What would you do if you were in a war you
couldn’t win and you’re running out of money? That was the situation the Japanese government
was in. Yeah, they had armies a million times bigger
than those of the Emishi, but it’s hard to defend the entire northeast region of Japan. They had to protect every single settlement. It was easier for the Emishi, who were using
guerilla tactics. Emishi troops fought on horseback. They were like water. Their speed allowed them to flow into the
smallest cracks in the Japanese defenses. They chose when and where to attack, always
where the enemy was weakest. It’s like fighting Brett, the big school
bully. You don’t attack Brett physically, that’s
where he’s strongest. You attack him emotionally, by telling him
the only reason Dad’s an alcoholic and lost his job is because Brett is Mom’s lovechild
with another man. That’ll do it. Or go for the balls, that works too. Maintaining the large armies actually became
a problem for Japan. They required a lot of food and money and
Vespene gas, and they weren’t even that good. Military service was mandatory for most men. Their training was basically: here’s a spear,
stick em with the pointy end. Desertion was a problem. It became so bad that in 792, Emperor Kanmu
said “the hell with this” and abolished mandatory military service. From then on, each province had to raise their
own local militia. Then in 979, the court gave the reins of the
Japanese war machine (war…horse?) to a man who would be given the most credit for defeating
the Emishi barbarians. His name was Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (坂上田村麻呂). The Japanese court gave him the title of seii
taishogun (征夷大将軍). People have translated this title a bunch
of different ways, but because I love you I chose the most badass sounding one: Barbarian Conquering Generalissimo. Miki: Wait…is this where the title shogun
came from? Why, yes, Miki, this was where shogun came
from. The title was reused later on and shortened
to shogun when Japan decided to experiment a little bit with a military dictatorship,
oh god it lasted 700 years. Tamuramaro was actually the second seii taishogun,
the first was someone named Otomo no Otomaro (大伴弟麻呂). No, that’s not an otocorrect. But next to Tamuramaro, Otomaro was like the
forgotten general. So let’s forget about him. Tamuramaro becoming seii taishogun was part
of a shift in the court’s war strategy. Before, they chose civilians, court nobles,
to lead their armies. Surprised that people with no military experience
had a hard time leading the military, the court started to move away from civilian leadership. They called veterans back to the front lines,
gave ranks and rewards for being awesome on the battlefield. The man Tamuramaro himself came from a military
family, and he was certainly not black, you silly silly people. The only way he could’ve been black is if
you meant it in the general sense that we all originally came from Africa. In 800, Tamuramaro took an army north and
did something that those before him couldn’t do. He defeated and captured two Emishi leaders. One of them was the legendary warchief Aterui,
who once beat an army 50 times his size. See the previous video. In 802, the Emishi chieftains were taken to
Kyoto and beheaded. Tamuramaro very much opposed this. It could be because he had actually negotiated
a peace with the Emishi, and the beheading of one side is usually not part of a peace
deal. Either way, that was the end of Aterui, the
legendary Emishi warchief. We’re seeing the beginnings of a warrior
class in Japan. The subjugation wars gave us many of the features
that we would associate with the samurai, because aside from changing the military leadership
to be run by military men, the subjugation wars also forced changes to military technology. After seeing the Emishi rock their world with
horse archers, the Japanese decided that’s what they wanted for Christmas, and KFC. They moved towards small skilled units of
horse archers rather large armies of unskilled foot soldiers. They still couldn’t figure out a way to
grow fabulous Emishi beards though. They switched from using iron armor to leather
armor. Yeah, iron was tougher, but it was heavy and
prone to rusting, and it took a lot of work to fix dents in the armor. Leather was lighter and easier to make and
didn’t rust. It was great on horseback. And a good way to spice things up in the bedroom. Just remember, safewords don’t work through
a ball gag. The shape of their swords also changed. Swords used to be straight, but became curved. Some historians say it was because curved
swords made it better for slashing, which is easier to do on a horse. That seems to make sense, but others say yeah
