The Parting at Inubushi
Hideyoshi passed away, quickly followed by Toshiie Maeda sending the other lords into turmoil as trust fades between everyone.
Kiyomasa and Masanori decide to leave Mitsunari due to his coldness. Whilst Ieyasu returns to Edo and Nobuyuki is worried that without Hideyoshi the Toyotomi will soon collapse.
Nobuyuki leaves everyone as well to get back to Numata but is called on by Ieyasu. There, many others have also gathered including Takatora, Kiyomasa, Masanori and other Toyotomi lords.
Ieyasu says that Hideyoshi’s current successor is too young and Uesugi is plotting rebellion. He asks for everyone’s support to defeat the Uesugi. The same Uesugi that had helped the Sanada defend Ueda castle when Ieyasu attacked them.
Mitsunari decides that Ieyasu is doing this to usurp power and so he will fight him. Yukimura decides to help Mitsunari and believes that Nobuyuki will join him due to the debt they owe the Uesugi.
Yukimura asks Nobuyuki to join with Mitsunari when they meet, but Nobuyuki has already decided to side with Ieyasu as he wants to be a pillar for the Sanada clan and ensure their survival. He believes Ieyasu will be the one to unite the land.
And so, the brothers go their separate ways. I guess many of you may disapprove of what Nobuyuki did, or actually you may approve. I definitely side with the latter, Yukimura’s ‘way of justice’ feels of too much bravado and not enough thought. I feel he got lost in his sense of justice and friendship without realising he’s probably siding with the wrong side. But hey you fight for what you believe in so I’m definitely not saying he made the wrong choice. Nobuyuki looked at it objectively and thought, Mitsunari’s lost a lot of support and he’s trying to protect a failing clan without its backbone. He can’t win. Perhaps in history the balance of power wasn’t that bad or obvious but either way, Nobuyuki must’ve sided with the highest chance of winning to protect his clan’s name.
I felt that, if this was how Hideyoshi’s death went, he brought this upon himself by entrusting the land to two people. It’s difficult to have two people in charge, it most likely will cause a rift between everyone depending on who they think Hideyoshi wanted to entrust the future to more. There is no room for a back seat second ruler. Like how the two Cao brothers fought for rule after Cao Cao passed away in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Anyone remember or know the seven step poem from Cao Zhi? Basically Cao Pi, who succeeded Cao Cao felt that his brother Cao Zhi may try to usurp him so he thought of a random excuse to kill him and said that if he can’t make up a poem about brotherhood without using the word brother in seven steps, he will be executed. He managed it and it was a lovely poem.
I know that people will speak of betrayal for either side of Mitsunari and Ieyasu, more so Ieyasu by the look of things. But in all honesty I don’t think there was betrayal from anyone, I think the way Hideyoshi named his ‘successor’ made it open to interpretation, apart from that he wanted a unified Japan. He must’ve known his son was way too young and putting two people in charge will cause problems. But I guess he had trusted everyone, perhaps he couldn’t foresee such a falling apart after he had worked so hard. Well, at least he died in what he believed to be a land of peace.
I don’t know how this will end, apart from the historical ending which I guess is half the reason I’m watching this. But I was wondering if the anime may offer another ending to this tale of separation.
Another thing that we’ll probably never know that I wonder about is if Mitsunari not crying at the deathbed was true. Because if it was, it cost him, people side with someone they can relate to, not someone who doesn’t seem to have feelings. At least Ieyasu acted like a human even if deep down he was probably already planning his next move. Sure Mitsunari felt sad but he didn’t show it, and sometimes, it’s okay to cry, sometimes it’s better to cry and show the world that you care.