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#thread Gather round, my children, harken to my tale. So I'm hanging out at a bar full of furries & nursing a bottle of my favorite drink. It's time to begin the story of Date Masamune: epically flamboyant pansexual badass & 16th century Japanese warlord. It's #drunjhistory time!
Alright, so let's get this thing rollin, shall we?

The year: 1591. The place: Kyoto. Toyotomi Hideyoshi- this guy right here- rules most of Japan as imperial regent, and he is *pissed*.
See he's been trying to unify Japan for awhile and drag it out of nearly a century of constant war. His former boss, Oda Nobunaga, died trying to do it. But Hideyoshi is damn near close, and it's almost a done deal, when there's a revolt in the north.
So the Kasai and Osaki families are locally powerful guys in northern Honshu, right. They stage a revolt because hey, answering to some weirdo in Kyoto who was born a peasant cramps their style
Hideyoshi sends two of his newest vassals, who have armies of their own and hold territory nearby, to go kick their asses: Gamo Ujisato and Date Masamune.

*trumpet fanfare*
*fangirl scream*
Mind, things go okay at this point. Ujisato and Masamune quell the uprising, and everything's safe and hunky dory before terribly long.

.....or IS IT????
Ujisato heads back to Kyoto and goes to see the boss.
H: "So how'd it go?"
T:"Yeah dude we're fine, here's the after action reports, oh and by the way, Masamune's the one who got this rebellion started in the first place."
H:"....the FUCK you say??"
Ujisato produces a letter as proof. Tl;dr it says "Hey, get this rebellion started and I'll back you up, and id enough people fall in we can all get rid of Hideyoshi.
Hearts and stars,
-Masamune"
Hideyoshi is livid. He hits the (fancily tiled) roof. He summons Masamune at once to come explain or his ass is done for.

*dun dun DUNNNNNNNNN*
Okay. So here I need to back up and explain a bit about Date Masamune. (Family name first, then given name), because you need to understand what he's about to do here.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi was born a peasant in the equivalent of a shack. The house of Date is very blue blooded, very old, and has (it still exists) lived in northern Honshu since about 1190. This is their crest.
Date Masamune was born in 1567, so he was young, compared to Hideyoshi-- young enough that Masamune was a fanboy of Hideyoshi's boss Nobunaga, when Masamune was a kid. But Masamune came from not just an old noble clan--
His family could claim a mantle of rulership over the north with its origins in the 8th century CE.

So why should he care about some uppity peasant from Owari?
Well when Hideyoshi subjugated damn near everywhere else in Japan and was besieging Odawara, near Mt Fuji, Masamune couldn't afford to ignore it anymore

But remember the words of the Bob Dorough song: "Baby you can't look bad, long as you're lookin good~"

So he trolls Hideyoshi
Now it's a STRAIGHT SHOT down the Oshu Highway (modern Route 4) to get out to the Tokaido and to Odawara. Masamune takes the scenic route, via the Sea of Japan, & comes in through what's now Nagano

He is very very late.

Needless to say Hideyoshi is mad.

I mean just look at him
Masamune knows he's late. So when he shows up at Hideyoshi's encampment ostensibly to pledge fealty, he comes dressed in white-- in death clothes.

Hideyoshi takes his meaning. "I'm ready to die-- are you ready to kill me, *punk*??"
Hideyoshi does, eventually, relent, and lets Masamune be his vassal and keep most of his own land.

FAST FORWARD TO A YEAR LATER, IN KYOTO, AFTER THE KASAI-OSAKI UPRISING...
(The scene: the road in from the east)
Ujisato:"where is he??"
Hideyoshi:"that fucker better show his ass..."

*conch shell fanfare* behold, here cometh the Date clan army--

Hideyoshi: *squints* "....Oh you little SHIT."
Enter MASAMUNE, at the head of an armed entourage. Beside him is carried a gold plated, full sized cross.

Crucifixion is something Hideyoshi ordered routinely, mind you. And Masamune is used to doing things in STYYYYLE.
He was flamboyant and fashionable as he was a skilled commander. It isn't for nothing that the name "Date" came to mean "showy" (i.e. "faAAAAbulouuuuus!") for centuries on

So that morning in Kyoto, he sent another message: "I'mma die in style, so crucify me, fucker, I dare you."
But wait, THE STORY DOESN'T END THERE!!

So they go up to have them a little confab, because you don't have someone haul ass all the way from Japanese Appalachia for nothing, dammit.
So they go up to Hideyoshi's mansion for a confab.

Hideyoshi is fuming.
Ujisato is stewing.
Masamune's like...
Ujisato: "your ass is toast, dude."
Masamune: "Sire Gamo, verily it hath been far too lont since last we spake!"
Hideyoshi" *brandishes the letter* "CUT THE SHIT AND EXPLAIN THIS."
Masamune: *looks at the letter, grins evilly at Ujisato* "Bring me some paper and ink."
Ujisato: "...I can't believe this shit, THE IMPERTINENCE!!"
Hideyoshi: "He's dead anyway, lets humor him."

So Hideyoshi has some ink and paper and a brush brought in.
Masamune: *signs his name with a dramatic flourish, then pulls a pin out of his sleeve and stabs a hole in it* "BEHOLD, sire. When I sign my name, I add the form of a wagtail bird below, and poke a hole where the eye should be, as a security measure."
(Pictured)
Ujisato: *spit-takes*
Masamune: So you see, clearly SOOOOOOMEBODY has it in for me because SOOOOMEBODY gave you a fake. The bird in this letter doesn't have the pinhole."
An attendant takes the letter back up. Hideyoshi squints intensely at it.
Masamune: *smiles beatifically*
Hideyoshi: *roars with laughter*
Masamune: *grins evilly at Ujisato*
Hideyoshi: "Alright, alright, we're good. But no more tricks, kid, or your ass is REALLY toast."

They laid down conditions. Masamune had to be in Kyoto part of the year, and his wife had to live there permanent
Hideyoshi tried to invade Korea, failed, tried again, and died. Ujisato lived, but by his grandson's generation, his clan was abolished.

Masamune, though, well...
He allied himself with Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Battle of Sekigahara, in 1600. While Ieyasu fought in central Japan, Masamune fought at the Battle of Hasedo in the north-- the East Cavalry Field to Ieyasu's Cemetery Ridge.
Masamune-- who by the way, had one eye and was famous at the time as The One Eyed Dragon-- rose 5o become the 4th wealthiest man in Japan.

Did he instigate the Kasai-Osaki uprising? Honestly, I think maybe. He had a habit of shaking things up in the north when it suited him
He also knew how to play the system & look stylin' as he did it (and while driving people of all genders wild with his suaveness and style), so he survived.

He founded a castle in 1600. It was a sleepy little village, but it became a capital city.

I lived there in 2005.
It's called SENDAI, as a callback to an ancient place in China. It means "the home of the immortals."
And yes, the sly asshole lives on-- even in equestrian form on the downtown lamp posts-- in the city he built and loved.

When he was an old man, he wrote a poem:
"My youth in battle is long past!
The world is at peace now, and I've grown old.
Since I've been spared, why not enjoy myself?
Surely Heaven will permit it!"

Why not *indeed*.
By the way. His family's OTHER crest is STILL the city emblem of Sendai. In the words of the Bob Dorough song:

🎵"Baby you can't look bad, long as you're lookin' good."

I'm Nyri, and this has been a #drunjhistory.

*bows*

/FIN
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