Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Shogun - Tokugawa Ieyasu 1579-1586

Suicide of the Elder Son

Ieyasu’s wife formed a relationship with her Chinese doctor, plotting with Shingen against her husband and his ally Nobunaga. Evidence of the plot reached Nobunaga and Nobuyasu was implicated. Nobunaga demanded of Ieyasu that he order his son to commit suicide. Ieyasu took his son into custody and had his wife killed.

Nobuyasu committed suicide on 5th October 1579, claiming that he was innocent of involvement in his mother’s plot. Ieyasu when informed of the death, asked what make of blade had killed his eldest son and, on being told Muramasa, replied
‘It was with a Muramasa blade that Abe Yashichi struck down my grandfather Kiyoyasu. And when I was a child at Miyagasaki in Suruga I cut myself with a sword by accident, and that was a Muramasa blade, too. And now my son is killed with one. Muramasa blades bode ill to our house. If any of you possess one he had better get rid of it.’[i]

The Downfall of Takeda

Hojo Ujimasa
In 1579 Takeda led an army of sixteen thousand against Ieyasu, who had marched into Suruga, to co-operate with Hojo. Ieyasu returned to Totomi and the skirmishing continued. The following year Ieyasu started besieging his former border fortress of Takatenjin, obtained by Takeda by deception. By the autumn of 1580 Ieyasu had prepared strong groundworks around the castle, which was situated in difficult mountainous country. Takeda was advised against attempting to relieve the siege.

By the following March some of the besieged tried to fight their way out of the castle, resulting in a general attack by Ieyasu’s besiegers. Takatenjin fell eight years after Takeda took it from Ieyasu’s men.

In December Takeda moved his capital to a castle near Nirasaki; his people had become unhappy with his rule; his carelessness in administrative matters and judicial decisions in direct contrast to his father’s rule, had led to general disenchantment.

Oda Nobutada
At the beginning of 1582 one Kiso Yoshimasa proffered his allegiance to Nobunaga. Takeda led an army against Kiso, but was unable to make any headway in the mountainous countryside. Nobunaga now asked Ieyasu and Hojo to take the field against Takeda. Nobunaga was engaged elsewhere, but his son Nobutada led the Oda men.
As the allied force moved into Takeda territory, the commanders of the forts defected to them[ii]. Out of a force of nearly twenty thousand Takeda was left with three thousand; even two of his uncles had left their posts, for safety in neighbouring provinces.

By March 1582 Nobunaga was able to join in the final attack on Takeda, whose new capital was insufficiently advanced to defend. None of Takeda’s friends and relatives attempted to support him, now that the hostile forces were closing in. Takeda’s men fled in great numbers and he was eventually left with immediate family and a few samurai. They were taken at Tago. The women were killed and Takeda, his son and three brothers committed seppuku.
After the Death of Nobunaga

In June 1582 Nobunaga was murdered by a vassal, whom he had insulted. Nobunaga’s son and heir died in the resultant fracas. Ieyasu had been invited by Nobunaga to visit and following a six day stay, Ieyasu was taking a leisurely tour in the environs of Kyoto, with a few retainers when he was informed of the death of his ally. He made his way back to Okazaki with his retainers, where he was informed that Hideyoshi had avenged Nobunaga’s death.
It was now that Ieyasu took control of Kai province after the lord there was killed in an uprising, after he had killed one of Ieyasu’s men, who had been sent offering free passage through Mikawa. This action displeased Hojo, who now took his army of fifty thousand, pitting them against Ieyasu’s seven thousand. Ieyasu’s generals outmanoeuvred Hojo’s men and Hojo’s brother Ujinori, one of Ieyasu’s hostages, opened negotiations between the two men, which resulted in Ieyasu keeping Kai and adding the province of Shinano. Hojo received Kazusa and Ujinori was married to one of Ieyasu’s daughters.

