[The Toyotomi’s Secret Plan] After uniting the entire country, theoretically speaking, the Toyotomi army should’ve been ready to march out and challenge the world any time they wish. However, for some unknown reason, they seem to be holding back. There seemed to be a secret plan at work, unknown to any but the higher ups and only the most trusted members.
At the core of the plan was Hanbei, coming up with it and supervising it as the Toyotomi’s top strategist and Hideyoshi’s right hand man. He promised Hideyoshi that if they wait just a little longer, he would come up with a foolproof plan to take over the world.
- The Toyotomi’s top strategist as well as Hideyoshi’s right hand man. Hanbei had been friends with Hideyoshi for a long time and was the only person whom Hideyoshi could trust fully, trusting him enough to leave all the army’s planning and future plans to him. Hanbei himself was very devoted and loyal in return, always doing his best to fulfill his duties.
- Being a genius behind every strategy, as well as being a skilled and graceful fighter on the field, Hanbei was known as the ‘Graceful Mastermind’ by many.
- Suffers from an unknown disease. Despite all the technological and medical development in the country, he had never been able to find a cure. Hanbei had managed to keep it suppressed with the use of some pills, but he knew that it was slowly killing him from the inside.
- Even so, Hanbei had never told anyone about his ailment, especially Hideyoshi. He wouldn’t want himself to get in the way of his best friend’s ambitions.
- Hanbei has a sharp eye for people. He knew that appointing Ieyasu and Mitsunari as their main generals would do good for the army, so he handpicked them himself, supervising and training them closely. As a result, the three were quite close.
When Ieyasu ended up rebelling, for the same reasons, Hanbei took it as a fault on his side and wanted to deal with him personally. Well, not that he would forgive anyone who betrayed Hideyoshi, no matter who it may be.
- After Ieyasu left them, Hanbei began talking more to Yoshitsugu and supervising Mitsunari’s training sessions even more closely.
The pills he took every day seemed to be slowly losing their effect as his body’s condition got progressively worse. Knowing that his time would probably be up soon, he wanted to prepare Yoshitsugu as Hideyoshi’s new strategist, and wanted to make sure that Mitsunari was strong enough to cover up for Ieyasu’s part as well. Alongside that, Hanbei hoped that the secret plan’s requirements would be fulfilled before he dies so he could carry it out, even if it’s the last thing he would do.
- When Hideyoshi casted aside all his emotions, Hanbei had followed him and thrown his own away as well. But now that he was nearing his end, he found his feelings somewhat harder to suppress. There were so many things that he wanted to say. But for the good of all, he decided to do his best and keep quiet about them.
- Weapon: A sword that can extend itself into a whip. The wire part can be made to extend as much as Hanbei wants it to. Additionally, it will cut things only when the laser coating is activated. Otherwise, it can be used as a normal non-cutting rope to bind enemies with.
- Hanbei usually carries a small electronic notepad as well, mostly using it to note down things, communicate or organize everyone. Lots of uses, but it was never used to note down strategies. No place is safer to keep secret information than the insides of your own brain, after all.
- 989: Mikazuki was
crafted by Sanjou Munechika and become Ashikaga’s treasured family sword.
- 1259: Ichigo,
Namazuo, and Honebami were crafted by Awataguchi Yoshimitsu.
- 1336: One of the literature said that Honebami was stayed with Ashikaga family for 229 years (Ashikaga Takauji lived from 1305 to 1359).
- 1565: Eiroku Incident (the most dramatic version of the
history said that Honebami was used by Ashikaga Yoshiteru’s retainer to protect
his master but he was killed by Matsunaga Hisahide. After that, he took
Honebami with him. Meanwhile Mikazuki was used by Yoshiteru in his last battle and was defeated.
After Yoshiteru’s death, Miyoshi Yoshitsugu took Mikazuki with him and later offered
the sword to Toyotomi Hideyoshi).
- 1584: Namazuo became Toyotomi’s sword.
- 1589: Honebami became Toyotomi’s sword (passed by Ootomo Clan).
- 1590: Ichigo became Toyotomi’s sword (passed by Mori Terumoto).
- 1615: Summer Siege of Osaka. Honebami was used in the battle when the castle was burned. Both Ichigo and Namazuo were badly damaged. Tokugawa
Ieyasu had them retempered by Echizen Yasutsugu.
