THE PLACE OF THE
LAST MINUTES OF
ODA NOBUNAGA'S LIFE

 

 

 

 

The Honno temple ('Honnoji' in Japanese) in 1580's was supposed to look like this according to a scroll created in that era. It's always been a sort of modest architectural spot, and not as ancient as the super-famous comrades such as the Heian and Golden Temple (the Kinkakuji) that belong to the same city.

Click here for story and pictures of the much-better-known temples that never even needed to host a notorious warlord's death to be talked of, in Kyoto and Nara.

 

The same temple in early 1980's -- clean from commercial dottage on the vicinity that is characteristic of it today. Oda Nobunaga liked it there, even though it wasn't so swell as far as security was the issue, and wasn't so luxurious either, compared with the Oda clan's usual place to spend the night at in Kyoto, the Nijo Palace (but on June 21, 1582, this, too, wasn't safe for Oda Nobutada).

Click here for story and pictures of General Oda Nobutada, Nobunaga's 25 years-old heir who died fighting the Akechi troops that same day.

Click here for story and pictures of the Nijo Palace.

     

 

 

 

The Honno temple in late 1990's. The Oda clan spent much on the temple in their glory days, in exchange for having it ready to host clansmen whenever they got a sudden biz with the Emperor. Their hometown in Azuchi was far enough if we look at it from the century's eyes.

Click here for story and pictures of Azuchi, Oda Nobunaga's most beloved castle and town that he built from scratch.

 

The Honno temple in 2003. It never got a flood of foreign tourists, but after the 2000 worldwide splash of videogames and the like that flutter some marketable villain labelled as 'Oda Nobunaga', the temple started to wake sightseers up.

Click here for Oda Nobunaga's images according to such games.

     

 

 

 

Oda Nobunaga has been, for the entire years between 1571 and exactly this minute, seen by a lot of people as 'the enemy of Buddha'. But he, as others of his era, always had some attachment to temples.

Click here for story and pictures of why Oda Nobunaga has been so one-sidedly hated by Buddhists.

 

Oda Nobunaga and Mori Ranmaru are remembered until today in a concrete-sandwiched corner of the Honno temple. 20th century buildings with dripping air-conditioners are all you can see around this historical piece.

Click here for the account of the so-called 'Honno incident' (it was, for Christ's sake, planned, so it can't be incidental!), and who else died at the side of Oda Nobunaga there.

Click here for story and pictures of Mori Ranmaru, the closest person to Oda Nobunaga all his life.

     

 

 

 

One of the inconspicuous entrances of the temple today.   The outdoor way to keep the memory in mind.
     

 

 

Click here for Photographs of
Oda Nobunaga's Sofuku Retreat,
Family Cemetery, Favorite Garden, etc.

 

A 2003 ceremony to commemorate 1582, by the Honno temple, the Oda clan, and the 'Owari Mori' clan (Ranmaru's; not to confuse it with the 'Western Mori' warriors of Mori Terumoto's).

After 1582, no one was sure whether Oda Nobunaga died committing suicide ('seppuku') or did he die just because of the arson committed by the Akechi soldiers. Yet the first guess has been deemed more likely.

 

Oda Nobunaga's father in-law Lord Saito Dosan built this temple in Gifu. It is called 'Sofuku'. Oda Nobunaga snatched Saito's territories in the third generation of the clan's history, and he liked this absolutely un-glamour place -- he made it his personal temple.

Nobunaga's second son Oda Nobutaka and his younger brothers combed the Honno temple for anything that might have remained after the fire. In the ember they found Oda Nobunaga's helmet. The brothers took it home to Gifu and put it in the Sofuku temple.

Click here for story and pictures of Gifu, where the best part of Oda Nobunaga's career stemmed out of.

     

 

 

 

Another entrance of Honno temple
from the shopping arcade.
 

The Oda cenotaph close-up.
Click here for the meaning of Japanese tombstones, i.e. why they are always shaped like that.

     

 

 

 

The exact site of Oda Nobunaga's last second on earth -- at least, that's the guesstimate based on the repeated reconstructions of the events that day for the last 500 years.   The Nijo Palace from a bird's perspective -- the historians' best-guess so far is that Oda Nobutada fought to his death at the private shrine at this place.
     
The cenotaphs of the Mori brothers --
all of whom died for Oda Nobunaga.
 


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