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He had also three
daughters; the first married to Okudaira Masanobu; the second to
Ikeda Terumasa, and the third to Asano Nagaakira.

EVENTS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE BATTLE OF SEKIGAHARA

The political complications that followed the death of the Taiko are
extremely difficult to unravel, and the result is not commensurate
with the trouble. Several annalists have sought to prove that Ieyasu
strenuously endeavoured to observe faithfully the oath of loyalty
made by him to Hideyoshi on the latter's death-bed. They claim for
him that until his hands were forced he steadfastly and faithfully
worked in the interests of Hideyoshi. But his acts do not lend
themselves to any such interpretation. The best that can be said of
him is that he believed himself to have been entrusted by the Taiko
with discretionary power to determine the expediency of Hideyori's
succession, and that he exercised that power in the interests of the
Tokugawa family, not of the Toyotomi.

Circumstances helped him as they do generally help great men. From
the time of the birth of the lady Yodo's second son, the official
world in Kyoto had been divided into two factions. The Hidetsugu
catastrophe accentuated the lines of division, and the Korean
campaign had a similar effect by affording a field for bitter rivalry
between the forces of Konishi Yukinaga, who belonged to the Yodo
faction, and Kato Kiyomasa, who was a protege of Hideyoshi's wife,
Yae. Further fuel was added to this fire of antagonism when the order
went forth that the army should leave Korea, for the Kato faction
protested against surrendering all the fruits of the campaign without
any tangible recompense, and the Konishi party insisted that the
Taiko's dying words must be obeyed implicitly. In this dispute,
Ishida Katsushige, the chief actor in the Hidetsugu tragedy, took a
prominent part. For, when in their capacity as belonging to the Board
of Five Administrators, Ishida and Asano Nagamasa were sent to Kyushu
to superintend the evacuation of the Korean peninsula, they, too,
fell into a controversy on the same subject. Ieyasu stood aloof from
both parties. His policy was to let the feud develop and to step in
himself at the supreme moment.

On the other hand, it was the aim of Ishida Katsushige to involve the
Tokugawa chief, thus compassing his downfall and opening an avenue
for the ascension of Ishida himself to the place of dictator. Allied
with Ishida in this plot was his colleague on the Board of Five
Administrators, Masuda Nagamori. Their method was to create enmity
between Ieyasu and Maeda Toshiiye, to whom the Taiko had entrusted
the guardianship of Hideyori and of the Osaka Castle. This design was
barely thwarted by the intervention of Hosokawa Tadaoki (ancestor of
the present Marquis Hosokawa). Ieyasu was well informed as to
Ishida's schemes on two other occasions; the first immediately
before, the second just after, the death of the Taiko. In each case
rumours of an armed outbreak were suddenly circulated in Fushimi for
the purpose of creating confusion such as might furnish an
opportunity to strike suddenly at Ieyasu. These essays failed in both
instances, and the Tokugawa chief, instead of retaliating by direct
impeachment of Ishida, applied himself to cementing close relations
with certain great daimyo by matrimonial alliances. Such unions had
been implicitly interdicted by the Taiko, and the procedure of Ieyasu
elicited a written protest from the boards of the Five Senior
Ministers and the Five Administrators. They threatened Ieyasu with
dismissal from the former board unless he furnished a satisfactory
explanation. This he declined to do and for some time a very strained
situation existed in Kyoto, an armed struggle being ultimately
averted by the good offices of the Three Middle Ministers.

It was evident, however, that the circumstances had become critical,
and it was further evident that, as long as Ishida Katsushige's
intrigues continued, a catastrophe might at any moment be
precipitated. Sensible of these things, a party of loyal men, spoken
of in history as the "seven generals"--Ikeda Terumasa (ancestor of
the present Marquis Ikeda); Kato Kiyomasa; Kuroda Nagamasa (son of
Kuroda Yoshitaka, and ancestor of the present Marquis Kuroda);
Fukushima Masanori, Asano Yukinaga (son of Asano Nagamasa and
ancestor of the present Marquis Asano); Hosokawa Tadaoki, and Kato
Yoshiaki (ancestor of the present Viscount Kato)--vowed to take
Ishida's life, while he was still in Osaka Castle, whither he had
gone (1599) to attend the death-bed of his friend, Maeda Toshiiye.
Ishida, finding himself powerless to resist such a combination after
the death of Maeda, took an extraordinary step; he appealed to the
protection of Ieyasu--that is to say, to the protection of the very
man against whom all his plots had been directed. And Ieyasu
protected him.

