Bayko Baron

 

Nemandawara-Jo - 1575

precursor to Nagashino

 

 

Nemandawara castle on the shores of the BiwaKo, built to control the Nakasendo Highway north from the Kanto

Tasked to capture the castle for his master, Oda Nobunaga, Toranaga Isi recieves news that his attempt.... 

.... at negotiation has failed and Matsuyori Aichi still commands the fortress

Which means a formal siege

Though that should not take long since Toranaga has brought the cannon gifted to his master by the Portuguese - and the keep is made largely of wood

Word arrives that Mitsuyori's ally, Takeda Hideaki and his dreaded cavalry, are approaching to break the siege

The Takeda samurai arrive

To find themselves confronted by mere ashigaru - sword fodder for their blades

But Torananga's men are teppo-tai (matchlock men) covered by pikes and pavise 

Contemptuous of their inferiors the samurai launch an immediate charge

palms sweat as the ashigaru feel the ground shiver under them and watch the torrent thunder down 

Then the order is barked and the terror mercifully disappears in a wall of acrid smoke

As the cloud thins and settles the now near-defenceless teppi see their noble enemies in panic-stricken flight - those that are not dead or dying in front of them. It is the end of blind honour and the dawn of massed warfare under the Rising Sun 

And shortly the cannons are back at work

And Nemandawara is burning

Reluctant to be burnt alive Mitsuyori leads his samurai in a last sortie. Still alive to bushido Toranaga orders his ashigaru aside and sends his own samurai to meet them.

But Mitsuyori  is taken alive and having failed to commit seppuku becomes part of the traditional victory ceremony, kneeling between the four leading Takeda and preparing to join them.

While Toranaga Ishi congratulates himself on what must surely be the final act in the endless political in-fighting. 

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