Oda Nobunaga could be called the greatest hero in Japanese history.
He received the surprise of the betrayal by one of his vassals, Akechi Mitsuhide, at Honno-ji temple in Kyoto in 1582 and committed suicide.
However, it is evident that Japan's modernization was behind about 300 years with his death.
There is not "if" in history but I dare to say "if". If Nobunaga could have succeeded in escaping from Mitsuhide's betrayal.
If he could have survived, Japan might have been modernized more than three centuries earlier and developed earlier than the European countries.
Moreover, the worldwide tragedy of the colonial imperialism by the European and American Great Powers could be prevented by him.
Now I'll try to write a story on the hypothesis that the worldwide hero, Nobunaga survives and develop reasoning how history would change not only in the world but also in Japan.
It is a fiction but I'll use real names of the historic people because I hope you can experience an eternal romance more realistically.
I would like to write up confidently how Nobunaga could prevent historic tragedies in the lesser powers controlled by the imperialistic country more than 300 years ago and have an influence on realization of peace in the world.
Especially discrimination against black people that originated with slavery in Africa still continues to leave a dark shadow in the world.
If we focus on and understand the way Nobunaga did in his lifetime, there seems to be a lot of clues to how other discriminatory issues all over the world as well as the racial discrimination could be avoided and resolved by Nobunaga.
Chapter-1 The Surprise at Honnooji Temple
Ten years passed since Nobunaga had defeated his strongest rival, Takeda corps and gone up to the capital in Kyoto.
It was ‘joraku’ in Japanese that meant going up to a capital to take over political power from the emperor who lived in the capital of Kyoto and rule it under the name of the emperor.
It was an important ceremony to officially show other feudal lords, ‘Daimyou’ who the actual ruler in Japan was. During controlling Japan for ten years, Nobunaga changed many traditional rules that had prevented Japan from modernizing its old-fashioned political and religious country system.
He was called an incarnation of a devil because his ideas were so unique that no other contemporary governor could change and break old custom.
These transformations led by him were effected not only modernized government system but also the modern economic style.
1582 must be said as a turning point in modernizing Japan as well as the world.
This story begins before dawn on June 2, 1582 just after Nobunaga survived the attack by Mitsuhide and returned to his castle in Azuchi.
Nobunaga heard from Mori Ranmaru, his secretary that it was the surprise by Mitsuhide. After Mitsuhide marauded Honnoji Temple, Nobunaga was determined to die, saying “There is no help for it” and tried to commit suicide. Then, Yasuke stopped him. Yasuke was a black slave presented to Nobunaga as an offering from Louice Floyce.
Nobunaga heard from Floyce the reason why people with black skin were forced to be slavery and then returned Yasuke to Floyce.
“I heard that the skin of the people in the European countries where you live is white but I can find Europe is in the northern end on the miniature globe that you gave me,” Nobunaga said.
“People living there far from the equator have fewer hours that they can be blessed with the sunshine than those living near the equator. In physiology the skin of the people receiving a lot of blessings of the sun naturally becomes black. Why are the people getting least blessings more excellent than those with black skin getting a lot more blessings? I am not getting the whole picture. It is not logical but illogical.”
Floyce heard this and was astonished to say “What a superb intelligence you have! You can see through the correlation between the sun and the earth with this miniature globe.”
Yasuke heard their conversation and began to idolize Nobunaga.
“Why was not such a person as Nobunaga in the European countries? I will devote my life to him who might be able to liberate all of our Negro all over the world,”
“I must rescue my lord Nobunaga for anything!” Yasuke forgot he was his master, hitting Nobunaga on his head from behind.
Yasuke held him in his arms and instructed Ranmaru to collect Nobunaga’s family including Nobutada, a son of Nobunaga.
Then some women bunched up together, and Nobunaga as well as his family slipped into the bunch and attempted to break through from the front gate.
Although Mitsuhide saw them run out screaming, he let them go without ordering vassals to chase them.
Nobunaga said himself “If I were him, I would not miss them. That is his gentleness,” with putting on woman’s clothing, worshipped Mitsuhide on a horse.
At first, Nobunaga developed retaliation against not only Mitsuhide but throughout the country.
Nobunaga knew that Mitsuhide was not so liberal that he could plan such a bold betrayal by himself.
There was usually someone ruling behind. Moreover, he was aware that someone is the Emperor Oogimachi and his followers, court nobles.
He ordered the Emperor eternal banishment.
