Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MorphRC

: Bushido_boy Thread :

Recommended Posts

MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[quote name='BeenaBobba' date='Jul 17 2004, 11:04 PM'] Interesting. I enjoyed reading all of that. While I, as a Catholic, obviously do not agree with all of their beliefs and actions, I found your posts to be both interesting and informative.

God bless,

Jen [/quote]
Good. Glad you liked it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[color=red][font="Times"][b]The Samurai Creed[/b][/color][/font]

I have no parents; I make the Heavens and the Earth my parents.
I have no home; I make the Tan T'ien my home.
I have no divine power; I make honesty my Divine Power.
I have no means; I make Docility my means.
I have no magic power; I make personality my Magic Power.
I have neither life nor death; I make A Um my Life and Death.

I have no body; I make Stoicism my Body.
I have no eyes; I make The Flash of Lightning my eyes.
I have no ears; I make Sensibility my Ears.
I have no limbs; I make Promptitude my Limbs.
I have no laws; I make Self-Protection my Laws.

I have no strategy; I make the Right to Kill and the Right to Restore Life my Strategy.
I have no designs; I make Seizing the Opportunity by the Forelock my Designs.
I have no miracles; I make Righteous Laws my Miracle.
I have no principles; I make Adaptability to all circumstances my Principle.
I have no tactics; I make Emptiness and Fullness my Tactics.

I have no talent; I make Ready Wit my Talent.
I have no friends; I make my Mind my Friend.
I have no enemy; I make Incautiousness my Enemy.
I have no armour; I make Benevolence my Armour.
I have no castle; I make Immovable Mind my Castle.
I have no sword; I make No Mind my Sword.

[b]Source:[/b] [url="http://mcel.pacificu.edu/as/students/bushido/bcreed.html"]Pacificu.Edu - The Samurai Creed[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[color=blue][font="Times"][b]BUSHIDO AFTER THE SAMURAI[/b][/color][/font]

[img]http://mcel.pacificu.edu/as/students/bushido/lone.gif[/img]

After the time of the samurai, Japan went through many changes. However, Bushido values could still be seen. During W.W.II, Japanese suicide pilots, known as kamikaze, looked to the samurai and Bushido for their inspiration. The word kamikaze means "divine winds." During the 11th century when the Mongols were trying to invade Japan a series of storms stopped their invasion. These were thought to be divine winds which were sent by the gods to save Japan. The Japanese again believed that these pilots were sent to save Japan. Kamikaze pilots had no fear of death. Their loyalty to their country made them willing to die.


After W.W.II, the Japanese army was disbanded. A new type of warrior evolved: those who wanted modernization and industrialization. Huge companies called zaibatsu formed. They were more like families rather than companies. Loyalty for one's company and company name was great. Even today within these companies workers have great respect for their bosses and for the heads of the companies. To be unjust or commit a misdeed would bring shame to their company and themselves. Today Japanese have a term, "Business is War."

[img]http://mcel.pacificu.edu/as/students/bushido/sam9.gif[/img]

Bushido values can still be seen today in Japan. The Japanese have the utmost respect and loyalty to their country, and they would not do anything to bring shame upon their family.

Today the two most popular religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shintoism. Both were great influences on Bushido. Zen Buddhism which was also an origin of Bushido, is a doctrine followed by many today.

[b]Source:[/b] [url="http://mcel.pacificu.edu/as/students/bushido/b2day.html"]Pacificu.Edu - Bushido After The Samurai[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[font="Times"][color=blue][b]Knights and Samurai - Brothers in Arms? by [i]Stephen Turnbull[/i][/b][/color][/font]

In my book Men-at-Arms 105: The Mongols I made the comment that, because of the vast extent of the Mongol conquests, the Teutonic Knights of Germany and the samurai of Japan had in fact fought a common enemy, even though it was to be three more centuries before the two martial societies became aware of each other's existence.

