M O R I----R A N M A R U
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2004 drawing of Mori Ranmaru's death at
Honno temple, Kyoto,
Mori Ranmaru (in blue formal dress, played by Yamanaka Yasuhito) as depicted in Kurosawa Akira's movie The Shadow Warrior (click here for scenes). Even his seat is closest to the Master of the realm; in real life he was Oda's most trusted aide. But I think the hairdo is debatable; Oda Nobunaga himself didn't cut his in real life. Oda's 17th century biographers did mention an occasion when he told Mori to let his hair grow long.
Mori Ranmaru knew what Oda Nobunaga wanted and when; the absolute demand of speed in Oda's daily life -- as far as his household was concerned -- kept everybody else in chaotic confusion. Except Mori; he was fast enough for Oda, who always expected his orders to be carried out before they were even given.
rode behind Oda Nobunaga on the way to the war against the Asai clan.
Mori Ranmaru (in multicolored dress, at your left) with Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Spanish wine. Mori laughed together with Oda Nobunaga when Tokugawa nearly choked on the unfamiliar beverage. Ordinary valets wouldn't have been allowed to sit with guests, let alone the V.I.P ones like Tokugawa here; they got to keep at a respectful distance or go to another place altogether until summoned. But Oda Nobunaga, according to records, let Mori to stay with him even in strategic meetings. Everyone knew that, so they had to get used to it.
Mori Ranmaru rode right behind Oda Nobunaga in the Nagashino battle, in this position he was equal to General Honda Heihachi, who was riding behind his boss Tokugawa Ieyasu.
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