Japan Society of Fairfield County
Oda Nobunaga Lecture, May 8, 2010

     Jim McDonald has been researching Oda Nobunaga and gave a wonderful presentation on his work.  Oda Nobunaga nearly unified Japan in the late 1500's and was very much ahead of  his time.  Nobunaga met his end at Honnoji temple when he was surrounded by a force of 7000 men led by Akechi Mitsuhide.  One of Nobunaga's generals assassinated him - Nobunaga had a forces at the temple of less than 100 men.  The closure of Japan which occurred a few years later may have been a reaction to him.  Nobunaga embraced foreign technology and thought and expertly utilized what we today call soft power.  He used firearms and armored his naval vessels with iron.  He changed economic policy to strengthen his realm and made effective use of intelligence.  He designed Azuchi Castle both as a fortification and as theater.  The huge castle burned three years after completion.  We watched computer generated scenes of the construction of Azuchi castle that appeared in the Japanese movie Katen no Shiro.

English language sources for the lecture include:
* Japonius Tyrannus  Jreoen Lamers   Hotei Publishing. Leiden
* Topsy-Turvy 1585 Robin D. Gill  Paraverse Press
* The Japanese and the Jesuit  J.F. Moran  Routledge
* The Signore  Kunio Tsuji  Kodansha 1968
* Oda Nobunaga  The Battle of Okehazama   Les Paterson  Jetlag Press

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