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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 18日

44. The prophecy came true, the rebellion broke out.

Japanese Editon


文字と絵が描かれた絵低い精度で自動的に生成された説明

From "The Tale of Heiji" by Wikipedia


At that time in Kamakura, Tokimune, Taira no Yoritsuna, Adachi no Yasumori and others were looking at a map in a circle.

The map shows Japan and the neighboring country of Koryo.

Yasumori pointed with his whip to the southern coast of Koryo.

"According to the report from the spies who disguised themselves as fishermen, the construction of boats has begun here."

Yoritsuna asked, "How many boats are you planning to build in the end? Do you have any reliable information?”

"According to local rumors, there will be several hundred boats.

 "Several hundred?" 

All of them shouted in surprise.

Tokimune looked up at the sky, folded his arms, and fell silent.

Yasumori continued.

“There is not enough manpower to meet the emperor Hubirai's demands, and the grievances of the Koryo people who are engaged in shipbuilding are growing. There are reports that the Mongolian soldiers are using even women and children in their haste.”

 Hojo Nobutoki spoke up.

“This is the retribution for the loss of their country, that it is. If we take a wrong turn here, we will end up like the Han and Goryeo dynasties.”

Tokimune was indignant.

"I’m aware of that. Then, when will we attack Japan?"

Yasumori shook his head.

"So far, we have not been able to make any predictions. However, it seems that no full-fledged Mongolian army has come to Koryo so far. Will it be this year or next?"

Tokimune instructed.

"Increase the number of scouts. Send scouts not only to the coast, but also inland to investigate. Gather our collaborators. Don't spare any money.”

Yasumori bowed to his lord.

Tokimune said to himself.

“It is difficult to deal with an enemy who may come at any moment. For that reason, information is everything. By the way, what are the arrangements for the landing?”

Taira no Yoritsuna answered.

“First of all, the most important thing is to know where the Mongols will attack.”

 Yoritsuna pointed his whip at Kyushu.

"In all likelihood, Hakata is the right place.”

 ”Why can you be so sure?"

 Tokimune questioned Yoritsuna, which was unusual. It was a rare occasion when Tokimune questioned Yoritsuna. He had to get serious about the situation that was brewing.

”In the unlikely event that the Mongols discover our intentions and land anywhere other than Hakata, it will be Nagato.Nagato is close to Kamakura and will be convenient for them to get close to the center of Japan, but the port is too small for the Mongolian army to land. Another possible location would be here in Tsuruga, but the travel distance by ship is too long. Mongolian soldiers are good at cavalry battles, but they are not good at ship battles. Tsuruga is unlikely. If so, Hakata, the sea gateway to Kyushu, must be the place. For the Mongols, capturing Hakata would be the same as capturing all of Kyushu. If they could control Kyushu, they would be able to monopolize trade in the Goryeo-China triangle. Mongolian are shrewd. Hakata must be a thirsty place for them.

Nobutoki was enthusiastic.

"It doesn't matter where they come from, I'll kick their asses with my sword."

Yasumori joined in the fervor.

"Mongolians who come by boat, let alone by horse, are not worthy of being our enemies."

Then a messenger arrived and gave Tokimune an earful.

Tokimune's face changed.

Yasumori asked fearfully.

"What is it, my lord?"

Tokimune was stunned for a moment, as if at a loss for words, and threw up.

"Noritoki Nagoe is preparing for war."

They all fell to their knees in astonishment.

"You are one of Hojo's own people, and yet you are a fool to turn against him!"

Tokimune stopped him.

"Wait. Haste makes waste here. You must calm down. We are dealing with the same clan. If we make a single mistake, the fate of not only Kamakura but also the entire nation will be at stake.

"However..."

"Let's wait and see. I will make the decision myself."


At the residence of Noritoki Nagoe, there was an unusual visitor.

The Gokurakuji Ryoukan was chatting with the brothers Noritoki and Tokiakira in front of them. The Nagoe family were all followers of Ryoukan.

 " The two of you get along very well, and you have the dignity of a noble family. You are indeed the grand master of this Ryoukan. I can count on you."

