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Ishida Mitsunari; A bad guy or misunderstood?
Topic Started: Jan 4 2007, 03:07 AM (3,316 Views)
Megohime Date
The Lady of the Date Clan
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I was just wondering on some of your guys takes on Mitsunari. Most historians don't like him but SW2 made him a really decent guy. I saw a movie based around the life Date Masamune. In this he was made out to be a horrible person, manipulating hideyoshi. He had all of Hideyoshi's adopted son's children and concubines murdered including a young lady named Koma. Koma had just arrived to meet her new husband and found out he was ordered to commit suicide. She was also killed with the other concubines even thought she never had met the man. I know some would say she would have been loyal and this and that, but she never met him let alone love him. It was the saddest part of the movie. Komahime was actually Masamune's cousin.

So this movie was skewed to make Masamune a hero but alot of other sources also dislike Mitsunari. So i wanted to know, how do you all feel about Ishida Mitsunari?
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talakurai
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He seemed to be hated by nearly everyone. His only friend was Otani Yoshitsugu, that's why everything went wrong for the Western Army when Kobayakawa attacked Yoshitsugu and Yoshitsugu committed suicide. It was also rumored that Mitsunari is in fact Toyotomi Hideyori biological father: Yodo had an affair with him (she had an affair with Ono Harunaga, too, but it would explain why Mitsunari had so much power in the background if he is the father of Hideyori, also Hideyoshi had no other children neither with Nene nor with Takenaka Oyu so he didn't seem to be able to have children at all). Ieyasu even told openly that Mitsunari is Hideyori's father, to make Mitsunari and Yodo look bad, but the West didn't care: Hideyoshi was already dead and there was an heir.
My result: Mitsunari was a lot like Lu Buwei (I don't know if you all know him: he was the biological father of the first emperor of China Qin Shihuangdi).
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SlickSlicer
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The thing about Mitsunari murdering people may be historical. I'm not really sure. What I KNOW that Mitsunari did was take a bunch of people (including woman) who he suspected would support the Tokugawa cause, hostage. One of these women, named Hosokawa Gracia (or Gracia, or Akechi Tama, Mitsuhide's daughter), managed to obtain a blade and committed suicide while she was a hostage. This was a bad mark on Ishida Mitsunari's career, though it wasn't really his fault that it happened.

In any case, Mitsunari was a schemer. He knew how to get what he wanted. It is unclear whether or not he had a secret agenda during the events that led up to Sekigahara. He might have wanted to restore the Toyotomi house, but it's also very likely he hoped to raise his own power and prestige by defeating the Tokugawa.

Mitsunari was not only friends with Otani Yoshitsugu. Shima Sakon supported Mitsunari to the end, and served as Mitsunari's chief strategist during the events that led to Sekigahara (in my opinion, Sakon didn't do a good job at this role, but at least he fought hard at Sekigahara itself). Many other people supported Mitsunari, but the majority of samurai clans aided Tokugawa Ieyasu during the battles around Sekigahara for the following reasons:

1.) They did not like Ishida Mitsunari (Kato Kiyomasa being a primary example; he did not really do much to help either side though).

2.) They had been alienated by Hideyoshi (Date Masamune and Mogami Yoshiaki being the best examples of this).

3.) They wanted personal power and prestige, and figured that helping the non-ruling party would allow them to get this. Fukushima Masanori, who did not really like or dislike Mitsunari either way, was probably in this category.

Many of the people who did not aid Mitsunari or fought for the Tokugawa did so for self-serving, selfish reasons. Masamune for instance had been threatened by Hideyoshi and saved only by the assistance of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Other people like Kobayakawa Hideaki did not help either side during the battle of Sekigahara until Tokugawa Ieyasu fired on his troops and Hideaki did not want to lose any more casualties. Many other generals did the same thing as Hideaki and observed the battle from a high vantage point so they could support whoever they thought was winning.

