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How could Tokugawa win with only 10% of Japan's soldiers ?

 
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Lugbar
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: How could Tokugawa win with only 10% of Japan's soldiers ? Reply with quote
If we accept that the number of soldiers depends from a daimyo’s wealth, with 2.5M koku of a total country wealth of 26M koku, Tokugawa and his direct retainer’s could only muster 10% of Japan’s soldiers in 1600. Well that can mean only one thing, Ieyasu convinced other clans to fight for him and/or convinced others not to fight against him. To be honest with his skills, he was so successful that (if we take away Ii Naomasa and Honda Tadakatsu) most Tokugawa retainers did not even have to fight during the campaign !

When Hideyoshi died in 1598, he left the power to his 5 wealthiest retainers, the Tairo: Tokugawa, Mori, Ukita, Maeda and Uesugi.
If any of these five would have tried to take the power, the four others would have united against him. That was the safeguard of Toyotomi’s family. But the one that was nominated chief of government and replaced Hideyoshi in his Fushimi castle was Tokugawa Ieyasu. It gave him plenty of opportunity to take decisions in the name of the Toyotomi and to ask allegiance to him as head of the Toyotomi government. Even if this infuriated many, including the chief of the Toyotomi administration Ishida Mitsunari, it ensured him the allegiance of many Toyotomi smaller retainers, without him claiming the power for himself.

The death of Maeda Toshiie in 1599 changed the balance of power among the Tairo. Challenged by heritage claims, his son Maeda Toshinaga was in a difficult position. Advised by the Hosokawa, he decided to get under Tokugawa’s protection. From this point on, the other Tairo had to decide whether they submit also to Tokugawa or challenge him.

Uesugi Kagekatsu moved first and challenged Tokugawa’s authority as chief of Japanese government. Tokugawa Ieyasu responded by an appeal to all of Japanese retainers of Toyotomi to fight against this rebel ! Most of the smaller daimyo responded positively to his request (even the Shimazu or the Otani for instance). Many smaller Toyotomi retainers came along Tokugawa to the East, among which old retainers of the Oda (Ikeda, Hosokawa, Hori …), historical retainers of the Toyotomi (Nakamura, Asano, Kuroda, Fukushima,… ), joined by some opportunist (Date,…), and a few that really hated the Toyotomi (Mogami,…). Tokugawa troops and their allies departed from the Toyotomi capital, Osaka, and left hostages inside the Toyotomi fortress, as should be done by Toyotomi retainers.

Ukita and Mori did not show up. They had to take a decision, either support Uesugi or also join Tokugawa. That’s where Ishida Mitsunari intervenes. With the vacuum created by the departure of Tokugawa from Osaka, he launches a counter-appeal against Tokugawa, stating that Ieyasu is the rebel against Toyotomi’s government. He then frenetically convinces any daimyo that has not yet departed to the East, the Otani, the Shimazu, the Chosokabe, the Oda and also… Kobayakawa Hideaki. Where does Kobayakawa fit in this story ? Well he is technically a Mori. Effectively Kobayakawa Takagake, his adoption father is the uncle of Mori Terumoto. He is also a nephew and adopted son of Hideyoshi, which gives him more opportunities than others inside the Toyotomi family.

The fight between the Tairo now engages all of Japan and everybody has to choose his side. The initial fights are long and difficult for the now called Western Army with troops sent all around the capital area to conquer the fortresses controlled by the East (Fushimi, Anotsu, Tanabe). On the contrary, the first move from the East results in just a couple of days to the fall of the strong Gifu and Inuyama castles. That first Eastern success creates a series of turncoats in favor of the East (Kyogoku in Otsu, most of the daimios around Gifu) Still even with these betrayals, the troops supporting and fighting Tokugawa are almost equal.

So who decides Tokugawa’s victory ?
In fact, the result of Sekigahara is entirely in the hands of the Mori. By not intervening and betraying, the Mori/Kobayakawa troops have decided the day. When someone looks at the Sekigahara battle map, one can only be surprised how risky the position of Tokugawa was. He was outflanked by the Mori/Kobayakawa, but they did not join the Western Army. Even after the battle the numerous troops from Mori Terumoto have abandoned Osaka castle without a fight.