My brother, Tokiakira, responded politely.

"No, it is thanks to Yoshikan Shonin that the Nagoe has prospered. I will continue to chant the Nembutsu and observe the precepts. I ask for your blessings."

Tokiakira had visited the mansion to find out his brother's true intentions. Tokiakira was not hostile to the Shogunate. The power of Tokimune had grown too strong. It's not a match for him. That is why he was trying to restrain the bloodthirsty Noritoki and make him control himself. If Noritoki made a mistake, he and his eldest brother, Mitsutoki, would be destroyed.

The brothers put their hands together so that Ryoukan would not feel the tension.

Ryoukan was in a good mood.

"But rumors are not always what they seem, are they?"

Noritoki asked.

"Is it a bad rumor?"

"No, no, nothing at all. I have heard from the Kamakura Palace that the brothers of Tokiakira and Noritoki will take up arms against the regent Tokimune."

"That's weird.”

“It is said that he has an ambition to team up with Tokisuke in Kyoto to overthrow lord Tokimune. I have no idea where such a story would come from. If you look at these two brothers, their loyalty to the Shogunate is obvious. It is truly a strange story.”

Ryokan was completely indifferent to political developments. He had no idea what the brothers were thinking.

The three of them laughed in unison.

”It's time to go. It's time for me to leave."

The brothers stood up to see Yoshikan off. As soon as they were back in the room, Tokiakira, the elder brother, was angry at Noritoki.

”What the hell is going on here?”

"What do you mean?"

I'm talking about now. I heard that you have risen up against the Shogunate and are preparing for an insurrection.

”Nonsense. It's just a silly rumor.”

”Whatever others may think, your elder brother will not be deceived. Your eyes, Your smell, the movement of this house. It is the air before the war. Are you seriously going to try to fight them? Have you thought about us, the Nagoe family?”

Noritoki was silent for a moment, then he grinned.

"You are indeed my elder brother. I am prepared for an attack. But only preparations."

Tokiakira pressed him.

"No, you can't. Preparation is considered treason, and you have no excuse. Stay out of it. It's not too late. It's not too late. I and Brother Mitsutoki can protect you now. You must stop at all costs.”

“Do you and Brother Mitsutoki really think that things will go well with the current shogunate?”

 This time, Tokiakira fell silent.

"In negotiations with the Mongols, they only show off their power and are only capable of driving back the other party's envoys. We are foolish to ignore Nagoe's opinion and use stewards and outsiders such as Taira no Yoritsuna and Adachi no Yasumori. This is no way for the country to survive. I will raise an army and send a message to the regent Tokimune. If that does not work, we will have to fight each other."

"No, the battle must be won. The current Shogunate is the strongest. Even though we are a Nagoe family, we are a branch of the family. There is no way we can win.

The hallway became noisy.

The door opened and a warrior in armor appeared. His helmet was fastened and he wore a sword and carried a bow.

Tokiaki was astonished.

The warrior called out to Kyotoki.

"My lord, I have bad news."

"What’s it? What could be worse than this in Kamakura?"

"It seems that our plans have been leaked to Lord Kamakura-dono, which they have. There is not a moment to lose."

Noritoki said to Tokiakira.

"I will show you something good, my elder brother."

As Noritoki walked down the corridor, Tokiakira followed him with a worried look on his face.

A hard door at the end of the corridor was opened.

A large number of warriors were standing there.

This is..."

Tokiakira sighed.

 

The soldiers began to gather in the samurai quarters in a frenzied manner. The atmosphere of battle was heightened, and the battle cry was heard all around. This buzzing had not been heard since the battle between Hojo Tokiyori and the Miura clan twenty years earlier.

The blood of the warrior class was beginning to boil.

They had gained their fame by slashing and shooting each other. Their bloody instincts have been revived. The time had come to put it to the test.

Yoritsuna, Yasumori, Nobutoki and other officials formed a circle around Tokimune, who was flexing his arms. Everyone was unusually excited.

Yoritsuna spoke up.

 "The situation must be brought under control as soon as possible. This is the end, that it is. I think it would be best to deal with the Nagoe clan decisively."

