Kagetsura and Nobutoki subtly sabotage Yoshizane
Ujimoto and Sadayuki comply with Tateyama at risk
Having been criticised so, Nobutoki turned red in an instant and signalled to Kagetsura, who sighed a big sigh despite himself.
“You are quite right. It is just that bows and arrows are samurai’s wings and swords their tusks. They protect ourselves so we never put them down in sitting nor sleeping. They’re not to threaten you. I just wasn’t aware that our escorts were equipped with weapon and sumo wrestlers were in the hiding.
For what ever on earth did you do such a senseless thing? Get out now.”
He shooed them away and had the decorated lances and naginata put behind screens. At such a sobering mishap, some of Anzai’s and Maro’s men went over to the guardhouse and many others retired behind the screens and wiped sweat.
Despite all this, Nobutoki proceeded on his knees and faced Yoshizane.
“What you just said sounds sensible. However, had you really not feared enemies, been fearless of death, let the heaven guide your fate, and waited for the right moment, why would you, a lord and ruler, not have sought shelter in Bando where there are many Genji clans and instead travelled in a boat to meet total stranger Mr Anzai, that I do not understand. The starved cannot choose what to eat; the hunted cannot choose which way to go. Unless you have been fearful of your enemies and fearful for your life, scuttled around and shamed yourself, how could you have reached us? Stop embellishing your own pitiful self and confide everything to us truthfully; you will get our sympathy. Let me mediate between you both and make it worth my while. Do tell truthfully. Just do or else.”
Thus repeatedly pressed, Sadayuki could not contain himself; he pulled Ujimoto’s sleeve and advanced together.
“If you measure men with a ruler made out of your mind the measurements may not always be right. With all respect, Master Maro sir, your guesses may be reasonable were it for foot soldiers and privates. Genji has no such captains. Yoshizane has never been fearful of his life, never lost his valour, and certainly never come to this country frightened out of his wits by the enemies. It is only because he followed his ancestor’s footsteps.
“In the olden days Lord Minamoto no Yoritomo came over to Awa after losing the battle of Mt. Ishibashi, your ancestor Master Nobutoshi, Mr Anzai’s ancestor Master Kagemori and Master Tojo together joined him before anyone else and showed their loyalty, so Yoritomo allowed them to escort him over to Kadzusa, where Hirotsune and Tsunetane met him and the company expanded to become a big army in an instant, then established their base in Kamakura and defeated the Heike – the Taira Clan – at long last.
“The Satomi are of the same Minamoto Clan, descendants of Lord Hachiman (Minamoto no Yoritomo). It is ludicrous to ruthlessly ridicule despite such a fortuitous precedent so we had to open our foolish mouths. Please forgive our insolence.”
The two lieutenant generals, a perfect match in all of their arguments, wisdom and valour, refuted Nobutoki, who was speechless with anger.
Horiuchi Sadayuki depicted in a Kabuki play (called Moriguchi Kuroh in the play)
courtesy of Tateyama City Municipal Museum
Yoshizane observed this and suddenly barked out his reprimand and made them step back.
“Behave yourselves, Sadayuki, Ujimoto! What virtue do I possess that I may be compared to Yoritomo? That is impetuous! What foolishness.”
Yoshizane’s manners as a good guest kept Nobutoki silent with his eyes glaring and thumbs twiddling. Kagetsura shook his shoulders with hardly contained scornful laughter.
“O, your own Buddha is so precious to you. Talking back to me are we? Listen, you the Satomi’s men. Yoritomo’s father was a governor of 15 countries. Had he fought against the Imperial House you never know even Kiyomori might have stood no chance. This is why once the lord, whilst being an exile, declared a battle of justice, those Bando samurai indebted to him happily offered their service. The Satomi Clan are not so. The founder Taro Yoshishige served Lord Yoritomo and was given a village and no more, and he merely had an army of 100 knights. Due to being on the South House side around mid-era it was hard to remain inconspicuous, so they submitted to Kamakura to retain the land but it only lasted for so long and as I see it they’re Ochiudo deserters now. Even your master keeps quitet; what have you to argue for? If you reformed your attitude and served Kagetsura you might have something to look forward to but you don’t know where you stand.”
Thus Kagetsura would keep on taunting but Ujimoto and Sadayuki, unable to comprehend their master’s thoughts, did not argue any more.
 Bando is approximately present day Kanto which is an area around Tokyo. In historical Japan Kyoto and the Western Japan was viewed as the more sophisticated area where aristocrats resided whilst Tokyo and the surrounding area was rural.
 The Minamoto Clan (Genji) and the Taira Clan (Heike) were two of the most influential military powers in Heian Era (9-12C) and the rivalry between them is iconic still today.
 Kiyomori was the most prominent of the Taira Clan. He is said to be the first samurai ruler.
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I regret the very short post. This month I’m hoping my workload will be somewhat manageable and I can work on this favourite project of mine all I like. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday. I cannot possibly express how thankful I am to all of you readers, whether you are tentative visitors or enthusiastic followers. It’s incredibly exciting to see different country names of the visitors every day. I haven’t even followed back any of the followers as I’m not sure if I can sincerely keep up with all your posts but I do visit your blogs and read what I can. I do the same with the blogs of all those who Liked my posts too. Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimas! Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimas!