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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

He immediately hastened to Nagakude


Hideyoshi himself would have set out for the field on the 19th of March, but he was obliged to postpone his departure for some days, until Kuroda and Hachisuka had broken the offensive strength of the monks of Kii. It thus fell out that he did not reach the province of Owari until the 27th of March. His army is said to have numbered one hundred and twenty thousand men. It is commonly alleged that this was the only war between Ieyasu and Hideyoshi, and that the latter suffered defeat at the hands of the former. But the fact is that two of Hideyoshi's generals, Ikeda Nobuteru and Mori Nagayoshi, acted in direct contravention of his orders, and thus precipitated a catastrophe for which Hideyoshi cannot justly be held responsible. These two captains argued that as Ieyasu had massed a large force at Komaki and at the Obata entrenchments in the same district, he had probably left his base in Mikawa comparatively undefended. They proposed, therefore, to lead a force against Mikawa. Hideyoshi showed great reluctance to sanction this movement, but he allowed himself to be at last persuaded, with the explicit reservation that no success obtained in Mikawa province should be followed up, and that whatever the achievement of Nobukatsu's troops, they should at once rejoin the main army in Owari.

Unquestionably Hideyoshi had in vivid recollection the disaster which had overtaken Katsuiye at Shizugatake. Ieyasu, fully cognizant of the situation through the medium of a spy, knew the limitations set by Hideyoshi. On April the 7th, Nobuteru attacked the fortress of Iwasaki, in Mikawa, killed its commandant, and captured the castle. But elated by this victory, he neglected Hideyoshi's caution, and the generals of Ieyasu, closing in on him, inflicted a crushing defeat at a place called Nagakude. It is thus evident that Hideyoshi's share in the disaster was of a most indirect character. He immediately hastened to Nagakude, but only to find that Ieyasu had retired to Obata, and subsequently, when Hideyoshi returned to his headquarters, Ieyasu placed a still longer interval between the two armies by marching back to Komaki.

The war thenceforth may be said to have consisted of a series of menaces and evasions. Each general sought to entice his opponent out of an entrenched position, and each general showed an equal determination not to be so enticed. At last, Hideyoshi pushed a force into Mino and captured several castles in that province. But even this failed to change Ieyasu's attitude. The Tokugawa leader entered the fortress of Kiyosu, and Nobukatsu repaired to that of Nagashima, in Ise. After eight months of this comparatively fruitless manoeuvring, a treaty was concluded, on December the 11th, between Hideyoshi and Nobukatsu, and subsequently between Hideyoshi and Ieyasu, the latter giving his son Ogimaru to be adopted by Hideyoshi. The boy was eleven years of age at the time. His name was changed to Hashiba Hideyasu, and he received the appointment of governor of Mikawa province.

The circumstances in which this treaty was concluded have provoked much historical discussion. Did the overtures come originally from Hideyoshi, or did they emanate from Ieyasu and Nobukatsu? Some annalists have endeavoured to prove that Hideyoshi assumed the attitude of a suppliant, while others have attributed that demeanour to the Tokugawa chieftain. The situation, however, presents one feature which is very significant. It was not until the month of November,


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