Yasumori defended Nagoe.

"No, they are a venerable clan of the Hojo, that they are, and a quarrel here could bring down the Shogunate. There are many noblemen who are well acquainted with Nagoe. We should listen to what they have to say first."

Yasumori was the first outsider. Although he serves Tokimune, he is opposed to the concentration of power. By defending the Nagoe clan, he hoped to maintain the balance of power and ensure his own safety.

On the other hand, Yoritsuna, Tokimune's chief lieutenant, was displeased with his intentions and said,

"You can't defeat the Mongols in such a lukewarm way!"

Yasumori replied to him.

"With such short-sightedness as yours, the Shogunate will fall. You are worse than the Mongols!"

 Both men stood their knees, swords in hand.

Tokimune rose to his feet.

"Stop it!"

Tokimune trembled with fear. His appearance was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

"Wait. Why do you keep arguing among yourselves? What is the matter with you? It's as if something has possessed them all. We had been so calm yesterday, but today there are signs of bloody fighting in the air. What's the matter?"

Yoritsuna is unusually calm.

"My lord, there's no point in saying anything now. Make your decision."

Tokimune pondered for a while and then told Yoritsuna.

"Go to Nagoe. You must disarm Noritoki."

"If he does not obey..."

"I don't care. Shoot him!"

Yoritsuna smiled wryly, and Yasumori was disappointed.

"But make no mistake. There is no suspicion of Noritoki's brothers, Mitsutoki and Tokiakira. You must not take advantage of this to strike at the whole Nagoe clan. Do you understand?"

"As you wish."

Yoritsuna left quickly.

Yoritsuna was planning to annihilate the Nagoe clan at this time. It was the order of his sovereign, Tokimune, but when it came to battle, there was always a chance that things would get a little out of control. If he killed Noritoki and his brothers, he would have no enemies in Japan. It was the perfect opportunity. His own authority and that of the Shogunate would be strengthened. Tokimune would be pleased as a result.


At the residence of Hojo Noritoki, Tokiakira was trying to persuade his younger brother.

"No. What are you going to do if you stand up to the Shogunate? Are you trying to start a rebellion? Stop it, Noritoki."

Noritoki sat down on his haunches.

"The die was cast. It is time for Kyoto to respond and take action."

The blood ran cold in Tokiakira's veins.

"Kyoto? You don't mean to say that you and the lord Tokisuke..."

Noritoki looked into the air and said to himself,

“In better times, lord Tokisuke would have been the regent. Lord Tokisuke would have replaced his younger brother Tokimune and rebuilt the Shogunate. I am prepared to be a sacrificial stone for him.”

At this point, the attendant announced.

"My Lord, I have news that a horse has appeared from the samurai headquarters!”

As the general of the rebel army, Noritoki questioned him with an air of dignity.

"And who is the other side's samurai general?”

 "He is the Hei no Saemon Lieutenant, or Taira no Yoritsuna. The fundamental evil of the Shogunate!”

"He's coming. There is no shortage of opponents. Tell everyone to take Taira no Yoritsuna's head."

The armor-clad warrior shouted bravely.

"We will strike down Taira no Yoritsuna, the scoundrel of the Shogunate!"

 

Taira no Yoritsuna mounted his horse and proceeded down Wakamiya main street. Hundreds of cavalrymen and horses followed him, followed by miscellaneous soldiers.

The townspeople started to run away, carrying their loads.

The battle has begun.

At the same time, Noritoki's cavalry also left the residence. The warriors followed. More soldiers followed.

Noritoki rode to Wakamiya Main Street. Finally, he encountered Yoritsuna's group.

The cavalry roared and the miscellaneous soldiers rustled.

Taira no Yoritsuna called out.

"Oh, this is Hojo Noritoki, heir of Nagoe. Where are you going?"

Noritoki replied.

"Well, well, well...you are the samurai general, the Hei no Saemon Lieutenant. It is fortunate to see you here, that you are always busy with other things."

"So much for joking around. Lord Noritoki, I have been instructed by the regent Tokimune to disarm you. I want you to obey his orders as soon as possible."