The succession to Nobunaga was fought without the need for Ieyasu’s intervention; he was too busy consolidating his new gains. He did however send his congratulations to Hideyoshi on his victory over his rival. Ieyasu was granted a promotion in Court ranks to the Upper Fourth and in 1584 a further promotion to Lower Third level.
Ieyasu was now Lord of five provinces; Totomi, Mikawa, Suruga, Kai and Shinano. Ieyasu allied himself with his neighbour Oda Nobuo in Owari to the west and his eastern neighbour was his son-in-law Hojo Ujinori. To the north was Hideyoshi, who offered Ieyasu a further two provinces if Ieyasu would serve him; Ieyasu declined. Hideyoshi then attempted to de-stabilise Nobuo, who appealed to his ally for help.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Hideyoshi was in the difficult position of being seen to act against the son of his deceased lord and was uncertain of the reliability of some of his allies. Hideyoshi was able to field an army of 25,000 in contrast to the 30,000 of Ieyasu and his allies.
Hideyoshi agreed to a subordinate making a flanking move behind Ieyasu, aiming at Okazaki. Ieyasu discovered the deception and marched on the enemy. The resulting battle of Komaki ended with 2,500 of Hideyoshi’s men dead to 590 of Ieyasu’s. Ieyasu returned to where the bulk of his army were camped.

The two armies were stalemated. On the 1st May Hideyoshi withdrew and invested Kaganoi in Nobuo’s province. Within six days he had overcome the garrison and turned his attention to another castle, which took a month to capture. His men overran Nobuo’s province. Nobuo responded to Hideyoshi’s peace offer eagerly, without reference to his ally.
Having disposed of Nobuo, Hideyoshi now made advances to Ieyasu, who agreed to allow his son O Gi Maru to be adopted by Hideyoshi[iii]. Hideyoshi then directed his energies to quashing more of his antagonists in Shikoku and then moved on Sasa Marinasa, a former Nobunaga general. Emerging from these disputes victorious, Hideyoshi was able to isolate Ieyasu.

Hideyoshi was happy to leave his most formidable antagonist isolated, but he attempted to subvert some of Ieyasu’s subordinates. He succeeded with Sanada[iv] and Ishikawa Kazumasa, one of the foremost councillors of the Tokugawa and a companion of Ieyasu in his childhood exile. Ishikawa’s defection, serious though it was, was not followed by any of his fellow councillors. Ieyasu merely commented

‘Ishikawa is disloyal to leave me, but we must not despise his military ability.’[v]
In the two years 1584 to 1586 the relationship between Hideyoshi and Ieyasu stayed stable, although Hideyoshi’s power continued to increase; he was named Kampaku in 1585, as he could not take the title of Shogun. Ieyasu refused to entertain the idea of meeting Hideyoshi in Kyoto. In January 1585 a deputation from the capital visited Ieyasu in Mikawa; where Ieyasu was hawking. The deputation followed him and were roundly told off.

‘He [Hideyoshi] can’t bring more than a hundred thousand men if he does come, and I have thirty or forty thousand. But he doesn’t know the country about here and I do. So if he risks it he’ll get the beating of his life. He seems to have forgotten Nagakude pretty quickly. And as for you, I advise you to make yourself scarce at once, or you will be in even greater danger.’[vi]
His unwelcome visitors departed post haste. A council of Ieyasu’s retainers had already advised him not to submit to Hideyoshi.

Hideyoshi proposed that Ieyasu marry his half-sister; Ieyasu laid down three conditions to the marriage which Hideyoshi accepted[vii]. The marriage changed nothing in the relationship between Hideyoshi and Ieyasu, who decided to strengthen his alliance with Hojo, visiting his province in March 1586.
Hideyoshi, about to deal with the Lord of Satsuma, now sent his mother to visit her daughter at Okazaki, effectively making her Ieyasu’s hostage, while Ieyasu met Hideyoshi at Osaka. If Ieyasu had not accepted the invitation Hideyoshi had an alternate plan to blockade Ieyasu; knowledge that Ieyasu presumably took into consideration when making his decision to finally submit to Hideyoshi.

‘If war breaks out again between us, well, you can never be absolutely certain of the result, since the unexpected so often happens. And then we must consider that it will mean more suffering for the people the longer it goes on, and what would the loss of my one life matter compared with the avoidance of suffering and death to so many innocent ones?’[viii]
Heroism or pragmatism? Ieyasu was a great pragmatist, so he submitted to Hideyoshi.

