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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

But would remain in the camp of Shimazu


Hideyoshi

had foreseen something of this kind, and had warned Sengoku Hidehisa in the sense that whatever might be the action of the Satsuma baron, no warlike measures were to be precipitately commenced. Hidehisa neglected this warning. Yielding to the anger of the moment, he directed the Otomo troops to attack the Satsuma forces, and the result was disastrous. When the fighting ended, the Satsuma baron had pushed into Bungo and taken sixteen forts there, so that fully one-half of Kyushu was now under the sway of the Shimazu. Hideyoshi, on receiving news of these disasters, confiscated the estates of Sengoku Hidehisa, and issued orders to thirty-seven provinces to provide commissariat for three hundred thousand men and twenty thousand horses for a period of one year. Soon an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men assembled at Osaka, and the van, numbering sixty thousand, embarked there on the 7th of January, 1587, and landed at Yunoshima in Bungo on the 19th of the same month--dates which convey some idea of the very defective system of maritime transport then existing. In Bungo, the invading army was swelled by thirty thousand men under the leadership of Kohayakawa and Kikkawa, and the whole force, under the command-in-chief of Hidenaga, Hideyoshi's brother, moved to invest the castle of Takashiro.

It is unnecessary to follow the fighting in all its details. The salient facts are that Hideyoshi left Osaka with the main army of one hundred and thirty

thousand men on the 22d of January, 1587, and, travelling by land, reached the Strait of Akamagasaki--now called Shimonoseki--on the 17th of February. He marched through Chikuzen, making friends of the local chieftains by forbearance and diplomacy, and fighting the first great battle of the campaign at Oguchi on the Sendai-gawa. The Satsuma baron's younger brother, Iehisa, after a gallant resistance, surrendered to Hideyoshi, and was employed by the latter to communicate direct with his chief, Yoshihisa. It was generally supposed that Iehisa would never return from this mission, but would remain in the camp of Shimazu. He did return, however, his word of honour being of more importance in his estimation than the opportunity of recovering his liberty.

History states that Hideyoshi thereafter treated this noble man with the greatest consideration, but it is difficult to reconcile that account with the fact that Hideyoshi subsequently pressed Iehisa to guide the Osaka army through the mountains and rivers which constituted natural defences for the fief of Satsuma. Iehisa, of course, refused, and to Hideyoshi's credit it stands on record that he did not press the matter with any violence. This difficulty of invading an unknown country without any maps or any guides, a country celebrated for its topographical perplexities, was ultimately overcome by sending Buddhist priests to act as spies in the dominions of Shimazu. These spies were led by the abbot, Kennyo, with whose name the reader is already familiar, and as the Shimazu family were sincere believers in Buddhism, no obstacles were placed in the way of the treacherous monks. They were able ultimately to guide the Osaka army through the forests and mountains on the north of Kagoshima, and Hideyoshi adopted the same strategy as that pursued in a similar case three hundred years later, namely, sending a force of fifty thousand men by sea with orders to advance against Kagoshima from the south. The Satsuma troops were completely defeated, and only the castle of Kagoshima remained in their hands.


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