- 1616: Tokugawa Ieyasu passed away. Ichigo+Namazuo were passed
to the Owari Branch of Tokugawa stationed at Nagoya. Honebami remained in the
Tokugawa shogun family at Edo.
- 1624: Nene passed away. Mikazuki was passed to Tokugawa shogun
family at Edo (Tokugawa Hidetada).
- 1657: The Great fire of Meireki. Honebami was burned. Tokugawa
Hidetada had Honebami retempered by Echizen Yasutsugu.
- 1863: Ichigo was passed to Emperor Koumei and became part of
the Imperial Collection.
- 1887: Honebami was given to Toyokuni Shrine in Kyoto (where
Toyotomi Hideyoshi is enshrined).
Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s sword collection beside Ichigo are Honebami, Souza and
Aoe (so you can consider that Mikazuki x Honebami/Souza/Aoe is spousal sword too?).
Honebami mentioned Hideyoshi’s name when the fieldwork is done. Probably it’s
because he was at Toyokuni Shrine where his previous master is enshrined.
Mikazuki and Honebami were together for a very long time
(just as Mikazuki has mentioned at their recollection). First, they were
together at Ashikaga family around 229 years. Second, they were together at
Toyotomi family for 27 years (1589 to 1616 where Honebami was passed to
Tokugawa). Third, they were together at Tokugawa shogun family at Edo for 263 years (since Nene’s death at 1624 until Honebami was passed to Toyokuni
Shrine at 1887).
229 + 27 + 263 = 519 years (more than half millennium).
Ichigo and Namazuo were together at Toyotomi + Tokugawa Owari
at Nagoya for 273 years (from 1590 where Ichigo was given to Toyotomi Hideyoshi
and meet Namazuo there to 1863 where he was passed to Emperor Koumei).
(273 years is… more than a quarter of a millennium. and it’s still 153 years since Ichigo became Imperial Sword.)
Ichigo Hitofuri is the only tachi forged by Awataguchi Yoshimitsu (active around 1260), who is known for being a master of crafting tantous. Ichigo served various daimyo families throughout his lifetime, initially belonging to the Asakura family until it was destroyed by Oda Nobunaga during his campaigns in 1573. From then, he came to the daimyo family of Mouri. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi(1537-1598), the Second Unifier of Japan, visited the Mouri residence and was impressed by Ichigo the moment he caught his glimpse, he insisted on requesting the sword as a present. Hideyoshi would then become the most beloved master of Ichigo.
Ichigo is one of Hideyoshi most prized swords, being recorded in the sword list of his best collections, “Ichi no Hako”(一之箱), among which also include Namazuo, Honebami and Nikkari. During this time he was also referred to as Tenka Hitofuri (天下一振), the one true blade under all of heaven, a title worthy of his craftsmanship. Ichigo was originally 85.7cm long, almost like an oodachi. But as Hideyoshi was a man of small stature, he shortened the blade to 68.8cm so as to fit his movement. During such alterations it was common to damage or remove the part of the tang of the blade which bears the signature(磨上無銘), but Hideyoshi took care to protect the signature of Yoshimitsu on Ichigo.
Ichigo speaks of Hideyoshi often, with several of his lines referring to Hideyoshi. Ichigo still dresses in the outfit significant of the time of Hideyoshi, with its flamboyant red scabbard sprinkled over with gold, reminiscent of the extravagant culture of the Momoyama Period daimyos. It was also the period when Ichigo’s pride as Tenka Hitofuri Yoshimitsu was at its prime. However, the fate of the Toyotomi family spiraled down after Hideyoshi died with his heir Hideyori as only a toddler, while several of his regents took the opportunity to seize power for themselves. Ichigo stayed loyal to the Toyotomi Clan as they retreated to the Osaka Castle when Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Third Unifier of Japan, sought to eliminate the final element of threat to his reign. The Osaka Castle was burned down during the Summer Siege of Osaka(1615) and Ichigo was engulfed in flames along with it. Ieyasu had long admired the name of Ichigo and refused to let him die in the wreck of the castle, dragging his burnt body back to life by reforging him with a master sword smith. This ordeal greatly damaged the artistic value of Ichigo and made him so brittle that he was no longer useful as a battle sword. But still, the signature of Yoshimitsu survived as an important part of Ichigo’s identity.