Sekigahara – Anthony Bryant, Osprey Publishing Ltd 1995

Samurai William – Giles Milton, Hodder & Stoughton 2002
The Maker of Modern Japan – AL Sadler, Charles E Tuttle Company 1983

Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun – Conrad Totman, Heian 1983

[i] Ibid
[ii] Apparently unusual in Japanese affairs
[iii] He was given the name Hashiba Hideyasu
[iv] A former supporter of Takeda Shingen
[v] The Maker of Modern Japan - Sadler
[vi] Ibid
[vii] His current heir was to succeed him, no matter how many other sons were born to Ieyasu, that he would inherit Ieyasu’s provinces and that his son and heir was not to be sent as a hostage.
[viii] The Maker of Modern Japan - Sadler

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Shogun - Tokugawa Ieyasu 1562-1579

Freeing the Family

Suruga Castle (reconstructed)
Matsudaira Nobuyasu, Ieyasu’s eldest son, was still held hostage by Ujizane, with his mother in Suruga. One of Ieyasu’s councillors insisted on joining his master’s son in captivity as it was not suitable that he should die alone.
Early in 1562 Ieyasu attacked Odono Nageratu’s fort of Kaminojo[i] killing Nageratu and seizing his two children. These two children Ieyasu offered to Ujizane in exchange for his wife and son; foolishly Ujizane accepted. Belatedly realising his mistake Ujizane had twelve of the remaining hostages killed and ordered Sekiguchi Chiginaga[ii] to commit suicide. This had the effect of strengthening the estrangement between Ieyasu and his wife. It was not long after this that Ieyasu changed his name from Motoyasu and became known as Ieyasu.

In the summer of 1564 Ieyasu turned his attention on Yoshida[iii], part of Mikawa still held by Ujizane. He did not succeed in capturing it, but managed instead to arrange for its cession to himself. For this Ieyasu had to give up hostages; his younger stepbrother Matsudaira Yasutoshi and the daughter of Sakai Tadatsugu, the new commandant of Yoshida castle. The remaining non-affiliated parts of the region re-aligned themselves with Ieyasu who was now in complete control of his fief of Mikawa.
Laying Foundations

The next three years saw Ieyasu make administrative changes in the running of the fief; appointing three Commissioners to take charge of the province’s affairs. The Commissioners worked under his direction and of his hereditary councillors: Ishikawa Kazumasu, Honda Masanobu (chief councillor), Sakai Shigetada and Sakakubara Tademasa.

Takeda Shingen
One of the great warriors of the age Takeda Harunobu, now a Zen monk called Archbishop Shingen and an ally of Ujizane’s, decided that Ujizane’s lands would match well with his own mountainous fief. He had his eldest son put to death and returned the son’s wife to her father, Ujizane.
Shingen proposed to Ieyasu that they join forces after a proposal to Ujizane to join forces and attack Ieyasu, a proposal Ujizane refused. Ieyasu and Shingen agreed that Ieyasu would take Totomi, while Shingen would have Suruga. Ujizane’s men fled before the onslaught of Shingen and Ieyasu’s troops. Shingen’s attack on Sumpu was thrown back by an ally of Ujizane’s, Hojo.

Ieyasu besieged Ujizane in Kakegawa; suggesting to Ujizane that if he surrendered Totomi to him then Ieyasu would in turn help Ujizane and Hojo regain the fief of Suruga[iv]. Ujizane agreed to Ieyasu’s proposal and retired to Kyoto, where he shone at football, but did not impress Nobunaga with his abilities as a daimyo. Around this time Shingen’s daughter was engaged to Nobunaga’s son, while Ieyasu’s son married Nobunaga’s daughter.
In July 1569 Shingen returned to Suruga, attacking Hojo and retook the province. Shingen also tried unsuccessfully to get one of Ieyasu’s dependents to attack his lord. This failure was followed by an assassination attempt, which again failed. In December the Emperor gave Ieyasu permission to resume the family name of Tokugawa, reaffirming Ieyasu’s connection with this honoured name and distinguishing his line from the many other Matsuidaras.  

At the beginning of 1570 Ieyasu moved his capital to Hikuma, in Totomi, which he renamed Hamamatsu, leaving Nobuyasu in charge of Okazaki. Ieyasu’s wife remained with her son; her violent temper and eccentricity making her a difficult companion.

Shogun Yoshiaki
The Shogun Yoshiaki, whose security and prosperity depended on Nobunaga, now felt comfortable enough to intrigue against his protector. He invited Takeda Shingen, Asai Nagamasa[v]  and Asakura Yoshikage[vi] to attack Nobunaga on all fronts, with the potential to cut his communications with his home province.
The Shogun was celebrating the completion of his palace; an event in Kyoto being attended by the court and great lords of the land. Ieyasu and Nobunaga met under the cover of these activities and left the city marching and taking two forts. Nobunaga was about to attack Asakura’s capital, when he heard that the Shogun had persuaded Asai to act against his brother-in-law. This decided Nobunaga to retreat, which was covered by Ieyasu and Hideyoshi.

