Suyemoto Dies an Opportune Death Leaving Guidance
The White Dragon Goes South through the Clouds
The time was Muromachi Era, many a year before now, when Shogun in Kyoto and Shikken – Shogun’s Chief Steward – in Kamakura lost power, their minds turned bitter and brittle and the world entered the Hundred Years War.
Ambitious and independent, Sir Mochiuji of Kamakura forgot the code of honour out of the blue, ignored the counsel of Shikken Norizane and fell out with Yoshinori the Muromachi Shogun. Troops from the capital Kyoto rushed in to serve under Shikken Norizane’s command, fought and advanced into Hohkoku Temple in Kamakura, where they cornered the father and son to their own end. It was the tenth of February in Eikyo 2 (1430) of Emperor Go-Hanazono.
Thus Yoshinari, heir of Sir Mochiuji, together with his father, perished to be buried in Kamakura. Yet, his brothers Prince Haruwo and Prince Yasuwo narrowly escaped the encircling enemies and fled to Shimo-fusa (Lower Fusa), where Yuki Ujitomo welcomed them as his lords, as he did their father once. Ujitomo paid no heed to the orders of the capital (the Shogunate in Kyoto) or gave no second thoughts about the big armies of the two Kanrei of Kiyokata and Mochitomo, Shogun’s Second-in-Commands.
Hence, under the flag of Satomi Suyemoto, who for the sake of honour will only stop at death, gathered those who had been indebted to Sir Mochiuji and they all joined the two princes and Yuki Ujitomo. Thus they guarded Yuki Castle surrounded by big armies, but not once showed weakness. For the next three years under siege and no help to turn to, they had finally exhausted food and ammunition.
“Now there is no way to escape this. Let us all make our ends together.”
With this, the Yuki Clan and master and men of the Satomi pushed open the castle gate and fought to death, slashing the enemies that were streaming in, until all fell in battle, and so the castle was down at last and the two princes were captured alive to be executed in Tarui in the County of Mino. This was what they now call the Battle of Yuki.
At this time, Yoshizane, Suyemoto’s elder son and heir, known as Young Master and not yet twenty years of age, excelled his sires in swordsmanship and warfare and was also a gifted scholar. During these three years spent with his father, he had not once complained of the hardships the siege presented. On this day, as before, at the head of troops, having put fourteen or fifteen to the sword, he was advancing in search of a match worthy of his last fight, when his father, looking from a distance, urgently called to him. Continue reading