Contrary to what people say, I don't think Mitsunari made that many mistakes during his career. Besieging Tanabe and Otsu before Sekigahara was not a bad idea (Otsu was a particularly important strategical base). Though it kept troops from Sekigahara, Mitsunari wouldn't have needed more troops at Sekigahara had his allies at the battle not been so cowardly. Many of the Western Army generals didn't move to help Mitsunari at all during the fighting, including Shimazu Yoshihiro (who's inaction at Sekigahara was more damaging than his historical fighting retreat was helpful). Others like Mori Hidemoto did not move because Kikkawa Hiroie refused to aid the Western army at the battle. If Shimazu Yoshihiro had not been insulted by Shima Sakon before the battle (earlier, Yoshihiro advised the Western Army to adopt a night raid plan, but Shima Sakon, as Mitsunari's strategist, flat-out rejected the idea), some speculate that his army might have assisted Mitsunari during the fight and allowed Mitsunari to make the push necessary to beat the Eastern Army at Sekigahara.
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Red Knight
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Hosokawa Tadaoki defected to the Eastern Army because he perceived Mitsunari as the cause of Graci's death, despite the fact that she killed herself. Mitsunari took the families of all the Toyotomi loyalists suspected of throwing their lot in with the Tokugawa.

Fukushima Masanori and Kato Kiyomasa despised Ishida Mitsunari greatly. The Kurodas, especially Kuroda Kanbei had a fierce dislike for Mitsunari that stemmed from the Korean Campaign of 1592. Mitsunari's one mistake was laying siege to Fushimi Castle.
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Megohime Date
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thank you so much for your opinons, it helped alot. Although did Gracia really kill her self? I thought she ordered someone to do it since Christians were not suppose to commit suicide. I also read that Hosokawa ordered her to be killed. I did know that Hideyoshi probably wasn't Hideyori's father, this is most likely why Nene decided to support the Tokugawa.
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SlickSlicer
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You might be right. She might have had a guard do it. I'll have to look it up in my book...

(I'll be right back).

Edit-Yeah you're right.

"One of Mitsunari's greatest mistakes as the stormclouds gathered was in the handling of Tokugawa hostages. The taking of hostages was common, so Mitsunari resolved to place in hazard the wives and families of Tokugawa loyalists who had been left in Osaka after Ieyasu had vacated that castle for Edo in July. One of these women was a baptised Christian named Gracia.

[...]

Gracia was determined that she would not be an impediment to her husband's actions, and thus an impediment to their lord, Ieyasu. When Mitsunari sent men to place her under arrest, Gracia ordered a servant to kill her and to set fire to their mansion. This action so stunned Osaka, that Mitsunari was only able to place token guard forces at the homes of the hostage wives of Tokugawa generals, most of whom then escaped in the night."

Quoted from Sekigahara 1600 by Anthony J. Bryant.
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Red Knight
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That was why Tadoaki joined the Tokugawa. What does place in hazard mean?
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Artemis
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It's actually very literal. Mitsunari was jeopardizing the lives of those Tokugawa loyalist wives so that he could perhaps attempt to gain the forced support (or at least neutrality) of some of their husbands.
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Red Knight
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Actually, I think Mitsunari ordered the imprisonment of the wives of all the Toyotomi loyalists planning to join the Tokugawa. I think that encouraged a lot of Toyotomi loyalists to join the Eastern Army before Sekigahara. Mitsunari's attempt to get them to stay with the Toyotomi or neutral did the exact opposite.
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Artemis
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Yes, that's what Mitsunari did (read the above quote). And yes, his plan backfired (again, that's what Bryant was trying to state I think). But that was his plan. To take hostage several wives of Toyotomi loyalists and threaten their lives so that these wives' husbands would support the Ishida.
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Red Knight
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Ishida Mitsunari had f*cked up. All the forced abduction thing of the wives did was drive the ex-Toyotomi loyalists to serving Ieyasu. If Mitsunari hadn't have done that, things may have been different at Sekigahara.
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Artemis
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It was a mistake, but not one that cost him victory. There were other, more important, things that caused him to be defeated.
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Red Knight
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Mitsunari did make a lot of mistakes. The wife-napping and the siege of Fushimi Castle were two of them. Is that all, or did Mitsunari make more mistakes than those two?
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Haku
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Hmm, yes, I have also heard about Ishida Mitsunari being a bad man, for example I have heard he was a major rapist...

