This week, we will talk about the innovations the Latter Hojo used to secure their dominance, and about their long war against one of the great clans of the Kanto, the Ogigayatsu Uesugi.

Sources

Conlan, Thomas. Arms and Equipment of the Samurai Warrior, 1200-1800.

Berry, Mary Elizabeth. The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto.

Souyri, Pierre. The World Turned Upside Down

Birt, Michael J. “Samurai in Passage: The Transformation of the Sixteenth-Century Kanto.” Journal of Japanese Studies 11, No 2 (Summer, 1985), 369-399.

Images

1568

Hojo territories as of 1568 (a bit later than this episode but the best map I could find). Using my highly advanced photo editing skills I’ve highlighted the Hojo on this map.

1920px-Kawagoe_castle-Honmaru-2006-02-12

The central building of Kawagoe Castle, site of Hojo Ujiyasu’s great victory in 1545. That victory would ultimately break the Ogigayatsu Uesugi and assure Hojo dominance in the central Kanto.

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The head of a Sengoku era spear. This photo is useful for illustrating just how little valuable steel is used in a spear versus a sword; that’s what makes it so cheap, and thus made spears the central weapon of the era.

Ujiyasu_Hojo

Hojo Ujiyasu in the attire of a court aristocrat. The third lord of the Hojo would come to leadership relatively untested, but his victory at Kawagoe would quickly silence the doubters.

250px-Map-of-Odawara-Castle

The layout of the Hojo home fortress at Kawagoe. Not all Hojo fortresses looked like this, but they all served similar purposes in terms of establishing the clan’s hold on their territories.

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A map showing the array of forces in the Battle of Kawagoe in 1545. The red armies are the besiegers; the blue are the Hojo counterattack force.