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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 18日

 59. The Mongol Invasion


布, ボックス が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明   Toshinaga Takezaki: A Pictorial History of the Mongol Invasion 


It was October of the eleventh year of Bun'ei (1274).

In Hakata Bay, Kitakyushu, there was a towering watchtower. The tower stood so that one could see the whole bay.

Soldiers stood on top of it, staring out to sea.

It was filled with mounted warriors and soldiers.

They were not organized. They did not become organized until much later, during the Warring States period. In those days, the formations were varied. Some had dozens of members, while others had only two. Some were training their swords, some were testing their skills with bows, and some were forming a circle to drink together.

There was also a father and son warrior here. Both of them were wearing old armor. The father admonished the young warrior-dressed child.

“This war is an opportunity of a lifetime for our clan. If we exert ourselves to the fullest, we will be able to regain our lost territory. If we can successfully capture the head of your enemy, we will be rewarded as we wish. This is where the fate of our clan will be decided. You must be the first to go. Don't be late."

 The child tightened his mouth.

The Kamakura period was a time of individual warfare. Each warrior fought for his own merit. This was to gain fame, but the goal was to win a reward. To do so, they had to make a name for themselves. There was no point in fighting spectacularly without being known. But in a melee, it would be difficult to distinguish between friend and foe. Therefore, they hung cloth with their names on their helmets and armor, or wrote their names on each bow. They wrote their names on each of their bows in order to record their war achievements. He was very detailed for such a brave man. However, these were later adopted by the military inspectors as evidence. The final decision on military service was made by the military magistrate, who determined the awards. The magistrate for this battle was Adachi Yasumori.

The warriors drank together and laughed.

In the center was the general, Otomo Yoriyasu, and his second-in-command, Shoni Sukeyoshi.

They were surrounded by a large number of warriors. They were all wild and fierce.

Otomo Yoriyasu had succeeded to the position of governor of Bungo, and his family had spread throughout the Kitakyushu region. Shoni Sukeyoshi also succeeded to his father's position and ruled over the five provinces of Chikuzen, Hizen, Buzen, Iki, and Tsushima.

In contrast to the two elegant men, a ruffian warrior shouted.

"What are these Mongols? They are the barbarian of the north, are they not? Though they are famous in the grasslands, I will destroy them with my Japanese sword. I've heard that they've made a name for themselves in the grasslands. What are they going to do on a boat all the way out there?”

“The Mongols are not our enemies, and our clan will not need to come to Kyushu or any other place. Lord Kamakura is also a worrier. I don't know how much longer the Shogunate will be able to hold out like this.”

 They all laughed.  

 In fact, the morale of the Japanese army was like this in the beginning. It was a fervor that could be called abnormal. It seems that people are proud of themselves before facing an enemy they have never seen before.

 An excited warrior stood up.

“I have something to say to everyone. I will take the head of the Mongolian general. I will take his head and present it to the lord Kamakura. Be mindful of this, all of you.”

Everyone stood up and shouted accusations. This scene is no different than the beast.

The general, Otomo, raised his hand to calm them down.

“You must be on your guard. Your opponent is the Mongols who destroyed Goryeo. We have no idea how powerful they are. In any case, this is the time to show them the strength of the Kamakura warriors. We must be thorough."

 A messenger came running over.

 I've just received a message from the reconnaissance ship. A Mongolian fleet has attacked  Tsushima and is pushing towards Iki.

 "The Mongols have finally arrived!”

 "We will kick the Mongols to the curb!"

 They all shouted and scattered to their respective defensive positions.


 The Mongols were advancing along the Sea of Genkai with dozens of large ships in the center. There were fierce Mongolian soldiers on the ships.

 The ships were catching the wind and moving through the waves.

 The huge Mongolian ship landed at the port of Iki Island in Japan.

 Fishermen, samurai, and even women gathered at the port to see what was going on.

 It was out of curiosity.

