Post-Mongol Samurai IV/59b: 1465AD- 1542AD

This army depicted is actually 40 years past the dates listed for DBA. The only real apparent difference is that the Date forces used many firearms. This army can thus be used for Renaissance warfare with the addition of the firearms elements.

DBA list:
1x 3Cv or 4Bd (General): Date Masamune (1566-1636)
1x 3Cv
5x 4Bd
1x 3Sp
4x 5Wb or 4x 7Hd or 4x 3Sp

Date Masamune 1566-1636 "The One Eyed Dragon"

Date Masamune was the eldest son of Date Terumune, a lord of the Rikuzen area of Mutsu. In his youth, Masamune had suffered a bout with small pox that caused an infection in his right eye,which he plucked out himself. Combined with his early aggressive and unstable demeanor, Masamune would earn the name of 'One-eyed Dragon'. That nickname would stick, but became one of respect.

Masamune assumed control of the Date in 1584 with the retirement of his father. Shortly afterwards, he suffered the defection of a Date retainer named Ouchi Sadatsuna to the Ashina of the Aizu region. Masamune declared war on the Ashina in retaliation. However, Masamune's army was halted at Hibara by the Ashina general, Iwashiro Morikuni, and forced to retreat. Three months later, Masamune besieged the Ouchi's stronghold at Otemori and inflicted a terrible price on the traitors, allegedly putting some 800 people of all ages to the sword. When word of this slaughter reached the Ouchi at Obama Castle, they burned Obama and fled. At the same time, tensions between the Date and their traditional rivals the Hatakeyama began to flare. The lord of the Hatakeyama, Yoshitsugu, evidently attempted to make peace with Masamune on a number of occasions, but the latter, young and hot-blooded, rebuffed each advance. Finally, Yoshitsugu turned to Terumune to mediate. The two former rivals sat down and feasted together in a most cordial manner. The following day, Yoshitsugu ostensibly came to thank Terumune for the enjoyable dinner. He then kidnapped Terumune at sword point, an act both unheard of and shocking. When Masamune returned from a morning of falconry to learn of his father's abduction, he called his men to arms and set off after Hatakeyama's entourage. They caught up with Hatakeyama near the Abukuma River. Terumune cried out for Masamune to open fire on them, regardless of his own safety, but his son hesitated. In the confusion, Terumune was cut down and Yoshitsugu somehow escaped to his castle of Nihonmatsu.

The Date and Ashina forces met at Suriagehara on 5 June, and Masamune's forces carried the day, Masamune leading a charge against faltering Ashina ranks, and breaking them. Unfortunately for the Ashina, Date men had destroyed their avenue of escape, a bridge over the Nitsubashi River, and those who did not drown attempting to swim to safety were mercilessly put to the sword. By the battle's end, Masamune could count something like 2,300 enemy heads in one of the more bloody and decisive battles of the Sengoku period to happen in the far north.In 1592, Date served in Hideyoshi's headquarters at Nagoya on Kyushu during the Korean invasion. Three years later, he found himself implicated in the suspected treason of Toyotomi Hidetsugu and was ordered to pack up and move his household to Iyo on Shikoku, an unthinkable fate (to Date) averted through the good offices of Tokugawa Ieyasu. All in all, it is not surprising that Date readily joined Tokugawa when war came between the latter and Ishida Mitsunari began in 1600. He had already married a son to one of Ieyasu's daughters (an act which in itself had aggravated tensions between Ieyasu and his fellow san-bugyo members) and was likely contemplating how best his remote forces could aid Tokugawa when war began. In the event, he and Mogami Yoshiakira of Dewa held the forces of Uesugi Kagekatsu at bay, with Masamune's first contribution to the war effort being the Siege of Hataya. The battles in the north culminated with Masamune's attack on Fukushima Castle. Date and Mogami's efforts allowed Tokugawa to move west in confidence, and, of course, the campaign culminated in the total victory at Sekigahara in October 1600. In the aftermath, Date's lands were enlarged to 600,000 koku, and he built a new castle town (Aoba-jo) at Sendai. He maintained his status as a first rate general, serving in the Osaka Campaigns (1614,1615). When Masamune died (1636), he was succeded by his son Tadamune (d.1658).


The Katakura, Shiroishi, Endo, Rusu, Oniniwa, and Hasekura clans served the Date loyally.

Mon: take ni suzume (birds in bamboo): Osprey "Samurai Heraldry" pg 25 . Personal sashimono sun disc (hi no maru)

Mon of the Date Date's armor

 

Ôuchi Yoshitaka's (1507-1551) Death Poem:


Both the victor
and the vanquished are
but drops of dew,
but bolts of lightning -
thus should we view the world

Click here to see the army pictures.

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