Kakuta Haruo's Workshop ---Decoding Japan---

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Location: Sakai, Osaka, Japan

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Izu Sea Forces (2)

Shimizu Yasuhide (1532-1591) was one of 5 chief retainers under Hojo Ujiyasu (1515-1571), Ise Shinkuro’s grandson. The five chief retainers used different colors of banners; yellow, red, blue, white, and black. Ysuhide’s banners were in a white color. The Shimizu Family had been based in Kanoyazaki Castle, and Yasuhide was additionally stationed at Shimoda Castle in 1588 or 1589 to build up a defense against Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598). Shimoda Port was one of the most important ports along the Eastern Sea Region, and played an important role even at the end of the Edo Period. Yasuhide was the number 1 among the Izu Sea Forces. In 1590, Shimoda Castle was attacked by Hideyoshi’s navy; which was composed of the troop of 2,500 of Chosokabe Motochika (1538-1599), the troop of 1,500 of Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600), the troop of 1,300 of Wakisaka Yasuharu (1554-1626), and more. Yasuhide surrendered the castle and gave in on April the 23rd, after holding it for over 50 days with the troop of 600.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Izu Sea Forces (1)

The Izu Peninsula almost solely composed Izu Province, along with other tiny islands. It had many headlands and coves, and seemed like a smaller version of Kii Province, which lay along the southern coast of the Kii Peninsula. As Kii Province had sea people, so did Izu Province. During the Warring States Period, those sea people were organized as sea forces by the Hojo Clan. So, the Izu Sea Forces were sometimes called Hojo Sea Forces. After the collapse of the clan, those sea forces all returned to fishing or farming. Here, let me introduce two of the several families which belonged to the Izu Sea Forces. The Shimizu Family’s ancestry is not clear. Ise Shinkuro (1432-1519), who would be called Hojo Soun after his death, moved from Kyoto to Suruga Province in 1469, established himself as the lord of Kosokuji Castle in 1487, and formed a small but independent domain around the castle. In 1491, he unified Izu Province. The Shimizu Family was presumed to be composed of Shinkuro’s vassal and a local powerful family through marriage or something.

The Chiga Sea Forces (3)

When Ieyasu fought Sekigahara War against the Toyotomi Clan in 1600, the Chiga Sea Forces fought against Kuki Sea Forces and drove them out of Chita Peninsula in Owari Province. After Ieyasu’s victory of the war, the family settled at Morozaki, the southernmost tip of the peninsula. When Tokugawa Yoshinao (1600-1650), Ieyasu’s 9th son, moved to Owari Province and started the Owari Tokugawa Family, one of the three most important branch family of the Tokugawa Clan, the Chiga Family became a vassal of Yoshinao, and was appointed as the commissioner for the sea forces.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Chiga Sea Forces (2)

The name Ochi first appeared in a written text in 767. Ochi Mochitada (?-?) fought against Fujiwara Sumitomo (?-941), the first pirate king in Japan, and was conferred as a local noble man in 948. All in all, The Ochi Clan was a sea people, and was in contact with Kumano Sea People. It was quite possible for a member of the clan to move further east to Shima Province and settle there. One branch family of the Ochi Clan moved to Chiga Bay in Shima Province, and started calling themselves Chiga. They were under the hegemony of the Kitabatake Clan in Ise Province. They attacked the Kuki Family with 6 other samurai families in Shima Province, and drove the Kuki Family out of the province. However, during and after Oda Nobunaga’s invasion of Ise Province, they faced the counterattacks of Kuki Yoshitaka (1542-1600), and, this time, it was they who were driven out of the province. The Chiga Family flew to Mikawa Province, which was on the opposite side of Ise Bay, by 1570. After Nobunaga’s death in 1582, Chiga Shigechika (?-?) was ordered by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) to guard Mikawa Bay, and was appointed as a commissioner for Tokugawa Sea Forces. It means he had become Ieyasu’s vassal by the time. In 1590, Ieyasu was ordered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) to move to Edo. The Chiga Family followed Ieyasu, and moved to Misaki, Miura Peninsula, Sagami Province. The peninsula was located at the entrance to Edo Bay.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Chiga Sea Forces (1)