it wasn’t because they were better for slashing from a horse. It was because they changed their forging
techniques. There are a bunch of techniques and we can
probably do a whole video about them, but basically, they wanted swords that were strong,
but not too strong because they’d become brittle and break more easily. The solution was to have swords where the
sharp edge was really strong, but the backside of the blade was more flexible and less prone
to breaking. This involved heating up the sharp edge more
or letting it cool down faster, causing it to expand more than the backside, resulting
in a curve. The fact that curved swords were better for
slashing was just a happy side effect. In 805, Emperor Kanmu called an end to the
wars. The two major projects of Kanmu’s reign
were one, moving the capital to Heian-kyo, which would later be named Kyoto. And two, these subjugation wars against the
Emishi. These two projects were so expensive that
the court was running out of money. After decades of war, the rest of the court
became Elsa. They were all, let it gooo. And so he did. There was one last attack in 811, and then
the Japanese court declared victory! Pack it up, let’s go home boys. Good for them. Except, it was all talk. Things didn’t really change. The Emishi still raided Japanese settlements. But instead of saying, “oh no we have these
outsiders raiding Japanese settlements” the court started saying, “oh no people
in our provinces are rebelling.” They called the Emishi surrendered barbarians. The Emishi were like, dude we haven’t surrendered,
then went back to stroking each other’s beards. It seemed like the Japanese understood that
this was all a word game, because they still called northeastern Honshu the land of the
barbarians. The Emishi warriors were like water. You can’t get rid of water by pounding it
with your hand, but you can slowly absorb it. And that’s what the Japanese did. Actually they were already doing that before
all of this war nonsense. They kept on building Japanese settlements,
creeping further and further into Emishi territory, increasing their influence. A funny thing happened though. Under Japanese rule (in quotes), the Emishi
thrived more than ever, and they even built a city that rivaled Kyoto, the Japanese capital. So what happened was, there were still rebellious
regions in Dewa and Mutsu provinces. The Japanese decided it was too costly to
keep sending forces to fight them, so they came to a compromise: Using barbarians to control barbarians. They allowed Emishi leaders who had already
surrendered to rule over these rebellious regions. A territory formed within Dewa and Mutsu that
became pretty much independent from Japan throughout the Heian Period. Some powerful Emishi houses popped up. One of them had a name you may recognize. They were the Oshu Fujiwara (奥州藤原),
or the Northern Fujiwara. If you didn’t know, the Fujiwara clan famously
married their daughters into the Imperial Family, allowing them control over the Heian
court for 200 years. The Northern Fujiwara was a branch of the
main Fujiwara line. Its founder was Fujiwara no Kiyohira (藤原清衡),
the son of a Fujiwara father and an Emishi mother, that scoundrel. His father fought alongside the Emishi against
the Japanese and the court branded him a traitor. So the Northern Fujiwara was separate from
the rest of the Fujiwara in Japan. They “went native” if you wanna call it
that. They ruled over northeastern Honshu from their
capital at Hiraizumi (平泉), and they were really successful. The historical records come from the Japanese,
so they tend to downplay the power of the Northern Fujiwara and the city of Hiraizumi,
but we’ve dug up all kinds of fine pottery and trade items like furs and Jimmy Choos. It revealed that Hiraizumi was a major economic
and political center that rivaled Kyoto itself. Kiyohira’s life mission was to build a grand
system of temples and gardens, a legacy for him and his family, so these were probably
major cultural centers too. Hiraizumi thrived and the Emishi had virtual
independence until 1189, when Minamoto no Yoritomo (源頼朝) came in and just demolished
them. And that was the end of that. Alright you ready? Today’s quiz question is: The wrestling
match between Takemikazuchi and Okuninushi’s son was the mythical origin of what? I will randomly choose one winner from the
correct answers in 24 hours, and the winner gets to choose one of these babies. Good luck. Last week’s winner was 1290Li! I wanna thank the two new patrons this week: Yuko Kanno I Kanno believe it, and Raouf Boumedal Want more videos about the Emishi? Check out this playlist! Thank you so much you guys. Alright much love
and spread the knowledge!