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Then, in the Daiei era (1521-1528), the Miyoshi,
vassals of the Hosokawa, came upon the scene in Awa. From 1470 to
1573, the province of Tosa was governed by the Ichijo, but, in the
latter year, Motochika, head of the Chosokabe, one of the seven
vassal families of the Ichijo, usurped the province, and then
received orders from Oda Nobunaga to conquer the other three
provinces of the island in the interests of Nobunaga's son. Motochika
obeyed, but on the death of Nobunaga and his son he constituted
himself master of Shikoku until Hideyoshi deprived him of all save
Tosa. From 1156 to 1581 the Kono family held the province of Iyo, but
there is nothing of historical interest in their career.

THE DAIMYO IN KYUSHU

Connected with Kyushu are the families of Shoni, Otomo, Ryuzoji,
Kikuchi and Shimazu. The term "shoni" originally signified
vice-governor. Its first bearer was Muto Sukeyori (Fujiwara), who
received the commission of Dazai no shoni from Minamoto Yoritomo.
Subsequently it became a family name, and the Shoni are found
fighting against the Mongol invaders; stoutly supporting the Southern
Court; passing over to the side of the Ashikaga, and losing their
places in history after the suicide of Tokihisa (1559), who had
suffered repeated defeats at the hands of the Ryuzoji.

The Otomo family was a branch of the Fujiwara. One of its members,
Nakahara Chikayoshi, received from Minamoto Yoritomo the office of
high constable of the Dazai-fu, and to his son, Yoshinao, was given
the uji of Otomo, which, as the reader knows, belonged originally to
Michi no Omi, a general of the Emperor Jimmu. In Kyushu, the Otomo
espoused the cause of the Northern Court, and made themselves masters
of Buzen, Bungo, Chikuzen, Chikugo, Hizen, and Higo. In 1396, the
head of the family--Chikayo--held the office of tandai of Kyushu.
Yoshishige, commonly called Sorin (1530-1587), fought successfully
with the Kikuchi and the Akizuki, and the closing years of his life
were devoted to a futile struggle against the Shimazu, the Ryuzoji,
and the Akizuki. He escaped disaster by obtaining succour from
Hideyoshi, but the Otomo domain was reduced to the single province of
Bungo.

The Ryuzoji first appear in history as vassals of the Shoni, under
whose banner they fought against the Otomo, in 1506. Subsequently
they became independent and established a stronghold in Hizen, which
province was granted to them in fief by Hideyoshi.

The Kikuchi, a branch of the Fujiwara, held office in Kyushu from the
tenth century. They are chiefly noteworthy for their gallant defence
of the cause of the Southern Court. After many vicissitudes the
family disappeared from history in the middle of the sixteenth
century.

The ancestor of the Shimazu family was Tadahisa, an illegitimate son
of Minamoto Yoritomo. His mother, to escape the resentment of
Yoritomo's wife, Masa, fled to Kyushu, and Tadahisa, having been
named governor of Satsuma, proceeded thither, in 1196, and by
conquest added to it the two provinces, Hyuga and Osumi. The Shimazu
family emerged victorious from all campaigns until Hideyoshi in
person took the field against them, as will be presently related.*

*The family is now represented by Prince Shimazu.

THE O-U REGION

The 0-U region (Mutsu-Dewa) was the home of many septs which fought
among themselves for supremacy. Of these the most influential were
the Mogami of Yamagata, the Date of Yonezawa, and the Ashina of Aizu.
In the extreme north were the Nambu who, however, lived too remote
from the political centres to occupy historical attention. The Date
maintained friendly relations with the Ashikaga, and Harumune was
nominated tandai of Oshu by the shogun Yoshiharu, of whose name one
ideograph (haru) was given to the Date chief. The family attained its
greater distinction in the time of Masamune (1566-1636), and was
fortunate in being able to stand aloof from some of the internecine
strife of the sixteenth century. Nevertheless, the region was
sufficiently disturbed. Thus, the Tsugaru and the Nambu struggled in
the north, while the Date, further north, shattered the power of the
Nikaido, the Nihonmatsu, the Ashina, and the Tamura, or fought less
decisively against the Satake (of Hitachi), and in Ushu (Dewa) the
Mogami were confronted by the Uesugi of Echigo.

