· 1582- The forced suicide of Nobunaga by his general Akechi Mitsuhide. Nobunaga had just destroyed the Takeda family earlier that year, and Uesugi Kenshin had just died. He sent Hideyoshi to attack the Mori, Niwa Nagahide to invade Shikoku, Takigawa Kazumasu to keep an eye on the Hojo, and Shibata Katsuie to invade Echigo/the rest of the Uesugi. He asked Mitsuhide to go help Hideyoshi, while he went to rest at his temporary residence, Honno-ji. Instead, Mitsuhide went to his castle in Sakamoto, gathered an army and surrounded Honno-ji. Nobunaga committed suicide, and Ranmaru followed suit. Mitsuhide burned the temple to the ground. No one ever found Oda’s remains. After Honno-ji, Mitsuhide attacked Nobutada, who committed suicide as well.
· Historians are mixed as to why Mitsuhide turned on Oda. Theories include:
§ Loss of his post as official in charge of catering to Ieyasu’s party. And embarrassment for Nobunaga yelling at him about serving rotten fish
§ The threat of loss of his land because he was an older samurai (in his 50’s). Nobunaga had already sent two other older retainers into exile for “poor performance”.
§ To convince a clan to surrender, he sent his mother as a hostage. Nobunaga, however, had the clan heads executed, and in retaliation the clan killed Mitsuhide’s mom.
§ The culmination of being insulted, kicked, and forced to drink (he wasn’t a drinker) by Nobunaga.
· Honno-ji itself was founded in 1415, by the Nichiren Buddhist sect. After Mitsuhide burned it down, Nobutaka Oda rebuilt the temple, and Hideyoshi later moved it in 1589 to its current location. Honnoji was destroyed in a fire again in the 19th century, and rebuilt in 1928.
|You can kinda see the entrance of the temple on the left side.|
|I like this - old structure in the foreground with a modern construction backdrop.|
|Nobunaga replica armor.|
|Pictures of the english pamphlet.|
I think it was well worth it though - because among the calligraphy scrolls and various laquerware were two swords. One, a katana belonging to Ranmaru Mori, Nobunaga's page. It was a very impressive, lengthy sword, just like the one he has in the samurai warriors/sengoku mousou videogames (haha, sorry, my otakuness is seeping out again).
The other was a small wakizashi.. belonging to Mr. Oda himself! It was kind of beat up looking - maybe it had been used? Who knows, but theres just something fascinating about connecting legendary historical figures to tangible objects. One's inner-Indiana Jones I suppose. It was enough for me to momentarily want to give up engineering and become a historian instead.
|According to the pamphlet, this is Nobunaga's mausoleum, built at his son's request.|
|Temple exit back out to the shopping district|
I don't think there was a day in Japan where we didn't eat some sort of sushi/sashimi. Stereotypical, but hey, I love me some fish.