Thursday, 28 December 2017

Takeda Clan


The Takeda was a famous clan of daimyō (feudal lords) in Japan's late Heian Period to Sengoku period.  The Takeda were descendants of Emperor Seiwa (850-880) and are a branch of the Minamoto clan (Seiwa Genji), by Minamoto no Yoshimitsu (1056-1127), brother to the Chinjufu-shogun Minamoto no Yoshiie (1039-1106). Minamoto no Yoshikiyo, son of Yoshimitsu, was the first to take the name of Takeda. 

In the 12th century, at the end of the Heian period, the Takeda family controlled Kai Province. Along with a number of other families, they aided their cousin Minamoto no Yoritomo against the Taira clan in the Genpei War. When Minamoto no Yoritomo was first defeated at Ishibashiyama (1181), Takeda Nobuyoshi was applied for help and the Takeda sent an army of 20,000 men to support Yoritomo. Takeda Nobumitsu (1162-1248), helped the Hōjō during the Shōkyu War (1221) and in reward received the governorship of Aki province. Until the Sengoku period, the Takeda were shugo of Kai, Aki and Wakasa provincies. In 1415, they helped to suppress the rebellion of Uesugi Zenshū; Ashikaga Mochiuji, Uesugi's lord, and the man the rebellion was organized against, made a reprisal against the Takeda, thus beginning the rivalry between the Uesugi and Takeda families, which would last roughly 150 years.  

Takeda Harunobu succeeded his father Nobutora in 1540, becoming lord of Kai, and quickly began to expand. Though he faced the Hōjō clan a number of times, most of his expansion was to the north, where he fought his most famous battles, against Uesugi Kenshin.  

Shingen is famous for his tactical genius, and innovations, though some historians have argued that his tactics were not particularly impressive nor revolutionary. Nevertheless, Shingen is perhaps most famous for his use of the cavalry charge. Up until the mid-16th century and Shingen's rise to power, mounted samurai were primarily archers. There was already a trend at this time towards larger infantry-based armies, including a large number of foot archers. In order to defeat these missile troops, Shingen transformed his samurai from archers to lancers, and used the cavalry charge to devastating effect at the Battle of Mikatagahara in 1572. The strength of Shingen's new tactic became so famous that the Takeda army came to be known as the kiba gundan, or 'mounted army.'  Shingen died in 1573, at age 53, from illness. His less tactically talented son, Katsuyori, succeeded him, and was defeated in 1575, in the famous battle of Nagashino, by Oda Nobunaga. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Age of Warring States

The Sengoku period (戦国時代 Sengoku jidai, "Age of Warring States"; c. 1467 – c. 1603) is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China. It was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under Ashikaga shogunate, and came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The Ōnin War in 1467 is usually considered the starting point of Sengoku period. There are several events which could be considered the end of it: The Siege of Odawara (1590), the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603), or the Siege of Osaka (1615).


Timeline
TimeEvent
1467Beginning of Ōnin War
1477End of Ōnin War
1488The Kaga Rebellion
1493Hosokawa Masamoto succeeds in the Coup of Meio
Hōjō Sōun seizes Izu Province
1507Beginning of Ryo Hosokawa War (the succession dispute in the Hosokawa family)
1520Hosokawa Takakuni defeats Hosokawa Sumimoto
1531Hosokawa Harumoto defeats Hosokawa Takakuni
1535Battle of Idano The forces of the Matsudaira defeat the rebel Masatoyo
1543The Portuguese land on Tanegashima, becoming the first Europeans to arrive in Japan, and introduce the arquebus into Japanese warfare
1549Miyoshi Nagayoshi betrays Hosokawa Harumoto
1551Tainei-ji incidentSue Harukata betrays Ōuchi Yoshitaka, taking control of western Honshu
1554The tripartite pact among Takada, Hojo and Imagawa is signed
1555Battle of ItsukushimaMōri Motonari defeats Sue Harukata and goes on to supplant the Ōuchi as the foremost daimyo of western Honshu
1560Battle of Okehazama: The outnumbered Oda Nobunaga defeats and kills Imagawa, Yoshimoto in a surprise attack
1568Oda Nobunaga marches toward Kyoto
1570Beginning of Ishiyama Hongan-ji War
1573The end of Ashikaga shogunate
1575Battle of Nagashino: Oda Nobunaga decisively defeats the Takeda cavalry with innovative arquebus tactics
1580End of Ishiyama Hongan-ji War
1582Akechi Mitsuhide assassinates Oda Nobunaga (Honnō-ji Incident); Hashiba Hideyoshi defeats Akechi at the Battle of Yamazaki
1585Hashiba Hideyoshi is granted title of Kampaku, establishing his predominant authority; he is granted the surname Toyotomi a year after.
1590Siege of Odawara: Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeats the Hōjō clan, unifying Japan under his rule
1592First invasion of Korea
1597Second invasion of Korea
1598Toyotomi Hideyoshi dies
1600Battle of Sekigahara: The Eastern Army under Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats the Western Army of Toyotomi loyalists
1603The establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate
1615Siege of Osaka: The last of the Toyotomi opposition to the Tokugawa shogunate is stamped out

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Knights Hospitaller lead by Garnier de Nablus

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Garnier de Nablus was the 10th Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller from 1190 to 1192 and fought at the Battle of Arsuf under King Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade.
 
Mix of Gripping Beast and Artizan Miniatures. 

Knights Hospitaller

The origin of the Hospitallers was an 11th-century hospital founded in Jerusalem by Italian merchants from Amalfi to care for sick and poor pilgrims. After the Christian conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the hospital’s superior, a monk named Gerard, intensified his work in Jerusalem and founded hostels in Provençal and Italian cities on the route to the Holy Land. The order was formally named and recognized on February 15, 1113, in a papal bull issued by Pope Paschal II. Raymond de Puy, who succeeded Gerard in 1120, substituted the Augustinian rule for the Benedictine and began building the power of the organization. It acquired wealth and lands and combined the task of tending the sick with defending the Crusader kingdom. Along with the Templars, the Hospitallers became the most formidable military order in the Holy Land.

When the Muslims recaptured Jerusalem in 1187, the Hospitallers removed their headquarters first to Margat and then, in 1197, to Acre. When the Crusader principalities came to an end after the fall of Acre in 1291, the Hospitallers moved to Limassol in Cyprus. In 1309 they acquired Rhodes, which they came to rule as an independent state, with right of coinage and other attributes of sovereignty. Under the order’s rule, the master (grand master from c. 1430) was elected for life (subject to papal confirmation) and ruled a celibate brotherhood of knights, chaplains, and serving brothers. For more than two centuries these Knights of Rhodes were the scourge of Muslim shipping on the eastern Mediterranean and they constituted the last Christian outpost in the East.