This epic first meeting between the cultures that had produced knights and samurai happened in 1543, when a Portuguese ship ran aground off the Japanese island of Tanegashima. The crew were saved, along with a number of arquebuses, the first ever seen in Japan. The arrival of these weapons is commonly regarded as having sparked a military revolution in Japan, and it is interesting to note that by this time Europe was already going through a military revolution of its own, during which the introduction of firearms was an important factor in bringing about the demise of the mounted knight. On opposite sides of the world, and over several centuries, two distinctive military cultures therefore developed with no contact between them until both traditions were nearly over.

The two societies of samurai and knight naturally show many cultural differences, but there are also many fascinating similarities and parallels. Why should this be? Was there something about being an aristocratic warrior that transcended localised culture and led to something universal? Were the ideals of chivalry and bushido really the same, and when the two traditions faced similar challenges from developments in military technology, did the innovations have the same impact and elicit the same response?

[url="http://www.ospreysamurai.com/knights.html"]: Full Text :[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[color=blue][font="Times"][b]Samurai Military Communications by [i]Stephen Turnbull[/i][/b][/color][/font]

[b]S[/b]amurai military communications in Japan developed significantly in the 15th to 17th centuries and involved verbal, visual and audible signals, extending from one-to-one spoken messages through battlefield communications to province-wide beacon systems.

During Japan's Sengoku Jidai (Period of Warring States) between 1467 and 1615 armies increased greatly in size, and tactical organisation often involved liaison between substantial, separate contingents. With the introduction of disciplined formations, improved command structures and long-term service for the ashigaru (foot soldiers), armies also became better organised. A tremendous boost was given to this trend by the introduction of firearms from Europe in 1543. From about 1550 onwards most ashigaru began to be organised into specialised weapon units of the three arms of arquebus, bow and long spear, rather than the old amorphous mass of spearmen and archers. Good battlefield communications systems therefore became a vital necessity, and in this article I shall describe how personal communications delivered by mounted messengers and scouts, visual communications using beacons and flags, and audible devices such as drums and conch-shell trumpets all played their part.

[url="http://www.ospreysamurai.com/communications.html#communications"]: Full Text :[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[quote name='cmotherofpirl' date='Jul 18 2004, 12:49 AM'] I just watched a program on this yesterday on the IH channel.

Very interesting [/quote]
Kool :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[color=blue][font="Times"][b]The samurai way of death by [i]Stephen Turnbull[/i][/b][/color][/font]

[b]Suicide and the samurai[/b]

Seppuku is a more correct expression for an act of suicide performed by the process of cutting open the abdomen. Seppuku is better known in the West as hara kiri (belly-cutting), and is a concept so alien to the European tradition that it is one of the few words from the world of the samurai to have entered foreign languages without a need for translation. Seppuku was commonly performed using a dagger. It could take place with preparation and ritual in the privacy of one’s home, or speedily in a quiet corner of a battlefield while one’s comrades kept the enemy at bay.

In the world of the warrior, seppuku was a deed of bravery that was admirable in a samurai who knew he was defeated, disgraced, or mortally wounded. It meant that he could end his days with his transgressions wiped away and with his reputation not merely intact but actually enhanced. The cutting of the abdomen released the samurai’s spirit in the most dramatic fashion, but it was an extremely painful and unpleasant way to die, and sometimes the samurai who was performing the act asked a loyal comrade to cut off his head at the moment of agony.

The earliest reference to seppuku occurs in Hogen Monogatari, which deals with the conflicts in which the Taira and the Minamoto were involved in 1156. The mention of the fact that a samurai called Uno Chikaharu and his followers were captured so quickly that ‘they did not have time to draw their swords or cut their bellies’ is so matter-of-fact that it implies that the practice was already commonplace, at least among the warriors from eastern Japan.

