Nevertheless, he overcame these scruples, and drawing a cordon of troops round the great monastery, he applied the torch to the buildings, burnt to death nearly all its inmates, including women, confiscated its estates, and built, for purposes of future prevention, a castle at Sakamoto, which was placed under the command of Akechi Mitsuhide.

In later years some trouble was made by them, but Nobunaga had done his work so thoroughly that there was little difficulty in keeping them under control. There remains only to tell the story of this great captain's end. He died at Kioto, the victim of treason. Among his captains was one named Akechi, a brave man, but proud.

But, in order to gratify Nobunaga by simulating need of his assistance, a despatch was sent to Azuchi begging him to come and personally direct the capture of the fort and the shattering of Terumoto's army. Among Nobunaga's vassal barons at that time was Akechi Mitsuhide.

Nobunaga had sent most of his forces away to quell a rebellion, keeping but a small garrison. With part of this Akechi was ordered to Kiushiu, and left the city with seeming intention to obey. But he had not gone far when he called his officers together, told them of his purpose to kill Nobunaga, and promised them rich booty for their assistance in the plot.

Though there were to be yet wonderful flashes of Christian success, and the missionaries were to travel over Japan even up to the end of the main island and accompany the Japanese army to Korea; yet it may be said that with the death of Nobunaga at the hands of the traitor Akéchi, we see the high-water mark of the flood-tide of Japanese Christianity.

"Akéchi reigned three days," but after him were to arise a ruler and central government jealous and hostile. After this flood was to come slowly but surely the ebb-tide, until it should leave, outwardly at least, all things as before. The Jesuit fathers, with instant sensitiveness, felt the loss of their champion and protector, Nobunaga.

Such was the man who, after the murder of Nobunaga, marched in furious haste upon his assassin and quenched the ambition of the latter in death. The brief career of the murderer has given rise to a Japanese proverb, "Akechi ruled three days." The avenger of the slain regent was now at the head of affairs.