名古屋在住、日本大好きラジオDJクリス・グレンが語る、
日本が誇る錚々たる戦国武将たちの魅力。
外国人の目に我が国の英雄たちはどう映っているのか?
 

「江戸城」と言えば、徳川家康!
そう答える人も多いかもしれないが、「江戸城」と言えば・・・
もう一人、忘れてはならないのは、江戸城を築城したことでも有名な室町時代の武将、太田道灌(どうかん)である。道灌は子供の頃から賢い人だった。
そして、もちろん武士としての能力にも長けていた。そんな道灌が、自分を恥じた、こんなエピソードがある。

ある日、突然のにわか雨にあってしまった道灌。
雨宿りをし「蓑(みの)」を借りようと、農家に立ち寄るが、その家の娘は「蓑(みの)」ではなく「山吹の花」を道灌に差し出した。
「花が欲しいわけではない!」と不快に思った道灌。
雨の中を帰り、家臣にこの話をしたところ
「きっと、その娘は“七重八重 花は咲けども山吹の み(実)のひとつだに なきぞかなしき”という歌に例えて、今の状況とお詫びを伝えたかったのではないでしょうか」という意外な答えが返ってきた。
(つまり、「実の」と「蓑(みの)」が、かかっていたワケですね。)
この歌すら知らなかった無知な自分であること、それがゆえに娘への気遣いができなかった自らを恥じた道灌は、歌を勉強するようになったらしい。

「気づき」は、いつの時代にも大切なことだ。
そして、ただ「気づく」だけではなく、そこから自らを反省し、同じ過ちを繰り返さないために行動に移すことは、さらに大事なことだ。
人に対する心配りはできているか。
偉そうな態度をとってはいないか。
学ぶことを怠けていないか。

戦国という過酷な時代を行き抜き、平和な世を願い、尽力した武将たち。
遠い昔の戦国武将から、現代人の僕らも学ぶべきことは多い。


<以下、和訳>
When most people think of Edo Castle, they think of Tokugawa Ieyasu!
However another important warlord of the Muromachi Period, the man who actually built Edo Castle, the “Father of Tokyo”, Ota Dokan should also be remembered. Ota Dokan was considered extremely intelligent from his childhood, and was recognised as a strong and cunning warrior too. Despite this intelligence and obvious self confidence, there was a time when Dokan was ashamed of himself and changed his ways for the better. 

The story goes that one day while hunting, a heavy rain began to fall.
Seeking to borrow a mino, a straw rain cape, he called on a nearby rundown home, however the daughter of the household who answered the door gave Lord Dokan not a rain cape as per his request, but a branch of yellow Yamabuki or Kerria roses. Slightly perplexed and much angered, Dokan returned home in the rain, and that evening told his retainers the story of the silly girl who gave him flowers instead of a rain cape. 

One of his samurai then pointed out that the flowers represented the lines from a poem written by the Heian Period Prince Kaneakira. (914-987)
“The Yamabuki enriches our house, but the riches are an illusion, our flowers bear no fruit.” In this case, fruit, or mi, in Japanese referred to the mino,…To Dokan’s clever samurai, the meaning was simple. The family was too poor to be able to lend even the lord a mino.
Dokan felt ashamed that he was ignorant of the poem and its meaning, and at his attitude towards the peasant girl, and so he dedicated himself to self improvement and the study of poetry.


Ota Dokan was a strong warrior, who is today best remembered as an architect and poet. In the harsh reality of a land at war, there were warriors seeking to better themselves through a peaceful repose. Once Dokan became aware of his shortcomings, he took action to change his ways. He was transformed by this experience, becoming more considerate of others, and more culturally enlightened.  Becoming aware of our failings, and seeking to mend them. It’s an important lesson we modern people can learn from the warlords of the distant past.