Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Kiyosu Conference (2013)

Today I'll review a movie where Nobunaga is barely showed and he leaves a lot to be desidered anyway, but can be considered an interesting watch, as it's focused on the events right after Nobunaga's death and shows a good number of Nobunaga's relatives.
Of course the whole thing is very dramatized so it can't be considered historically accurate, and on top of it it's a comedy movie nonetheless, but it's been a really fun watch and I recommend it to you, in case you're curious to get to see more about characters who are usually pretty much ignored on the other dramas focusing on our Nobunaga.
The director of this sparkling movie, and the author of the novel on which it is based, is Mitani Koki, used to jidaigeki movies as he had the chance to direct the taiga drama "Shinsengumi!" (2004).

He sported a good direction and a nice eye for scenography-- The outside scenes are simply breathtaking for their purity of colours, and you can spot some really nice framing everywhere in the movie.

But let me give you my two cents on this movie's Nobunaga.
The movie starts with the incident of Honnoji. We're shown again a bit of Nobunaga during a flashback about the Kyoto parade of 1581.
Nobunaga here is pretty much a mere caricature, even if it must be noted that in the short fight at Honnoji, he's shown submitting an armoured ashigaru on a one on one fight!

The actor is Sasai Eisuke, and it's a pity that he got so little screentime (or maybe it's a good thing, given this Nobunaga's portrayal)!

The stars of the movie are actually Shibata Katsuie (Yakusho Koji) and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, here still going by the name "Hashiba Tokichiro" (Oizumi Yo):
The complete exact opposites, two of Nobunaga's senior retainers, have to decide what to do with the Oda Clan, now that head and heir have been erased.
From here starts this hilarious, smart and fun "war", showing plots, intrigues and plot twists, wisely seasoned with a laugh or two.

I loved the character of Shibata Katsuie and how he was portrayed by Yakusho-san!

It's a tragic portrayal, after all: Katsuie is too loyal, too honest, too "genuine" to survive the rise of Hideyoshi, he's part of that "old world" that Nobunaga was part of, a world for "lions" rather than for "foxes", to use the words of Machiavelli-- Yet, I couldn't help but sympathize for him during the whole movie, hoping for a further turn of events...

Besides the other great actors (both Kohinata Fumiyo [Niwa Nagahide] and Asano Tadanobu [Maeda Toshiie] are worth a special mention for their great work, for their vivid portraits as loyal friends devoured by doubts), I'd love to spend a word on the sons of Nobunaga and his other relatives, that here are granted a good deal of screentime.

The frigid Nobutaka (Bando Minosuke) is portrayed as the "honor student" of the team: picked and supported by Katsuie and Nagahide, he looks like the best pick, even if the boy is completely lacking charisma and attitude, something that would prove fatal for his election.

Nobukatsu (Tsumabuki Satoshi), the second son of Nobunaga, is portrayed like a moron, and even if at a certain point you wish that it's actually the "otsuke legacy" showing off, in the next scenes you realize that, no, he's not faking it.

--To be honest I always pictured Nobukatsu as angry and impatient, I wonder if portraying him as a complete idiot isn't a bit unjust against him...

Nobutada (Nakamura Kankuro), the first son of Nobunaga, his heir and the actual head of the clan at the time of Nobunaga's death, is obviously the best guy ever.

Dignified, affectionated, loyal, ponderous... He's probably the only one who could shut Mitsuhide up graciously.
A bit too much of a perfect man, but considering how little screentime he has, I can let it slide.

Yet, my favourite of the Oda team, is the eccentric Nobukane (Iseya Yusuke), Nobunaga's brother!

Vain, self-centered, eccentric, with a glamorous soft spot for Western stuff (but still owner of a sharp mind), he's portrayed like an exagerated version of Nobunaga and he's really refreshing to see!
--Yet, I was made to realize that in this movie Nobukane was probably switched with Nagamasa, another little brother of Nobunaga-- And my hype disappeared.

