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takuan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Tengu-to Reply with quote
I'm doing some research on the famous anti-shogunate militia from Mito, the Tengu-to. I thought for sure there would be an article in the wiki, but I didn't see one. They seem to have been based on Tsukuba Mountain and were involved in a battle at Naka harbor in October of 1864 but were defeated. They retreated to Kyoto and surrendered to the Kaga clan who promptly beheaded hundreds of them. Their leader was Kounsai Takeda (?).

Can anybody fill in the gaps? Is my info accurate? Any more names, places, events?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It's a coincidence, takuan, I've just been reading about the Mito ronin and the Tengu-to in Before the Dawn, by Shimazaki Toson. It made me wonder if there were any films or taiga about this fascinating and tragic episode in bakumatsu history.

The tengu -tou (天狗党) sprang from the terrible internal struggles of the Mito han in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The han split in two, between the Righteous party and the Traitorous party (also called the scholars party 諸生党 depending on which side you were on, I suppose.) When Ichikawa Sanzaemon (leader of the scholars faction) came to power in the han, the goblin band took refuge on Mount Tsukuba, under the command of Tamaru Inaemon. Takeda Kouunsai (武田耕雲斎) was placed under house arrest by the shogunate. Matsudaira Oinokami came to Mito to represent the daimyo, but Ichikawa realised many of the accompanying troops disliked him, and refused them entry to Mito castle: this is known as the battle of the allies. Meanwhile Takeda had broken house arrest and fled from Mito.

Oinokami surrendered with many other imperial supporters to Tanuma Gembanokami at the battle of Nakaminato (the village at the mouth of the river that flows through Mito city to the eastern sea), whereupon Inaemon retreated, joined foces with Kouunsai at Tateyama and began the retreat to the west. They were said to be heading for Kyoto, if not for Choshu. The defeat of Choshu at the Hamagurigomon no hen was another blow, meaning there would not be the support in money and supplies that the Tengu band had hoped for.

Among the warriors (300 of the Tsukuba group with another 600 farmers and other activists) was Fujita Toko, son of Fujita Koshoro, the national learning scholar and advisor to Mito Nariaki.

Shimazaki gives graphic descriptions of the progress of the Mito band through the Kiso valley by back roads and mountain tracks, the battles they fought on the way at Wada, Toihashi and Tozawaguchi. Local people were terrified but it seems the Mito ronin behaved with great discipline and restraint and left a favourable impression behind among the people of the Kiso. The way to Kaga was through mountainous snow country, and when the ronin were encircled by the troops of the Kaga han (1865) they were exhausted and starving. Kaga troops supplied them with food, medicine and firewood. In return the ronin surrendered their weapons. They were moved to the coastal city of Tsuruga. Then they were transferred to the custody of Tanuma (the commander of the shogunal army); Nagahara Jinshichiro, the steward of Kaga, tried to mediate on their behalf but was forced to withdraw. Realising death was certain the Mito officers began to compse their death poems. They were transferred to dark storehouses and shackled.

Attempts had been made to contact Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu to appeal on behalf of the Mito ronin and it seems that he was trying to save their lives when Tanuma began executing them. All the higher ranking members of the band died. More of the lower ranks and camp followers would have been executed but for the fact that the 17th day of the 2nd month was the anniversary of Ieyasu's death and lots were drawn at the shrine, which came out in favour of mercy.

This episode and the loss of so many of its young men is said to be one reason why Mito han played a relatively insignificant part in the Restoration.

It's a subject which I'm reading further on at the moment so will let you know any updates. Very Happy


Last edited by heron on Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
It made me wonder if there were any films or taiga about this fascinating and tragic episode in bakumatsu history.



There's a film from 1969 starring Nakadai Tatsuya called Tengu-to. Blood End is the name that seems to normally be attached to it in english.

From http://www.samuraidvd.net

BLOOD END is one of the great unknown films from Japan’s golden era of the late 1960’s. Starring NAKADAI Tatsuya in one of his best roles, this is the story of the Mito Tengu Group who attempted to overthrow the Shogunate at the beginning of the Bakumatsu Period. Their political aspirations led to countless assassinations, as well as senseless killing of innocent people who got in their way. Sentaro (NAKADAI), a farmer who’s been severely beaten for his outspoken defiance of the government and the high taxes during a time of famine is befriended by one of the group’s leaders, KADA Gentaro (KATO Go) and joins up. This is the masterpiece of director YAMAMOTO Satsuo (who is best known for the first film in the NINJA, BAND OF ASSASSINS series) the erstwhile ‘Leftist’ director, who used his films to make his political points. Stunning fight choreography, and ultra-violence make this one of the bloodiest films of that era. A film of powerful proportions, this is a rare classic!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bam! Heron nailed it. Good job! Good description!