There had been retired sovereigns, who ordered the emperor to banish to an island, such as Hojo Yoshitoki and Hojo Takatoki of the Shogunate government of Kamakura regency but not the one who ordered eternal banishment that was common in other countries but a taboo in Japan.
After the revenge was accomplished, Nobunaga got started planning to conquer China.
Though Hideyoshi was at the top of Nobunaga’s retainers, he was in another mission from Nobunaga during the attack by Mitsuhide.
He was attacking the Mori clan, the largest governor in the mid-east to make them surrender.
Tokugawa Ieyasu, a partner with Nobunaga was in Sakai City with a few of his retainers during the incident.
He suspected that Mitsuhide would attack him, so he felt to be in danger and decided to flee from Sakai City through Ibuki Mountain. Seven days later, at last, he managed to reach his territory.
When Ieyasu reached his castle, he was reported from his scouts that Nobunaga had survived and made a counterattack against Mitsuhide.
His body was cut off into seven pieces and exposed on the bank of Kamo River.
Hideyoshi saw the event like hell along with Nobunaga.
That was Nobunaga’s style and there had never been any Samurai except him who punished harshly in Japanese history.
However, his way was consequential in other countries and especially in China, every time the dynasty changed places, it was common to kill the whole family including children and women.
Do not miss the point that the way “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is not only Nobunaga’s but rather international.
That harmed his image. Even if he was criticized to be devilish in Japan where the principle that good work will be rewarded and bad work punished was ambiguous, on the contrary, his way was easy to be understood in other countries.
Whether there was Nobunaga or not would have completely changed the passage to proceed for Japan and the evaluation by the international community.
For approximately 150 years leading today from Meiji Era, the beginning of modernization, has there been a politician like Nobunaga?
Even Okubo Toshimichi who founded the modern Japanese government seemed to be a poor imitation to the European countries.
The originality and foresight of Sakamoto Ryoma who could read the flow of the world was not so excellent as Nobunaga’s.
Someone say Nobunaga had a sodomy proclivity because his episode concerning women has hardly been stated.
Of course, he was not just homosexual. He had four sons. It was common in those days that the lords made sodomy partners.
I don’t think that Nobunaga was abnormal on that point.
Though his episode about women have rarely been introduced as much as Hideyoshi’s and Ieyasu’s.
It is possible to say that paying attention to that point is an important element that brings Nobunaga’s real character into relief.
Oichi, Nobunaga’s younger sister and her three princesses were coming to have a big influence on him on the front stage if later history, but that was not historically so remarkable.
I can’t help suspecting some political intention was hidden in the back.
Chapter-2 The dawn of the modern world
One year later Nobunaga founded a new city and a castle in the vacant lot where had used to be Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple destroyed by him at the incident.
This is what is now Osaka.
He expected that Osaka should become a very important place to make an expansion of his worldwide empire in the future.
Nobunaga welcomed Floyce who was a missionary dispatched far from Portugal as a source of global information that is necessary for his worldwide empire.
The book “ The Japanese History” written by Floyce stated that Nobunaga was the only one Japanese person who could understand the way of thinking of European people and advanced science.
His remarkable intelligence was the capability to completely understand that the earth was round even though the most advanced European people convinced that it was flat at that time.
Nobunaga definitely seemed to be the most appropriate leader in the world not only in the sixteenth century but the twenty-first century.
Floyce met Nobunaga at the penthouse in Azuchi Castle.
Nobunaga asked him to explain European countries that had a high level of army force in particular.
Floyce was from Portugal that, in the 1500s, overwhelmed other countries in Europe in view of navigating technology to across the ocean that enabled him to come to Japan.
The capability of navigation was the most important factor to compete with other countries.
The reason why England would be leading at the 1600s should be owe to Industrial Revolution of epoch-making technology that could build high performance ships.
In the 1500s, however, brave heart was a prerequisite for leading countries.
Spain succeeded Portugal, Holland succeeded Spain and England succeeded Holland.
The Germany and Austria Empire had to play the last fiddle in competing for imperialism.
This was a trigger of the First World War in the beginning of the twentieth century and leading to the Second World War.
Japan had the most advanced mass manufacturing facilities of guns in the 1500s and also the biggest ship made of steel.
It was apparently the most advanced country not only with hardware production but software creativity especially of information system.
He could foresee and predict the change of the world for over five hundreds years.
Floyce played an important role for Nobunaga to let him know the European movement.
After eternal banishment of the Emperor Oogimachi, the successor was primary chosen from the Imperial family but Nobunaga didn't permit the custom.
Nobunaga ordered all Japanese people from Samurai to farmers that there would never be the Emperor, The Tennoh system.