The first named individual to commit seppuku in the war chronicles was the celebrated archer Minamoto Tametomo, who committed suicide in this way as boatloads of Taira samurai approached his island of exile. The first recorded account of seppuku after certain defeat in a battle that was still going on is that of Minamoto Yorimasa in the battle of Uji in 1180. His suicide was undertaken with such finesse that it was to provide a model for noble and heroic hara kiri for centuries to come. While his sons held off the enemy, Yorimasa retired to the seclusion of the beautiful Byodo-In temple. He then wrote a poem on the back of his war fan, which read:

[i]Like a fossil tree
From which we gather no flowers
Sad has been my life
Fated no fruit to produce.[/i]

Minamoto Yorimasa’s sequence of poem and suicide was followed many times in later history. After the battle of Yamazaki in 1582 Akechi Mitsutoshi performed the unprecedented act of committing seppuku and writing a poem on the door with the blood from his abdomen, using a brush. Minamoto Yorimasa’s classic act of seppuku was performed without the aid of a kaishaku, or second, to deliver a merciful blow on to his neck at the moment of agony. This was a practice that become more frequent, and much more acceptable, as the years went by, but it was never a popular duty, as Yamamoto Tsunetomo tells us:

[i]From ages past it has been considered ill-omened by samurai to be requested as kaishaku. The reason for this is that one gains no fame even if the job is well done. And if by chance one should blunder, it becomes a lifetime disgrace.[/i]

Yamamoto Tsunetomo even gives a helpful tip concerning the performance of this most unpleasant of duties:

[i]In the practice of past times, there were instances when the head flew off. It was said that it was best to cut leaving a little skin remaining so that it did not fly off in the direction of the verifying officials. However, at present it is best to cut clean through.[/i]

As the description earlier in this book of the mass suicide by drowning at Dan no Ura shows, seppuku was not the only way of ending a samurai’s life, and may have been a tradition espoused only by eastern Japan until after the time of the Gempei War. No member of the Taira family is recorded as having committed seppuku. In other cases of alternative suicide the choice of how to end one’s life was dictated by circumstances. When Imai Kanehira committed suicide at the battle of Awazu in 1184 he was surrounded by enemies, so he killed himself quickly by jumping head first from his horse with his sword in his mouth.

[url="http://www.ospreysamurai.com/samurai_death02.htm"]: Full Text :[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[font="Times"][color=red][b]The Fall Of The Takeda Clan by Joseph Ryan [/b][/color][/font]

In the secluded, mountainous province of Kai, the Takeda clan ruled. They were well governed and powerful, and their cavalry charge was known throughout Japan. The ruler at the time was Takeda Shingen. In 1572 he invaded a nearby province called Mikawa, which was governed by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu was thereby defeated at Mikata-ga-hara. Shingen continued his campaign but it was cut short by his death. His son, Takeda Katsuyori, inherited his father's throne (Turnbull 9-10). These two men, Shingen and Katsuyori, were the last rulers of their clan. What was the most influential reason for the fall of the Takeda clan?

In 1546, Takeda Katsuyori was born. His mother was the daughter of Suwa Yorishige, a man who Shingen had killed. Yorishige's daughter became one of Shingen's wives, even though she also happened to be his niece. Shingen loved her so much, that Katsuyori became his favorite son. Katsuyori became successor, only after his older brother's death. Katsuyori also had fought at Mikata-ga-hara and was a good leader. (Turnbull 12).

Katsuyori wanted to finish his father's workings in Mikawa against the Tokugawa, and follow what he had done (Turnbull 10, 28). This is where the spark of the fire that would burn the clan was wrought. He wanted to equal his father and his father's status and achievements prodded him to attempt it at all costs (10, 28). Katsuyori left Kai in 1575 and planned to attack the Tokugawa capital: Okazaki. Katsuyori had found a traitor within its walls who was willing to let them take the castle and help. Just as Katsuyori neared the outskirts of the province, he heard that Oga Yashiro, the traitor, was decapitated.