Closing the circle, Nobunaga's vengeful sister, Oichi (Suzuki Kyoka) and a character that we rarely get to see, that Matsu (Gouriki Ayame) hailing from the Takeda Clan, who was promised in marriage to Nobutada when the two were still kids. In the end the two won't marry as their engagement was broken once hostilities started between the two clans, but in this version she was married to Nobutada and the little Sanposhi (Tsushima Miu) was her treasured son:

Despite the magnificent presence of Nene (Nakatani Miki), played with such skills to turn her into the best female character of this movie instantly, these two ladies managed to grab my heart for their original depiction of historical personalities usually left dumb and wordless besides the usual stereotypes-- But to truly savour the true wickedness of a woman, you'll have to wait for the final minutes of the movie!
Long story short, an insignificant Nobunaga but a truly enjoyable movie, passing with flying colours!


  1. Haha, so you finally found a place to watch this! :D

    I always thought Nobukatsu was the passive one and Nobutaka the impatient one. But maybe my impression is affected by their portraits!! XD Nobukatsu looks like a very bored person in his portraits.

    I also appreciated the brief cameo of Hori Kyuutaro Hidemasa XD But I really wonder why Nobukane is portrayed as flamboyant... Is he supposed to be like that? I thought he seemed subdued. Compared to Nobunaga anyway.

    1. I made sure to watch it as soon as I found a subbed version XD

      Why Nobukatsu as the passive one? I always guessed he was impatient, ambitious and self-centered because his deal with the pacification of Iga, and the fact that he killed his father-in-law to became the head of the Kitabatake clan.
      He also had lots of fight with Hideyoshi because of lands...

      I don't know about Nobukane, but it's said that he loved Western stuff, tea stuff and he even converted to Christianism... Probably everyone who liked Western stuff back in the days was considered "fancy"...
      Besides, I have a soft spot for his portrayal in "Hyouge Mono" XD

    2. Nobukane likes Western stuff? O.o
      Wow I never saw that before. I only remember that he was a painter. Are you sure you don't get him confused with Nagamasu? I know for sure Nagamasu was baptized Christian too (baptism name Jo-an = João =John).

      Actually, Kitabatake's murder has nothing to do with Nobukatsu becoming leader. Nobukatsu became the head of Kitabatake in 1575 (according to Shinchoukoki), Tomonori was killed in 1576 (according to Tyrannus).

      Iga was done because he was influenced by his retainer Shimoyama Kai (according to Wikipedia). I agree with that explanation because in Nobunaga's letter, it said "you listened to your retainers and did war in Iga instead of going to the metropolitan states" (or something similar).

      His fight about land with Hideyoshi is debatable though, haha. It depends which one you mean. If it's the one in 1590, I personally think it's because he's either too lazy to move or because of sentimental reasons. The new territory Nobukatsu was going to receive is actually larger, and staying in Owari has no advantage after all.
      *) According to the Konan city website, there are legends saying that Nobukatsu was born in the Ikoma family' protector deity's shrine, and both Kitsuno's grave and that temple was still within the territory of Owari. Maybe he's a mama's boy XD

      But if you mean the Komaki Nagakute one, well, yes, I guess he was being rather aggressive and rebellious haha.

    3. WHATTA FAIL, yeah, yeah, that was Nagamasu =_=#
      I think that in this movie they did the same? Switching Nagamasu with Nobukane XD ?
      Nobukane was the guy who took care of Oichi and her three daughters in Kiyosu, wasn't he?
      --STUPID TV SERIES. (now I have to fix the review >_<)

