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Gabriel Alexander's Training Grounds
I hardly ever update this thing, but when I do, it is worthwhile.
My personal history: Part Two: Feudal Japan
It was approximately the year 1392 when I had reached the Japanese coasts. It had taken quite sometime, but I eventually learned the japanese language and lived with a family of travelling merchants. Together we travelled the land where I learned much of the ways of Japan and its people.

Although, during the reign of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the Northern and Southern courts had finally become united, the shogun had very little knowledge that already the grounds of defeat of his House and reign had been sown. Over time, military-trained, land owning families known as the ji-samurai. Over time, the influence of the Ashikaga shoguns eventually withered down to nothing as the samurai began taking provinces here and there and establishing their own standards and laws. These feudal lords became known as the daimyo, and it was they who controlled the provinces of Japan.

The family of merchants I had lived with for so long quickly found powerful allies among one of the more influential daimyo and we were soon allied very closely with one of the western lords, Hosokawa Katsumoto. I quickly learned the ways of the samurai and even became a favorite student of Hosokawa himself. At his side, we fought many times against Ashikaga Yoshimasa. He was later killed in 1473 and his son Hosokawa Masamoto later reigned as daimyo in his stead.

Much of Masumoto's reign was very erratic and I found myself drifting further apart from the clan and the son of my mentor. The ruling leaders of the Ashikaga had become mere puppets to Masumoto. I then chose to ally myself with the Sumimoto clan and it eventually led to the defeat and death of Masumoto while he was taking a bath in his own home on 1507. The reign of the Sumimoto were short lived and eventually I found myself joining the Takeda family under the provincial daimyo Takeda Nobutora, leader of the province of Kai. I helped teach his son Takeda Tarō, who later changed his name to Takeda Shingen, the ways of the sword as well as the ways of the world I had seen so far. Upon his father's death, he was well prepared to take on the mantle of his father and claim lordship over his father's house. As one of his generals, we fought often over his bitter enemy of the house of Uesugi Kenshin, the dragon of Echigo. Takeda Shingen, the tiger of Kai, was a master of war and established a system of law, taxes, and administration rivaled by few.

Victory in battle was common in that day and many a tear was shed for lost kindred and friends. Takeda Shingen was indeed a wise and noble ruler and around the age of 49, he died of illness while I was at his side. His son, Takeda Katsuyori tried to live up to his father's legacy, but through many mistakes, was defeated and commited suicide after the battle against Oda Nobunaga in the battle of Temmokuzan. I too had fallen in battle penetrated by bullets from Nobunaga's gunmen. I reawakened to find myself about to be buried with the dead. Nobunaga's men saw me arise, and fearing me a ghost, fled the site later informing Nobunaga of my spirit, the spirit of Takeda Shingen, coming to visit the grave of his son.

Knowing that my people believed me for dead, and with a family and clan now torn at the loss of Shingen's heir, I turned and resolved to flee the now war torn lands of Japan. Takeda Shingen however, did live on, through stories and legend. Holidays even to this day are dedicated to his memory and his famous phrase on his war banner, Fū-Rin-Ka-Zan is even found in Sun Tzu's The Art of War. My legend however, was soon forgotten as I hoped it would be. I had always tried to keep myself aloof from the tales and stories of the Takeda clan hoping that it would be a tale of Shingen himself. To this day, I am happy that it is so. Shingen was a great leader and deserving to be recognized solely as such without the tales and legends of an Englishman-turned-samurai interferring.

I then decided to set my sights on a new land and a different country and after a short while, named the lands and waters of China as my new home.

Draketooth Silvertongue
Community Member
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  • User Comments: [1]
    Luv teh storee! biggrin

    comment Ceren Reed · Community Member · Wed Apr 16, 2008 @ 11:38pm
    User Comments: [1]


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