• Masashi

Polyhedron / 多面体


According to an old lunar calendar, today is the day of “Honnoji no Hen”*1.

Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582) is well-known samurai who seised power during battle ages of Japan. Among Japanese, he is very famous for his tyranny and religious oppression; burned down Enryakuji (Buddhist temple) and battle against other sects of Buddhism.

However, I guess his act was based on his principle to protect Shinto (its traditional rituals and customs) from menacing Buddhist temples. While acting as monks of Enryakuji, they conducted today’s banking and real estate business, thereby piling up vast wealth. They also controlled major traffic networks and had mighty force.

Nobunaga seemed to try suppressing them by “drastic measures”.

It’s said that he was born to the family of Tsurugi Jinja (Shinto shrine in Fukui prefecture). His related family weaved fine traditional costume made from hemp to the Emperor when His Majesty succeeded to the Imperial Throne. Actually, part of Chinese characters in his family name means “weave(織)”.

Nobunaga was the one who revived very important Shinto ceremony of Ise Jingu*2 called “Shikinen Sengu”*3 for the first time in about 120 years after the cruel battle of “Onin no Ran”*4.

Without his support, nobody knows if we still have inseparable relationship between Ise Jingu and the Emperor as of today. History of Japan would have been different one.

Because he had generous mind to welcome foreign culture introduced by missionary of Portuguese, we enjoy western sweets and tempura today. Especially, his favorite was “Conpeito” names after Portuguese “Confeito” small sugar balls with little cones. Polyhedral shaped Himetsurusoba reminds me of importance of multiple point of view in history.


*1 Nobunaga was assasinated by his reliable retailer Mitsuhide Akechi at Honnoji (Buddhist temple). However, the truth is still veiled in mystery.

*2 Founded about 2,000 years ago by daughter of Emperor Suinin. Ise Jingu is “The center core of all Shinto shrines in Japan“. It is the general term of 125 Shinto shrines located in Ise city, Mie Prefecture. Each one enshrines spirits of nature written in “Kojiki (The Record of Ancient Myth)”. Especially, Amaterasu Omikami (Goddess of the sun) is believed anscestor of the Emperor. Therefore, the shrine has important relationship between the Imperial families. The Emperor and the Empress occasionally visit there to attend sacred Shinto rituals and express their gratitude towards spirits of nature on behalf of Japanese people.

*3 Shinto ritual conducted in Ise Jingu in every 20 years. The new shrines are built right next to the old ones. A lot of timbers of cypress are used for construction. This is very important ritual to hand down ancient architectural techniques and tradi assets to our offsprings.

*4 1467-1477. Internal conflict of Ashikaga families over the title of Shogun. It entangled other samurai families. The city of Kyoto was completely devastated by useless battle. This incident was turning point that Japanese history moved toward the battle ages for about 200 years.

Source of image

Nobunaga Oda: Soshu Kano (1551-1601)











織田信長: 狩野宗秀(1551-1601)

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