Noritoki laughed.

"This is the formal attire of a samurai, that is, to meet the lord Kamakura. We will now go to the palace. Captain Saemon, make way for me."

Yoritsuna's color changed and he shouted angrily.

"I know what you are up to, Noritoki. I know that you intend to attack the palace and overthrow the Shogunate. We will not take a step back. If you want to pass through here, step over it!"

Noritoki's troops were furious. They shouted abuse to the fullest extent.

Noritoki shouted at him.

"Well said, Saemon Lieutenant. You are the steward of Hojo, but you are a great villain who destroys Hojo. It is you who are the worm within the body of a lion. Today, I will cut off your head!"

This time, the Shogunate forces became furious. The tension reached its peak.

At the moment when Noritoki slashed at Yoritsuna as if he were being manipulated, the two armies clashed violently.

The anger of both men exploded at once.

On February 11, Bun'ei 10, the so-called February Disturbance broke out.


Kamakura was filled with fleeing townspeople.

Mounted warriors ran in every direction, followed by their attendants.

The samurai headquarters were crowded with horsemen and soldiers. The soldiers call out and the horses go neighing.

At Tokimune's side was Adachi Yasumori.

 The messenger will put it on loudly.

”We have just engaged in battle with Taira no Saemon Lieutenant and Lord Noritoki!"

Yasumori's eyes widened.

"Who has the upper hand?"

"I have no idea."

Yasumori became frustrated.

"That's no way to send a message. Be clear!"

Tokimune grabbed the messenger by the arm and said,

"Go back and tell Saemon lieutenant, he must strike only at Noritoki and not at any other Hojo."

In the broad daylight of Kamakura, the soldiers fought fiercely.

The army, led by Nagoe Noritoki, pushed Taira no Yoritsuna. Noritoki, on his horse, swung his sword in a half-mad frenzy, slashing and advancing.

"The palace is almost here. Don't let it slip, young men. Take them down!"

Yoritsuna shouted while holding back.

"Don't flinch. Hold your ground!"

At this moment, numbers of reinforcements arrived from the samurai quarters. Yoritsuna was delighted and Noritoki was upset. This time, the Shogunate forces pushed the enemy back until they finally reached the residence of Noritoki.

Yoritsuna exclaimed on his horse.

"Now! Push, push! Let your name be remembered for generations to come!"

Noritoki's forces were being defeated one by one.

"No, fall back, we're on the defensive!"

But Yoritsuna's troops pursued them and a fierce battle ensued at the gate. The Nagoe forces were outnumbered and could not hold back the large army. The Shogunate forces charged into the mansion in an avalanche.

They began to fight each other in the garden and in the houses. Noritoki flailed his sword in desperation.

A miscellaneous soldier slashed at Noritoki from behind, but his older brother, Tokiakira, was quick to defend him.

Noritoki was delighted. His brother Tokiakira was ready for battle.

"It is fate that has brought us to this point. My life is in your hands!"

The two brothers, Tokiakira and Noritoki, fiercely attacked the hordes of the Shogunate.


The roar of battle could be heard in the distance.

Tokimune slumped against the wall. The Hojo brothers were washing each other's blood. The situation that he had feared had finally occurred.

  A messenger is here.

 "We were at a disadvantage, but we have finally turned the tide and are pushing back the enemy."

 A new messenger came in to replace it.

 "Now the Nagoe forces have fled to their residence, and the two sides are engaged in a fierce battle."

Yasumori encouraged the messenger.

”All right, don't let any of them escape. Slay every last one of them. Have you made all the protections for the excavation path?"

"We are ready."

"We may have reinforcements from Kyoto. If they enter Kamakura, it will be a serious matter. Stay alert."

The messenger left.

The room was empty, and only Tokimune and Yasumori remained.

Tokimune sat down in front of the wall and kept his head bowed.

Yasumori congratulated Tokimune.

"Don't worry, my lord. The Shogunate forces are in the ascendancy. It should be settled before dawn, that it will."

Tokimune looked down and muttered.

