Obu Toramasa, who according to some accounts was a descendant of Minamoto no Yoshiie, was a chief vassal of the Takeda Clan who first served Takeda Nobutora, then his son Takeda Shingen, and later became tutor to Shingen's eldest son Yoshinobu. He was one of Shingen's Twenty-Four Generals and was nicknamed "The Wild Tiger of Kai." However, he was implicated in a plot to rebel against Shingen by Yoshinobu and was forced to commit suicide at the age of 62.
Historically: The first of the "Three Unifiers"; born in Owari to a samurai, his unbridled, ruthless ambitious and military tactical genius enabled him to gain control of the imperial court in 1573 after having driven the shogun out of Kyoto. His seal read "the realm subjected to military power". Murdered at the age of forty-nine by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide in the Honnou-ji in Kyoto.
The Siege of Odawara in 1590 was the campaign by which Toyotomi Hideyoshi killed Houjou Ujimasa, exiled his son Houjou Ujinao, and eliminated the mighty Later Houjou Clan, ruler of the eight provinces of the Kantou, as a threat to his power.
The Houjou were not caught unprepared; guessing at Hideyoshi's intentions, they had made preparations by making a massive recruitment effort targeting men from 15 to 70 years of age, shoring up arms, and making large-scale renovations and repairs to Odawara Castle, Hachiouji Castle, Yamanaka Castle, Nirayama Castle, and others.
Toyotomi's main force consisted of Toyotomi Hidetsugu, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda Nobukatsu, Gamou Ujisato, Kuroda Yoshitaka, Hashiba Hidekatsu, Ukita Hideie, Oda Nobukane, Hosokawa Tadaoki, Kobayakawa Takakage, Kikkawa Hiroie, Hori Hidemasa, Ikeda Terumasa, Asano Nagamasa, Ishida Mitsunari, Natsuka Masaie, Hasegawa Hidekazu, Ootani Yoshitsugu, Ishikawa Kazumasa, Mashita Nagamori, Kanamori Nagachika, Tsutsui Sadatsugu, Ikoma Chikamasa, Hachisuka Iemasa, Ootomo Yoshimune, and Shimadu Hisayasu leading approx. 170,000 troops. His navy was lead by Chousokabe Motochika, Katou Yoshiakira, Kuki Yoshitaka, and Wakizaka Yasuharu with approx. 10,000 troops. An additional army lead by Maeda Toshiie, Maeda Toshinaga, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Sanada Masayuki, and Yoda Yasukuni came down from the north with approx. 35,000 troops.
In all, around 210,000 troops faced the Houjou 82,000 (though opinions differ on those numbers).
For the Houjou, Houjou Ujimasa, Houjou Ujinao, Houjou Ujitada, Houjou Ujiteru, Oota Ujifusa, [[Narita Ujinaga, Minagawa Hiroteru, Haga Yasutada, Matsuda Norihide, Kasahara Masaharu and Kasahara Masataka held Odawara Castle. Matsuda Yasunaga held Yamanaka Castle, Houjou Ujikatsu Yamanaka Castle then Tamanawa Castle, Houjou Ujinori Nirayama Castle, Daidouji Masashige Matsuida Castle, and Houjou Ujikuni Hachigata Castle.
Toyotomi's basic strategy held the troops from the north in reserve while sending his main army towards Odawara Castle, taking Yamanaka Castle, Nirayama Castle, and Ashigara Castle along the way. At the same time, his navy circled Izu Peninsula toward Odawara from the south. Though Toyotomi controlled an overwhelming force, the Houjou had gathered an elite force of 50,000 at Odawara Castle, with the most elite among them placed at Yamanaka, Nirayama, and Ashigara Castles.
One by one, the Houjou's supporting castles fell either to Toyotomi's main force or to the reserves from the north. At Odawara, however, only a night attack by Oota Ujifusa on the Houjou side and some skirmishes from the Toyotomi side could be called actual fighting.