Ichigo was later given to the Owari branch of the Tokugawa Clan and stayed as an artistic sword until he was presented to Emperor Koumei in 1863 and became part of the Imperial Collection.
“The Yoshimitsu name isn’t just for show!” -critical hit line
Ichigo lost quite a part of his memories prior to the time he was reforged. The time of Hideyoshi was like a distant dream to him since little of the craftsmanship of Yoshimitsu was left on him, the source where he derived his value as a blade from and took much pride in was lost to him. Ichigo was once considered as one of the candidates for The Five Great Swords of Japan, but that title was lost to him after he was reforged and a senior from his Awataguchi school, Onimaru Kunitsuna, replaced him. The only reminder of his identity as Tenka Hitofuri seemed to be the signature of Yoshimitsu that was carefully left intact by his masters. The glory as the one tachi of Yoshimitsu’s lifetime seemed more hazy as time went by and Ichigo found it hard to remember what kind of person he was like before he was reborn from another sword smith, but he still wished to cling on and restore some of his old self by looking to the past. He insisted on dressing up in the nostalgic outfit of Hideyoshi’s time and when the Saniwa pointed out that such a flamboyant outfit did not suit a person of his current demure personality, he vaguely pushed the responsibility to the influence of his previous master Hideyoshi, as even himself could not be sure if the personality of his previous self would have willingly preferred an extravagant getup.
“As I grow stronger, I feel like I’m becoming a different person from my past self……No, although I wonder if it’s a good thing.” -rank up line
Ichigo is the big brother of the Yoshimitsu tantous and wakizashis, the figurehead whom all of them admire and looke up to. Ichigo sees it as his responsibility to take them under his wing even if he did not remember much of their previous past together, he stood up for his brothers and renewed the bonding as family. Ichigo strives to be perfect, putting the needs of his brothers and the Saniwa before himself, but he is still sensitive about his lost identity. His doubts surface to the top when he performs less than his strict standards in battle, wondering if it is because he lost the blessing of Yoshimitsu’s craftsmanship. Ichigo has a fear of drifting away from his past identity where the heights of his glory and bond with Yoshimitsu lie, but the bonds of family in the current Saniwa’s citadel pushes him to focus on the present and preserve the happiness that his power as a sword can protect, building up his current self to retain his title as the pride of Yoshimitsu as well. The burden of being Yoshimitsu’s masterpiece and the fading links between his current self and that identity causes ripples of uncertainty beneath his harmonious demeanor.
“Collecting swords…? No, I have no complaints about it.” -smithing line
Hideyoshi was a connoisseur collector of swords and it was a symbol of his power to be able to attract many followers who make gifts of swords for the sake of winning his favour. Ichigo is the kind who would not want to make the people he cares for worry about his wellbeing, but deep down can still be sensitive about loneliness and attention. It is quite likely that he actually does mind the growing collection of swords that compete with his for the love of his master.
Ichigo’s life with Hideyoshi does seem like a drop of dew in the morning, graciously beautiful but vanishes quickly, leaving only to the imagination of his past glory as Tenka Hitofuri of Yoshimitsu.
[setting] Engulfed in continuous wars for a long time, the country had split up into multiple small factions and had become relatively weak. In the midst of that, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the head of the Toyotomi, was the only one strong enough to defeat all the other faction heads and unite the entire country, now becoming the country’s ruler.
Hideyoshi, having experienced being in a helpless situation before he rose in power, began developing an ideal that power was everything. To have power was to have a guarantee to many things, including rights and safety. To keep the country that he had taken a lot effort to unite standing and peaceful, he decided that making sure that everyone was strong would be the best solution.
So a period started where the young and able were endlessly trained and tested.
- Tests were held once a year. Everyone had to enter once they reached a certain age. The ones who passed would be granted privileges, while the ones who don’t were deemed unnecessary for the society and sent to the slums.
- Protesters and rule breakers will be sent to prison. The worse cases will be executed. The Toyotomi soldiers are very proficient and are equipped with hi-tech weapons. Most people wouldn’t dare to defy them if they’re smart.
