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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]

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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]

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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]

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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.

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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]

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[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]

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[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]

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MorphRC
[quote name='cmotherofpirl' date='Jul 18 2004, 02:00 AM'] Beautiful! [/quote]
There great artists the Japanese :)

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Fides_et_Ratio
The Last Samurai is one of my favorite movies. It was good. Well, until after watching it one day I thought, "well if I like all the order and strict discipline, maybe I should be a nun"

... I haven't watched it since. :lol:

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[quote name='Fides_et_Ratio' date='Jul 18 2004, 03:05 AM'] The Last Samurai is one of my favorite movies. It was good. Well, until after watching it one day I thought, "well if I like all the order and strict discipline, maybe I should be a nun"

... I haven't watched it since. :lol: [/quote]
Lol. I like the Discipline, and the Physical side of Bushido. *All the sword-practicing in the movie* :D

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[color=blue][font="Times"][b]Katsu Kaishu: The Man Who Saved Early Modern Japan, by Romulus Hillsborough[/b][/color][/font]

[i]Katsu Kaishu - consummate samurai, streetwise denizen of Downtown Edo, founder of the Japanese navy, statesman par excellence and always the outsider, historian and prolific writer, faithful retainer of the Tokugawa Shogun and mentor of men who would overthrow him ­ was among the most remarkable of the numerous heroes of the Meiji Restoration.[/i]

Kaishu's protégé was Sakamoto Ryoma, a key player in the overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Surely Ryoma would agree that he owes his historical greatness to Kaishu, whom Ryoma considered 'the greatest man in Japan'. Ryoma was an outlaw and leader of a band of young rebels. Kaishu was the commissioner of the shogun's navy, who took the young rebels under his wing at his private naval academy in Kobe, teaching them the naval sciences and maritime skills required to build a modern navy. Kaishu also imparted to Ryoma his extensive knowledge of the Western world, including American democracy, the Bill of Rights, and the workings of the joint stock corporation.

Kaishu was one of the most enlightened men of his time, not only in Japan but in the world. The American educator E. Warren Clark, a great admirer of Kaishu who knew him personally, called Kaishu 'the Bismark of Japan', for his role in unifying the Japanese nation in the dangerous aftermath of the fall of the Tokugawa. Like Ryoma, Kaishu was an adept swordsman who never drew his blade on an adversary, despite numerous attempts on his life. Indeed the two men lived in dangerous times. 'I've been shot at by an enemy about twenty times in all,'Kaishu once said. 'I have one scar on my leg, one on my head, and two on my side.' Kaishu¹s defiance of death sprung from his reverence for life. 'I despise killing, and have never killed a man. I used to keep [my sword] tied so tightly to the scabbard, that I couldn¹t draw the blade even if I wanted to.'

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

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Katsu Kaishu, who would become the most powerful man in the Tokugawa Shogunate, was born in Edo in January 1823, the only son of an impoverished petty samurai. The Tokugawa had ruled Japan peacefully for over two centuries. To ensure their supremacy over some 260 feudal domains, the Tokugawa had strictly enforced a policy of national isolation since 1635. But the end of the halcyon era was fast approaching, as the social, political and economic structures of the outside world were undergoing major changes. The nineteenth century heralded the age of European and North American capitalism, and with it rapid developments in science, industry and technology. The development of the steamship in the early part of the century served the expansionist purposes of the Western powers. Colonization of Asian countries by European powers surged. In 1818 Great Britain subjugated much of India. Through the Treaty of Nanking, which ended the first Opium War in 1842, the British acquired Hong Kong. The Western encroachment reached Japan in 1853,when Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy led a squadron of heavily armed warships into the bay off the shogun's capital, forcing an end to Japanese isolation and inciting fifteen years of bloody turmoil across the island nation.


Until Perry¹s arrival, pursuers of foreign knowledge existed outside the mainstream of Japanese society. Kaishu was an outsider, both by nature and circumstance. But when his sword master urged him to discontinue fencing to devote himself to the study of Dutch, with the objective to learn Western military science, the young outsider balked. That it was frowned upon for a direct retainer of the shogun to study Dutch had little, if any, impact on Kaishu. He was innately inquisitive of things strange to him. He was also filled with a burgeoning self-confidence. But the idea of learning a foreign language seemed to him preposterous. He had never been exposed to foreign culture, except Chinese literature. It wasn't until age eighteen that he first saw a map of the world. 'I was wonderstruck,' he recalled decades later, adding that he had now determined to travel the globe.


Kaishu's wonderment was perfectly natural. His entire world still consisted of a small, isolated island nation. But his determination to travel abroad was strengthened by his discovery of strange script engraved on the barrel of a cannon in the compounds of Edo Castle. The cannon had been presented to Edo by the Netherlands, and Kaishu correctly surmised that the engraving was in Dutch. Thus far he had only heard about 'those foreigners, the Dutch', who lived in a small, confined community in the distant Nagasaki. 'Those foreigners' had occasionally fluttered through his mind as mere phantasm, the stuff of youthful imagination. But now, for the first time, he saw in his mind's eye, however vaguely, the people who had manufactured the cannon, and who had engraved in their own language the inscription upon its barrel. Those undecipherable letters of the alphabet, written horizontally rather than vertically, served as cold evidence of the actual existence of people who communicated in a language completely different from his own, but who until now had only existed as so much hearsay. Since these foreigners were human beings like himself, why shouldn't he be able to learn their language? And once he had learned their language, he would be able to read their books, learn how to manufacture and operate their cannon and realize his aspiration to travel the world.

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

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In the face of Perry's demands, the shogunate conducted a national survey, calling for solutions to the foreign threat. The shogunate received hundreds of responses, the majority of which, broadly speaking, represented either of two conflicting viewpoints. On one side were those who proposed opening the country to foreigners. Their opponents advocated preserving the centuries-old policy of exclusionism. But neither side offered a constructive means for realizing their proposals. In contrast, the memorial submitted by one unknown samurai was clear, brilliant, progressive, and included concrete advice for the future of Japan. In his memorial Kaishu pointed out that Perry had been able to enter Edo Bay unimpeded only because Japan did not have a navy to defend itself. He urged the shogunate to recruit men for a navy. He dared to propose that the military government break age-old tradition and go beyond birthright to recruit men of ability, rather than the sons of the social elite - and certainly there was nobody in all of Edo more poignantly aware of this necessity than this impoverished, brilliant young man from the lower echelons of samurai society. Kaishu advised that the shogunate lift its ban on the construction of warships needed for national defense; that it manufacture Western-style cannon and rifles; that it reform the military according to modern Western standards, and establish military academies. Pointing out the great technological advances being achieved in Europe and the Untied States, Kaishu challenged the narrow-minded traditionalists who opposed the adoption of Western military technology and systems.


Within the first few years after the arrival of Perry, all of Kaishu's proposals were adopted by the shogunate. In January 1855, Kaishu was recruited into government service. In Japanese chronology this corresponded to the second year of the Era of Stable Government, to which purpose Kaishu dedicated the remaining forty-four years of his life. In September, Kaishu sailed to Nagasaki, as one of a select group of thirty-seven Tokugawa retainers to study at the new Nagasaki Naval Academy, where he remained for two and a half years.

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

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