In July, Ujinori and Ujifusa began peace negotiations via Ieyasu. The Houjou agreed to surrender, and Ujimasa and Ujiteru were moved to the guardhouse. They committed seppuku on the 10th of August.
Odawara Castle is a mountain castle located on a hill above Odawara City in present-day Kanagawa Prefecture and is a designated national historic site. It was built in 1417 by Oomori Yoriharu and greatly expanded by Houjou Souun when he took it in 1495. His son Houjou Ujitsuna made it his main stronghold, and so it remained for three more generations of the clan. Its extensive defenses repelled attacks by great warlords such as Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen. Toyotomi Hideyoshi took the castle in 1590 after the Houjou surrendered to him in the Siege of Odawara. He awarded it to Tokugawa Ieyasu after destroying most of its fortifications along with the Houjou lands.
Tokugawa gave the castle one of his senior retainers, Ookubo Tadayo, after the completion of Edo Castle, and it remained in the hands of the Ookubo Clan aside from a few decades in the late 1600s until the Meiji Era, when the castle was destroyed in 1870–1872 in obedience with imperial decree.
The area became Odawara Castle Park (also known as Castle Ruins Park) in 1950. The park includes an art museum, local history museum, city library, amusement park, and zoo. The present (historically inaccurate) structure, which mimics the much-reduced form of the castle in Ookubo Tadayo's time, was rebuilt in 1960 out of reinforced concrete to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the proclamation of Odawara as a city. Tokiwagi Gate (常磐木門) in the inner citadel, Akagane Gate (銅門) in the outer citadel, and Umade Gate (馬出門) were reconstructed in 1971, 1997, and 2009, respectively, in more historically accurate representations of their late Edo forms.
The City of Odawara, located in present-day Kanagawa Prefecture, flourished as the castle-town of the Houjou Clan, whose strategic fortress of Odawara Castle served as an impregnable stronghold for several generations of the clan during the Sengoku. During the Edo Period, it became the castle-town of Odawara-han and controlled the East Sea Road between Edo and Tokugawa stations west of Hakone.
An actor from Kanagawa, Japan who has appeared in around 10 movie roles and 15 television roles, including narration for Tokyo Broadcasting System's ongoing documentary series, World Heritage from 1996-2001.
A samurai and member of the Houjou Oumamawari-shuu in direct service to the head of the Houjou Clan.
Lit. "Bucket Gorge", the place near modern-day Aichi Prefecture where the 26-year-old Oda Nobunaga fought the battle of Okehazama against Imagawa Yoshimoto in June of 1560. Imagawa Yoshimoto was on his way to Kyoto to attempt to become ruler of all Japan and was passing through Nobunaga's territory of Owari, intending to crush Nobunaga's forces with his army on his way to the capital.
On the morning of the battle, Nobunaga left his castle of Kiyosu and journeyed to Okehazama, and the most faithful and famous of his generals joined him with their men along the way: Mori Yoshinari, Mori Ranmaru's father, Shibata Katsuie, Sassa Narimasa, Ikeda Shonyu, Niwa Nagahide, Oyotomi Hideyoshi: in all, around 3000 men to Imagawa's 25,000.
Nobunaga's army, camouflaged by a passing summer thunderstorm, fell upon the Imagawa army while the latter was resting at Okehazama. Taken completely by surprise, the Iwagawa army scattered, and Imagawa Yoshimoto was killed.
This battle destroyed the Imagawa faction and began Nobunaga's path to unification.
A high school friend of Tachibana Yoshiaki whose family also owns a temple. He studied Buddhism in college to obtain his monk's license, but decided to work in a company after graduation instead. He currently works as a secretary for Hazama Shigeharu, whom he admires, at Hazama Confectionery. He recommends Naoe to Hazama when Hazama begins dreaming of a princess from antiquity.
Also known as: Koumyou Shingon: "The mantra of glory/mantra of light" (光明真言)
A mantra of Dainichi Nyorai which expiates sin, and brings fortune, ease, and longevity. It is a powerful all-purpose mantra which can be used to remove illness and injury and protect the user from poisonous creatures, demons, and the dead.