- Most of the ones who are not happy with the way things are had formed a resistance team in the slums. They’re continuously avoiding the Hunters (Toyotomi team that checks around for revolts).
- Although ruling with an iron fist, Hideyoshi also made improvements to the country in general and improved people’s living standards. Now that the country’s united, there’s a train railway that travels everywhere. Trade, prices and economy also stabilized. Safety on the road got better and crime rate decreased. As a result, there were also a lot of Toyotomi supporters.
- Used to be a person who believed in lots of ideals. But after being attacked by Matsunaga in the past, he changed his way of thinking entirely, becoming much more bold when making decisions. He continued resenting how weak and helpless he was at the time, doing his best to rid himself of any weaknesses ever since.
- His main objective to strengthen the country was to make sure that it’s always ready in case other countries from outside come to attack.
- Hideyoshi, having power and being able to do many things, was trusted by a lot of people since they felt that he can keep the country safe.
- Very ambitious, planned to eventually take over the world after preparing his men.
- Although he had many loyal vassals, he only truly trusted his right hand man and friend, Hanbei.
- Sees his naive younger self in Ieyasu and sometimes couldn’t stand him, especially the moment he starts talking about his ideals.
- Deep down, Hideyoshi simply wanted the best for his country, even if it means that he had to put aside all his emotions, ignore his own needs, and throw away his past self.
- Weapon: Hideyoshi trained to have very strong punches. That added with the power up from his armlets and he can level down quite a huge area around him with just one punch to the ground.
DAY 2 of my healthy, self-indulging draws. The goal of these isn’t to draw anything complete. I’m trying to reconnect with a time when I felt less burdened. My own mother’s kindness inspired these gesture comps.
I get all emotional when I think about Basara moms. I definitely want to bring the Toyotomi Happy Family one to a closer finish, and maybe include Hideyoshi? Haha.
Author’s Note: I, uh, hope no one gets tired of Suzume being pregnant… Lol. As I was writing the fics, it just became this unofficial theme. Families and babies and our lords being happy. Well, most of them.
Disclaimer: This story? Events that take place in it? None of them are historically correct. I may have used actual names, but other than that. Nope. This is a fictional story. Enjoy!
“Hanbei! Stop running around!” Suzume started to run after her son, before remembering something important.
She clicked her tongue, frustrated that Hideyoshi wasn’t around. Hanbei was mischievous, talkative, and had a love for most things. In other words, the exact opposite of his namesake. He was going to fall and hurt himself, she just knew it. Of course, he’d learn from that mistake. Or so she hoped. She lost count of how many times he fell and picked himself up like it was nothing. It was something that hadn’t gone unnoticed by the various lords, who already spoke of how he was going to be a great samurai. He was barely three when they started him with a wooden sword, moving on to a mamorigatana sword just last year, shortly before he turned six.
Suzuki came running up to her, grabbing her leg and looking tearfully up.
“What’s the matter, honey?” Suzume asked.
“Hanbei stole my manju!” Her daughter pointed an accusing finger at her older brother. “I made them for Uncle Mitsun! You can’t eat them!”
Just like that, her tears turned into rage, and she ran after Hanbei.
A doodle for Yudu-chan’s ‘Mitsunari’s Journey’. The story about mini Mitsunari traveling around trying find mini Ieyasu is so cute~ ;u; Check this one out for pretty photos from all over Japan as you travel with Mitsunari ;)
In SB4 Hanbei’s DRAMA route, Ieyasu came back to Toyotomi army. I think Toyotomi family will be very sensitive about “LEAVE” this word, and always keep a watchful eye on Ieyasu… Even when he just wanna leave for a moment to the toilet XDD
When Toyotomi family get close to Ieyasu, it looks like…⊂彡☆))Д´)･∵
Hanbei’s eyes shot open. What time was it? The white haired man rolled over to take a look out the small window in his room. A line of sunlight was starting to peer over the horizon heralding the day. The man sat up quickly with a curse curled beneath his tongue. He was late. Throwing aside his blanket, Hanbei got up from his futon. Between his night sweats and the painful coughing fit that he had suffered on and off throughout the night, his exhausted body must have missed the alarm of his internal clock. The tactician frowned with a hint of anger. How could he have let such a thing interfere with his duty? There was no place for this kind of weakness in the Toyotomi. None.