Unfortunately after the war, they discovered that Tokugawa is not as generous as Toyotomi was. Kobayakawa dies and loses his lands in 1602 and the Mori are stripped from 2/3 of their domain immediately after the war.
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Drakken
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Let's say you are a daimyo of small-to-middle power and wealth. The old sandal-farmer-to-Regent generalissimo dies of ripe old age with only a kid barely able to wipe himself as successor. You have to choose to put your weight in behind either of two candidates to be the strongest contender to dominate the regency council and ultimately the whole land, and by that let your clan climb up the daimyo food chain and prosper.

The first, is a bigger, but not too big daimyo who, time and time and time again in the past, kept both his head and his power base against the biggest badasses around, enough to gain their grudging respect as a fellow badass survivor against the worst of odds : Imagawa Yoshimoto, Oda Nobunaga, Takeda Shingen, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and so on. The guy is proven in combat, controls the whole of Kanto and manages it well, has a good following of loyal retainers and connections, and has the reputation of being an effective leader of men. However, this person has big ambitions and has waited a LONNNNNNNG time for his sun to shine to become the top man in the Realm. Him winning will mean the Toyotomi clan - and any clan he dislikes or believes stayed neutral - is either set aside or utterly destroyed, and the land (including yours) might be reshuffled among his followers.

The second, is a bean-counter. And widely perceived as a snitch. And sleeps with the kid's MILF. And has next to no experience commanding in battle. And has a poor judgment of character and a divisive, holier-than-thou personality. And has the charisma to make anyone around him want to strangle him on the spot, but that would have the risk of having him replaced by someone more competent and more able to curtail them. And says that everyone ought to be a faithful servant to that little kid because the crazed-old Taiko said so before croaking, on the pain of a everlasting curse of the Kami. That said, if he wins it means that other candidate is destroyed, and at least the statu quo remains until the kid grows to become a man.

Given that choosing the wrong side might lead to you losing your head in the best, and seeing your entire clan wiped out in the worst, who would you pick?

This is why, ultimately, Ieyasu won. On paper, anyone BUT Mitsunari commanding would have crushed Ieyasu at Sekigahara. But he couldn't win a battle where he had both the numerical advantage AND the higher ground because enough followers, including a good part of the Mori clan, weren't sure that having Mitsunari as the top dog rather than Ieyasu was such a good idea.
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Tornadoes28
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Drakken wrote:
Let's say you are a daimyo of small-to-middle power and wealth. The old sandal-farmer-to-Regent generalissimo dies of ripe old age with only a kid barely able to wipe himself as successor. You have to choose to put your weight in behind either of two candidates to be the strongest contender to dominate the regency council and ultimately the whole land, and by that let your clan climb up the daimyo food chain and prosper.

The first, is a bigger, but not too big daimyo who, time and time and time again in the past, kept both his head and his power base against the biggest badasses around, enough to gain their grudging respect as a fellow badass survivor against the worst of odds : Imagawa Yoshimoto, Oda Nobunaga, Takeda Shingen, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and so on. The guy is proven in combat, controls the whole of Kanto and manages it well, has a good following of loyal retainers and connections, and has the reputation of being an effective leader of men. However, this person has big ambitions and has waited a LONNNNNNNG time for his sun to shine to become the top man in the Realm. Him winning will mean the Toyotomi clan - and any clan he dislikes or believes stayed neutral - is either set aside or utterly destroyed, and the land (including yours) might be reshuffled among his followers.

The second, is a bean-counter. And widely perceived as a snitch. And sleeps with the kid's MILF. And has next to no experience commanding in battle. And has a poor judgment of character and a divisive, holier-than-thou personality. And has the charisma to make anyone around him want to strangle him on the spot, but that would have the risk of having him replaced by someone more competent and more able to curtail them. And says that everyone ought to be a faithful servant to that little kid because the crazed-old Taiko said so before croaking, on the pain of a everlasting curse of the Kami. That said, if he wins it means that other candidate is destroyed, and at least the statu quo remains until the kid grows to become a man.

