Warrior monks and weapons
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Warrior Monks and Weapons. Warrior monks used the following weapons Typical Japanese swords Tanto (dagger) Bows and arrows Typical Japanese longbow Warriors who were skilled archers used them to kill many adversary monks Naginata, a form of glaive Some resemble Chinese helberds

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Warrior Monks and Weapons

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Warrior monks and weapons

Warrior Monks and Weapons

  • Warrior monks used the following weapons

    • Typical Japanese swords

    • Tanto (dagger)

    • Bows and arrows

      • Typical Japanese longbow

      • Warriors who were skilled archers used them to kill many adversary monks

      • Naginata, a form of glaive

        • Some resemble Chinese helberds

  • Characterization of warrior monks

    • Hekei Monogatari: they are “all stout men at arms carrying bows and arrows, sword and naginata, every one of them worth a thousand ordinary men, caring not they met god or devil”

Weapons of the ikko ikki

Weapons of the Ikko-Ikki

  • The use of new weapons evidenced

    • “how warrior monks were no peasant rabble but an organized force at the forefront of military technology”

    • How warrior monks wanted to kill effectively

  • Weapons included

    • Swords and daggers

    • Naginata

    • Straight spears (14th century)

    • Arquebuses (16th century)

      • Introduced to Japan in 1543 by Portugese

      • A simple matchlock musket

Banners of monk armies

Banners of Monk Armies

  • The Ikko-Ikki warriors (Japanese “holy warriors”par excellence)

    • Carried banners on which Buddhist Pure Land Buddhism’s mantra were written

      • Namu Amida Butsu (Hail to the Buddha Amida)

    • Other banners showed “He who advances is sure of salvation, but he who retreats will go to hell”

    • They welcomed fighting because their faith promised “paradise was immediate reward for death in battle”

  • The Lotus (Nichiren, Hokke-shu) Warriors

    • Carried banners on which Nichiren motto was displayed: “Namu Myoho Rengekyo” (Hail to the Lotus of the Wonderful Law)

Prominent warrior monks

Prominent Warrior Monks

  • Saka no shiro Yogaku

    • Known for his “strength and valor” that was “equal to all the temples in Nara put together”

    • Slew many enemies in the Gempei War

  • Benkei (1189)

    • An expelled monk from Enryakuji

    • Also known for his mighty prowess (carried a temple bell on his shoulder from Miidera up to Mt. Hiei

    • Defeated by Minamoto Yoshisune (13th c.) and became his loyal companion

  • Inei (1521-1607)

    • A skilled devotee of spear fighting

The samurai monks

The Samurai Monks

  • Numerous samurai were also ordained monks

    • Uesugi Kenshin (1530 – 1578)

    • Takeda Shingen (1521 – 1573)

    • HondaTadagatsu

Warrior monks and street protest

Warrior Monks and Street Protest

  • Goso (forceful protest): Warrior monks took their grievance into the streets of Kyoto and even imperial palace

    • Always carried mikoshi (sacred palanquin, portable shrine)

    • Enryakuji monks carried mikoshi of Sanno from the Hiyoshi Shrine at the foot of Mt. Hiei

    • Kofukuji monks carried mikoshi of Kasuga Shrine in Nara

Warrior monks and street fighting

Warrior Monks and Street Fighting

  • Best known incident: Taira Kiyomori clashed with warrior monks

    • In 1146, in Kyoto

    • Reason: his attendants quarreled with a priest from the Gion Shrine and were beaten by warrior monks

    • Result: Kiyomori shot an arrow at the mikoshi and scared away the monks

      • 7,000 (?) warrior monksdescended from Mt. Hiei on the capital to bay for Kiyomori’s banishment

      • Kiyomori became powerful leader of samurai after he acted in defiance of the mikoshi

Warrior monks in literary works

Warrior Monks in Literary Works

  • In Hekei Monogatari

    • The battle of Uji (during the Genpei War)

      • Warrior monks of Middera and Kofukuji joined Minamoto samurai

    • Famous warrior monks:

      • Gochin no Tajima, dubbed Tajima the arrow cutter

      • Tsutsui Jomyo Meishu

  • In Taiheiki

    • Kaijitsu of Harima

      • Able to swing a naginata like a water wheel

      • killed his enemy Kaito and cut off his head

The immediate result

The Immediate Result

  • Kofukuji was reduced to ashes

  • Todaiji was destructed

    • A thousand of people crowded into the Daibutsdan (Great Buddha Hall)

    • They were all burnt by the flames

    • Heike Monogatari:

      • “such a great crying arose that could not be surpassed even by the sinner amid the flames of Tapana, Pratapana and Avitchi, the fiercest of the Eight Hot Hells.”

  • The colossal statue of Virochana Buddha of copper and gold was destroyed

  • 3,500 people died in the burning of Nara.

  • The heads of 1,000 monks were displayed in Nara and carried back to Kyoto

Ikko ikki in battle

Ikko-ikki in Battle

  • Used mass nembutsu chanting a a means of raising their fighting spirit and intimidating “the enemies of Buddha”—Nobunaga’s samurai

  • Used brilliant defensive tactics to effectively trick their enemies in a deep sea of mud and shoot them with arrows and bullets

  • Arquebusiers and archers cut down their enemies who dragged themselves to dry land and crawed into the reedbeds

Warriors and firearms

Warriors and Firearms

  • Warrior monks were among the first armies to use the arquebus

    • They also developed firearms production

  • Ikko-ikki of Mikawa used arquebus to shoot Tokugawa Ieyasu and nearly killed him

  • Earlier in 1570, Nobunaga’s army was stunned by Ikko-ikki’s firing power during their attack on Ishiyama Honganji

    • The inspired Nobunaga, who, when attacking Nagashima in 1573, also used firearms.

      • A fierce downpour soaked the arquebuses and Nobunaga was forced to retreat

      • A bullet narrowly missed Nobunaga’s ear

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