      Well, becoming the head of a clan didn't mean "taking over the leadership", thing that Katsu did on 1576.
      An example is Nobutada: at a certain point he became the head of the Oda clan, but it was still Nobu who decided what to do.
      If I remember correctly, the letter said something about making the retainers fight in a close-by battle rather than moving outside of the province, thing that Nobu interpreted as a way to preserve the troops (rather than losing men on battles that didn't pertain his rule) rather than caring about the "big picture"-- I wonder if Nobukatsu actually had orders to join his brothers/uncles on some other battle but picked on Iga instead.
      The idea of the sentimental reasons is kinda cute XD If I remember correctly, the stuff about Kitsuno's grave popped out even when Nobunaga destined Owari and Mino to Nobutada-- What if Nobukatsu was preserving the "wish" of his dad and big bro..? --But that's just random dissertations of a fangirl... Truth is that Nobukatsu made some pretty mean stands against Hide, who was extremely powerful at the time (definitely more powerful than Nobunaga at his best), so I don't think that, whatever reason he had, that was a sign of a submissive character...

    4. No, you got it wrong. Passive is not submissive. It just means that he isn't impatient or aggressive.

      It was still Nobunaga who ordered him to kill Kitabatake though. Not his own wish. And if Wikipedia is to be believed, it's not just a one on one murder. It was actually a big battle (they called it Mise no Hen). About 20 thousand Oda soldiers stormed the Kitabatake castles, and even Hideyoshi and Nobutaka were there to assist O____o Haven't had the chance to investigate this, though.

      Yes, but the letter also implied that Nobukatsu had listened to retainers complaining about not wanting to fight in the distant states XD

      And oh right. The whole of Owari and Mino belongs to Nobutada... except for the one village where Kitsuno's grave is located XD Also, Wikipedia is now in favour of Nobutada not being Kitsuno's son, and that Kitsuno's first son is Nobukatsu. Something about Nobukatsu (when he was still Chasenmaru) being the chief mourner in her funeral and donations being made for her tomb only javing the names of Nobukatsu and Nobunaga. There's some confusion about the name, though, so I can't tell for sure what it was supposed to say. If that's true, then maybe it really was sentimental reasons that he doesn't want to leave Owari.

      Haha, and I think Nobukatsu admires Nobutada a lot. According to Wikipedia, Nobukatsu built the tomb monument for Nobutada (forgot which temple) and named his first son Sanboshi too XD (so he also has brother complex? Wikipedia gives me a lot of weird ideas hahaha). *fangirling mode*

      There was also some suspicious activity after Honnoji. Wikipedia says that he marched out into Koga territory, but then withdrew without doing anything because "he was late". I can't read what the Wiki text says, but it seems like he sent a lot of his soldiers to go with Nobutaka? And so he doesn't have enouh on his own and needs time to regroup. Still sounds suspcious to me.

      * Supposedly he was invited to tea parties by shogun Iemitsu later on, so I guess the Tokugawa still respect him somehow? I think he's a great character.

      I kove Nobu's kids in general. I think they're all cute XD

    5. In my opinion he's agressive XD
      And self-centered, someone who only minds about his own interests. So his "Instinct of Conservation " make him look like someone who just care about his stuff, but as soon as his privileges are on the line he shows his true colors.
      On top of it, people at the time gossiped about how he shared the bad personality with his father, Nobunaga doesn't look very passive to me--

      Of course, one has to listen to their retainers XD That's the role of the daimyo, taking decisions.
      Now we say that Katsu's idea to pick opn the ninjas was wrong because he lost, but what if he won? He would have had a firmer grasp on his province, for the sake of the mobility of Nobunaga's armies too.
      He was a bad strategist as he didn't considered all the obscure factors of guerrilla combat and the terrain, but the idea of attacking Iga was not that bad... I think that Nobu didn't get angry just because Katsu lost, but because he disregarded some order from him--?

      Of course it wasn't a one-on-one duel-- Only Shingen and Kenshin kept doing such things in the Sengoku Era XD
      I had no idea that a Whole battle took place for it, though-- What's the source of this information? Share your links, VILLAIN! (XD)

      The Japanese Wikipedia told me that Nobutada was adopted by Nohime after his birth-- So that's why there is this discrepancy. Official sources listed that "Woman from the Ikoma Clan" as his and his brothers' mother, so I guess it's ok to assume that his mother was Kitsuno.