We are here confronted by a riddle which has never been clearly
interpreted. Why did Ishida seek asylum from Ieyasu whom he had
persistently intrigued to overthrow, and why did Ieyasu, having full
knowledge of these intrigues, grant asylum? Possibly an answer to the
former question can be furnished by the fact that Ishida was in sore
straits. Attending Maeda Toshiiye's death-bed, he had seen the
partisans of the deceased baron transfer their allegiance to Ieyasu
through the intervention of Hosokawa Tadaoki, and he had learned that
his own life was immediately threatened by the seven generals. Even
if he succeeded (which was very problematical) in escaping from Osaka
to his own castle of Sawa-yama, in Omi province, the respite could
have been but brief and such a step would have been equivalent to
abandoning the political arena. Only a very strong arm could save
him, and with consummate insight he may have appreciated the Tokugawa
chief's unreadiness to precipitate a crucial struggle by consenting
to his death.

But what is to be said of Ieyasu? Unwilling to admit that his
astuteness could ever have been at fault, some historians allege that
the Tokugawa chief saved Ishida's life with the deliberate purpose of
letting him discredit himself and his partisans by continued
intrigues. These annalists allege, in fact, that Ieyasu, acting on
the advice of Honda Masanobu, by whose profound shrewdness he was
largely guided, saved the life of Ishida in order that the latter's
subsequent intrigues might furnish a pretext for destroying Hideyori.
That, however, is scarcely conceivable, for Ishida had many powerful
confederates, and the direct outcome of the leniency shown by Ieyasu
on that occasion was an armed struggle from which he barely emerged
victorious. The truth seems to be that, for all his profound wisdom,
Ieyasu erred in this instance. Ishida Kotsushige outwitted him. For,
during the very days of his asylum in Fushimi, under the protection
of Ieyasu, Ishida opened secret communication with Uesugi Kagekatsu
and invited him to strike at the Tokugawa. Uesugi consented. It must
be observed that the character of Ishida has been portrayed for
posterity mainly by historians who were under Tokugawa influence.
Modern and impartial annalists are by no means so condemnatory in
their judgment of the man. In whatever arts of deception Ishida
excelled, Ieyasu was at least his equal; while in the matter of
loyalty to the Toyotomi family, Ishida's conduct compares favourably
with that of the Tokugawa leader; and if we look at the men who
attached themselves to Ishida's cause and fought by his side, we are
obliged to admit that he must have been highly esteemed by his
contemporaries, or, at any rate, that they recognized in him the
champion of Hideyori, at whose father's hands they had received such
benefits.

ORGANIZATION OF THE JAPANESE EMPIRE AT THE CLOSE OF THE SIXTEENTH
CENTURY

The realm of Japan was then held by 214 feudatories, each having an
annual income of at least 10,000 koku (omitting minor landowners).
These 214 estates yielded to their holders a total income of nearly
nineteen million koku, and of that aggregate the domains of the five
noblemen forming the Board of Senior Statesmen constituted one-third.
Tokugawa Ieyasu was the wealthiest. His domains in the eight
provinces forming the Kwanto yielded an income of 2,557,000 koku.
Next on the list came Mori Terumoto with 2,205,000 koku, and Uesugi
Kagekatsu with 1,200,000 koku. The latter two were partisans of
Ishida. But direct communication between their forces was difficult,
for while the Mori domains covered the nine provinces on the extreme
west of the main island, Uesugi's lay on the north of the Kwanto,
whence they stretched to the shore of the Japan Sea. Fourth and fifth
on the Board of Senior Statesmen were Maeda Toshiiye, whose fief
(835,000 koku) occupied Kaga and Etchu; and Ukita Hideiye (574,000
koku), whose castle stood at Oka-yama, in Bizen. All these, except
Maeda embraced the anti-Tokugawa cause of Ishida Katsushige, and it
thus becomes easy to understand the desire of Ishida to win over
Maeda Toshinaga, son of Toshiiye, to his camp. On the side of
Ieyasu's foes were also marshalled Shimazu Yoshihisa, feudal chief of
Satsuma (700,000 koku); Satake Yoshinobu of Hitachi province (545,700
koku); Konishi Yukinaga in Higo (200,000 koku), who was counted one
of the greatest captains of the era, and, nominally, Kohayakawa
Hideaki in Chikuzen (522,500 koku). With Ieyasu were the powerful
daimyo: Date Masamune of Sendai (580,000 koku); Kato Kiyomasa of
Kumamoto (250,000 koku); Hosokawa Tadaoki of Tango (230,000 koku);
Ikeda Terumasa of Mikawa (152,000 koku), and Kuroda Nagamasa of
Chikuzen (250,000 koku). This analysis omits minor names.

BATTLE OF SEKIGAHARA

The plan of campaign formed by Ishida and his confederates was that
Uesugi and Satake should attack the Kwanto from the north and the
east simultaneously, while Mori and Ukita should move against Fushimi
and occupy Kyoto. In May, 1600, Ieyasu went through the form of
requiring Uesugi to repair to Kyoto and explain his obviously
disaffected preparations. The reply sent by Uesugi was defiant.
Therefore, the Tokugawa chief proceeded to mobilize his own and his
allies' forces.



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