Thursday, 27 March 2014

My First Meeting with Oda Nobunaga

I decided to launch this new tiny blog on mine dedicated to the historical figure of Oda Nobunaga with some original content, in the specific case, telling you about how went my first meeting with this legendary samurai.

Long story short, I have to blame a movie by Oshima Nagisa, based on a comic of Shirato Sanpei, Ninja Bugeicho (it was presented during some North-American festival under the not-so-suggestive title Band of Ninja).
The movies is peculiarly charming: I could talk about an anime, but that's pretty far from an anime, the kind Miyazaki got Westerners used to, and closer to somethings else.
Just like what Shirato drawn was pretty far from manga, and closer to something else.
Sanpei Shirato was a popular gekiga artist, where the word for gekiga was an exact contrary of manga, as it translates as "dramatic drawing".
Following his leftist ideas and the heritage from his father as a kamishibai artist, Shirato offered to the audience of the 50s and the 60s plenty of works where his considerations on the human cruelty, vanity and prevarication are still modern and worth of attention.

So, when watching the movie it's the world of the above mentioned kamishibai that comes to mind: still images that come to life thanks to the recitation of the narrator.
Looking at the original pages of the manga moving on screen is indeed a pleasure for the mind, and I encourage anyone to give a peek to this eccentric work, assuming that you have enough guts to face some serious violence!

Anyway, after I watched this movie I wasn't really impressed by Nobunaga. He was a random antagonistic character, and he wasn't enough evil to be recognized as an actual villain, go figure!
Anyway, since I promised a friend who was managing a wonderful website about Shirato Sanpei to help with the biographies of the historical characters appearing in this series, I started to investigate about Akechi Mitsuhide, Yagyû Muneyoshi, Kennyo and, of course, Oda Nobunaga.

I was immediately charmed by his biography, expecially by the years of his youth and how they contrasted with what he was going to be in the future.
The image of this rowdy, unruly boy who couldn't care less about etiquete, cliques and conventions grew up on me easily, since it's such a rare figure to find in Japanese history, expecially in such history, talking about samurai and the like.
The vapid warlord of the movie was easily overruled, and after a read on Wikipedia and a few researches on Google, I could call myself a Nobunaga fan.

This bit is another discovery itself.
It's interesting and fullfilling to see how knowledge can easily change the points of view of an individua, making them aware of the facts so to manage to develop a personal opinion.
After this realization, I decided that I'd investigate Nobunaga's life further, if not to cover every detail of his life, at least to make my image of him even clearer.


  1. Questa storia è davvero interessante. Sono in particolar modo contenta di sapere di non essere l'unica persona sulla faccia del pianeta (no, sono sicura che ce ne siano tante altre!) ad essere rimasta soprattutto attratta dalle sue avventure giovanili.
    Grazie per aver menzionato quel sito, lo visiterò appena possibile.

  2. Grazie ^o^ Mi è sembrato un modo adeguato per dare il via a questo genere di blog ^_^ --Tra l'altro, sono ancora in paziente attesa dell'ultimo volume di questo manga >_> Voglio fare una recensione sul Nobunaga che vi compare!!

    Il sito è molto bello e completo :D Purtroppo Lan ha abbandonato le sue attività "otaku" per dedicarsi alla vita reale, ma sono felice che, anche se non aggiornato, abbia deciso di tenere il sito online-- Anche perchè è un baluardo per gli amanti di questo autore ^_^ !!