinohara Ancient Battlefield)
It is in Kaga City 加賀市in Ishikawa or (now) Fukui.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
From Turnbull's 'Battles Of The Samurai':

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
While trying to get the map of Shinohara to load (wouldn't on my computer), I did stumble across this absolutely incredible Japanese Archaeology forum.
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Jackal57
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
hey guys, thanks for the assistance, you've been more than helpful! Smile Although I have a couple further questions! (sorry Just Kidding)

Couldn't properly locate the map of the area on the Japanese google maps after much searching.

The Battle of Kurikara map is interesting.. but I'm having some trouble following it, presumably the thin 'white string' underneath Yoshinakas advance on the left is a river, which trails into a dotted river.. stream?

Also the large semi circles with the cactus like edges.. are these to represent mountainous regions? Also the Two main yoshinaka advances are from Kurosaka Hill and then all the way around the back, presumably?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Jackal57 wrote:
presumably the thin 'white string' underneath Yoshinakas advance on the left is a river, which trails into a dotted river.. stream?
Also the large semi circles with the cactus like edges.. are these to represent mountainous regions? Also the Two main yoshinaka advances are from Kurosaka Hill and then all the way around the back, presumably?


The white string trailing into a dotted line would be a road that becomes a track or path. The large semi circles are used to show changes in elevation and the direction of the slope (so they're not so much 'mountainous regions' in and of themselves as just showing the border between the valley and mountains/hills-they're more like the slope itself). And yes, Yoshinaka kept the Taira forces occupied with an 'archery contest' after advancing a few troops from Kurosaka to take part in it while he sent an assault force to circle around and attack them from behind, allowing the two forces to drive them into the dead end gorge to the south (where he had sent a third force to lay in wait and ambush them).
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
For the Shinohara map try this link. Sorry for the trouble. The grave of Sanemori is also there.

http://maps.google.co.jp/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=%E7%AF%A0%E5%8E%9F%E5%8F%A4%E6%88%A6%E5%A0%B4&sll=36.5626,136.362305&sspn=28.535235,42.451172&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=36.359297,136.34546&spn=0.003508,0.005182&z=17
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Jackal57
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks a lot guys, you've been greatly helpful Very Happy

regards,

-will.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Jeez, longer link anyone? Wink

That's why we have the URL code in the HTML.... Just Kidding
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Better yet tinyurl.com.
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OishiYoshio
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have a painting of Tomoe Gozen. At least that's what I think it is, judging by the comments.
http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/download/file.php?id=14292

Half-way down the page, and then there is another below that again near the bottom.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
it's generally accepted among historians that Tomoe never existed


Do you have any suggestions where to start looking for citable arguments on this point?

I don't disagree or disbelieve you, but am just looking for something to cite.

Cheers.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
Quote:
it's generally accepted among historians that Tomoe never existed


Do you have any suggestions where to start looking for citable arguments on this point?

I don't disagree or disbelieve you, but am just looking for something to cite.

Cheers.


Most any Japanese book put out in the last ten years on the Genpei war will cover this-two that I have on hand are the Rekishi Gunzou Yoshitsune issue and a Genpei War 100 Person Biographical dictionary. English language sources still pretty much treat her as real, although there's an English language book (Heroic With Grace? Something like that-I'll have to check) with a chapter on Tomoe that I believe brings it up.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Alright. I shall keep my eyes out, then.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Okay, so I guess we're pretty much agreed that Tomoe Gozen (most likely, so far as we know) never really existed. I'm down with that.

But, looking at a picture of Bando Tamasaburo in the play "Onna Shibaraku," I noticed that his character was described as "Tomoe Gozen, sister of Imai Shirô" (今井四郎妹巴御前). Curious, I Googled their names together, and found that the Asahi Encyclopedia of Japanese Historical Figures describes her as the sister of Imai no Kanehira, and daughter of Nakahara no Kanetô, whose wife was Kiso Yoshinaka's wetnurse.

This of course does nothing to prove her existence (i.e. to disprove her as a pure fiction), but it does sort of tie her in a bit more to other (presumably genuinely historical) figures of the time, making her seem a little less randomly dropped into the Heike; as a literary character at least, it gives her more context and makes her seem a little more fleshed out as a character.

Just curious if anyone else has come across this, since I've actually read the "Kiso no Saigo" chapter of the Heike in the original (and was given the impression, possibly mistaken, that this is the only chapter in which she appears) and I do not remember any mention whatsoever of her having actual blood relations to Imai, or to anyone else.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
Just curious if anyone else has come across this, since I've actually read the "Kiso no Saigo" chapter of the Heike in the original (and was given the impression, possibly mistaken, that this is the only chapter in which she appears) and I do not remember any mention whatsoever of her having actual blood relations to Imai, or to anyone else.


Yes, it's one of about eight or nine different backgrounds given for Tomoe in various historical/fictional works written decades or centuries after the Heike. Your memory isn't faulty-Tomoe has only the one appearance in the Heike , and there is no family background given for her (at least in any version I've read-there are upward of 90 variants, but I've never heard of one that addressed her background or had her appear more than the one time in the 'Death Of Kiso Yoshinaka' chapter). I think this particular one popped up in the Genpei Seisuiki, a huge 'expansion' of the Heike that padded it out with many fictional elements (it's also responsible for a lot of the wilder legends associated with Yoshitsune). Tomoe's lineage changed as new writers took up her tales-she's linked with several notable samurai and is variously described as their daughter, sister, aunt, concubine, servant, or wife (many times of the same individual). There were some very involved 'biographies' of Tomoe produced after the Genpei Seisuiki and they're a lot like the Gikeiki. If you've ever read Helen McCullough's excellent examination of the historiography of the Gikeiki, the same thing went on with Tomoe (with the only real difference is that we know Yoshitsune existed-but huge chunks of the Gikeiki are completely fictional). You might want to check out Onna No Chusei, Genpei Soranki No Josei, Jinbutsu Nihon No Joseishi, and Yokokyu Zakki-they examine these different works. So Tomoe pretty much was just dropped into the Heike-but the story was so compelling later chroniclers fleshed out her backstory.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've been meaning to read McCullough's "Yoshitsune" for a long time and haven't gotten around to it, like so many other things.

That's really fascinating.. and exciting that so much is known about which sources introduce which elements. Thanks so much for sharing all of that!
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