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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

And throughout the whole of the Kwanto



One incident of this struggle is very characteristic of the ethics of the era. During the interchange of messages that preceded recourse to arms, the Hojo baron sent his brother, Ujinori, to Kyoto as an envoy to discuss the situation with Hideyoshi. The latter received Ujinori with all courtesy and endeavoured to impress upon him the imperative necessity of his chief's acquiescence. Ujinori promised to contribute to that end as far as lay in his power, but history describes him as adding: "Should my brother fail to comply with your commands, and should it be necessary for you to send an army against the Kwanto, it must be clearly understood that this visit of mine to your Excellency shall not in any way prejudice my loyalty to my brother. On the contrary, if the peace be broken, I shall probably have to command the van of my brother's forces, and in that event I may have to offer to your Excellency a flight of my rusty arrows."

Hideyoshi is narrated to have laughingly replied that the peace was in no danger of being broken and that he trusted Ujinori to use his best endeavours to avert war. On his return to the Kwanto, Ujinori was ordered to defend the castle of Nira-yama with seven thousand men, and he soon found himself attacked by fifty thousand under seven of Hideyoshi's generals. Ujinori reminded his comrades that Nira-yama had been the birthplace of the founder of the Hojo family, and therefore

it would be an eternal shame if even one of the entrenchments were lost. Not one was lost. Again and again assaults were delivered, but they were unsuccessful, and throughout the whole of the Kwanto, Nira-yama alone remained flying the Hojo flag to the end. Ujinori surrendered in obedience to Ujimasa's instructions after the fall of Odawara, but Hideyoshi, instead of punishing him for the heavy losses he had inflicted on the Osaka army, lauded his fidelity and bravery, and presented him with an estate of ten thousand koku.


When news reached Date Masamune of the fall of all the Hojo's outlying forts and of the final investment of Odawara, he recognized, from his place in Mutsu and Dewa, that an attitude of aloofness could no longer be maintained with safety. Accordingly, braving considerable danger, he made his way with a small retinue to Odawara and signified his willingness to comply with any terms imposed by Hideyoshi. Thus, for the first time since the middle of the fifteenth century, the whole of the empire was pacified.


It is historically related that, during the siege of Odawara, Hideyoshi invited Ieyasu to the former's headquarters on Ishigaki Hill, whence an uninterrupted view of the interior of the castle could be had. The Tokugawa baron was then asked whether, if the eight provinces of the Kwanto were handed over to him, he would choose Odawara for central stronghold. He replied in the affirmative. Hideyoshi pointed out the superior advantages of Yedo from a strategical and commercial point of view, and ultimately when he conferred the Kwanto on Ieyasu, he chose Yedo for the latter's capital, the accompanying revenue being about two and a half million koku. Hideyoshi further proposed to appoint Oda Nobukatsu to the lordship of the five provinces which had hitherto constituted the domain of Ieyasu, namely, Suruga, Totomi, Mikawa, Kai, and Shinano. Nobukatsu, however, alleging that he did not desire any large domain, asked to be allowed to retain his old estates in Owari and Ise.

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