People associated with Noto Peninsula -Part 2


From 1577 until his death in the spring of the following year, Noto was ruled by Kanto Governor Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578).
Praised as the Dragon of Echigo, a military god, and a righteous warlord, Kenshin, who is said to have had a 97% victory rate, remains one of the most popular feudal lords of the Warring States.

Until then, the feudal lord Hatakeyama had ruled the area for about 170 years, culminating in the reign of the seventh generation, Hatakeyama Yoshifusa (1491-1545).
The era of the Gekokujo (an inverted social order) has arrived. Yoshifusa’s grandson Yoshitsuna was exiled by his chief vassals (the seven lords of Hatakeyama), and Noto was effectively ruled by the seven lords.

In 1576, an internal struggle broke out among them over whether to side with the Kanto governor Uesugi Kenshin or the rising power of Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582). Hatakeyama’s forces were holed up in the fortified Nanao Castle for about a year, but the spread of a plague and betrayal by the pro-Uesugi faction caused the fortress to fall and Noto to fall under Kenshin’s control. It was not until 1581 that Maeda Toshiie (1538-1599), a direct vassal of Nobunaga, came to rule the region.

The above is a story generally known as historical fact, but there is a local legend that goes as follows.
The fishermen of the Nafune area put on masks and beat the battle drums. In the end, they were able to drive back the Uesugi troops who were invading Noto at a breakneck speed.

From the people’s point of view, anything that threatens their livelihood must be a foreign enemy or a disaster, no matter who the opponent is or what his cause is.
The battle drums that drove back the fearsome army have been passed down to the present day as a traditional art form called “Gojinjo Daiko”.

This year, they will also perform at the Hokuriku Shinkansen Tsuruga Extension Commemorative Event to be held at Kanazawa Station next week on the 16th.
We sincerely congratulate the opening of a new chapter in Hokuriku’s history and wish Noto a speedy recovery.


Image Source: National Diet Library, “NDL Image Bank
Created by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. “Frost covers the military camp – Kenshin”, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, Published by Akiyama Buemon, Meiji period, 19th century

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