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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

When complaint was made against Masazumi


Yodo, however, threw her influence into the scale with Ono Harunaga, and finally peace was concluded on terms highly favourable to the Toyotomi. It was agreed that Hideyori should remain in the possession of the castle and of all his domains, and that the garrison, as well as the unattached samurai who formed part of it, should not be punished but should be provided for subsequently. It might have occurred to the leaders of the Osaka party that these lenient conditions covered some occult designs; nothing was less likely than that a statesman like Ieyasu would be content with so signal a failure. But a short-sighted sentiment of confidence seems to have obscured the judgment of the Osaka folks. They actually gave heed to Ieyasu's complaint that he, the o-gosho, and his son, the shogun, must not be allowed to have taken so much trouble for nothing; that it was customary to give hostages to an army which agreed to raise a siege, and that at least a portion of the castle's defences should be destroyed. As to the last point, the Tokugawa chief was kind enough to say that the work of demolition should not cost the garrison anything, since labour would be supplied gratis by the shoguni.

After considerable correspondence it was agreed that Harunaga's son should go to Yedo as a hostage, and that a portion of the outer moat of Osaka Castle should be filled up. Ieyasu did not lose a moment in giving effect to this latter provision. He ordered some of the

fudai daimyo of the Kwanto to proceed to Osaka with several thousands of men, who should go to work forthwith to tear down the parapets and fill up the moats of the castle. These orders were implicitly obeyed, and as Ieyasu had omitted to indicate any limit for the work of destruction, it went on without check, and presently the second line of parapets began to follow the first. The Osaka leaders protested and essayed to stay the destruction. But the officers who were in command of the operation said that without a direct message from Honda Masazumi, who represented Ieyasu, they could not suspend their task. Efforts were then made to approach Honda, but he was conveniently absent "on account of his health," and the ensuing correspondence occupied several days, during which the pulling-down and filling-up went on by day and by night. More than one-half of the second moat had disappeared before Masazumi could be found. His answer was that he had been merely told to fill up the moat. Possibly he had mistaken the scope of his instructions and he would refer the matter to Ieyasu. This involved further delay and more filling, until, finally, Masazumi acknowledged that he had made a mistake, declared himself prepared to undergo punishment, and withdrew his men to Fushimi.

Ieyasu supplied the sequel of the farce. When complaint was made against Masazumi, the Tokugawa leader simulated astonishment, expressed much regret, and said that he would condemn Masazumi to commit suicide were it permissible to mar this happy occasion by any capital sentence. "Peace," declared the astute old statesman, "has now been fortunately concluded. Let us not talk any more about the castle's moats or parapets." Against such an attitude the Osaka men could not enter any protest, and the farce ended there. Had the Osaka leaders possessed any measure of the wisdom that marked all the doings of Ieyasu, they would not have suffered matters to rest at such a stage. But they foolishly imagined that some retaliation might be effected by calling upon the Tokugawa to supplement that part of the peace provisions which related to allowances for the samurai who had fought on the side of the garrison. A demand in that sense was preferred to Ieyasu. But he had now laid aside his transient suavity. The Osaka people were brusquely informed that they must look to the Toyotomi family for recompense, and that as for rewarding unattached samurai who had drawn the sword against the shogun, the Osaka people, were they obedient to the dictates of loyalty, would of their own account peremptorily reject such an unwarranted proposition, even though Ieyasu himself were disposed to consent to it.

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