The Chiga Family used to be a branch family of the Ochi Clan in Iyo Province. According to one legend, the Ochi Clan’s ancestor, Ochi Miko (?-?), was a grandson of Emperor Korei (?-?), a legendary 7th-generation emperor. Miko’s mother, Waki Hime (?-?), had been picked up from a boat from Yue Province, China, by a fisherman named Goro Tayu (?-?). A Chinese character “yue” can be used as one of several ways to represent Japanese “ochi.” Another more fantastic legend tells us that Ochi Masumi (?-?), who was a master of archery, fought against invaders from Baekje (18 BC-660 AD), Korea, by order of Emperor Suiko (554-628). The invaders came with an ironman as their general. Masumi only just killed him by shooting his only weak point, the bottom of his foot. Some invaders surrendered to Masumi, and became fishermen in the Western Seto Inland Sea. So, all the fishermen there obeyed the Ochi Clan. A third legend gives us another international account of the clan’s character. Ochi Morioki (?-?) took part in Battle of Baekgang in 663, and had got a boy, Tamazumi (?-?), by a Chinese woman there. He also had an elder boy, Tamaoki (?-?), in Japan. Tamazumi later came to Japan, his father’s homeland, from Yue Province, China, and met Tamaoki in Namba, the nearest sea port from the Heian-kyo Capital. Another scratch legend says that the Ochi Clan was descendants of Xu Fu (255 BC-?). In 210 BC, during Qin Dynasty, Xu Fu went on his second voyage to search for medicine of immortality in the east, only never to return. Some, both in China and in Japan, believe he landed in Japan. One of his supposed landing spot was Kumano. You can easily guess that the legendary story was brought to the Ochi Clan by Kumano Sea People.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

The Ohama Sea Forces

     The Ohama Family was a pirate family, based in Ohama, Toshi County, Shima Province.  Kagetaka (1540-1597) owned an “atakebune,” a big warship at the time, and held naval hegemony in Ise Bay.  However, his provincial lord, the Kitabatake Clan, lost to Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), and Kagetaka himself was chased out of the bay.

     Kagetaka and his atakebune were employed by Takeda Shingen (1521-1573) in 1571.  Among Takeda’s sea forces, only Kagetaka owned an atakebune.  After the Takeda Clan collapsed in 1582, he was re-employed by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616).  When Ieyasu moved to Kanto in 1590, Kagetaka followed him, and was stationed in Misaki, Miura County, Sagami Province.  His residence was about today’s Honzui-ji Temple.  He couldn’t live long enough to enter the Battle of Sekigahara, the most important decisive battle at the end of Warring States Period. 

The Mukai Sea Forces (6)

     In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) was transferred from Mikawa, Totomi, Suruga, Kai and Shinano Provinces in Tokai and Tozan Regions to Musashi, Sagami, Awa, Kazusa, Shimousa, Hitachi, Kozuke and Shimotsuke Provinces in Kanto Region by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598).  Whether it was a promotion or a demotion, Ieyasu had to accept the radical deal and took the risk of moving to unfamiliar region.  So did his vassals.

     Mukai Masatsuna (1556-1624) moved to Misaki, Miura County, Sagami Province, which lay at the eastern side of the mouth of Edo Bay.

     In 1597, Masatsuna’s son, Tadakatsu (1582-1641) started serving Tokugawa Hidetada (1579-1632), Ieyasu’s son and the second shogun.  Tadakatsu built his own residence at Horie, Katsushika County, Shimousa Province (near today’s Tokyo Disney Land).

     In 1665, Mukai Masaoki (?-?), one of Tadakatsu’s sons, was temporarily working in Sunpu Castle in shifts.  He visited the vestige of Mochibune Castle, recalled his great-grandfather, Masashige (1519-1579), and built a memorial stone monument on September the 19th, the anniversary of Tokugawa’s killing of Masashige.

Friday, October 07, 2016

The Mukai Sea Forces (5)

     In 1583, Mukai Masatsuna (1556-1624) successfully attacked Suzuki Danjuro (?-?), a vassal of the Hojo Clan’s, and won his head, although Masatusna himself was wounded by an arrow.  This exploit brought him his first certificate of military merit from Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616).

     In 1584, when the Battle of Komaki and Nagakune was fought between Ieyasu and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598), linking in with the battle, Masatsuna fought against Hideyoshi’s navy, Kuki Sea Forces.  Amazingly, he won a fight in Ohama Bay, Shima Province, and this victory brought him a nationwide reputation as a pirate.

     A document dated February the 14th, 1590, wrote, “Tokugawa Ieyasu took a ship, Kuni-ichi-maru (literally, the Province First; a kind of Navy Force One), which Mukai Masatsuna was taking care of, from Shimizu Port to Gamahara Port, and stayed in Nakakubo.”  It means he had been appointed as a magistrate of the lordly ship of the Tokugawa Clan.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Mukai Sea Forces (4)

     On March the 11th, 1582,  Takeda Katasuyori (1546-1582) was, however, forced into a corner to commit suicide at the foot of Mt. Temmoku, attacked by the allied forces of the Oda and Tokugawa Clans and betrayed by Kiso Yoshimasa (1540-1595), Katsuyori's brother-in-law, Anayama Nobuyuki (1541-1582), a relative of Katsuyuki’s, Oyamada Nobushige (1539-1582), and others.

     Now that Mukai Masatsuna (1556-1624) lost his lord, he became masterless samurai.  It was Honda Shigetsuna (1529-1596) who persuaded Masatsuna to be re-employed (re-re-employed, as Mukai Family) by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616), whose army killed Masatsuna’s father and elder brother.  Ieyasu was busy building his own sea forces to face up to those of the Hojo Clan.