Without such help, Katsuyori would have been unable to take the castle. His army's size was not great enough. Katsuyori didn't want to leave the province without some sort of conquest. He was afraid that it would ruin the Takeda name and shame him (Turnbull 10, 28-29). This led him further down the road of the failure of his clan.

[color=gray][b]Continued...[/b][/color]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
He attacked two minor castles, Ushikubo and Nirengi, and worked his way to Yoshida castle. Ieyasu himself was inside, and the castle held. Katsuyori was afraid for his clan's sake, and his own name's sake. He couldn't leave without taking castles and defeating the Tokugawa, as his father had done (Turnbull 10, 28-29, 30-31). This is where the clan actually starts to decline. It began with Katsuyori's over-ambitiousness. Nagashino castle wasn't far away. It would be of good use to the Takeda clan. Katsuyori decided on taking it (Turnbull 10, 30-31).

Katsuyori attacked Nagashino and the castle withheld. There were 500 men inside the castle, led by Okudaira Sadamasa, and 15,000 outside, led by the heir to the Takeda clan, himself. The castle secretly got word to Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Katsuyori held a meeting with his generals to decide what to do. The older ones from Shingen's day voted for retreating, while the younger generals wanted to stay and fight (Turnbull 35-52). Katsuyori's decision would seal their fate, whether to stay safe and retreat, or try to stay and crush their oncoming enemies. Katsuyori sided with the generals who wished to stay and fight (Turnbull 48-52). This was another step in the wrong direction. The odds of defeating Nagashino castle were in Katsuyori's, and his numerically greater army's, favor, 30-1, yet he hadn't done so. Katsuyori wanted to fight the Oda and Tokugawa armies, because they were, first off, enemies. Secondly, the Tokugawa had been defeated 3 years earlier by his father. He would rather have fought and lost than have run (Turnbull 9,11, 48-49). While this seems to be honorable and on the pretenses of not being dishonored, it was against the odds that were placed against him winning to this army, twice his size. The opposing army had 38,000 men, while Katsuyori attacked with 15,000.

The generals, who had carried over from Shingen to Katsuyori, also switched their loyalty from Shingen to Katsuyori. They would follow their leader into a battle in which the outcome looked grim, and now, in retrospect, a battle that seemed suicidal (Turnbull 12, 13, 48-52). Losing such great members of the Takeda clan would eventually throw administration and military affairs into confusion and disarray. Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga quickly came to help. A couple miles from Nagashino, they set up at the Shidarahara plain. They created a long fence, in three segments, behind which they were to place 3,000 arquebusiers (Turnbull 53, 60-61).

[color=gray][b]Continued...[/b][/color]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
Katsuyori had 3000 men remain at Nagashino castle to guard it, while he led the rest of his army, 12,000 men, to the Shidarahara plain. Both armies faced each other from across the plain, indirectly, if not directly. Katsuyori ordered the cavalry charge, and his horsemen flooded the field. After crossing a river that separated them, the Takeda horses and foot soldiers, who trailed behind, approached the fences. Katsuyori was not as worried about all the firearms as he should have been. The fact that it had rained the previous night, possibly causing the firearms to be useless, and over-estimating the speed of his horsemen upon the fences, should not have comforted him so about the charge.

When the Takeda men had finally come within distance, the Oda and Tokugawa arquebusiers shot at them. The cavalry and men who had so bravely charged the enemy were now being stopped and killed. Maybe Katsuyori had not expected the formation and movement of the gunners. They were in 3 rows and would alternate upon shot (Turnbull 56, 66-67). The two armies fought for hours, with the horsemen charging and being pushed back by the protected riflemen. Then Katsuyori sent his whole force to attack (Turnbull 56, 66-67, 76-79). Katsuyori now displayed his desperateness and the thinning of the clan's strength. The Oda and Tokugawa armies now rushed past the fences and met the Takeda men. They fought using hand to hand combat, which lasted for even more hours (56, 66-67, 76-79).

