|Crossing of Iga|
The Crossing of Iga (神君伊賀越え) refers to the event of Hanzō Hattori leading his lord safely across enemy territory after the death of Nobunaga Oda at Honnoji. In Samurai Warriors, the various incarnations of Ise Nagashima (伊勢長島) or Ise also take place on this stage.
Role in GamesEdit
In Samurai Warriors, the actual crossing is the third stage in Hanzo's story. After slaying Nobunaga at Honnoji, Mitsuhide sets his sights on consolidating his power and decides to eliminate the now vulnerable Ieyasu. To insure his lord's safety, Hanzō escorts him through Iga to reach the Nagonoura port. In Goemon Ishikawa's upper path scenario, he catches word of a hefty reward for Ieyasu's head and decides to collect the bounty.
In the Xtreme Legends expansion, Ina and Tadakatsu Honda also take part in escorting their lord to safety. The Saika also appear in this version of the stage. For Ina, fulfilling her duty to protect her charges unlocks her upper path. Defeating Mitsuhide or ignoring to escort generals to safety results in opening her lower path story.
The massacres of Ise also share this stage, which is essentially when Nobunaga and his vassals force the submission of the Ikko rebels. Magoichi Saika's version of the stage tries to prevent the Oda troops from overwhelming the rebels but ultimately fails in convincing them to not surrender and his superior Shoukei is executed by Nobunaga. Masamune Date will also interrupt the battle in his personal story mode. The battle of Ise is when Nobunaga must oppress an uprising peasant revolt after conquering the Imagawa at Okehazama. Ikko rebels will assist the peasants in their rebellion. Failing to wipe out the rebels unlocks Nobunaga's lower path scenario.
The dance of Ise occurs in Okuni's story and Goemon's lower path. After they successfully defeat Nobunaga at Osaka, an enraged Mitsuhide orders a pursuit of Okuni and Goemon. The two must cross Ise to safety from the chasing army.
In Samurai Warriors 3, the fleeing Tokugawa forces must additionally fight their way through Kotaro's and Motochika's forces. Because of the environment's dark surroundings, players may have to explore each path individually to clear the map and find the garrison leading the way to Mikawa.
In Kessen III, Nobunaga has the option to wipe out the Iga ninja resistance lead by Sandayu Momochi. He personally leads an expedition into Iga with the threat of ninja ambushes. The army needs to march through forests and traps to reach their main goal. Armies also have the power to teleport from shrines scattered around the map.
The information regarding the crossing varies as there are records which depict different fates and information regarding the actual event. Most emphasize that this was a crowning moment for the Iga ninja serving under Hattori Hanzō Masashige.
Ieyasu was near Kyoto sometime before June 21, 1582. He was supposedly greeting and visiting his family vassals in Sakai. After parting courtesies with them, Ieyasu planned to head towards Kyoto to reunite with Nobunaga and sent Honda Tadakatsu first to properly spread the message of his arrival. Ieyasu camped near Mt. Iimori or was passing through Katano City, when he was supposedly told by Chaya Shirōjirō of his lord's death at Honnōji. Many assumed that the merchant told Ieyasu to flee for his life or that his vassals convinced him to escape. A particularly famous account writes that Ieyasu wanted to perform ritual suicide to follow Nobunaga, but he was dissuaded by Tadakatsu to return to their home land. It's popularly accepted that Ieyasu and his retainers were not dressed for war, and it would have been close to suicidal to try to oppose Mitsuhide. Exactly how many people were with Ieyasu at the time remains disputed as the numbers vary from 10 to little more than 300 men were with him. It's popularly fabled that among his escorts, his four famous vassals worked together to save their lord, but this is actually unclear. Few details accurately describe his nearest vassals, each record and local community having their own theories on who was beside him.
Ieyasu's path was said to have cut a straight line through Iga. Their guide was Hazegawa Hidekazu, a general under Nobunaga who used the best of his connections to open a path for Ieyasu. Through his system of messengers, he bargained with the local kokujin in the area to allow a small escort and was willing to lead him past the waterways of Ujitawara (also known as Yamaguchi) Castle. According to the Kansei Chōshushokafu, a dubious compilation of genealogy for Ieyasu's vassals, someone with the name "Hattori Hanzō" was able to give Ieyasu aid. Most believe that the figure was Masashige, but it could have also possibly have been his brother or his other relatives. The record seems to imply that the Hattori Hanzō figure only appeared or remained behind at Ujitawara Castle, but it's also argued that the figure followed Ieyasu throughout the trip.
