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Recent(ish) news with translation ?

Remmy Skye

29 Dec 2017
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Good day and hello friends. This may be my first post though I've been a member for some time (so be easy on me! =) ) . I may have placed this in the wrong place and if that is the case I apologize please forgive me and if a board administrator would be so kind as to move it to the correct place I would appreciate that.

So my question here pertains to some fascinating news that came about some months ago. I will provide two links to articles discussing the matter. One is from The Mainichi and the other from the Asahi Shimbun. I know there's a great photograph in the Mainichi piece and I am pretty sure there are photographs in the Asahi Shimbun article as well.

So essentially what this is about and I'll give a quick brief description incase anyone is unfamiliar but basically a secret letter of correspondence was discovered in Kyoto. The letter was written by the famous or infamous depending on your personal opinion Mitsuhide Akechi apparently as a response to a confederate, one Tsuchihashi Shigeharu.

The contents of the letter is my primary focus here for the community of JRef. In the articles there is no word for word translation but professors/experts provide a general overview of its contents and state that Mitsuhide was responding affirmatively to restoring the then exiled Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, physically to Kyoto and figuratively to his position (as Shogun.)

Now there are of course historical implications here. It has long been a point of contention, the motives of Akechi Mitsuhide. Was his assassination of Nobunaga a selfish grab for personal power? Was it some altruistic act? Was he, in fact, potentially working for or with others ? I understand there is a semi popular phrase amongst the native Japanese. Something to the effect of "13 day Shogun" which is something about holding power but for a short period of time with the analogy being that Mitsuhides coup lasted but 13 days. There are even writings that purport Mitsuhide proclaimed himself Shogun though that is at odds with the contents of this letter and furthermore something I find hard to believe.

So if it weren't too much trouble, if anyone wouldn't mind having a look at this letter and offering even the most amateur attempt at a translation, again if it's not too difficult of course, I know I for one would be immeasurably grateful and fascinatingly interested. To be fair to myself I did attempt to contact the Mainichi and Asahi Shimbun for more information and I did try elsewhere to see if anyone would give it a go but thus far I've been unable to get anywhere. So without further ado here are the article links. Again sorry if this is the wrong place. Thanks for your time.

ps I did find that the Asahi Shimbun article does also contain a photograph of the letter as well

Letter apparently written by samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide in 1582 discovered - The Mainichi

Handwritten letter by Nobunaga rebel discovered:The Asahi Shimbun


22 Feb 2008
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It is actually too much trouble and too difficult. Only experts can understand those handwritten classical documents. Almost all Japanese people can't even read it, let alone translate into modern Japanese or other languages.

Made in Japan

26 Sep 2018
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明智光秀:密書の原本発見 本能寺の変直後、反信長派へ - 毎日新聞

Above link is the source. I believe someone here can translate it better but until then, below will be my best effort.

-------------------------------------------------------Starts Here---------------------------------------------------------------
As you have stated, I have not contacted you until now (an idiomatic expression for initial contact), thank you for commanding to make effort on the Shogun entering Kyoto. However I have already consented about the matter of the Shogun entering Kyoto. I believe your understanding of the situation and making your effort according to it will be vital.

The Saiga people allying with us is greatly appreciated. I would wish you to consider and communicate further more in this direction.

The Takano, Negoro and Saiga people discussing and departing for Izumi and Kawachi (both an area in Osaka) area is completely reasonable. Regarding the rewards, it should be discussed with our Chief retainer in order to keep our long term relationship satisfactory for both parties.

The command was to subjugate the whole area of Oomi (Shiga prefecture) and Mino (South region of Gifu prefecture), and I have succeeded. You shall not worry. The messenger shall state this as well.

P.S.(Written at the top of the actual document )
I must add that the utmost effort must be devoted for the Shogun's entrance to Kyoto. The details will be commanded by the Shogun himself. I am not to speak of this.
-------------------------------------------------------Ends Here---------------------------------------------------------------

The below is a translation to modern Japanese in the source article.







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