I've got reading to do, to Wikipedia I will go for the next few hours!
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Red Knight
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The fact that he ratted out people during the Korean invasion and the wife-napping are the only reasons why Ishida Mitsunari gets a bad rap, however unfairly. I never heard that fact about Mitsunari before.
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Shinpusan
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Haku
Mar 17 2007, 06:51 AM
Hmm, yes, I have also heard about Ishida Mitsunari being a bad man, for example I have heard he was a major rapist...

I would absolutely love to know where you got that information....
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Yuka
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talakurai
Jan 4 2007, 12:00 PM
It was also rumored that Mitsunari is in fact Toyotomi Hideyori biological father: Yodo had an affair with him (she had an affair with Ono Harunaga, too, but it would explain why Mitsunari had so much power in the background if he is the father of Hideyori, also Hideyoshi had no other children neither with Nene nor with Takenaka Oyu so he didn't seem to be able to have children at all). Ieyasu even told openly that Mitsunari is Hideyori's father, to make Mitsunari and Yodo look bad, but the West didn't care: Hideyoshi was already dead and there was an heir.
My result: Mitsunari was a lot like Lu Buwei (I don't know if you all know him: he was the biological father of the first emperor of China Qin Shihuangdi).

I don't think that Mitsunari is Hideyori's biological father. It seems they weren't physically similar. Hideyori is said to be a tall and big man, while Mitsunari is said to be a short man. But I don't think that he is Hideyoshi's son either. Hideyoshi is also short. So... who is the real father?!
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Red Knight
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I think that Yodo might have had an affair with one of Hideyoshi's top generals and she gave birth to that general's child and called the child Toyotomi Hideyori. Ishida Mitsunari assumed that Hideyori was Hideyoshi's kid. The name of that Toyotomi general is unknown even to this day.
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Shinpusan
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There are also rumors that it was one of the Ono (either Harunaga, or Harufusa, can't remember which one) brothers that was the father of Hideyori.
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talakurai
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It was Harunaga. Yeah he was/is rumored, too,but a lot of people (Eastern army) wanted to damage Mitsunari mostly so nearly everybody said that it was him.
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Red Knight
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WTH? Ono Harunaga? He later becomes Hideyori's advisor though, why did he not tell Hideyori that he was his father if he was his father? I had always thought Kanbei was Hideyori's real father due to his being Hideyoshi's advisor.
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Yuka
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Mar 23 2007, 07:07 PM
WTH? Ono Harunaga? He later becomes Hideyori's advisor though, why did he not tell Hideyori that he was his father if he was his father? I had always thought Kanbei was Hideyori's real father due to his being Hideyoshi's advisor.

Who knows if he secretly had told him. Even if Hideyori had known his real father, there's no way he would reveal it to the public. He would lose support.

Kuroda Kanbei sided the Eastern in Sekigahara. I don't think he's the real father.

If it's not for the physical appearance, Mitsunari is the best choice. He came from Omi and his father served the Asai. (Probably he and Yodo were childhood lovers *_*)
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Megohime Date
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Iv'e heard rumors of it being Tokugawa Ieyasu himself as well. More importantly if Hideyori was truly Hideyoshi's son how come Nene didn't support them in Sekigahara? She supported Tokugawa instead, this is what makes me believe that Hideyori really wasn't the Toyotomi heir. and how can anybody really know exactly how many men Yodo shared beds with. IT maybe some unknown solider for all we know.
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Red Knight
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Why would Tokugawa Ieyasu want to kill his own son if he was Toyotomi Hideyori's father? That doesn't make sense. Nene didn't like Yodo-gimi and that was why she supported Tokugawa Ieyasu during Sekigahara. I think Kuroda Kanbei was Hideyori's biological father who fathered Hideyori with Yodo. If that's true, then Kanbei and his son Nagamasa joined due to the fact that Mitsunari may have been manipulating Hideyori.
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Megohime Date
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Just something I saw in movie. It was something he didn't want to get in the public so of course he would kill his own son. He had another one of his children commit seppuku anyway (his first son?) He wanted the Tokugawa to rule Japan, not a biological Tokugawa who took the name Toyotomi. Besides, would Hideyori even believe Ieyasu if he told him that? I'm not necessarily saying that he is or isn't his father. I personly believe it was Mitsunari, but there is no real way of anyone really ever knowing unless we can get DNA from Hideyori and all possible men who could have fathered him. Then you're treading into CSI territory and let's not go there. :blink: :ph43r:
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