Ieyasu and his men rode through night and day as they passed through Yamashiro province. They sped across Fugenji valley to ride as quickly as they could to Ujitawara. As Ieyasu's tired army passed through Kusaji, Tadakatsu was said to have swung his famous spear and scared the defiant locals to make way for his lord. They eventually arrived at Ujitawara Castle after they swept past Kusaji. Although they were approximately fifteen miles away from Honnōji at this point, the fatigued Ieyasu kept moving. As he passed through the area, he gained six laborers and seventy other people to aid his journey. Though unable to meet his lord, Sakai Tadatsugu followed from the rear and ensured that Ieyasu's army safely crossed the castle's waterways at this point. Once they reached the other shore, they took a break at Benjō-in, a shrine which is located in the modern Tsuzuki District in the Kyoto Prefecture. After their short break, Ieyasu mounted his horse again and sped across a small brook in Asamiya to cut through the mountains.
He and his men arrived at Ogawa Castle either at twilight or at nightfall. The castle was ruled by the then current leader of the Tarao clan, Tarao Mitsutoshi, who Ieyasu did not completely trust at the time for fear of his life. As he hesitated to enter the castle gates, both Mitsutoshi and his son personally greeted Ieyasu with dried persimmons and the first tea of the season. The villagers also came to him with a celebrated serving of red beans and rice. Ieyasu then felt an immediate state of relief and entered the pavilion. It is written that he was so hungry that he wolfed down the rice offering without even dropping his chopsticks. He and his men only stayed for one night at the castle. In the same night, Mitsutoshi privately found Ieyasu praying to Atago Daigongen for the sake of his army. He was inspired by Ieyasu's faith and told him, "This is indeed an auspicious sign. The aspect of you being the world's ruler is clearly visible on your face. Please believe in this object of worship." He then presented Ieyasu with a shintai. Ieyasu was very pleased and would later house his gift at Edo Castle.
The following day, Ieyasu and his entourage proceeded on their escape to Mikawa. It is said that he either chose to head towards Mitsutoshi's confidant or Hidekazu's vassal, but he is said to have passed through Otogitouge. According to the locals and fictional novels, Masashige led 300 (or 500) Iga ninja to escort Ieyasu. It's historically unclear whether Masashige had the connections, devotion, or resources to perform such a task as he was a minor lord with little to call his own. There was also records that suggested that even if they were born to have a close relationship, Masashige kept his distance from Ieyasu and didn't confront his lord too often. However, there isn't much written about Ieyasu's passage through the area and he was riding through alleged ninja territory, so the possibility of ninja being with him is at least a feasible theory. As a side note, Ieyasu's entourage passed through a village named Otowa, which was one of the namesakes for the legendary Iga shinobi, Kido Yazaemon. One of Ieyasu's men used his "authorization" to kill a displeased peasant and a riot erupted in the area. Ieyasu was able to breakthrough and continued onwards through the Mie Prefecture. He rested or lodged his party at Tokuji-ie, which was near the entrance of the city named Iga.
Although little was written for it at the time, it's believed that Iga Province was turbulent with grief and suffering since the ruling lord and populace were weakened by Nobunaga's previous invasion of the vicinity. They were surrounded by mountains and they had little contact with anyone around their boarders. The Mikawa Gofudoki remarks that Ieyasu's party spotted and cleared bandits from the area for them. The Iga records note that the ruler of the area personally came to thank Ieyasu and the villagers joined him. The Ietada Nikki remarks that there were casualties, so the likelihood of Ieyasu being attacked through the area is high. After passing through the mountains, Ieyasu's party took a brief stop at Zuikōji before they arrived at Shirokohama Bay to board a boat. They sailed for Ise Bay and arrived at the Ōhama Docks. Ieyasu's party had finally arrived at Mikawa and they settled at Okazaki Castle. The entire escape was said to have taken thirteen or fourteen days to complete.
Anayama Baisetsu, who was near Ieyasu's position at Kyoto, thought about following them but chose a different path. There are two stories regarding his fate during his respective retreat. He was either killed by the post guards while Ieyasu was passing through Kusaji or that he was caught and killed by Mitsuhide's army. A few stories say that he lived past the incident and died of illness years later.
Regarding his thoughts about the two escapees, Mitsuhide apparently said, "Killing the evasive Ieyasu or harming the deserted Baisetsu would bring shame to my life."
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