This month has been a little busy to say the least and i have not had much chance to relax and crack on with my Samurai project. I have non the less been researching and evolving my collection. next up will be a base of famous Takeda cavalry.
I hope to get these painted up over the weekend. i also hope to go to Fiasco in leeds, not sure if i will be able to do both?!?!
I am syill unsure as to how many figures to place on the base, as i also wish to add flag nearers running along behind the cavalry. If i paint to many its not a problem i have plans for any spares...
I found this fantastic picture of Okudaira Sadamasas complete heraldry on the net last night from the O uma Jirushi. The O Uma Jirushi was written In 1650, by a monk called Kyuan. It is a comprehensive illustrated survey of the heraldry of his time. This text describes the heraldry of most of the major samurai families that fought in the the battles of the Sengoku period. Luckily for anyone interested in this fascinating subject, it still survives to this day, and remains one of the chief sources of heraldic information available on this period in Japan.
Here they are, my first command for the Impetus rules. Four bases strong, I know that in the rules it is suggested that one base represents around 500 men and the garrison was 500 strong before you take into acocunt any casualties from the long seige. My bases will represent between 80- 150 men for this project. this will give me enough adaptability to vary the composition of my armies within the rules and enable me to do lots of colourful contingents,which is the beauty of the period.
These four bases represent the troops that sallied out from Nagashino castle on the last day of the seige. i have chose not to do any teppo as it would make sense to leave these troops behing to defend the rules should it all go wrong....
Torii Suneemon was a retainer of okudaira Sadamasa from Mikawa province. He became famous was renowned bravery and and had knowledge of the surroundings around Nagashino. He volunteered for the suicidle mission of sneaking through the siege lines to request aid from Tokugawa Ieyasu in Okazaki. a request had already been sent but the garrison had received no answer, so were unaware that Tokugawa Ieyasu and oda Nobunaga were already making plans for the relief of the castle. At midnight on the 23rd Torii Suneemon slipped out of the castle through the Yagyu-mon and climbed down the cliff path into the Toyokawa river. He swam down the river until he met with the nets the Takeda had strung across it to warn of such escape, he cut his way through underwater without making a sound and continued on his daring quest to reach Okazaki, stopping to light a beacon on mount Gambo to let the rest of the garrison know he had got through. After successfully warning Tokugawa, however, he was captured by the Takeda on his return to Nagashino. After they had seen the beacons they had concluded that some one had escaped and increased their security around the castle. Torii was taken prisoner and sent before Takeda Katsuyori, who impressed with his exploits offered him service in the Takeda army. Torii apparently agreed but Katsuyori was suspicious and ordered Torii to shout to his compatriots in the fortress that no help was on the way, and that they should surrender. He instead encouraged the garrison that Tokugawa's army was, in fact, on the way, and that they should hold out. There is some dispute as to whether Torii was crucified before or after this proclamation, as well as in the precise details of his execution. Nevertheless, the end result was the same. One acocunt suggests spears were thrust into his body as he spoke the words, another that he was crucified later.
One Takeda retainer, Ochiai Michihisa was so impressed he had an image of a crucified Torii Suneemon put on his personal flag. This flag still exists and his pictured below.
Okudaira Sadamasa defended Nagashino castle with his garrison of 500 men against the Takeda assaults for 12 days. Then finally when he saw smoke rising from behind the siege lines he sallied out with what was left of his garrison. They charged into the remaining beseigers and killed 200 of Kosaka Masazumi's men.
The Okudaira were a Mikawa family and originally retainers of the Tokugawa, but they had been forced to join Takeda Shingen, who held his wife and younger brother as permanent hostages in Kofu which was the takeda headquarters.
With the death of takeda Shingen, Sadamasa decided to rejoin his old masters the Tokugawa. He marched his men out of the Takeda castle of Tsukide. When news of his betrayal reached Takeda Katsuyori, he had Sadamasa's family crucified. This act unsurprisingly made Okudaira Sadamasa into a bitter enemy of Katsuyori, Which Tokugawa Ieyasu used to his advantage by appointing Sadamasa to strategically placed Nagashino castle. The castle controlled the movements from Takeda territories into Mikawa province. His appointment guaranteed a stubborn resistance should the Takeda ever try to take Nagashino castle.
Sadamasa took part in the final campaign against Takeda Katsuyori in 1582, which led to his defeat and suicide at the battle of Temmokuzan.
I was unable to find any contemporary pictures of Sadamasa, so I have been able to go to town and dress him very much as the hero he was. Around his chest he wears a hotoke-do hammered and lacquered to resemble a human torso. On his head he wears a "bumpkin" helmet, which incorporates horsehair styled to look like a peasants hairstyle. his mon (heraldic device) is a red ichiwa fan on white. Sadly my painting makes it look more like an apple....