DATE MASAMUNE

The most renowned of the Date family was Masamune, who to great
military skill added artistic instincts and considerable poetic
ability. Tradition has handed down some incidents which illustrate
the ethics of that time as well as the character of the man. It is
stated that Masamune came into possession of a scroll on which were
inscribed a hundred selected poems copied by the celebrated Fujiwara
Ietaka. Of this anthology Masamune was much enamoured, for the sake
alike of its contents and of its calligraphy. But learning
accidentally that the scroll had been pawned to the merchant from
whom he had obtained it, he instituted inquiries as to its owner, and
ultimately restored the scroll to him with the addition of five gold
ryo. The owner was a knight-errant (ronin) named Imagawa Motome, who
thereafter entered Masamune's service and ultimately rose to be a
general of infantry (ashigaru). The sympathy which taught Masamune to
estimate the pain with which the owner of the scroll must have parted
with it was a fine trait of character. Another incident in this
remarkable man's career happened at an entertainment where he
accidentally trod on the robe of one Kanematsu, a vassal of the
Tokugawa. Enraged by an act of carelessness which amounted almost to
a deliberate insult, Kanematsu struck Masamune, A commotion at once
arose, the probable outcome being that Masamune would return the blow
with his sword. But he remained pertly cool, making no remark except
that he had been paid for his want of care, and that, at any rate,
Kanematsu was not an adversary worthy of his resentment.

THE FIVE CENTRES

Among the welter of warring regions glanced at above, five sections
detach themselves as centres of disturbance. The first is the Court
in Kyoto and the Muromachi Bakufu, where the Hosokawa, the Miyoshi,
and the Matsunaga deluged the streets with blood and reduced the city
to ashes. The second is the Hojo of Odawara, who compassed the
destruction of the kubo at Koga and of the two original Uesugi
families. The third is Takeda of Kai, who struggled on one side with
the Uesugi of Echigo and on the other with the Imagawa of Suruga. The
fourth is Oda Nobunaga, who escorted the shogun to the capital. And
the fifth is the great Mori family, who, after crushing the Ouchi and
the Amako, finally came into collision with the armies of Oda under
the leadership of Hideyoshi.

ENGRAVING: "EMA" (Pictures Painted on Wood, Especially of Horses,
Hung up in the Temple as Motive Offerings)

ENGRAVING: ODA NOBUNAGA



CHAPTER XXXIV

NOBUNAGA, HIDEYOSHI, AND IEYASU

ODA NOBUNAGA

WHEN the Taira sept was shattered finally at Dan-no-ura, a baby
grandson of Kiyomori was carried by its mother to the hamlet of
Tsuda, in Omi province. Subsequently this child, Chikazane, was
adopted by a Shinto official of Oda, in Echizen, and thus acquired
the name of Oda. For generations the family served uneventfully at
the shrine in Omi, but in the disturbed days of the Ashikaga shoguns,
the representative of the eighth generation from Chikazane emerged
from the obscurity of Shinto services and was appointed steward
(karo) of the Shiba family, which appointment involved removal of his
residence to Owari. From that time the fortunes of the family became
brighter. Nobuhide, its representative at the beginning of the
sixteenth century, acquired sufficient power to dispute the Imagawa's
sway over the province of Mikawa, and sufficient wealth to contribute
funds to the exhausted coffers of the Court in Kyoto.

This man's son was Nobunaga. Born in 1534, and destined to bequeath
to his country a name that will never die, Nobunaga, as a boy, showed
much of the eccentricity of genius. He totally despised the canons of
the time as to costume and etiquette. One of his peculiarities was a
love of long swords, and it is related that on a visit to Kyoto in
his youth he carried in his girdle a sword which trailed on the
ground as he walked. Rough and careless, without any apparent
dignity, he caused so much solicitude to his tutor and guardian,
Hirate Masahide, and showed so much indifference to the latter's
remonstrances, that finally Masahide had recourse to the faithful
vassal's last expedient--he committed suicide, leaving a letter in
which the explanation of his act was accompanied by a stirring appeal
to the better instincts of his pupil and ward. This proved the
turning-point in Nobunaga's career. He became as circumspect as he
had previously been careless, and he subsequently erected to the
memory of his brave monitor a temple which may be seen to this day by
visitors to Nagoya.

It is frequently said of Nobunaga that his indifference to detail and
his lack of patience were glaring defects in his moral endowment. But
that accusation can scarcely be reconciled with facts. Thus, when
still a young man, it is related of him that he summoned one of his
vassals to his presence but, giving no order, allowed the man to
retire. This was repeated with two others, when the third, believing
that there must be something in need of care, looked about
attentively before retiring, and observing a piece of torn paper on
the mats, took it up and carried it away. Nobunaga recalled him,
eulogized his intelligence, and declared that men who waited
scrupulously for instructions would never accomplish much. The
faculties of observation and initiation were not more valued by
Nobunaga than those of honesty and modesty. It is recorded that on
one occasion he summoned all the officers of his staff, and showing
them a sword by a famous maker, promised to bestow it upon the man
who should guess most correctly the number of threads in the silk
frapping of the hilt. All the officers wrote down their guesses with
one exception, that of Mori Rammaru.



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