Nobunaga attacked the fortress of Yokoyama castle, and the combined forces of Asai and Asakura met with Nobunaga’s men, combined with Ieyasu’s. The battle of Anegawa was won by Nobunaga and his ally, Ieyasu’s men contributing largely to the victory, which produced a tally of 3,170 heads[vii].
Returning home Ieyasu’s attention was taken by Shingen, who now concentrated his efforts on attacking Kakagawa, near Hamamatsu. Ieyasu’s ally Nobunaga was still being threatened by Asai and Asakura and was having problems with the Monto Buddhists among others. Help was unlikely to come from that quarter. Thus encouraged, in November 1570 Asai and Asakura marched towards the capital, as Nobunaga battled with turbulent priests.

By the following August Nobunaga had thrown his forces around the Hieizan monasteries on Mount Hiei, intending to destroy them. Both the Emperor and the Shogun asked Nobunaga to cease his attack, but he ignored the requests and on 20th October 1571 attacked and set fire to all the monasteries on the mountain. Several thousand monks were put to death. There was at least approving voice raised for the Jesuit fathers wrote

‘On the feast of St Michael, 1571, God punished this great enemy.’[viii]
Shingen had meanwhile made an alliance with Hojo, freeing him to move westward. Hojo drove out Ujizane, who took refuge with Ieyasu. Shingen planned to keep the peace with Nobunaga until after he had overcome Ieyasu; in October 1572 Shingen marched his men to Totomi. Nobunaga sent Ieyasu reinforcements as Shingen’s men overran Totomi. The battle of Mikata-ga-hara was fought ¾ mile from Hamamatsu, against the advice of Nobunaga’s generals.

Some of Ieyasu’s men bolted under the force of Shingen’s attack and in response Shingen ordered a general attack. Ieyasu retired into Hamamatsu and overnight his men attacked Shingen’s forces, who retired, without investing Hamamatsu. In January the following year Shingen was back investing the fortress of Noda, in Mikawa province. The commander had to surrender after a month of defence, as the supplies had run out. Shingen died in the April leaving his son Katsuyori to defend his father’s gains.
Continuing Hostilities

Takeda Katsuyori
Takeda Katsuyori was not as subtle a strategist as his father Shingen. Ieyasu said of him

‘A brave warrior but unadaptable and with only one strong point, and so he was undone.’[ix]
In mid 1571 Ieyasu attacked the Takeda border fortress of Nagashino and took it within a month. Former supporters of Ieyasu, who had been forced to change allegiance by Shingen, were in charge of a neighbouring fortress and they now fired on Takeda’s men who made up the garrison of the fortress of Tsukude.

Takeda executed the Okudaira hostages upon hearing the news, following this up with a raid on Totomi. Finding Ieyasu’s territory too well defended; Takeda then attacked a fort of Nobunaga’s, which was surrendered to him. He followed this up by storming the castle of Takatenjin[x].
At this point one of Ieyasu’s most trusted men, the Daikan[xi] of Mikawa Oga Yashiro, suggested to Takeda that he lead an army against Okazaki and Oga would open the gates to Takeda. It is believed that Oga disliked Noboyasu intensely, as did a number of Tokugawa retainers[xii]. Oga’s plans were betrayed to Noboyasu, who executed Oga’s family and had Oga killed in Hamamatsu[xiii].

In 1573 Nobunaga effectively ended the power of the Ashakaga Shoguns, although Yoshiaki, who become a Buddhist monk, did not die until 1597.
In 1575 Takeda laid siege to Nagashino[xiv] and on 28th June his fifteen thousand men were overwhelmed by the joint forces of Nobunaga and Ieyasu, whose armies numbered thirty-eight thousand. As he preferred Takeda took the offensive, but failed. Ieyasu commented

‘Nobunaga and I were superior in numbers, and yet though we had a triple stockade in front of us he must needs come charging down on it. Naturally he got beaten. But if he had taken up a position behind the Takigawa River he could have held us up for ten days anyhow, and we should have had to retire. Then he could have launched an attack on us, and ten to one it would have been successful. It is a pity he was such a fool.’[xv]
Takeda’s men fled and the siege on Nagashino was raised. For the next seven years Ieyasu and Takeda raided each other’s lands and skirmished. Nobunaga and Ieyasu’s alliance against Takeda was strengthened by the addition of Hojo, who was offended by Takeda’s marrying of his daughter to the adopted son of one of Hojo’s enemies.