Around over a-thousand-year monarchy system was over.
The first Republican country in the world was born by Nobunaga.
He designated himself as the first president.
However, none of his family member became a president except Nobunaga.
Nobunaga was fifty years old when he became the president, Hideyoshi was three years younger than Nobunaga when he did, and Ieyasu was seven years younger than Hideyoshi.
The glorious Republican Country had started earlier than the European countries with these three presidents.
However without Nobunaga's existence and his radical political action this could not have happened.
Nobunaga prepared to go out of Japan to unify other countries as he did in Japan in the past.
His most principal strategy was to gather as much information about enemy as he could.
He did not find warriors more important to fight bravely than scouts to give him any kind of valuable information.
He distinguished himself by defeating the Imagawa corps by guerrilla tactics only to get the skeleton of the leader, Imagawa Yoshimoto.
He gave the most honorable prize to Yanada Masatuna who gave Nobunaga actual information about Yoshimoto’s position.
Hattori Koheita and Mohri Shinsuke who beat Yoshimoto were given the second prize by Nobunaga.
This meant that Nobunaga could take information for the most important factor in a war.
The twenty-first century shall be an advanced information technology era.
It is a miraculous matter that there was a person who had known that information technology was so important more than four hundred years ago.
Even the European leading countries like Portugal and Spain were still under the monarchy system.
A monarch and nobles shook hands with religious people. They were sharing territories in the country, so farmers could not have their lands.
Before Nobunaga appeared, there was the same system in Japan called "Shouen System." Nobunaga broke it and gave farmers their own lands.
Nobunaga also established a free market system wherein any people could sell and buy at their own risk.
Nobunaga broke the uncountable barriers for the people to freely come and go.
Even now modernized countries themselves particularly like Japan are unable to apply those systems Nobunaga made over four hundreds years ago.
Japan, therefore, wasted more than four hundred years. It is tremendous loss for Japan as well as many conquered and suffered countries by imperialists.
Needless to say, Asian, South American and African black people in particular have been suffering racial distinction and hateful slavery.
Nobunaga tried to change not only Japanese history but also world history.
Now we go back 1582 again.
Chapter-3 The marvelous power of foresight
Chapter-4 The advance to West
Chapter-5 The Aryan
Chapter-6 The conquest of India and Persia
Chapter-7 The Japanese history by Floyce
Chapter-8 The Europe in the 16th century
Chapter-9 The Tennoh System
Chapter-10 The reinforcement of economic power
Chapter-11 The rage to the European Great Powers
Chapter-12 The Caspian Sea (The sea of Khazal)
Chapter-13 The trap
Chapter-14 Hideyoshi rejoicing
Chapter-15 Hideyoshi at ecstasy
Chapter-16 Hideyoshi at distraction
Chapter-17 The High performance of the leader
Chapter-18 The reappearance at Okehazama
Chapter-19 The victim, Ottoman Empire
Chapter-20 Constantinople, the navel of the Eurasia
Chapter-21 The burst between manic and depressive
Chapter-22 The Negro leader Yasuke
Chapter-23 The moral story
Chapter-24 The sense of Nobunaga’s morality
At the end
As I mentioned in the foreword, I dared to write this story on my boldness and hopeful prospect.
The historical fact is that Nobunaga encountered a betrayal at Honnooji Temple and committed suicide.
However, I can imagine how he thought, how he lived and how he saw the world as well as Japan if he could have survived.
Especially, Nobunaga’s outlook on life is truly expressed in Atsumori, "Human life is only fifty years. Walking around the earth, all the things happening seem like a dream. Everything will disappear after all."
I am sure that he must have identified his way of life but not have exposed such shameful behavior as some leaders of Japan these days, suppose that he had survived who was always conscious of the pessimism.
Therefore, I wrote it imagining how he lived for limited 10 years from his 49 years old to 59 although he died at 49.
Formerly, in Japan they said the age of 42 was the unlucky year for men as the average life span was supposed 50 years.
But the second half of our 50s is thought to be a truly unlucky year at the time when the average life expectancy is about 80 years in the present Japan.
On that point, indeed, the age of 59 is the time of a wave to be highest for the men who live in the society of hardship.
In Japan some women are ranked higher these days, so the age of 59 can be also said to be the highest generation of rising waves for women.
I am greatly honored to know that this novel will be useful for you in considering how it is possible to plow over the waves of the time of chaos when you look over Nobunaga’s way of life for 10 years.
December 20, 2000 Satoshi Nitta
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