The mantra of Amitābha, the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light.
Also known as: Hakku Dharani—"Eight-Verse Dharani" (八句陀羅尼)
Part of one of the five Shurangama Mantras which appears in the seventh volume of the Shurangama Sutra. This mantra is the last line of the invocation used to summon the aid of Bishamonten, the Guardian of the North.
In Mirage of Blaze, this mantra is a portion of the spell used by Zen Master Kaisen to seal the onryou of Takeda Shingen after his death. This is also the incantation engraved on the bracelet Naoe gives to Yuzuru to confine Shingen after his revival.
Shingon used to call on vajra fire, which averts demons barring the way to knowledge. The accompanying ritual gesture is made with hands open, the palm of the left hand cupped protectively around the back of the right hand and thumbs touching, the whole forming a triangular shape. The eight fingers indication the direction of the fire.
「おん ばさら ぼきしゃ ぼく」
A mantra chanted at the end of a ritual to send any summoned powers back to their origins.
Also known as: hikougosin (被甲護身)
An incantation that casts a spiritual suit of armor around the receiver.
One description of the casting says: "Imagine that you have put on the armor of the Great Compassion and the Great Mercy of the Tathagata (Buddha), that all the demons and all those who would hinder the practitioner now see him enclosed in bright light and flames, like the orb of the sun."
An invocation of protection from Dakini, a Buddhist deity who eats the hearts of the dead and is associated with the fox: "Oh Divine Eater of Human Flesh and those who follow you, I call upon you in fear and awe."
The mantra of Shoumen Kongou, a Buddhist deity who repels the calamities of evil beasts, diseases, and thunder.
The mantra of Dakini, a Buddhist deity who eats the hearts of the dead and is associated with the fox.
Also known as: furai or furei "general gratitude" (普礼)
An expression of gratitude/general devotion to all the buddhas.
Also known as: jousangou "purification of the three" (浄三業)
An incantation that purifies the body, words, and mind. Used before a complex invocation.
Shingon of the treasure carriage, used to send the carriage which goes out to receive the idol of the Buddha. The accompany ritual gesture is made with the middle, ring, and little fingers interwoven, with forefingers touching and heels of hands touching, and thumbs spread.
Also known as: Oniniwa Tsunamoto, Moniwa Nobumoto
A vassal of the Date Clan under Date Masamune whose father, Oniwa Yoshinao, died at the Battle of Hitotoribashi. Masamune's trust in him and his admininstrative skills were such that he was given important administrative duties over other key retainers at the age of 38.
In 1590, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi suspected Masamune of treason, Tsunamoto went to the capital in his lord's defense. Hideyoshi was so impressed by his ability that it was said that he gave one of his concubines to Tsunamoto.
Tsunamoto would later serve Masamune's son, Date Hidemune, with the same faithfulness.
Lit.: "vengeful ghost"; the spirits of those who died in the Sengoku period who are still so filled with rage and hatred that they continue to exist in the world as vengeful spirits instead of being purified and reborn.
Lit.: "vengeful general": the spirits of the warlords of the Sengoku period, who continue their battles even in modern-age Japan.
Lit. "onshou-extermination": exorcism of the onshou
Title: Musashi Shugodai
Ooishi Sadahisa was a warlord of Musashi, son of Ooishi Sadashige and master of Takiyama Castle. He succeeded his father as head of the family, but in 1546 upon the Uesugi Clan's defeat to Houjou Ujiyasu in the Battle of Kawagoe Castle, he married his daughter Hisa to Ujiyasu's third son Houjou Ujiteru and adopted him, upon which he retired and yielded both Takiyama Castle and his title to Ujiteru. After retirement he worked to further diplomatic relations between the Houjou and Uesugi Kenshin.
Titles: Harima no Kami
He took the side of Uesugi Kagekatsu during the Otate no Ran. After the war, he became one of the three magistrates of the Aizu along with Yasuda Yoshimoto and Iwai Nobuyoshi and was the chamberlain of Hobara Castle. His forte was in the maintainence of highways and other public works construction.