EDIT: Why don't you do a wiki article based on your most excellent post? Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
There's a film from 1969 starring Nakadai Tatsuya called Tengu-to. Blood End is the name that seems to normally be attached to it in english.


Thanks, I'll look out for it.

Quote:
Why don't you do a wiki article based on your most excellent post?


Well, I would - but I'd need to check out all these facts and names and read some other stuff as well, so I probably couldn't do it until after I get back in November. If no one else has tackled it by then, I'll give it a shot Very Happy

The good description is all down to Toson who makes it all so vivid. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
It's a coincidence, takuan, I've just been reading about the Mito ronin and the Tengu-to in Before the Dawn, by Shimazaki Toson. It made me wonder if there were any films or taiga about this fascinating and tragic episode in bakumatsu history.


Thanks for the info, Heron. Yes, I'm preparing a review of Satsuo Yamamoto's fine film, Tengu-to, but always like to have as much historical background as possible. Sounds like the film would be of particular interest to you, as you're well versed in the subject. Tip: You can get the film for $15 at Far East Flix, a vendor I frequently frequent.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
BTW, I'm a little confused about the name Tengu-to. Of course I know tengu is the iconic red faced, phallus-nosed mountain goblin, but what of the to?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
takuan wrote:
BTW, I'm a little confused about the name Tengu-to. Of course I know tengu is the iconic red faced, phallus-nosed mountain goblin, but what of the to?


It means "party" or "group" (as in "Republican Party").
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ah, right on. My Japanese dictionary wasn't kicking that down.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Heron, do you have the kanji for "Righteous Party" and "Traitorous Party"? The terms sound vaguely familiar...
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
No, I was going to look them up today but ran out of time Sad Maybe Shikisoku or someone could supply them (hint, hint, are you there, sensei? Very Happy )
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just done some googling: here's the page http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/天狗党の乱

The only faction names I can find are 保守派 (conservatives) also known as the 門閥派 (pedigree party) and the 改革派 (reformers) who became the Tengu-to.

Maybe the more colorful names were Shimazaki's invention.

The reformers' clique was made up mostly of lower-rank samurai who were despised by the higher rank conservatives. One explanation of the name tengu is that it was a term of derision. But the other explanation says they chose it themselves.

The punishment of the leaders after their surrender was particularly severe: not only did they lose their lives, and have their heads exhibited in Mito, but their wives and children, and in Kouunsai's case his two grandchildren, were also put to death.


Last edited by heron on Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
Maybe the more colorful names were Shimazaki's invention.


Or perhaps the translator?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, maybe. I don't have the Japanese version to compare it with Sad But these sorts of names were used: the Choshu conservative party was known as the 俗論党 (zokurontou: party of the pedestrian/boring/vulgar clique Very Happy )
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
party of the pedestrian clique

Quote:
Party of the boring clique


I don't know which I like better Smile

I have a friend who read it in the original Japanese, so I'll send him an email and ask.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
I have a friend who read it in the original Japanese, so I'll send him an email and ask.


That'd be great Very Happy

Quote:
heron wrote:
party of the pedestrian clique

Quote:
Party of the boring clique


I don't know which I like better


Not surprising the other side were the winners, really Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
It could have been great to see the 俗論党 (party of the vulgar) opposed by a 雅論党 (party of the elegant).

...

Thanks for the kanji, heron.!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't know if this discussion fits here or somewhere else. But I was Googling and getting some downloads of various academic articles for a topic I wish to discuss and write about for the SA Journal that will be coming out.

One of the interesting things I found out are some debates among the self-described Marxist contingent of Japanese historians. I am neither a Marxist nor a Japanese historian so I know little about all the minutia among or concerning Marxists in the Japanese history field.

One of the debates that is taking place among Marxist Japanese academic historians are about the roles of lower-ranked samurai during Bakumatsu times. The debate seems to be over whether or not low-ranked samurai in a clan -- those who struggled to survive, were over their heels in debt, and frequently had to moonlight doing piecework because their stipends wouldn't support them and their families -- were these sorts of samurai members of the "working class" or the "ruling class"? They also argue about whether the late Tokugawa period was truly "feudal" or "capitalist" and thus they argue about where the various revolts that led to the Meiji Reformation fit in their historical scheme of things.

