50 Kusunoki Masashige

Emperor Go-Daigo (r. 1318-1339) was now banished to Oki Island. His loyal subjects Hino no Suketomo, Hino no Toshimoto, Minamoto no Tomoyuki and others had been executed, while Kazan'in Morokata and Fujiwara no Fujifusa were in exile. The plan for the imperial restoration now seemed hopeless. Fortunately, however, two great figures saved Japan from the brink of disaster. They were the Prince of the Great Pagoda Morinaga (Daitou no Miya Morinaga) (1308-1335), and the warrior Kusunoki Masashige (1294-1336).

Prince Morinaga was the eldest son of Emperor Go-Daigo. (an omission)

Thus the Prince narrowly escaped. He headed to Kumano in the Province of Kii ( Wakayama Prefecture), accompanied by nine attendants disguised as itinerant mountain priests wearing persimmon-colored garments and carrying backpacks. They reached Kumano safely but they were atill in danger. From Kumano they went on to Totsugawa River, then climbed Mt. Yoshono. During this time the Prince communicated with Emperor Go-Daigo in Oki Island and the loyal warrior Kusunoki Masashige in Kawachi Province (Ohsaka Prefecture), then sent off royal orders nationwide. Thus, while the Emperor was in captivity in Oki Island, his local followers mobilized under the leadership of the Prince of the Great Pagoda. Without his orders, the imperial force would have dispersed co-ordinated attacks would have been impossible.

But it was Kusunoki Masashige who understood the military situation and devised the war strategy. He single-handedly fought against a great Bakufu army and soundly defeated them, showing that the Bakufu army need not be feared. With many more military successes, Kusunoki Masashige inspired and encouraged the others to rise against the Bakufu.

Kusunoki Masashige came from s noble which descended from the ancient Tachibana clan, from the family of Emperor Bidatsu (6th century). Tachibana no Moroe (684-757), who seved Emperor Shoumu (701-756) as Minister of the Left, was one of Kusunoki Masashige's ancestors. However, the family eventually moved and settled in Kawachi Province (Ohsaka Prefecture), and lived there relatively unknown to the people of Kyouto.

When he was at Mt. Kasagi, Emperor Go-Daigo summoned Kusunoki Masashige and inquired: "How shall this nation achieve peace ?" Kusunoki Masashige answered:
" - to to control the realm we require not men of war alone, but clever devisings as well. Not by opposing strength against strength will we triumph, not though we assemble together the warriors of more than sixty province to contest against the men of Musashi and Sagami alone. But if we fight with a plan there will be nothing to fear, since the guileless eastern barbarians can do nothing beyond smashing what is sharp and destroying what is strong. Since the way of warfare is as it is, let not the sovereign look at the outcome of a single battle. While he hears that Masashige alone still lives, let him believe that he will prevail at last !"

Kusunoki Masashige returned confidently to Kawachi Province (Ohsaka Prefecture) and prepared his Akasaka Castle for the arrival of the Emperor. (Rest omitted)
50 楠木正成
 後醍醐天皇隠岐へお流されになり、資朝・俊基・具行等は殺され、師賢・藤房等は流され て、日本国中興の御計画、今は絶望かと思われた時、幸いにして二人の偉大なる人物が 残っていて、回天の偉業を成しとげました。二人の偉人とは誰かと云いますに、大塔宮 護良親王と、楠木正成とです。
 危ういところを助かって、宮は熊野へ向かわれます。御供九人、宮を始め皆々柿色の 衣に笈を掛けて山伏姿になり、無事に熊野へ参られましたが、ここも安心が出来ないの で十津川へ入り、更に吉野山へお登りになりましたが、その間、隠岐にまします天皇に も、河内の楠木正成にも、よく連絡をおとりになり、全国に号令を下されました。天皇 が隠岐に押し込められておわします間、全国各地の官軍は、大抵大塔宮の令旨をいただ いて動いたのです。大塔宮は全国に号令を下さいました。これ無くしては四方の官軍一 斉に起こる事は無かったでしょう。然し天下の形勢を察して謀を立て、且つ幕府の大軍 を、おのれ一手に引き受けて、さんざんに之を悩まし、幕府の勢力の恐ろしいものでな い事を暴露して人々を奮起させたものは、楠木正成でありました。正成は、先祖は橘氏 、敏達天皇より出た名門でありました。聖武天皇の御代の左大臣橘諸兄をみれば分かり ましょう。然しいつの頃からか、河内に土着して、あまり世に知られずにいました。そ れを後醍醐天皇は、笠置へお召しになって、「どうしたならば天下を平定する事が出来 るか」とお尋ねになりました。正成かしこまって、
 「天下草創の功は、武略と智謀との二つにて候。もし勢を合わせて戦はば、六十余州 の兵を集めて、武蔵相模の両国に対すとも、勝つ事を得難し。もし謀を以て争はば、東 夷の武力、只利を摧き、堅を破る内を出でず。是れ欺くに安うして、怖るるに足らぬ所 なり。合戦の習にて候へば、一旦の勝負をば、必ずしも御覧ぜらるべからず。正成一人 、未だ生きてありと聞召され候はば、聖運遂に開かるべしと思しめされ候へ。」
と、頼もしげにお答え申し上げ、河内へ帰り、赤坂の城を修築して天皇をお迎え申し上 げる準備をしました。(以下略)