Title: Tajima no Kami
Second son of Higuchi Kanetoyo, younger brother of Naoe Kanetsugu, vassal of the Uesugi Clan. He fought for Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran. In 1582 he was adopted into the Okuni Clan as its heir. When he became head of the clan, he changed the clan name to Ookuni by Kagekatsu's command. (小国->大国, "small country"->"large country".)
The guidance counselor at Fukashi Junior High School while Takaya was a student there.
Described as a middle-aged man with a deep, harsh voice, an overbearing expression, and bad breath. He wears a threadbare necktie and trousers that always look like the same pair. Rumor has it that he's the hen-pecked husband of a woman from one of the old families, and takes his shame and resentment of being adopted into his wife's family out on the students. He always carries an elastic stick pointer and likes browbeating the students in the guise of counseling them. Also rumored to have made a female student take her clothes off in front of him.
Oooka Echizen was a prime-time historical television drama that ran from March 16, 1970 to March 15, 1999 in Japan. Its 402 episodes centered around Oooka Tadasuke (1677–1752), a historical figure who was a magistrate of Edo during the time of Tokugawa Yoshimune. The show was a detective-courtroom program with the magistrate serving as chief of police, judge and jury.
Also known as: Oota Sukenaga (太田資長)
Oota Doukan was a Japanese samurai warrior-poet, military tactician and Buddhist monk who is best remembered for designing and building Edo Castle (now the Imperial Palace). He served the Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan and built Edo Castle for Uesugi Sadamasa over Edo Shigenaga's earlier fortifications. In the 16th century, Tokugawa Ieyasu would choose Edo Castle to be his home upon his transfer to the Kantou.
During Nagao Kageharu's Rebellion, Doukan fought 30-odd battles and almost single-handedly averted the crisis for the Ougigayatsu and Yamanouchi Uesugi clans. His efforts resulted in a great increase in the influence of the Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan as well as his own stature.
The Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan, fearful and suspicious of his rising power (possibly justified, possibly not) had Doukan assassinated at Uesugi Sadamasa's residence in Sagami.
Named a National Treasure as Japan's oldest gothic-style church, this Catholic cathedral was built under the direction of French priest Bernard Petitjean in 1864 in the City of Nagasaki. It was officially named the "Church of the twenty-six Saints of Japan" and faces in the direction of Nishizaka Hill.
Lit.: "Great Boiling Valley"
Oowaku Valley is a volcanic valley located in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture with sulphuric vents from the Hakone Volcano. It was once known as "Hell Valley" and was given its current name by the Meiji Emperor and Empress during their visit.
It is known for its "kuro-tamago," or "black eggs," which are eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. Eating one is said to add seven years to your life.
Oowaku Valley is accessible via the Hakone Ropeway.
Also known as: Kintetsu Pearls (1950-1958), Kintetsu Buffalo (1959-1961), Kintetsu Buffaloes (1962-1998), Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes (1999-2004), Orix Buffaloes (2005-)
A professional baseball team in the Pacific League based in Osaka, Japan. It was founded in 1950 as the Kintetsu Pearls, owned by the Kinki Nippon Railway Co., and was the least successful team in the league (the only team in pro Japanese baseball to have never won a Japan Series).
It was sold in 2004 to the Orix Group, owner of the Orix Blue Wave baseball team, and the two teams were merged into the Orix Buffaloes.
Osaka Castle Park is a public park located at the site of Osaka Castle in central Osaka City and is the second largest park in the city. The site was the location of Ishiyama Hongan Temple, headquarters of the Ikkou Sect, destroyed by Oda Nobunaga in 1580. Toyotomi Hideyoshi began construction of Osaka Castle there three years later.
The City of Osaka is the capital of Osaka Prefecture and the commercial and gourmet food center of Japan.
Also known as: Osugi: Sugiura Takaaki (杉浦孝昭), P-ko: Sugiura Katsuaki (杉浦克昭)
Osugi and P-ko are popular identical twin actors in Japan. Osugi is also a film critic, while P-ko is a fashion critic and chanson singer.