"Is that all, Yasumori?"

Yasumori looked at him suspiciously.

Tokimune remained staring at a spot on the floor.

”This rebellion was not caused by Noritoki alone, I guess. You have been releasing spies throughout the land. What is it that you have not yet informed me of?"

Yasumori straightened his posture and blurted out.

"My lord, there is actually a mastermind behind this rebellion."

Silence reigned.

 Tokimune said as if he were squeezing.

"Would be my brother.”

Yasumori replied in a vexed tone.

”I am afraid so. Lord Tokisuke is determined to raise his banner in Kyoto, that is. We were tipped off by a nobleman whom we had bribed. They are planning to assemble a group of samurai who are dissatisfied with the Shogunate and attack Kamakura, that they are. It is truly shameful.”

 Tokimune raised his face in grief.

 ”What am I to do?”

Yasumori was desperate.

"Please make a decision, my lord. I am a vassal. I am a member of the family, and it is not up to me to decide what to do with my lord's people."

Tokimune groaned.

"Then tell me. Why should brothers fight each other? Why should blood-related families kill each other? Has the Great Bodhisattva Hachiman abandoned us? Why have we prayed to all Buddhas for peace and tranquility and not been granted? As the sovereign, I ask you. Why?"

Yasumori said with tears in his eyes.

"This is another test for the rule of Japan, that it is. Now, Your Highness, you must endure. My Lord, please take decisive action against your elder brother!"

Tokimune finally said.

"Yasumori, attack my brother. Hurry up and inform the Rokuhara, Kyoto Office. There is not a moment to lose. If we delay, rebellion will break out all over the land."

Yasumori was delighted.

"You have made a good decision. I will make the arrangements at once, sir!"

Yasumori instructed in a loud voice.

"Send out horses to all the samurais in the country. Now is the time for the Kamakura Shogunate to survive. Hurry up and assemble. Anyone who arrives late will be punished!"

 The clamor outside continued.

 Tokimune's tears fell to the floor.

 

 The two armies clashed fiercely at the Noritoki residence, but Norituki's side was gradually defeated. Noritoki's sons, Munenori and Muneuzhi, were also killed.

Then the brothers Noritoki and Tokiakira rolled into the spare room, gasping for air. Their hair was a mess and they were covered in blood. Both of them were already beyond their physical limits.

The two brothers sat down and faced each other.

"It's over," said Noritoki.

Tokiakira was smiling.

"How is it, are you satisfied?"

"I had hoped to give the original Tokimune a run for his money, but fate intervened. But I'm sorry, I've dragged my elder brother into this."

Tokiakira laughed.

"No, it's been a long time since I've been on the rampage. I'm not afraid of dying. I was born into a warrior family, and this day will come. All I can do now is pray for Brother Mitsutoki's safety."

The shouting of the Shogunate forces became stronger.

Tokiakira looked into the air.

"It seems that Amitabha Buddha has arrived. It's time to go."

Noritoki nodded.

"We will see each other again in the next life!"

"Oh!"

The two brothers stabbed their swords deep into each other's chests and ended their lives. It happened in an instant.

At the same time, Yoritsuna rushed into the room.

Yoritsuna was frustrated.

"Have committed suicide. Take his head. All right, we've won!"

The soldiers were so excited that they shouted a battle cry of victory. This cheer spread to the outside.

Yoritsuna became unusually excited.

"Listen up, all of you. I will now strike at Hojo Mitsutoki, the general of Nagoe. He is the one who will bring down the Shogunate. We must defeat him quickly so that Lord Tokimune can see Mitsutoki's head. Let's go!"

The soldiers shouted madly and ran outside. And then they ran, ranting.

Nagoe is a branch of the Hojo clan. Therefore, to strike down Mitsutoki, the first of the Nagoe, was clearly an act outside the authority of his entourage. But no one could stop his bloodthirsty momentum. For Yoritsuna, who was an entourage official, the fall of Nagoe was the perfect opportunity to consolidate the power of the Shogunate. Even if he ignored his lord's orders, he had to do it. The results could be reported after the fact.



To be continued.





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