 The islanders gazed at the huge ship slowly docking in front of them.

 No one was visible on the ship. Suddenly, however, Mongolian soldiers appeared on the deck and started shooting at them with their bows.

 The islanders and warriors screamed and ran for cover. The women cried out and ran away. Meanwhile, in Kamakura, an early horse announcing the arrival of the Mongols rushed to Tokimune's side. Tokimune was flanked by Yasumori and Yoritsuna.

 Tokimune stood up involuntarily.

 "Do the Mongols have sailed?

 "Indeed. It seems that they first attacked Tsushima Island, and then Iki Island. 

 “Where will they land after Iki?”

 “Judging from the progress of the ships, we think they will land on the northern coast of Kyushu.”

 The messenger left.

 Yoritsuna growled.

 "Hakata, after all. As expected.”

 Tokimune looked up at the western sky and scowled.

 “How many days will it take to get to Hakata from here?”

 Yoritsuna replied.

 "Twenty days at the earliest.”

 Tokimune is impatient.

 "The game may already be decided. Yasumori, we cannot sit still. I'm going into battle myself.”

 Yasumori stopped him.

 "My Lord, please calm down. Your Highness is a general of the Shogunate, that he is. If you go to Kyushu now, you will be absent from Kanto. We cannot be sure that someone like Nagoe will not take advantage of this to attack Kamakura. Please be patient.”

 Tokimune looked at the sky and was distressed.

 “Do you want me to do nothing? Do you mean that we should do nothing and simply wait for fate?”


 Hundreds of Mongolian ships rushed noiselessly into Hakata Bay in the dark. Mongolian soldiers arrived in small boats and climbed onto the beach. The soldiers who had landed lined up for a roll call.

 Dawn was breaking.

 A Japanese scouting party spotted the Mongolian army and poured out.

 The islanders of Tsushima and Iki were tied up in the bowels of the Mongolian ships. They had holes drilled in their hands and were tied in beads. The two islands were annihilated.

Thirty thousand of the Mongolian legions were lined up.

 Firing guns laden with explosives were lined up. This was the first time in Japanese history that explosives had been used.

 There, the Japanese army, led by their cavalry, confronted them. 

 The Japanese general and the Mongolian general looked at each other.

 Soon, the two armies were slowly advancing and closing the gap.

 At this time, several warriors jumped out from the Japanese side and challenged them with loud voices.

 It was a race to the top.

 “Those who are far away should hear my voice, and those who are near should see my figure. I am Shoni Sukeyoshi, the magistrate of Chinzei, the governor of Buzen. I will deal with you.”

 “I am the one Semba Juro, retainer of Chikuzen Otomo. Stand up to me as you normally would.”

However, the Mongolian troops did not take any reaction against them, and they just kept on coming at the Japanese troops.

 The samurai on horseback was annoyed.

 “Don't you know the manners of war? Then I'm coming.”

 Just as the horse was about to gallop away, a bomb exploded in the air.

 The tremendous sound made the horses scream and stand up, and the warriors were knocked down.

 It was the first time the Japanese had heard such a sound. The soldiers were upset.

 At this moment, the Mongolian army attacked at once.

 The Japanese side, on the other hand, fought in single combat. The Mongols, on the contrary, fought in an organized battle. They surrounded the warriors and stabbed them to death. 

 "You coward!”

 The warriors attacked with their bows, but the Mongols defended with their shields.

Instead, the Mongols used their short-bow guns to shoot the warriors on horseback one after another. The wooden gun has a higher turnover rate than the bow. They flew at us like machine guns. They were equipped differently. The clash between the two sides showed the difference in civilization.

 A deafening sound rang out in the air. A horse screamed.

 An old warrior with a child at his side boldly rushed into the center of the Mongolian army and slashed down the enemy general. The child followed suit.

 But the bravery only went so far.

 The generals, Otomo and Shoni, were so frightened that they ran away.