Sekigahara – Anthony Bryant, Osprey Publishing Ltd 1995

Samurai William – Giles Milton, Hodder & Stoughton 2002
The Maker of Modern Japan – AL Sadler, Charles E Tuttle Company 1983

Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun – Conrad Totman, Heian 1983

[i] In Fukuchiyama district
[ii] Ieyasu’s father-in-law and Ujizane’s uncle
[iii] Now Toyohashi
[iv] This changing of alliances was common in the period
[v] Lord of Omi and married to Nobunaga’s sister
[vi] Lord of Echizen
[vii] The winners collected the heads of their fallen victims and these were then displayed to the winning general
[viii] The Maker of Modern Japan - Sadler
[ix] The Maker of Modern Japan - Sadler
[x] Only thirty miles from Ieyasu’s capital of Hamamatsu
[xi] District Commissioner
[xii] Oga was apparently extravagant, the opposite of Ieyasu, whose attention to money was legendary.
[xiii] Buried up to the neck and a bamboo saw laid beside him with a notice inviting passers-by to saw at it. He died on the seventh day.
[xiv] In Mikawa province
[xv] The Maker of Modern Japan - Sadler

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Shogun - Tokugawa Ieyasu 1543-1562

When American gun boats threatened Japan in 1868 they were the precursors of change that would bring down a dynasty in power for over two hundred and fifty years. The Tokugawa shogunate was established in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, head of the clan.

Ieyasu was born of a minor branch of the Hachimantaro Yoshiie clan, of the Seiwa Genji line on 31st January 1543. In Europe Henry VIII was in the last years of his reign, when he married Catherine Parr in the summer of that year. Copernicus published his revolutionary theory that the earth rotated around the sun and Martin Luther his incendiary ‘On the Jews and their Lies’. Also in this year the Japanese received their first samples of firearms from ship-wrecked Portuguese.
Another branch of the family had produced the Ashikaga Shoguns[i] and Ieyasu’s birthright gave him the right, as a member of the Minamoto family, to hold the position of Shogun. The son of Hirotada, Ieyasu was named Takechiyo[ii]. Hirotada was daimyo of Mikawa[iii] and at the time of Ieyasu’s birth was 17 years old.
1543 was a year of conflict in Japan as Oda Nobuhide[iv] repulsed an attack by Imagawa Yoshimoto of Suruga province. Hirotada’s father-in-law Mizuno Tadamasa[v] died in July and his son switched sides, in the war raging between Oda and Yoshimito. Bound as he was to Yoshimoto, Hirotada returned his wife[vi] to her family, Ieyasu remaining with his father.

Reconstructed keep of Okazaki Castle
Further manoeuvres in the struggle resulted in Hirotada’s overlord demanding Ieyasu, now six, as a hostage, in return for support against Oda, who was now marching on Okazaki[vii], where an Oda supporter had been assassinated by one of Hirotada’s men.
En route Ieyasu was kidnapped and delivered into the hands of Oda, who wrote to Hirotada suggesting that he hand over Okazaki if he did not want his son to be put to death. Hirotada refused, saying that his overlord would have greater faith in him if he allowed his son to be killed rather than dishonour himself. Ieyasu stayed three years as Oda’s hostage.

Hirotada died of TB at the age of twenty four and Oda Nobuhide died at roughly the same time, aged forty two. Oda was replaced for a short time by his son Nobuhiro, who was driven out by his younger more capable brother Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga killed his younger brother. Nobuhiro was besieged in his castle at Anjo[viii] by Hirotada’s former allies and it was not until he agreed[ix] to hand over Ieyasu that the siege was lifted.

Imagawa Yoshimoto
Ieyasu was placed under the control of Imagawa in Sumpu. The Tokugawa clan was now to be ruled by Imagawa’s officials. Ieyasu had two guardians and seven young pages, all of whom became eminent officials and leaders of the Tokugawa House. Ieyasu was not particularly studious and spent much of his free time hawking, which was to remain one of his major passions, annoying a neighbour.
‘He flew his hawks over his land and trespassed on it, and trampled it down, so that Mondo exclaimed “I have had about enough of the boy from Okazaki” and treated him with discourtesy.’[x]

Ieyasu stayed at Sumpu until he was fifteen, when his coming of age ceremonies were held under the auspices of Yoshimoto. Ieyasu was given the adult name Matsudaira Jirosaburo Motonobu. As an adult, Ieyasu was renowned for his acute awareness of money, in particular his own; an uncommon attribute at the time.