I'm not sure what the Marxist "take" is on groups like the Tengu-To. I think they are debating on whether groups like the Tengu-To were really revolting against the establishment or not.

Do any of the more academically inclined people here know any more than I do (which isn't very much)? And please feel free to correct me if I'm completely on the wrong track here.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tengu -To was really just a civil war in Mito ,both factions Tengu-To and Kan-To supported the bakufu . As far as film depictions the 1998 Taiga Drama Yoshinobu has the Mito strife from beggining to end or so i was told.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Tengu -To was really just a civil war in Mito

The J-wiki page says that relatives fighting each others is called Tengu in some regions in Ibaraki prefecture. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Tengu Reply with quote
There is a great book "Women Of The Mito Domain "i forget the author but its diary excerpts from Mito women in these tubulent times and gives the best acount of Tengu-To No Ran .
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Tengu Reply with quote
wicked iemon wrote:
There is a great book "Women Of The Mito Domain "i forget the author but its diary excerpts from Mito women in these tubulent times and gives the best acount of Tengu-To No Ran .
I have this book and I've read it. I've used it as a source for general late-Edo period clan life in some of my SA Wiki articles.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I know this is a very old topic, but I happened to supplement my massive book-packing operation today with a viewing of the movie Tengu-to, which is always enjoyable, if just for the massive scenery chewing undertaken by Nakadai Tatsuya. Anyway, there is a woodcut print shown as an extra on the DVD, "Takeda Kounsai at Mt. Tsukuba," and it struck me quite strongly for this reason: there is a woman standing in the central panel of the triptych, looking back over her shoulder. She is wearing a green and white small-print kimono. This must be Takeda Kounsai's consort Tokiko, who was mentioned in the liner notes. I was unclear whether she was killed in Tsuruga or back in Mito from the notes, but anyway...I realized that she is practically an exact replica of this print below by Yoshitoshi:
Thus, the triptych on the DVD must also be a Yoshitoshi, although I can't find it in a casual search online.

My quandary is that I can't find any information on Tokiko and where she actually ended up. I also buried my copy of Women of the Mito Domain, so I can't look for any references in there at the moment. I wondered if anyone had any other apocryphal or anecdotal information about Takeda's mistress and why she figured so prominently in Yoshitoshi's prints of the Tengu-to.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Is this the same person as his second wife, Toki? At least I'm assuming she is a second wife as her two children were younger than Kounsai's grandchildren when they were all executed in Mito. There is a reference to her in Women of the Mito Domain telling the story of how she would not let her three year old son eat sashimi, the traditional last meal of the condemned. In Before the Dawn Shimazaki names her and her two sons (Momomaru and Kaneyoshi) in his list of the executed.

Yoshitoshi liked melodramatic and flamboyant subjects and I think from my reading that the tragic and excessively cruel fate of Kounsai's family aroused strong feelings of horror and pity both at the time and on through the Meiji period.

Here's the image I think you are referring to - I'll check it out further. it's in the Ibaraki Prefectural Library

http://tinyurl.com/ybxffsw
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
Is this the same person as his second wife, Toki? At least I'm assuming she is a second wife as her two children were younger than Kounsai's grandchildren when they were all executed in Mito. There is a reference to her in Women of the Mito Domain telling the story of how she would not let her three year old son eat sashimi, the traditional last meal of the condemned. In Before the Dawn Shimazaki names her and her two sons (Momomaru and Kaneyoshi) in his list of the executed.

Yoshitoshi liked melodramatic and flamboyant subjects and I think from my reading that the tragic and excessively cruel fate of Kounsai's family aroused strong feelings of horror and pity both at the time and on through the Meiji period.

Here's the image I think you are referring to - I'll check it out further. it's in the Ibaraki Prefectural Library

http://tinyurl.com/ybxffsw
Ooh! The Ibaraki Prefectural Library...thanks heron! I should have known the Ibaraki local sources would have something on this! Very Happy I hadn't remembered his second wife was named Toki, and it is possible they are one and the same. I had gathered by the legends on the Yoshitoshi page that she had accompanied him on the march to Tsuruga, which is why I would be confused about her having been executed in Mito with her sons, and perhaps because of this, I didn't equate the two women as the same. I suppose I need to dig out that copy of Women of the Mito Domain, but fortunately, I think Before the Dawn is accessible. I do remember the anecdote about mom refusing the meal on her son's behalf, as "a samurai would not face death with a full belly" or something much to that effect. I just didn't equate her with Tokiko, not remembering her name. Thanks for the directions, heron! Guess it is time for me to... Reading
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