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  #1  
Old 07-29-2005, 03:26 PM
otokomiraimarai otokomiraimarai is offline
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Post Clan Leaders of 16th C Japan and Their Banners/Kamon

Check this out you will like this especially because I think I remember someone say that they would like to see something about Daimyo and Sogun flags of Feudal Japan 16th Century here is a web site to show what I mean check it out http://www.japan-101.com/photos/browseimages.php?c=24
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Old 10-09-2005, 07:08 PM
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Default Famous Faces in the 16th century

Despite the fact that the 16th century didn't see such legendary heroes as Uesugi Kenshin, Takeda Shingen, Oda Nobunaga and Hashiba Hideyoshi to name a few, there were still a number of greats who lived on into the era.

One of the most relevant is perhaps Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate (or 'bakufu', literally 'tent government') that reigned for a good 250 years. Ieyasu, born 1543, was considered a great warrior and general. Named Shogun in 1603, he abdicated the title to his son in 1605, although he remained the real power behind the bakufu until his death in 1616. (For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_Ieyasu)

Sanada Yukimura, originally Sanada Nobushige (named for Takeda Shingen's younger brother, Takeda Nobushige, a respected warrior), is a warrior who has been subject to much legend and romantiscism as of late. He appeared in the 2004 Koei Samurai Warriors. Yukimura was a great warrior in reality, though perhaps not cutting down thousands in a single battle. During the Summer Siege of Osaka in 1615, he led the charge against the overwhelming forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu, and put up a valiant fight. He did lose his life in the battle to Nishio Nizaemon of the Echizen. (For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanada_Yukimura)

Sanada Masayuki, Yukimura's father, was known in history as a master strategist and was admired throughout Japan. He served close to Takeda Shingen at a young age, and flourished. He became the head of the Sanada clan in 1575. One of his most famous battles is that of Ueda Castle, where Ieyasu laid siege with a force of 7000 to Masayuki's mere 2000. Masayuki was able to inflict 3000 casualties on Ieyasu and won an overwhelming victory. Masayuki died in 1611. (For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanada_Masayuki)

Often considered a 'beast' of legend, Maeda Keiji was considered one of the greatest warriors in Japanese history. He rode atop Matsukaze, a horse legendary in it's own right. (Supposedly, no-one before Keiji had been able to tame the wild creature. It is written that after Keiji's death, the horse ran off, never to be seen again.) During the invasion of Aizu, Keiji rode rear guard (a notorious position of great honor. The likelyhood of your death was tenfold, as you stayed behind to protect the rest during a retreat) and thanks to his show of force, the Uesugi army returned unscathed. Maeda Keiji died sometime between 1605 and 1612. (For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maeda_Keiji)

You probably recognize the symbol that he fought under, for it is now the modern flag of Japan. Date Masamune, or "Dokuganryu" (The One-Eyed Dragon), became the leader of Date at the age of 18 when his father, Date Terumune, retired from the position. The story of how he lost his eyes is a curious one: Apparently, during a bout of small-pox when he was young, he pulled out his own eye. His mother deemed him unfit to take over as head of Date, and began to favor his brother. One night, Masamune's mother attemped to poison him while serving him dinner. Masamune killed his own brother in his rise to power, stating simply: "I thought that we could get along as brothers, perhaps in the next life..." Masamune was awarded the Sendai domain by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and in doing so, Masamune became one of the most powerful daimyo's in Japan. Considered his greatest achievement, Masamune endorsed one of Japan's only journeys of exploration during the period. The voyage, using a ship that he built based on European ship-building techniques, visited the Philippines, Mexico, Spain and Rome among other places. It was the first Japanese voyage to sail around the world. Date Masamune died in 1636. (For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masamune_Date)

I plan on updating this more, presenting more of the famous faces throughout the early 16th century. There were certainly a plethora. If you have any others, feel free to post them!

MQ
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Last edited by MattyQ; 10-10-2005 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Keiji Maede = Maede Keiji
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Old 10-10-2005, 05:59 PM
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Default Miyamoto Musashi

Anyone who is a Samurai buff should know very well the name Miyamoto Musashi. The legendary swordsman, traveller and author of The Book of 5 Rings. Unfortunately, Musashi was later 16th century.

Though much of his youth is shrouded in mystery, it is generally accepted that Musashi was born in the village of Miyamoto to a samurai family, under the name Shinmen Musashi no Kami Fujiwara no Genshin, indicating that he was of the Shinmen, Musashi branch, of the Fujiwara and his adult given name was Genshin (You may have heard of the Fujiwara clan - they dominated Japanese politics through the Heian period, and still held a good deal of influence in the following eras).

Supposedly, Musashi's mother died in child-birth, leaving his mother's brother, a priest, to raise him. Musashi met his father only on rare occasion.

According to The Book of 5 Rings, Musashi won his first duel at the age of thirteen against an accomplished samurai by the name of Arima Kihei of Kashima, who fought with the Shinto-Ryu style (one of the last existing koryu).

In 1604, according to Musashi's adopted son Iori, Musashi fought a duel against the master swordsman Yoshioka Seijuro and won, usingly only a bokken. Through to 1612, Musashi traveled extensively through Japan, honing his skills as a warrior and participating in over sixty duels. He was supposedly never defeated, though that point is contested by Japenese historians who argue that he could not have won certain duels without assistance from his students.

It is written that Musashi participated in campaigns with or was in service under such greats as Toyotomi Hideyoshi (the general who united Japan) and Ieyasu Tokugawa, as well as daimyo Ogasawara Tadazane of Kokura and daimyo Hosokawa Tadatoshi of Kumamoto Castle.