      I assume that things like temple and tombs making are just propaganda stuff.
      Hideyoshi made two tombs/funerary monuments in Kyoto for Nobu and Tada, Taka made the one in Honnoji, another monk hostile to Hide made one in Amidaji (Kyoto)-- From my perspective, such things were a way to inherit the legacy of the dead, some sort of legitimation in the eyes of people...

      I talk about the whereabouts of Nobukatsu after Honnoji at the end of this post:
      How does it sound suspicious? --Do you think that Nobukatsu has something to do with Mitsuhide's plot--?

      Yes, they all charming figures on their own!!
      I love investigating about them despite the random sources :D Aaah, I should draw about them more >3< !!

    6. "He shared the bad personality of his father"? I haven't heard that one before! XD Every time I look I always see "Nobukatsu baka" everywhere LOL. Who said Nobukatsu has Nobunaga's bad personality? That's amazing :D

      No, I'm telling you there's a new info in Nobutada's Wikipedia page about his birth mother. Go check it out. It wasn't there before. I was surprised about it myself. It says there was a letter from Nobutada to Sokenji saying that "I forbid taxes in the enshrinement of my birth mother Kyuan Keiju" and that she was a woman from Mino.

      The info on the battle is on Wikipedia. You can find a mention of it from Nobukatsu's page. Here's the link

      Well, I read someone comment that it was suspicious for Nobukatsu to be "late", but I forgot where I saw it. It's probably just someone's random blog post, so it's just personal opinion. Or maybe it was translated wrong, I don't know. I didn't really pay attention because it was saying the same thing as Wikipedia. But, well, there were theories about Nobukatsu assisting Mitsuhide's rebellion in a novel somewhere XD I wanted to read it because it's rare to see novels about Nobu's sons, but I can't understand Japanese. If only someone can translate it, LOL.

      And of course I know monuments are just to show off formality or whatever. I just like to fantasize weird things XD And I still find it interesting that both Nobukatsu and Nobutada's first sons are named "Sanboshi". Same kanji, same name.

      My favourite part of Nobukatsu trivia is when he danced Noh in Jurakudai with the emperor in attendance (also from Wikipedia). According to the records, he was an amazing Noh dancer and the audience were swooning in awe. Sadly I can't find videos of the dance he did (Tatsuta-hime no mai). I wanted to draw him dance >.<

    7. The Jesuits missionaries said that XD I don't remember if I read it online or on some book, but they said that compared to Nobutaka's, Nobukatsu's personality was for worser.

      Mh, I'm not buying this story yet. Who knows who's behind that Buddhist name?
      Japanese people, expecially those in samurai family, used to have several...
      For example, always the Japanese Wikipedia, on Kitsuno's page, states that her posthumous name was 久庵桂昌大禅定尼. 久庵慶珠 could be its shortened version... Even Nobu's posthumous name works a bit like that.

      Well, the "Hen" means that it's more of a "conspiracy" rather than a real battle-- It's the same word used for the Incident of Honnoji, so it wasn't so big-scale-- But the article mentions that more than 30 family members of Motonori met their end there-- I wonder what happened to Suzuyo, Katsu's wife ;_; I wanted to add her to a comiclet, it would be too pitiful if she died or flee with the other women T^T

      But Nobukatsu's heir was born on 1583, after Nobutada's death.
      He gained his lands, named his heir after his-- Doesn't it look like a sort of "threat" to Hideyoshi?
      I don't know the exact dates, but on that year didn't Hide defeat Katsuie and Nobutaka..? Right after that the relationship between Katsu and Hide started to turn sour...

      I think that you can draw that even without references! After all the Noh movements are pretty much the same, LOL-- If you do, show it to me >3< !!!

