In the medieval Japan, during the Sengoku period, when war was almost continuous, a good horse was dramatically improving the surviving chances of a samurai. Even more, the horse was helping a samurai to distinguish in battle, and thus to get a chance to raise in ranks.
But a good horse was rare and very expensive. The story says that Yamauchi Kazutoyo, a simple samurai retainer of Oda Nobunaga, found at a fair a very good horse, but it was too expensive. However Chiyo, his wife, bought the horse fo him, by using the money received at their wedding. The investment was extremely worthwhile, because by using the horse Yamauchi was noticed by Oda Nobunaga, and since he distinguished himself in battle he received as a reward the entire Tosa domain (today’s Kochi Prefecture).
The descendants of Yamauchi Kazutoyo ruled the Tosa domain until the Meiji Restoration, and today, nearby the Kochi castle, there’s a statue of Chiyo with the horse…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: