Nobunaga’s Imouto is My Wife - Chapter 11.1[Updated at: 2021-01-13 00:40:39]
Chapter 11: Season of Mackerel (Part 1)
Sawayama Castle, which was the main castle for the Azai’s, was an extremely important location in the Omi province . When speaking of historical facts, after Isono Kazumasa surrendered himself to the Oda clan’s forces, the well known military commander and great vassal of the Oda family Niwa Nagahide became lord of the castle and that as a wealthy retained and political administrator Ishida Mistunari reigned as a representative of the five commissioners, are two well known facts . It was a castle that was regarded that highly of during the Sengoku Era and many ages later after it .
By the way, the original Sawayama Castle is the castle of the Rokkaku family of Omi, even if one were to pursue that history, it was something that the ancestors of the Rokkaku family build and something the head of the Rokkaku family unusually concerned about to recapture . 1
From the beginning, the Rokkaku family was historically in a superior position over the Azai family . Even the great hero that was Nagamasa’s grandfather, Sukemasa, was frequently defeated in their many encounters with the Rokkaku family and he had to leave the Kodani Castle and escape to the province of Mino . And it goes without saying that the father of Nagamasa, Hisamasa, was made to accept the military power of the Rokkaku family . The Azai was inferior to the Rokkaku family, that viewpoint is commonly known .
The moment when that futile situation began changing, was with the entrance of Nagamasa . Rokkaku Yoshikata made his vassal Hirai Noritake give his daughter to Nagamasa and handed them the 「賢政」 name . The well known Imagawa Yoshimoto did the same thing to the person later known as Tokugawa Ieyasu, giving him the name 「元康」 . In Japan, a name was proof of belonging to something . That is why the Azai’s family heads Hisamasa, and Nagamasa himself used the “Masa” kanji in their names . Yoshikata by placing 「賢」 in his own name, he did not only proclaim to the country of Omi, but to all the Daimyo’s of Japan that “This one is mine . ” 2 And then Nagamasa unable to endure his father’s weak attitude, made his father retire and contended against the Rokkaku family for a war of independence .
However, Nagamasa’s situation concerning this war against the Rokkaku family was hopeless . There was quite a gap in the mobilization of military power between the Azai and the Rokkaku family, leaving Azai Nagamasa to be able to move less than half the numbers the Rokkaku family was able to . On a certain day of August in 1560 at the rice fields of Omi, the two armies collided . Compared to the Azai forces that had around ten thousand men, the forces of the Rokkaku family was close to twenty-five thousand, which was an overwhelming disadvantage for the Azai Clan .
However, Nagamasa taking the lead took decisive actions against the assault of the Rokkaku forces . Nagamasa who at first was an overwhelming disadvantage, was able to overcome it by rebuilding the morale and battle array of the Azai forces and thus he was able to overturn the rumors of the neighboring countries that said: “The Azai Clan will perish after this…” and he managed to force the Rokkaku forces into elimination .
The influences of this battle famously named “The battle of the Rice Fields” were tremendous . It was not only that Nagamasa was able to grasp his subordinates trust, but he also caused the dignity of the Rokkaku family to sink causing inside strife and resulted in the heads of the family to being exiled by their vassals .
After that victory, the name of “Nagamasa” became well known but strangely enough two months before “the battle of the rice fields,” his future brother-in-law Oda Nobunaga was able to pull off the “most notable miracle” in Japanese history by defeating Imagawa Yoshimoto . In short, the year 1560 should be a commemorative year where both brothers in law destroyed their most formidable enemy .
However, the Rokkaku family desiring to govern Omi as their protectors were currently thinking “We should destroy the Azai Clan now, before they grow even larger . It is now or never . ”
The year 1567, January 18th early in the morning . Yoshikata Rokkaku and his eldest son Yoshiharu were leading a thirty-two thousand grand army, commencing an advance on Sawayama Castle that was protected by Isono Kazumasa . The soldiers guarding Sawayama totaled to around twelve hundred .
“This time for sure, the Azai will cease to exist…”
Burning up with that determination a fast horse came flying into Odani Castle to report the raid of the Rokkaku father and son duo, meanwhile, Nagamasa slipped out of Oichi’s room and as usual started baking some crepes in the kitchen .
The actual building was done by the Sasaki Clan, which later split into the Kyogoku Clan and the Rokkaku Clan . He basically declared with his name that all of Omi is his .