Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Death of Takeda Shingen, Part 2

Two more sources on Takeda Shingen have details on his death - "Takeda Shingen" by Isogai Masayoshi, and "Takeda Gunki" by Kobayashi Keiichiro. They indicate that he collapsed soon after the Mikatagahara campaign, probably late in the 12th month of 1572, indicating a long-standing illness. The siege of Noda castle took place early in 1573. The castle fell in the middle of the 2nd month. Apparently the only "record" of Shingen being "shot by a sniper" come from Tokugawa documents, which could have been changed to give the Tokugawa the credit for killing Shingen. As it stands, Shingen did not die until the 12th day of the 4th month, fully 2 months after the fall of Noda castle. It is unlikely there is a connection. These two sources also state that Shingen had been ill for a long time, and his closest advisers were aware of his illness - aware enough to in fact be worried about him. It also goes on to say that it was an "internal illness" (肺肝 - as opposed to an injury). Another interesting fact is that although Shingen had given up meat completely in a show of religious abstinence around 1563, by the 2nd month of 1573 (around the fall of Noda castle) he began eating fish and poultry for his health. He obviously was in poor health for a while before Noda castle, and the "sniper" theory just doesn't fit. As for stomach cancer due to alcoholism - Shingen wasn't exactly known for alcoholism, but I can't rule it out (yet).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Death of Takeda Shingen

Looking through the Koyo Gunkan, I found the section on the death of Takeda Shingen:
"On the 11th day of the 4th month around 1pm, Lord Shingen's condition took a turn for the worst. His pulse became extremely rapid. On the night of the 12th, approximately 9pm, he developed an abscess/rash in his mouth, and 5 or 6 of his teeth fell out. He gradually weakened."

There is no mention of him getting shot by a sniper, a somewhat popular theory, probably due to the movie "Kagemusha". It appears that he died late in the night of the 12th of the 4th month of 1573 (5/13 by the Western calendar). According to the Koyo Gunkan, in addition to giving his last will and testament, he requested that his death be hidden for three years, which he felt would discourage anyone from attacking Kai. He also advised Katsuyori to make peace with Uesugi Kenshin, believing Kenshin to be an honorable man who would not refuse.

There is mention of a previous sickness that afflicted Shingen prior to his death. I intend to look at that next.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The S-A journal of Japanese History

I am currently developing a Japanese history journal tentatively scheduled for 2008. The rationale behind this is relatively straightforward. Academic journals tend to only publish academics, and so I'd like to circumvent that - and they tend to shy away from military history, and biography. The S-A Journal will be open to all submissions, from amateur historians to academics to published historians. The submissions will be evaluated separately from the credentials of the writer, allowing anyone with the theories, ideas, and ability to make for a well written, academically sound, and interesting research to be published. The intention is to hold the articles to a very high standard - similar standards that an academic journal would hold, and within the next few weeks I'll be unveiling the Journal website that will have information on submission requirements and standards. Additionally, I will have a staff of editors and evaluators to assist in the evaluation of submitted articles.

As for "how does this stand apart from the other academic journals"? - my aim is to focus more on the military history, and the personalities of Japanese history, rather than social issues, "intellectual history", and how (for example) Daimyo administered thier lands, and all of the other stuff that is the vogue of the academic journals - and as previously mentioned, to allow anyone with valid theories and solid scholarship to be published.

The intention is to publish the stuff that people want to read, not the stuff that you are forced to write if you want to get into an academic journal. So stay tuned for more information.

(Listen to the post in MP3 Format)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Winners of the 2007 Samurai Fiction Contest

I'll be moving the stories onto the samurai archives page, but for now I have them on a seperate server. This year was tough for the judges, as the overall quality for all stories was pretty high. Two writers paid double the fee and submitted two stories, which was fine under the contest rules. The following list is formatted with the story title, the author, the Author's "Samurai Archives Citadel" ID, the genre, and the link. Here are the winners and participants of the third annual Samurai Fiction contest:

Winner - First Place and Best Ending:
Intruder: (N. Ledbetter - LTDomer)
Historical Fiction

Winner - Second Place and Most Original:
magni nominus umbra: (J. Workman - last year's winner)
Horror/Ghost Story

Winner - Third Place and Best Writing:
The Matsudaira Plot: (Nina Boal - Wave Tossed - First Year's winner)
Pulp Fiction

Honorable Mention - Best Dialog:
The Snow Light Warrior: (Jason Kemp - Yukiakari)
Horror/Ghost Story

Other Entries:

Like Any Other Day? (J. Workman - Last Year's winner):
Science Fiction

Shadows Dance at Dawn: (E. Richard IV - Shishiogundam)
Historical Fiction

It's a Girl (Phil Gomez - Phillipmichael1):
Historical Fiction
(I need to re-add the section-break images)

Running: (N. Ledbetter - LTDomer)
Historical Fiction