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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

And Prince Morinaga occupied Nawa with a strong army


It

was at this time, when symptoms of disorder were growing more and more apparent, that Fujiwara Fujifusa, a high dignitary of the Court and one of the great statesmen of his era, addressed a solemn warning to Go-Daigo. The immediate occasion was curious. There had been presented to the Court by the governor of Izumo a horse of extraordinary endurance, capable of travelling from Tomita, in that province, to Kyoto, a distance of one hundred and sixty miles, between dawn and darkness. The courtiers welcomed the appearance of this horse as an omen of peace and prosperity, but Fujiwara Fujifusa interpreted it as indicating that occasion to solicit speedy aid from remote provinces would soon arise. He plainly told the Emperor that the officials were steeped in debauchery; that whereas, in the early days of the restoration, the palace gates had been thronged with warriors, to-day none could be seen, thousands upon thousands having left the capital disgusted and indignant to see Court favourites enriched with the rewards which should have fallen to the military; that the already distressed people were subjected to further heavy exactions for building or beautifying Imperial palaces; that grave injustice had been done to Akamatsu Norimura, and that unless the sovereign refrained from self-indulgence and sought to govern benevolently, a catastrophe could not be averted. But Go-Daigo was not moved, and finally, after repeating his admonition on several occasions, Fujifusa left the Court and
took the tonsure. It says much for the nobility of the Emperor's disposition that he commissioned Nobufusa, father of Fujifusa, to seek out the persistent critic and offer him a greatly higher office if he would consent to return, and it says much for Fujifusa's sincerity that, hoping to give weight to his counsels, he embraced the life of a recluse and was never seen in public again.

DEATH OF PRINCE MORINAGA

Things now went from bad to worse in Kyoto, while in the provinces the remnants of the Hojo's partisans began to raise their heads. The ever-loyal Kusunoki Masashige and Nawa Nagatoshi entered the capital to secure it against surprise; Ashikaga Takauji, ostensibly for the same purpose, summoned large forces from the provinces, and Prince Morinaga occupied Nawa with a strong army. Takauji saw that the time had come to remove the prince, in whom he recognized the great obstacle to the consummation of his ambitious designs. Securing the co-operation of the lady Ren by a promise that her son, Narinaga, should be named Crown Prince and commander-in-chief (shoguri) in succession to Morinaga, he informed the Emperor that Prince Morinaga was plotting Go-Daigo's deposition and the elevation of his own son to the throne. The Emperor credited the accusation, summoned the usurping Morinaga to the palace, and caused him to be arrested. This happened in November, 1334. Morinaga vehemently declared his innocence. In a memorial to the Throne he recounted the loyal service he had rendered to his sovereign and father, and concluded with these words:

In spite of all this I have unwittingly offended. I would appeal to heaven, but the sun and moon have no favour for an unfilial son. I would bow my head and cry to the earth for help, but the mountains and the rivers do not harbour a disloyal subject. The tie between father and son is severed, and I am cast away. I have no longer anything to hope in the world. If I may be pardoned, stripped of my rank, and permitted to enter religion, there will be no cause for regret. In my deep sorrow I cannot say more.


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