Given that choosing the wrong side might lead to you losing your head in the best, and seeing your entire clan wiped out in the worst, who would you pick?

This is why, ultimately, Ieyasu won. On paper, anyone BUT Mitsunari commanding would have crushed Ieyasu at Sekigahara. But he couldn't win a battle where he had both the numerical advantage AND the higher ground because enough followers, including a good part of the Mori clan, weren't sure that having Mitsunari as the top dog rather than Ieyasu was such a good idea.


I love your explanation. And you are probably right that a stronger leader than Mitsunari may have crushed Ieyasu at Sekigahara. So if that had been the case, that there was a much stronger person leading the Toyotomi rather than Mitsunari, than Ieyasu, being the smart general that he was, would not have instigated the final confrontations that led to Sekigahara. At least not in that fashion or time frame.
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mktanaka
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ieyasu played his hand perfectly and is why he was the only one who had smile on his face on his death bed and not Nobunaga or Hideyoshi. (oh, having the ability to perform nightly in his advanced age with his concubines helped in that respect as well, but in addition…) He waited for the perfect time to rise up and had enough time to set systems up so others could not rise on him or his family…sure, Hidetada almost ^%$# it all up being late, but in end, all pieces fell into place and he had his storybook ending he planned for much of his life.

As far as a different leader of the “Western Army” would result in drastically different outcome, that is as many topics here (and elsewhere) can be an endless “what if’s”..
Sure, if I was on the West side, would rather have Sanada Masayuki be supreme commander, Masayuki did not have strong ties to Hideyoshi to try to get Daimyo to join the west or not turncoat on the West’s side. Masayuki did his job by playing with Hidetada like a puppet master. Mitsunari was the only one strongly lobbying to oppose Tokugawa actions, and kept knocking on doors of key Daimyo to not let Ieyasu proceed in his actions..
Why so? Maybe he was only one with his blood flowing in Hideyori’s veins.. (that would be a good reason)
To state outcome would have easily be different with another supreme commander is just personal opinions..(that we all have)

As far as the strong ties to Hideyoshi… The Toyotomi House was a house of cards…like any strong Daimyo really cared about Hideyori?? Add the fact Hideyori had no Toyotomi blood flowing inside him where would the strong ties be from?

The rift between Nene/Yodo was never going to be an easy one to mend, but was only way the House could survive… and without Nene’s blessings towards Hideyori, the house was destined to failure.
Kobayakawa’s defection to Ieyasu in part was made due to Nene’s urging after seeing the fate of Hidetsugu and his family. (what would you do if you were Kobayakawa? I know what I would do)

In hindsight, I feel Hidetsugu was a key link for Hideyori to succeed even if trust in Hidetsugu was needed to hold the reins until Hideyori could take over… a leap of faith was needed on Hideyoshi/Yodo’s part, but would be only path to have taken at time what with Ieyasu waiting for the Toyotomi House to weaken year by year after Hideyoshi’s death.

The bond quickly loosens up when person is dead and gone… One can argue the bond is there when it self serves one’s interest.. and goes out with bathtub water when it does not… Hideyoshi’s bond to Nobunaga lasted until there was no longer a need for those ties to be there… but is this a surprise to anyone here on these boards?
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RollingWave
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
To be fair, this was all a uber brilliant plan for the Mori clan to become the ultimate winners 250 years later Laughing

Mitsunari have been in the Toyotomi military camp for a long time, and can certainly command, granted, with dubious records. (like that he couldn't take a castle guarded by a teenage girl in Kanto was probably a sign he shouldn't be in charge of a large army Just Kidding) then again, Ieyasu once decided it was a great idea to abandon the safety of one of the better built castle of the time, and instead to ride out and attack an army (that had already reached mythical status at the time and most opponents would just piss their pants and surrender against on sight.) 3 times his size. So both had some shaky records, but Ieyasu also had 30 years since that debacle to grow wiser.

Granted, the only worst commander than Mitsunari was unfortunately Mōri Terumoto, who pissed away a low hanging fruit chance of becoming the most powerful lord of Japan.
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