    8. Well... it also said she was from Mino. Wasn't the Ikoma family from Owari? The explanation also said that because donations made for Kitsuno's tomb only has Nobunaga and Nobukatsu's name, it makes it suspicious. It doesn't really matter to me anyway haha XD

      Oh, that's right, the number of troops wasn't known. The battle involving Hideyoshi was after the event. I read it wrong. Suzuyo... oh Yukihime, Tomonori's daughter? Er, depends on who you want to believe. The Sanboshi I mentioned is her son, according to Wikipedia. But there are articles that also said she committed suicide following her father, so youan choose which version you like better.

      It is true that she dies and Katsu remarried, but we don't know when that happened (・ั__・ั)

      But you know, some articles said that Katsu became Sanboshi's guardian after Taka dies. How is naming his own son also Sanboshi a threat? I think it will only bring confusion XD
      *) And if you look at Yodo-dono's wiki page there are also theories that after Katsuie dies, the three sisters also was cared for by Nobukatsu. He becomes everyone's babysitter LOL... No wonder he got angry.

      And if I draw him with a mask it doesn't even matter anymore, hahahahahaha.

      Also on Nobutada's page it says that Tada was also a great Noh dancer himself, but Nobu thinka it's a waste of money and waste of time so he confiscates TAda's Noh equipment XD Makes me wonder if this means Katsu only learned to dance later on, after Honnoji.

    9. Naaah, that's important!
      Think of how different the relationships between the brothers get! The idea that Nobu "loved" Tada and Katsu the most 'cause they were the sons of his favourite concubine is gone! Even the relationship between the three brothers got a different vibe! Their rivalry rises!!!

      True, if Nobukatsu's son was born on 1583, it means that Yuki-chan was still alive--
      Yet, the Wiki Jap page of this Kozukuri Tomomasa, who's supposed to be Katsu's father-in-law, mentions that once that Hide and Katsu reconciled with Hide on 1584, he abandoned the castle (he stopped servicing Katsu..?)-- So his daughter had to become Katsu's wife before that period...

      Well, Katsu didn't know that he was about to accept Sanposhi The First in his castle, when he had Sanposhi The Second.
      Well, both his brothers were dead, the head of the Oda was Sanposhi The First, who was a brat and the "puppet" of Hide-- So if he named his own son Sanposhi, he was making another "head of the clan" that has ties with the last son of Oda (of a major importance) still alive. It's as if he was telling "That's not the real head of the Oda Clan, this one is"-- That's why keeping his home domain was so vital for him, it was some kind of legitimation--
      --When Nobukatsu was stripped of his domain, where was Hidenobu staying?

      --I remember that the Three Sisters and Oichi stayed with Nobukane in Kiyosu after Shibata's death... Maybe they moved over later?
      Ahah, poor Katsu x'D --But I guess that everyone lived in different places... As in, different quarters of the castle or even another residence within the castle's precints...

      Nobu was a real ass, I read that even when Katsuie became the lord of Echizen he forbid him to collect and raise falcons (Katsuie's favourite hobby) because that was a waste of money x'D

    10. I don't think it would change much, though. Even if Tada isn't Kitsuno's son, he still get more attention from Nobu because he's the oldest son and heir XD And who Tada's mother is wouldn't affect Taka either. Unless it meant that because Katsu is the only son born from Kitsuno, then he's the most "loved" and the other brothers are jealous of him XD But that seems unlikely.

      I don't know, then, LOL. Maybe Yuki really did commit suicide and Hidekatsu's mom is actually the second wife. Wikipedia is a very strange source anyway. You can go to different pages and get different information about the same event.