It was in 1643 that Musashi became a hermit, hiding himself away in the cave named Reigando, to write The Book of 5 Rings. He finished it just before his death in 1645.

During his lifetime, Musashi succeeded in a number of achievements:
He perfected the two-sword kenjutsu technique niten'ichi (two heavens as one). This technique took advantage of the wakizashi, employing both that and the katana at the same time. His sword style is now known as Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu. Supposedly, he was inspired to the style as he watched temple drummers - in actuality, it may have been more attributed to his father, who taught a style which employed a long sword and jitte at the same time.

Musashi was an accomplished artist, sculptor and calligrapher. Supposedly he was also a skilled architect. Musashi sacrificed the aesthetic considerations that were a part of certain kenjutsu styles, taking a more brutal, no-nonsense bent on his fighting. This is attributed to his real-life fighting experience.

He was posthumously named a Kensei (Sword-saint), a wandering warrior-monk who dedicated his entire existence to mastering his chosen style of combat.

This is an incredible wealth of information on Miyamoto Musashi available. The warrior has also been written into a large number of fiction pieces. William Scott Wilson's The Lone Samurai is a good source of information on him.
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Last edited by MattyQ; 10-10-2005 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:04 PM
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Default Hattori Hanzo

Ninja buffs should all know the name Hattori Hanzo, more formally Hattori Masanari. Hanzo is one of the most notorious ninja figures throughout Japanese history, immortalized through history books and fiction alike.

Hattori Hanzo earned his infamous nickname Devil Hanzo through serving Tokugawa Ieyasu. The nickname was not only for reverance to Hanzo's skills, but was used to distinguish the man from another Tokugawa ninja, Watanabe Hanzo.

Hattori engaged in his first battle at the age of 16, and moved on to serve in the battles of Anegawa and Mikatagahara.

Hattori Hanzo is most well known for guiding Ieyasu to Mikawa following the assassination of Nobunaga by Akechi Mitsuhide. Not only did Hanzo provide a safe trek for Ieyasu, but he was able to convine a group of Iga men to provide escort. His reputation as a ninja leader of 200 men has secured him a place in legend.

Hattori Hanzo has appeared in TV shows, films, video games and manga.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Famous Faces in the 16th century

I noticed that account of Musashi's up-bringing differs somewhat from the Novel by Eji Yoshikawa, being as Novels often romantise the truth I dont doubt that the version you described may have been closer to the truth but I just wonder where the name Takezo came from?

Does the name that Musashi went by in his youth in the novel hold any historical merit? I also wonder if his uncle who looked after him after his mother's death was said to be named Takuan as per the novel also.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Famous Faces in the 16th century

Other sources site Miyamoto Musashi's original name as Shinmen Takezo. It is possible that Takezo was his given name as a child, as Genshin is his adult name.
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:47 PM
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Default Oda Nobunaga

One of the figure's most subject to fictional personification in the last ten years was the daimyo Oda Nobunaga. Born in 1534 to daimyo Oda Nobuhide, a weak warlord with minor landholdings, of Owari. A rambunctious and undisciplined youth, Nobunaga was referred to openly as the "Owari's Great Fool" This was compounded due to Nobunaga's disgraceful behavior when his father died suddenly in 1551, throwing the incense at the altar. Due to his actions, many Oda retainers felt isolated and began to side with Nobunaga's brother, Nobuyuki, despite Nobunaga's legitmate claim to Owari.

Nobunaga felt another reprecussion due to his actions when his wife, Nohime's (better known as the Lady Noh) father Hirate Masahide committed seppuku, for shame of the way Nobunaga had been conducting himself. Despite rebellions (and eventual execution/assassination) by Nobutomo and Nobuyuki, Nobunaga did succeed in reuniting the fractured Oda clan and Owari province by 1559.

Through to 1582 Nobunaga engaged in a brutal campaign, rolling across Japan in battle after battle, with the elimination of the Ikko rebels, the Ashikaga shogunate, and the Kenshin and Takeda forces. He made careful alliances with Ieyasu Tokugawa and Hashiba Hideyoshi to assist him. An incredible number of noncombatants lost their lives during Nobunaga's campaign. Attributed to Nobunaga's victories are the fact that he was one of the first combatants in Japan to employ western firearms en masse in battle, violating a Warrior's code that had stood for centuries.

However, in 1582 Nobunaga met his end. Akechi Mitsuhide, a general with growing disillusionment towards Nobunaga due to his carelessness for human life, perpetrated a coup against Nobunaga (at the urging of Hashiba Hideyoshi, it is rumored) and attacked him in the center of the territories he firmly controlled. When Mitsuhide had Honnoji surrounded and his other forces attacking Nijo castle (where Nobunaga's son Nobutada was) simultaneously, he forced Nobunaga to commit seppuku. Nobutada killed himself soon after.

There is considerably more information on Oda Nobunaga, and I would suggest checking the wikipedia, as well as a number of history books for more information on him. There is a lot of fiction exisiting about him to contrast against.
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Famous Faces in the 16th century

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyQ
Other sources site Miyamoto Musashi's original name as Shinmen Takezo. It is possible that Takezo was his given name as a child, as Genshin is his adult name.
In Feudal Japan that was the custom. A name was given as a child, a name was given a turn of age (13-15), another when military rank was attained, and other major events in the life. It was not uncommon for a life changing event to lead to a change in name as well.
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Old 10-12-2005, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Famous Faces in the 16th century

Good info
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Famous Faces in the 16th century

I've been looking to profile either a naval specialist or one of the many Japanese pirates, but have been unable to find any actual names that could correspond to either category outside of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who really only led a conquest force rather then a navy...

If you know of any, please tell me!

Matty
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