Saturday, February 7, 2009

The General Who Prevailed "Love" in Japan's Dark Age

Japan had its own Dark Age. After Ashikaga Government (Shogunate) lost its Power early 16th century, all the local lords started to fight each other hoping to stand on the top of entire Japan unifying the country.

Wars and Battles were all over the country, government buildings were attacked, people's houses were burned, innocent non-worrier people were killed, kids are also killed or lost their parents. It was a matter of daily practice subordinates killed their masters to become a new master. There were so many new local lord who either killed or purged even their parents to grab their powers. There was no moral. There was no mercy. There was no justice. Only the justice was power.

It happened to be my parent home town where this local lord, Kenshin Uesugi (1530 - 1578) was ruling. Kenshin worshipped Buddha and he believed himself to be a reborn of Buddha's guard general in heaven. In his youth, he fought against his own older brother and defeated him. Later he regretted it and adopted his brother's son to be his own son, treated him like Kenshi's own son. He is Kagekatsu Uesugi. Actually after Kenshin's death, Kagekatsu became local lord after Kenshin. Kenshin's principle of ruling and fighting was "For Justice".

In addition to his adopted son, Kagekatsu, Kenshin grew, trained, and educated a boy out of low level subordinate family, so that he could later become his son's support. His name is "Kanetsugu Naoe". Kanetsugu became a very talented strategist and excellent governor. Kanetsugu worshipped Kenshin and loved Kagekatsu. As Kenshi's principle was "For Justice", Kanetsugu's principle of ruling and fighting was "With Love".

Left : Kanetsugu Naoe's Armor. The Character on his Helmet is Chinese - Japanese Character means "Love".

Right: Portrait of Kanetsugu Naoe. He looks more religious people than a general or worrier. He was an excellent governor, premier.

Copyright Notice:

Copyright (c) 2009 Shaw Funami.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this documentunder the terms of the GNU Free documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

He fought for love and motivated by love, and driven with love. His priority was for his lord Kagekatsu and his country's people. It is said that he never tried to fight in farming season and gave high priority to his people's happiness. This affected his strategy fighting, but he never lost fight because of this. We can easily imagine how talented he was as a strategist.

He was also known as a family guy. In his days in his position, it was said to be rare, but he kept loving his wife for his life. There was no record of concubine or ex-marriage affairs.

As history went by, most of powerful family disappeared and perished, Kagekatsu family survived thanks to Kanetsugu's effort in dealing with any of central power people. They needed to move home base twice. But the local lord family survived. One time, the local king who almost unified Japan, impressed by his talent and personality, wanted Kanetsugu to be his direct subordinate to help him unifying Japan.

Kanetsugu declined it courteously said to this person in power "Only the lord I work for is Kagekatsu, and will not be changed even you give me your own position."

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