June 2 – Nobunaga Oda Commemoration Day
Who is the most popular person in Japanese history? I guess many people will say it’s Oda Nobunaga (織田信長, a powerful feudal lord of Japan in the late 16th century who almost unified Japan and was killed right before the accomplishment). June 2nd is the day of Honnoji no Hen (本能寺の変, Honnoji incident) on which Nobunagawa was killed.
Nobunaga was said to be forced to commit suicide in the sudden war fire because of the rebellion by Akechi Mitsuhide (明智光秀, a subordinate to Nobunaga). His death came such all too soon when it was least expected. At the time of his very death, he said “Zehi ni oyobazu (This was unavoidable after all)”. I wonder how different things would have been in Japan if this man of great innovation had not been killed.
One of the great misteries of Japanese history is the missing body of Nobunaga, however, here’s an theory: Saint Saigyoku (清玉上人) with deep connection with Nobunaga rushed to Honnoji in attempt to save Nobunaga’s life, but it was too late. He picked up Nobunaga’s bones and burried them in the premises of his temple Amida-ji (阿弥陀寺).
On June 2, the temple discloses its main hall and treasures such as wooden sculpture of Nobunaga to the public. The venue gets very crowded with great number of visitors every year. Japanese people truly like Nobunaga. I also got emotional some how too.
10 mins. on foot from Demachiyanagi station, Eizan, Keihan, and subway lines
8 mins.on foot from Kawaramachi Imadegawa, Kyoto city bus