The opposing army pulled back inside the fences and Katsuyori, also, ordered a small retreat. Oda Nobunaga saw his actions, and sent his army forth. They followed the Takeda army and caught up with them, killing many. Katsuyori escaped, and fled back into Kai. The death toll of the Takeda force reached 10,000 men, while the Oda-Tokugawa forces lost 6,000. Many of the generals who were Shingen's followers, and vital parts to the Takeda system, were dead (Turnbull 79-81). Katsuyori now protected Kai and Shinano, his other province, and lasted for another 7 years. Katsuyori's men were leaving him and he was losing their trust. Castles he held were also falling (Turnbull 81-82). Katsuyori's clan was now indeed falling apart and in shambles, but it was nothing compared to what was to come.

[color=gray][b]Continued...[/b][/color]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
In 1582, the Oda-Tokugawa men, again facing Katsuyori, invaded Kai. Katsuyori, and his last loyal men, and family fled. The enemy attacked Katsuyori at Temmokuzan, and his army was defeated. Takeda Katsuyori and his family, including his heir, committed suicide (81-82).

Some blame Katsuyori for the end of the Takeda because of the military mistakes, misjudgments and possible over-zealousness to fill his father's shoes (Fujimoto 1). Also, the prospect of annihilating the Oda-Tokugawa forces, his and his father's enemies, must have been too tantalizing for him to retreat, which could have saved the clan (2nd Seal 1). Yamaji Aizan said, "The destruction of his clan was not his fault, for man's fate is 90% luck, and when the destiny of a province is to be conquered one man cannot save it..." (Sadler 97). Whether such an opinion quote is true, is not for man to say.

Others believe that once Takeda Shingen, Katsuyori's father, had died, that the clan was doomed, and not only from Katsuyori's mistakes. The above quote by Yamaji Aizan could lead one to think just as much. Takeda Shingen, like his son, was the ruler of Kai and Shinano and a few other provinces. As earlier stated, Shingen had invaded Mikawa and defeated Ieyasu at Mikata-ga-hara. Winter came, and he could not continue his conquest easily, so he decided to return the following year, which he did (Turnbull 9).

In 1573, the following year, he attacked one of Ieyasu's castles, Noda. Shingen used siege warfare against the castle. One night, the men within the castle used up their remaining sake' and partied. They had music also. Shingen heard the flutist playing, and approached the castle. He wanted to hear it. A sniper, from within the castle, shot Shingen. He ended up dying days later (Turnbull 9-10).

Shingen was a great warrior and a good leader. He administered his provinces with great skill. He was, at times, though, very strict and cruel with lawbreakers and insubordinates, but also taxed all of his people evenly. One of his greatest rivals was a man named Uesugi Kenshin. They fought each other several times (1st Seal 5-6).

[color=gray][b]Continued...[/b][/color]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
Because of what some would call his military genius, he was an extraordinary military ruler, and these were few and far between. Children may not automatically inherit their parents' talents, and neither did a Takeda heir match up to the skill of Takeda Shingen. Not that Katsuyori inheriting the throne was the exact problem, but that, even if he did not, and if it were some other heir, could he have matched Shingen and carried out his father's policies? The fact that Shingen was so great in his affairs is summed up by Oliver Statler: "...the destinies of the clan fell into the hands of Shingen's son, who was not the man his father had been" (Statler 17). That his son, who was still a good leader of samurai, was not the man his father was, who could be? It would take a lot to fill Takeda Shingen's shoes.