Ieyasu’s dependents had not been treated well; the majority of their income had been taken by Imagawa, who had set out to deliberately weaken the Mikawa fief. Additionally he used the Mikawa soldiers at the forefront of any fighting, to spare his own men. The maltreatment was advantageous to Ieyasu as it obliterated the infighting in the Mikawa clan, who united against Imagawa.
In the following year 1558 Ieyasu fought in his first battle. Yoshimoto suggested that Ieyasu fight for Terabe, whose lord had just transferred his allegiance to Nobunaga.

‘Western Mikawa has always been your territory…..and now Suzuki Shigeteru, lord of the castle of Terabe, has deserted us and gone over to Oda Nobunaga with it. How awful!’[xi]

Oda Nobunaga
The castle was attacked and burnt. Oda Nobunaga sent a relief force which was driven off by Ieyasu’s men. Yoshimoto rewarded Ieyasu with a sword and a grant of Ieyasu’s own land. In 1559 Ieyasu became a father for the first time, having married the daughter of Sekiguchi Gyobushoyu Chikanaga[xii]. His son was named Matsudaira Nobuyasu.
During the year Ieyasu oversaw the provisioning of Otaka[xiii], a frontier fort built by Nobunaga to defend his domains, but surrendered to Yoshimoto through treachery. Yoshimoto entrusted the task of provisioning the fort to Ieyasu, despite his youth. And Ieyasu delivered with diverting attacks on the neighbouring forts.

Yoshimoto made his move the next year, marching circa twenty-five thousand men against Nobunaga’s line of defensive forts. Ieyasu was involved in the action storming and burning the fort of Marune. The attacks brought Nobunaga and his army to the border. After the battle was over Yoshimoto was dead and his forces scattered. Ieyasu, after confirmation of the death withdrew with his forces to his fief of Mikawa, which Yoshimoto’s men abandoned.
Entering into His Inheritance

Nobunaga did not move against Ieyasu. Ieyasu made some tentative advances into Owari territory and halted before Oda Gemba in Kutsukake[xiv]. But the following spring in 1561 Nobunaga made overtures through an intermediary. Ieyasu’s family were held hostage in Suruga under the control of Yoshimoto’s son Ujizane[xv], nevertheless Ieyasu decided to ally with Nobunaga. He informed Ujizane that the alliance was temporary and necessary to Imagawa interests as well as Mikawa. Ujizane put to death a number of hostages of lesser families, who now transferred their allegiance to Ieyasu.
Ieyasu’s alliance with Nobunaga lasted until the latter’s death in 1583. It was around this time that Toyotomi Hideyoshi[xvi] appeared on the Japanese stage, as a supporter of Nobunaga.

Monto Buddhism
In 16th century Japan one of the powers in the land was the Monto sect of Buddhism that did not lay great demands on its followers ethically or intellectually. Over the years the sect had been able to take advantage of the Emperor and Shogun’s impotence and had strengthened itself at the expense of the secular power, collecting monies to hire soldiers. By the late 15th century the sect’s monks had taken power in the province of Kaga; their power was felt throughout Osaka. The Monto Buddhists also held sway at Nagashima[xvii] and Tomita[xviii].

Mikawa also housed three temples of the sect, all acknowledging no power apart from the head of the sect. The temples refused to allow Ieyasu’s men to enter the temples to requisition supplies. Ieyasu determined to deal with the Buddhists, assisted by Ujizane’s inability to act against him, while his attention was diverted elsewhere. The Mikawa border castles were loyal to Ieyasu, giving him the time to crush this opposition within his fief.
When the monks ill-treated the families of one of his supporters Ieyasu decided to act. The sect’s army was heavily loaded with farmers, who were armed with matchlocks, obtained from the Portuguese. The military leaders for the most part sided with their lord. By 1564 the Monto sect agreed to disperse their armies and proposed terms on condition that those who had taken part in the revolt should not affected in terms of life and property and that the temples should be as they were originally.

