GYOBUTSU KAInoKUNI GO YOSHIHIRO
|After the long years SHINGEN and
UESUGI KENSHIN ( See KENSHIN
) wrestled in the dirt at KAWANAKAJIMA, the TAKEDA
patriarch joined IYEYASU TOKUGAWA against IMAGAWA
UJIZANE, taking and dividing SURUGA
and TOTOMI between them.
The HOJO father and son team of UJIYASU and UJIMASA were appalled and entered against SHINGEN, and against SHINGEN's
|expansion, restoring UJIZANE at
FUCHU. The old IMAGAWA territories had been TOTOMI and
SURUGA, and TOKUGAWA's home province of MIKAWA.
Instead of siding with SHINGEN's appeal against the HOJO, TOKUGAWA enjoined the camp of NOBUNAGA showing the game-craft that would later earn him the SHOGUNATE. SHINGEN then entered IYEYASU's TOTOMI.
This put TOKUGAWA, whose ranks were filling with the IMAGAWA SAMURAI that had peopled these TOKUGAWA tracts of TOTOMI and MIKAWA, against SHINGEN's push at the provincial line to KYOTO. (The same regions, or DO , that birth the arts and sword-styles that are studied by sword collectors and appraisers were the paths that would provide the line of supply for any march on power. These fights of the SENGOKU were about opening and holding that line to KYOTO.)
After the death of staunch, HOJO UJIYASU, SHINGEN made peace with his son, UJIMASA, and had only then KENSHIN, at his rear in the west, to tie up resources from efforts against the TOKUGAWA/NOBUNAGA wall that separated KYOTO.
Winter snows were an expected and reliable damper for KENSHIN, so October would find SHINGEN in MIKAWA at IYEYASU's HAMAMATSU Castle.
51 year old SHINGEN enticed the twenty-nine year old out by falling from his camp at MIKATA-ga-HARA to II-DANI and thereby leaving empty the only field for TOKUGAWA's only hand: pitched battle against overwhelming odds.
IYEYASU took the field.
He was attacked and defeated, and his forces dispersed.
contemplates his fate
SHINGEN & his 23 Retainers
A musket ball whistles through the lyric
of a drifting flute...
lost his life trying to unseat the TOKUGAWA block through MIKAWA.
After a lull, NOBUNAGA and TOKUGAWA renewed their effort to destroy the great TAKEDA power-base then being scuttled in the hands of SHINGENs' son, KATSUYORI.
Defeats at TAKATENJIN in 1574 and NAGASHINO, 1575, marked the first of their long bloody trail.
KATSUYORI's younger brother, NISHINA NOBUMORI held KATSUYORI's TAKATO Castle in SHINANO, TEN-SHO 10, 1582.
ODA NOBUNAGA's third son, NOBUTAKA sent a BONZE to negotiate. SHINGEN had built the castle after taking TAKATO in 1549 and it had been KATSUYORI's since 1562.
NOBUMORI cut off the priest's nose and ear.
On the 2nd day of the 3rd month,
SHIMPU-JO Castle had
also become indefensible and when he heard his brother
had committed SEPPUKU, KATSUYORI decided to strike an
offensive the next day at OYAMADA
NOBUSHIGE's IWADONO Castle near
He commanded NOBUSHIGE to make ready, giving him the TAKEDA MITSUTADA and his prize mount, OSHU-KURO. (NOBUSHIGE was later killed by this same MITSUTADA at ZENKO-JI Temple in NAGANO. It would become one of the famous 25 NOBUNAGA MITSUTADA)
Leaving the burning SHIMPU-JO, they stayed the night at DAIZEN Temple. TAKEDA relative, REKEINI joined their party and the REKEINI-KI family chronology provides a vivid description:
|'Having seen many defections the prior day, the party headed over the mountain to IWADONO. The women marched without footwear, streaking the road with blood...'
|IWADONO: they find
surprise turncoat, NOBUSHIGE, barricaded with rifles,
refusing them entrance.
At this, the remnants of the great and once all
powerful TAKEDA clan, 46 warriors and 23
ODA's general, TAKIGAWA KAZUMASU, See ODA with an army several thousand strong, and headed by ex-TAKEDA retainer, hyper-zealous, TSUJI YABEI, over-took them at TANOnoSATO.
carrying his fathers' HAITO and family treasure, the
KAInoKUNI GO YOSHIHIRO, was attacked from all
He killed 11.
His son, TARO NOBUKATSU in U-no-HANA YOROI, had the other family treasure, the TAKEDA SA-MONJI TACHI.
Without arms or armor, the women killed themselves with TANTO...
The men, including KOMIYAYAMA MASATOMO, TSUCHIYA
SOZO and AKIYAMA KII, fought one of the strongest
recorded battles in Japanese history, - but at last
It is said KATSUYORI took his own life with the GO.
Katsuyori, his wife
and son, Nobukatsu
SHINGEN's KAInoKUNI GO
YOSHIHIRO to TAKIGAWA
KAZUMASU to tribute his win at
After these long struggles, it was appropriate when TAKIGAWA gave the KAInoKUNI GO sword to IYEYASU TOKUGAWA.
Perhaps his most prized personal and career acquisition, IYEYASU corrected the TEMMOKUZAN damage by making the NAKAGO, SURIAGE and held it as his special, coveted trophy, a true symbol of his struggles and successes. The vanquished soul of his beloved enemy, SHINGEN, and all that remained of his lost house resided, finally, with him.
After IYEYASU aided the ODA house against "The Usurper" TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI at NAGAKUTE, stalemated HIDEYOSHI, the soon TAIKO of Japan, demanded the KAInoKUNI GO as stinging personal penance and high gift.
HIDEYOSHI gave in return the FUDO KUNIYUKI sword and his sister, ASAHInoKATA, in marriage.
This exchange brokered the destiny of Japan for, from this swap, the path of these ex-NOBUNAGA generals was forever struck. HIDEYOSHI would build his Golden Pavilion and take Korea and China. TOKUGAWA would have the rice cake of the KANTO and force his wily hand to the SHOGUNATE - Emperors would pay homage to his grave.
HIDEYOSHI kept the KAI GO and bestowed it, only on his death bed, to MORI TERUMOTO, the great MOTONARI's grandson, to help stake his covenant and allegiance as one of the five TAIRO or Great Regents guarding the minority of HIDEYOSHI's five year old son, TOYOTOMI HIDEYORI. This publicly humiliating jab to IYEYASU was at once, tension builder and powerful political play for, giving it to another, all knew of TOKUGAWA's correctly placed love for this piece. If it were any living man's, it was truly that of IYEYASU. His very position in life had been forged with SHINGEN. IYEYASU's vassal had fired that fatal shot in that fateful twilight
|...so long before
KAInoKUNI GO GYOBUTSU KYOHO MEIBUTSU