Shingen, being dead, left his system of government and administration of Kai and his other provinces to his heir. If Katsuyori was a terrible leader, then the clan's doom could be simply his fault. But Katsuyori was not a terrible leader, even though when he did make mistakes, he made big ones. If Shingen had not died and Katsuyori took over with Shingen retiring, then Katsuyori might have ruled well, because Shingen's death sent a shockwave throughout his provinces. It was almost a state of panic. This suddenly left his son with a piece of government designed specifically by his father and for his father. It would be difficult for one to adapt. One side of this argument states that Katsuyori's bad military leadership at Nagashino was the cause of the downfall, the other side is Shingen's death. Shingen is said to have stated "People are the stone walls, people are the castles." Shingen did not build many castles because he did not believe in them and did not really use them, but Katsuyori did, and some thought that this could mean trouble for the clan (West 1). Both leaders were well trained and experienced and were doing well in military matters. That all of a sudden their clan disappeared is both sad and shocking. The only way it would have been seen, in such severity, is now, in retrospect.

Shingen's death was the most influential reason for the downfall of his clan. Even though Katsuyori failed miserably at Nagashino and beyond, such panic and shaky ground within Katsuyori's administration and land could only have been caused by the death of one of Kai's greatest leaders. (**AfterNote, a year after I wrote it, this is a questionable statement, please do not consider me a Shingen-ite.)

[color=gray][b]Continued... Bibliography Next!...[/b][/color]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[i][b]BIBLIOGRAPHY[/b][/i]

[b]1.[/b] Turnbull, Stephen. Nagashino 1575. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2000.
[b]2.[/b] Sadler, A. L. The Maker of Modern Japan; the Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
London: G. Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1937.
[b]3.[/b] West, C. E. "Takeda Shingen." 9-26-03.
[url="http://www.samurai-archives.com/shingent1.html"]http://www.samurai-archives.com/shingent1.html[/url]
[b]4.[/b] Seal, F. W. "The History of the Takeda." 9-26-03.
[url="http://www.rit.edu/~mlc8826/the%20clan/Takeda%20story/takedahist3.html"]http://www.rit.edu/~mlc8826/the%20clan/Tak...akedahist3.html[/url]
(1st source by Seal)
[b]5.[/b] Seal, F. W. "Takeda Katsuyori." 9-26-03.
[url="http://www.samurai-archives.com/Katsuyori.html"]http://www.samurai-archives.com/Katsuyori.html[/url]
(2nd source by Seal)
[b]6.[/b] Statler, Oliver. Japanese Inn. New York: Random House, Inc., 1961.
[b]7.[/b] Fujimoto, Masaru. "Volleys that rang the death knell of an age." The
Japan Times. May 4, 2003.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[color=green][font="Times"][b]Samurai Banners: Nobori and Hata Jirushi - Uma Jirushi[/b][/color][/font]

[url="http://www.samurai-archives.com/mon.html"]Nobori and Hata Jirushi[/url]

[url="http://www.samurai-archives.com/mon2.html"]Nobori and Hata Jirushi II[/url]

[url="http://www.samurai-archives.com/mon3.html"]Nobori and Hata Jirushi III[/url]

[url="http://www.samurai-archives.com/mon4.html"]Uma Jirushi[/url]

[url="http://www.samurai-archives.com/mon5.html"]Uma Jirushi II[/url]

[color=gray][b]Examples Below...[/b][/color]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[font="Times"][color=red][b]: Examples of Samurai Flags/Banners I :[/b][/color][/font]

[img]http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v285/Bushido_Boy/PhatMass%20HotLinks/Uesugi_Kenshin_Jpg.jpg[/img]

[img]http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v285/Bushido_Boy/PhatMass%20HotLinks/Tokugawa_Ieyasu_Jpg.jpg[/img]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[color=red][font="Times"][b]: Examples of Samurai Flags/Banners II :[/b][/color][/font]

[img]http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v285/Bushido_Boy/PhatMass%20HotLinks/Naoe_Kanetsugu_Jpg.jpg[/img]

[img]http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v285/Bushido_Boy/PhatMass%20HotLinks/Kuroda_Nagamasa_Jpg.jpg[/img]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MorphRC    0
MorphRC
[quote name='cmotherofpirl' date='Jul 18 2004, 02:00 AM'] Beautiful! [/quote]
There great artists the Japanese :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×