 In spite of this, the soldiers fought hard, but the entire army collapsed and retreated.

 The Mongolian troops rushed into the city of Hakata and set it on fire. The entire city was reduced to scorched earth. They also raided Dazaifu, the capital of Kyushu, and burned it to the ground.

 The Mongols, the strongest army in history, followed the Chinese and Goryeo in laying waste to the Japanese land.

 The day was coming to an end in Hakata Bay.

 The Mongolian soldiers were pulling up to their ships in droves. This was because they saw that they would be at a disadvantage in a night battle.

 On board the Mongolian ship, the warlords were arguing across the table.

 In the corner of the ship, a Goryeo official crouched on his knees.

 The candlelight made the Mongol general look eerie.

 “Let's attack further. If we continue at this rate, we can take Japan.”

 “No, we should pull out. The Japanese army is not to be underestimated and we are worried about food. I think we should go home.”

 "Think about it. The Japanese general is said to be a young guy of twenty or so. The opportunity is now. At the very least, we should seize this port and build a castle.”

 "No. It is true that we won the first battle, but we don't know what will happen next. We could know what the Japanese army was capable of. We must return to Goryeo and prepare for complete domination of Japan.”

 The warlords argued fiercely and tried to grab each other, but the general intervened.

 The general was calm.

 "Let us not pursue too deeply and return to Goryeo. But it was worth it to overwhelm the Japanese forces with the first blow. I am sure the emperor Hubirai will be very pleased. We should leave with this victory. There may be some dissatisfaction. But we are an allied force with the Goryeo. If the Goryeo people betray us, we, who are invincible, may be in danger.”

The general then glared at the Goryeo officials.

 “Next step would be the destruction of Japan.”

 The rain began to pound the deck. Wind and waves ruffled the ship.

 A messenger came to the board room.

 “The waves are getting rougher, sir.”

 The captain was satisfied.

 “It's time to go. Let's pull out.”

 The Mongolian fleet left in a gale and rain.


 The defeat in the Battle of Bun'ei had shocked everyone in Japan.

 The Shogunate tried to keep the defeat of the Japanese army a secret, but it was impossible to hide the facts before their eyes. In no time at all, the news spread throughout the country.

The news also reached Nichiren in the mountains of Kai. The following is a vivid account of the news that was left behind.


 “In October, not only was the Grand Mongol Kingdom sent to destroy the two provinces of Iki and Tsushima, but the Dazaifu was also destroyed, and the Shoni Sukeyoshi, Otomo, and others fled to escape. If they come again this time, it will be seen that this country is weak.” ‘The Book of Saint’s Behaviors’


 “The things I say sound like the words of a fool, and so no one heeds them. Nevertheless, in the tenth month of the eleventh year of the Bun’ei era (1274), when the kingdom of the Mongols launched an attack on Tsukushi, the defenders of the island of Tsushima held fast, but Sōma of So lieutenant, the deputy constable of Tsushima, fled. As a result, the Mongols attacked the commoners, killing or taking prisoners among the men, and herding the women together and passing ropes through holes in their hands to tie them to their ships or taking them prisoner. Not a single person could escape.

 In the attack on the island of Iki the same thing happened. When the Mongol ships pressed on, the magistrate Nyudo who was in charge of the area, the governor of Buzen, fled in defeat. Several hundred of the Matsuura people were struck down or taken prisoner, and the population of one coastal village after another suffered the same fate as the people of Iki and Tsushima.

 When the Mongols attack the next time, what will it be like? When thousands and millions of fighting men from their country come swarming and pressing upon Japan, what will happen?” ‘Writing to Ichinosawa Nyudo’


 These informed of the devastation of Iki and Tsushima, which were wiped out. Nichiren said that eventually, all of Japan would become like these two islands.

 The people knew that they had to be prepared for this, no matter what.





by johsei1129 | 2022-05-18 19:53 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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