      Eeeh? How does that even work? If what matters is the bloodline, then why must the name be the same? It's not like "Sanboshi" is a hereditary name. It doesn't really matter unless he wants to switch the kids? O__O
      *)By the way... I remember In some Wiki pages, it says that both Katsu and Taka became the guardian of Tada's Sanboshi after Kiyosu Conference. This is why Wikipedia is bad LOL

      Once Hidenobu grows up he has his own castle, so where he lives has nothing to do with Nobukatsu anymore. I think he ended up living in Gifu? I forgot. I haven't checked his profile for updates in a while XD

      Oh, according to Yodo-dono's wiki page, the three sisters stayed in the Ni no Maru of Azuchi, and it seems that both Nobukatsu and Gotoku-hime were also living there. It's either in Katsu or Toku's page, it says that they were then evicted from Azuchi by Hideyoshi's order or something, and that only added to the insult that caused Komaki-Nagakute XD
      *) Speaking of the sisters. Yodo's page also says that she invited Katsu to live in Osaka Castle because he was wandering around in Kyoto? That's so strange. I wonder which event was it. When Hideyoshi allowed him to return from exile or before the battle against Tokugawa in Osaka...

      I know, Nobu is such a meanie XD Maybe that was why Tada got into a fight with Nobu over tea utensils... because it's not fair that Nobu gets to buy expensive tea utensils, but everyone else are not allowed to have fun XD

    11. Dunno, I always had this mental image of Katsu and Tada kinda "isolating" Taka, as if they felt more of a family bond between them-- But again, yeah, that's still just the delusion of a fangirl, to share the same mother wouldn't mean anything, just look at Nobu and his little Brother Nobuyuki XD

      Well, many things could happen in a year.
      Maybe Yuki died or Katsu just divorced her... But to be honest I don't think that he would divorce her, she was still the "legitimization" as the head of the Kitabatake clan, divorcing her would have been a challenge to the vassals who previously served Motonori...
      --Let's assume that she died at some point after Sanposhi The Second's birth!

      It's not an hereditary name, but it works as some "symbol" at that point. (damn, now I want to make a comiclet about it too XD)
      If he received Gifu after Nobukatsu was removed from there, it would confirm my theory. Who has Gifu is the "heir" of Nobunaga.
      Yes, Hideyoshi, Taka and Katsu were all designed as Sanposhi's tutors. It's a bit like the same thing that Hideyoshi did with Hidenori-- But I don't know with whom he actually lived.
      Assuming that he was the new head of the Oda clan, though, he probably stayed in Gifu with Katsu. --Trying to catch the exact location of people in those times is so hard, I tried to check websites with detailed informations about the castles, too, but it's all so confused XD

      No, it's impossible that the three sisters and Oichi were staying in Azuchi--I'm sure that they stayed in Kiyosu with Nobukane.
      And I don't think that Hideyoshi then could evict someone in Azuchi during that period, as Azuchi was destroyed after Nobu's death...

      I think that the bad thing about Wikipedia is that it's controlled by individuals, so maybe they update the page of a personality and forgot, or just don't care, about updating the others.
      It's really frustrating.
      Expecially because, from what I see from some references, maybe it's random informations sprouting from an article on a magazine (in worst cases from a drama or a novel), maybe just some theory or idea, and reporting it made it sound as if it's written in stone.

      Nobu is a bully XD --Probably he did something similar to Mitsuhide, ahah XD

    12. Hey, I have delusions that Katsu is attached to Tada no matter who the mother is. We all have wild imagination XD

      According to articles that I've seen about Azuchi, when Nobu died only the tenshu was destroyed. The Ni no Maru and the rest of the castle compound were still fine.

      In fact, Hidenobu's description also said that he lived in Azuchi with Katsu until Komaki Nagakute happened. Then he moved to Niwa Nagahide's place. He went to Gifu for his genpuku and started living there in 1588.

      And then he joins the Toyotomi side in Sekigahara and lost all his territory XD Both the Sanboshi boys joins the Toyotomi side. According to wiki, Hidekatsu (Sanboshi 2, not Hideyoshi's adopted son) wanted to join Tokugawa but his father told him to help Toyotomi. Katsu is so weird LOL.