It was evidently of prime necessity from the Muromachi point of view that a state of affairs which crippled the shogun by impoverishing him should be remedied. Sasaki Takayori, head of the Rokkaku house, was a conspicuous product of his time. He had seized the manors of nearly fifty landowners in the province of Omi, and to punish his aggressions signally would furnish a useful object lesson.
When he and Arthur ran out of conversation, he caught her eye and pointed questioningly at the door. She nodded, and they slipped out into the early evening air. "I'll walk you home, if you're headed that way," he offered. "I suppose I am," she said. "That was fun." "You looked like you were having fun. I noticed Wendell Sasaki paid you a lot of attention." "He's nice."
Sasaki regarded Nobunaga's plight as too hopeless to warrant direct aid, but he was willing to equip Hachisuka's men for the purpose, although the addition of fifteen hundred soldiers could make very little difference in the face of such a disparity as existed between the combatants. *Ancestor of the present Marquis Hachisuka.
The latter defect was remedied in a very partial degree by the resourcefulness of Hideyoshi. In his boyhood he had served for some time under a celebrated chief of freebooters, by name Hachisuka Koroku,* and he persuaded that chieftain with his fifteen hundred followers to march to the aid of the Owari army, armour and weapons having been furnished by Sasaki Shotei, of Omi province.
But the pride of the collection were the conifers and evergreens trees which have Japanese and Latin names only, the hinoki, the enoki, the sasaki, the keyaki, the maki, the surgi and the kusunoki all trees of the dark funereal families of fir and laurel, which the birds avoid, and whose deep winter green in the summer turns to rust.
But he died in his twenty-fifth year when engaged in conducting a campaign against the Rokkaku branch of the Sasaki family, in Omi province; a campaign which but for his death would certainly have been successful.
It owes its name to some fancied resemblance to a horse's hoof, either in colour, or in the semicircular marks often seen upon the stone in its natural state, and caused by its tendency to split in curved lines. But the story goes that the bateiseki was formed by the touch of the hoofs of a sacred steed, the wonderful mare of the great Minamoto warrior, Sasaki Takatsuna.
"How come it's the only one in color?" "I have problems with color," Mo said. "It's always off. But in this case, there are really only two colors, bamboo and that tender green. They're both off in the same way, so the relationship works. And the color is so much of the story . . . " Wendell Sasaki called her over to confer with the well-dressed couple.
I found an intensely amusing book, "Who's Who in Japan," a copy of which would be a valuable standby to a newspaper paragrapher in his bad moments. For instance: SASAKI, TETSUTARO: One of the highest taxpayers of Fukushima-ken, President of the Hongu Reeling Partnership, Director of the Dai Nippon Radium Water Co.; brewer, reeler; born Aug., 1860.
In the following year Yoshimasa died, and, two years later , Yoshitane placed himself at the head of an army to resume the Omi campaign which Yoshihisa's death had interrupted. His opponent was of Minamoto lineage, head of the Rokkaku branch of the Sasaki family, whose representative in the days of the Kamakura Bakufu had been high constable of four provinces, Omi, Izumo, Aki, and Iwami.