Hanbei&Kanbei – 4. Hanbei writes off Azai

Odani Castle(小谷城)Takenaka Hanbei(竹中半兵衛) resided in Odani Castle which was a property of Azai Nagamasa(浅井長政)Azai Nagamasa had an eager to reign over his territory and learn everything.

Hanbei: (But…….He lacks his shrewdness.)

Azai Nagamasa succeeded his father, Azai Hisamasa(浅井久政), to the throne at the age of 16. Azai Hisamasa submitted to Rokkaku Yoshitaka(六角義賢)‘s pressure. Finally, Azai clan was affiliated with Rokkaku clan. Azai’s chief retainers couldn’t resist Hisamasa’s coward.
The transition of power was forced to be done in order to contain their frustration. Azai Nagamasa stepped up his efforts to flourish his family and retainers.

Hanbei: (I caught his enthusiasm.)

Actually, Azai Nagamasa eagerly listened to Hanbei and  absorbed new information.

Hanbei: (But, it’s not adequate to take control of the whole country. Literally impossible.)

Hanbei already sized up Azai Nagamasa for only a month since he resided in Odani Castle.
For lords in war period, it’s crucial to have a lot more than eagerness.
Those who have thick-skinned shrewdness, enterprising mindset and divine will can have a chance to be the ruler of the whole country. From the point of view of geography, there was no place better than Azai Nagamasa’s territory, Kita Ōmi(北近江) which is next to Kyoto.

Hanbei: (If I were Azai, I would destroy Rokakku at any cost and make it to Kyoto on a roll. Do decisively and quickly. The justice of cause follows afterwards. )

Ashikaga Yoshiteru(足利義輝),  13th Shogun was threaten by Miyoshi Ngayoshi(三好長慶) and Matsunaga Hisahide(松永久秀)Once you get an official order of Ashikaga Yoshiteru to subdue Miyoshi and Matsunaga, your battles can have a good cause.
Hanbei preached its benefits of starting a war to Azai Nagamasa at times.

Azai Nagamasa: « It looks like a dream. »
Azai Nagamasa brushed off Hanbei’s suggestion.
Hanbei: (Azai is afraid of putting a step forward. Ruling the whole country is a mirage for him.)
There is no reason to be with such a person any longer.
Hanbei: (I don’t have time.)
Impatience which nobody gets to know twirled in his mind.

Hanbei’s mind drifted apart from Azai Nagamasa. He dodged guards’ eyes and wandered around Odani Castle.
Hanbei:(I may attack this castle someday…..)
He put his eyes onto every tree and stone, no matter how small.
He cast his eyes towards Mt. Toragoze(虎御前山).
Hanbei: (That’s a good mountain to build a fort.)

« Be faithful to your lord. » This is a teaching of Bushidō(武士道)/Military Scholar Road.  What Hanbei did is against the teaching. The time is Sengoku period(1467-1573AD). High ability samurai would rather betray. Bushidō spirits seemed to be established during Edo period(1603-1867AD).

Japan has developed under Bushidō spirits. Permanent employment is one of them. Never changing your job was a virtue. Why do I use past tense? 
After economic bubble burst(1990s), companies ask employees to quit voluntarily and introduce performance-based payment. Many people tend to change their jobs at their own will. History repeats itself.

Ruins of Odani Castle(小谷城跡) Reference from: Wikipedia

Ruins of Odani Castle(小谷城跡)
Reference from: Wikipedia

Odani Castle Museum(小谷城戦国歴史資料館):
Open TIme
9:30AM – 5:00PM
Tuesday Closed
300 yen
139 Jyocho, Odani, Nagahama, Shiga
Click Here: Odani Castle Museum on Google Map
JR Hokuriku Line: 30 minutes bus from Kawake(河毛駅)
Kokoku Bus(湖国バス):

Route to Odani Castle Shiryo Station to Tokyo Station

Route to Odani Castle Shiryo Station to Tokyo Station



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