We’ll be wrapping up our discussion of the Ikkō Ikki this week, as the unstoppable force of the militant wing of Jōdo Shinshu meets the immovable objects of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga. What follows is a tale of treachery, war, and revenge worthy of an HBO miniseries.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Tsang, Carol Richmond. War and Faith: The Ikkō Ikki in Late Muromachi Japan.

Sansom, George. A History of Japan, Volume II: 1337-1615

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

Kennyo, the Patriarch who was unlucky enough to be in charge during the wars against the Tokugawa and Oda. He was able to successfully rescue his faith from the brink by currying favor with Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who allowed the sect to rebuild and survive.

Kennyo, the Patriarch who was unlucky enough to be in charge during the wars against the Tokugawa and Oda. He was able to successfully rescue his faith from the brink by currying favor with Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who allowed the sect to rebuild and survive.

The Battle of Azukizaka in 1564, part of Tokugawa Ieyasu's campaign against the Ikko Ikki in his province of Mikawa.

The Battle of Azukizaka in 1564, part of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s campaign against the Ikko Ikki in his province of Mikawa.

Shibata Katsuie, the warlord and Nobunaga loyalist who led the campaign to eradicate the Ikko Ikki in Echizen. He would later be crushed when he rebelled against Toyotomi Hideyoshi, with Hideyoshi taking advantage of the remaining Ikki members' hatred for Shibata to enlist their aid in defeating him.

Shibata Katsuie, the warlord and Nobunaga loyalist who led the campaign to eradicate the Ikko Ikki in Echizen. He would later be crushed when he rebelled against Toyotomi Hideyoshi, with Hideyoshi taking advantage of the remaining Ikki members’ hatred for Shibata to enlist their aid in defeating him.

The top of Mount Shizu, site of the Battle of Shizugatake, where Toyotomi Hideyoshi (with the help of the remaining Ikki) crushed Shibata Katsuie. The cardboard cutout on the left is of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's armor, which I'm sure must grate the ghost of Shibata Katsuie.

The top of Mount Shizu, site of the Battle of Shizugatake, where Toyotomi Hideyoshi (with the help of the remaining Ikki) crushed Shibata Katsuie. The cardboard cutout on the left is of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s armor, which I’m sure must grate the ghost of Shibata Katsuie.

Nishi Honganji in Kyoto, the rebuilt (and current) headquarters of Jodo Shinshu. The temple was built with the blessing of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in exchange for the aid given by Kennyo and the Ikko Ikki during his bid for power.

Nishi Honganji in Kyoto, the rebuilt (and current) headquarters of Jodo Shinshu. The temple was built with the blessing of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in exchange for the aid given by Kennyo and the Ikko Ikki during his bid for power.