Ieyasu agreed to these conditions and the monks laid down their arms. They were horrified when Ieyasu’s men pulled down the temples. Upon complaining to Ieyasu the monks were told:
‘That by “as they were originally were” he understood the bare site of the ground before they were built on it.’[xix]

To bring down the Monto sect Ieyasu received assistance from the sect of Buddhism that he belonged to; the Jodo, who sent a thousand men from Ieyasu’s ancestral temple of Daijuji. Some of his former supporters, who returned to the Mikawa fold, were ordered by Ieyasu to transfer from the Monto sect to the Jodo.
In 1565 Nobunaga, following a series of matrimonial alliances, gave the Emperor a grant of money and restored some lost Imperial holdings. His supporter Hideyoshi was made Governor of Kyoto.

Sekigahara – Anthony Bryant, Osprey Publishing Ltd 1995

Samurai William – Giles Milton, Hodder & Stoughton 2002
The Maker of Modern Japan – AL Sadler, Charles E Tuttle Company 1983

Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun – Conrad Totman, Heian 1983

[i] General. In the twelfth century the position of Shogun was made a perpetual commission, as chief of military governors and tax administrators.
[ii] A thousand ages like the bamboo; a temporary childhood name. Reference to Ieyasu will be made by his adult name, in an attempt to reduce confusion (on my part if no-one else’s).
[iii] One of the provinces of the Tokaido, on the south-eastern edge of Honshu.
[iv] Magistrate of Owari province and father of Oda Nobunaga
[v] Lord of Kariya in Mikawa
[vi] She remarried and had a further 7 children.
[vii] In Aichi prefecture
[viii] Ibid
[ix] The besiegers threatened to force Nobuhiro to commit suicide.
[x] The Maker of Modern Japan - Sadler
[xi] Ibid
[xii] Yoshimoto’s brother-in-law
[xiii] Chibu prefecture
[xiv] In Nagoya
[xv] Devoted to Japanese verse and football
[xvi] Succeeded Nobunaga and is regarded as Japan’s second great unifier
[xvii] In Ise province
[xviii] In Owari province
[xix] The Maker of Modern Japan - Sadler

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Inca - The Royal Hunt of the Sun II

Route of Pizzaro's march
Capture of the Sun

Pizzaro and his men undoubtedly carved out an epic voyage through the jungles and mountains of South America; driven by greed and thoughts of unlimited wealth. As leader Pizzaro a deeply unpleasant and brutal man, was responsible for driving his small force from Ecuador down into the heart of the Inca Empire.
Their line of march was littered with ruined towns and bodies of those dead from recent fighting. Once he realised that a civil war was in progress Pizzaro planned to manipulate the warring factions as Hernando Cortes had done in Mexico.

Atahualpa and his army were camped in the mountains at Cajamarca, just off Pizzaro’s line of march. Atahualpa was informed of the arrival of 150 strangers when they landed on the mainland and commenced pillaging the countryside and abusing the residents. He sent a close adviser to visit the Spaniards. His evident authority impressed the Spanish; the local chief was
‘Greatly frightened and stood up, for he dare not remain seated in his presence.’[i]

The envoy’s attitude towards themselves also impressed them
‘He entered as casually as if he had been brought up all his life among Spaniards. After having delivered his embassy….he enjoyed himself for two or three days among us.’[ii]

The envoy inspected the Spaniards and their accoutrements, was very interested in their swords and ended by inviting them to meet with Atahualpa at Cajamarca. Pizzaro accepted and sent Atahualpa a gift of a fine Holland shirt and two Venetian glass goblets.
The Spaniards marched into the mountains and could have been destroyed quite easily at this point, had the Inca not underestimated the Spaniards; but the small size of the Spanish group may have assured Atahualpa that they were not a threat. They arrived at the valley of Cajamarca on 15th November. They camped outside the town. After a brief visit to the town, a group of the Spaniards visited Atahualpa in his camp.
After the visit the Spaniards were invited to take lodgings in Cajamarca; the one hundred and fifty Spaniards, were outnumbered four hundred to one. But the Spaniards, unlike the Inca, were armed with the latest in high-tech weaponry; artillery. Pizzaro and his men invited the Sapa Inca to meet with them. Pizzaro set up an ambush; hiding the Spanish cannons, with a line of fire across the square where Atahualpa was to be met.

The Spaniards were bound by the Requirement, an order of the Royal Council, enabling the Conquistadores to attack peoples that were not receptive to Christianity[iii]. The Requirement was to be proclaimed before any bloodshed took place. Friar Vincente de Valverde, a Dominican, proffered the bible to Atahualpa, after proclaiming that he had been sent by the King of Spain to reveal Christianity to the heathen Inca. Atahualpa was unable to open the bible and the friar attempted to help him. After inspecting the volume, which he was naturally unable to read, Atahualpa threw the bible down.

‘But after examining it he threw it angrily down among his men, his face a deep crimson.’[iv]

The friar gave the signal to activate the ambush, on the spurious grounds that Atahualpa, in doing this, had rejected the message of Christianity. He was captured after a fierce battle, the Inca warriors overcome by modern technology.

Death of a Dupe

Not long after his capture Atahualpa was informed that his brother Huascar was being brought captive from Cuzco. Pizzaro told Atahualpa that he wanted to meet Huascar, reasoning that two claimants to the Inca throne were better than one. Atahualpa ordered that his brother be killed, but told the Spaniards that the execution was unauthorised. Atahualpa had already killed a number of his siblings and the deaths continued. The brother with the best claim to being Sapa Inca, Tupac Huallpa, took refuge with the Spanish.
Atahualpa promised the Spaniards a room full of gold and silver, as he was concerned that he would lose his life. Pizzaro recognised the value of his hostage, whose chiefs still obeyed his orders, even in captivity. He promised to give Atahualpa his freedom if he did not indulge in treasonous behaviour. Pizzaro

‘Gave him to understand that he would return to Quito, the land that his father had left him.’[v]

Accordingly he ordered that his generals remain in the south to consolidate their victory, collect his ransom and not attempt to rescue him, as he believed Pizzaro’s promises. Atahualpa’s orders seemed to convey his acceptance of the Spaniard’s presence, when he could barely wait for the departure of the odious strangers. Meanwhile the Spaniards were sending for reinforcements.

During his period of captivity the Spanish observed Atahualpa
‘A man of thirty years of age, of good appearance and manner, although somewhat thick-set. He had a large face, handsome and fierce, his eyes reddened with blood. He spoke with much gravity, as a great ruler. He made very lively arguments…….he was a wise man. He was a cheerful man, although unsubtle. When he spoke to his own people he was incisive and showed no pleasure.’[vi]

The observations of Gaspar de Espinosa were inevitably coloured by the contempt of a civilised and Christian man, looking down on a semi-civilised savage, who had ‘rejected’ the teachings of Christ.

While the ransom was being collected one of Atahualpa’s most senior generals, Calcuchima[vii], agreed to join Atahualpa at Cajamarca; a decision that helped bring about collapse of the Inca resistance to the Spanish invaders. To persuade Calcuchima to disclose the whereabouts of even more gold Pizzaro and his men had him tortured and eventually he, like Atahualpa, was murdered.
The Spaniards were reinforced on 14th April 1533 by a contingent of one hundred and fifty led by Diego da Amalgro. Atahuelpa’s ransom, at 2010 figures, is estimated to be worth £31,000,000.00[viii]. Despite payment of the ransom Atahuelpa was not released and he then ordered an attack on Cajamarca. The chief of the town warned Pizzaro. The Conquistadores were eager to leave for Cuzco, where fabulous wealth awaited them. They discussed taking Atahuelpa as hostage with them, but were worried about attacks by other Inca generals.

The Spaniards were conflicted about killing Atahualpa, but da Amalgro was one of those supporting the killing of Atahualpa. The decision was made under pressure from da Amalgro with assistance from opportunistic royal officials. Told that he would be burned to death[ix] Atahualpa was ‘persuaded’ to convert to Christianity and was executed by garrotting on 29 August 1533.
Atahualpa was succeeded as Sapa Inca by his brother Tupac Huallpa, who was used by the Spanish as a puppet. The Spanish bled the Americas dry of gold and silver; used to decorate the churches in Spain and to prosecute wars in Europe. When the supply of precious metals in the New World ran out Spanish expansion ceased and the country could only look back on its past glories. Future dangers to European stability came from French designs on the Spanish state, as opposed to Spanish expansionism.

The Incas – Nigel Davies, Folio Society 2001

The Conquest of the Incas – John Hemming, Book Club Associates 1974

[i] The Conquest of the Incas - Hemming
[ii] Ibid
[iii] Specifically Roman Catholicism
[iv] The Conquest of the Incas - Hemming
[v] Ibid
[vi] Ibid
[vii] Calcuchima’s military reputation had been garnered during the reign of Huayna Capac and he might have been able to lead resistance against the Spaniards
[viii] Using the retail price index or £56,000,000.00 using average earnings;
[ix] Against Inca beliefs