M e a n w h i l e Kuroda Josui in Kyushu was by no means idle. He called for volunteers for the campaign against the Ishida party in that island, and all classes of society were encouraged to join, Ronin, old men, Inkyo, traders, farmers, and artisans, since all the able-bodied samurai were with his son Nagamasa in Ieyasu’s camp, and they responded willingly. Those who had no proper armour came in paper haori, on the back of which they had painted their crests, and picked up any old discarded equip­ ment they could find, while some who had no helmets wore split bamboo hats with birch twigs stuck round the brim. The horses they rode were in many cases thin and sorry-looking but they made as brave a show as they could, riding up gaily brandishing their spears. In all, three thousand six hundred men were thus collected. Josui greeted them all personally with com­ pliments suitable to the occasion, if they were old telling them that their experience would be most useful and congratulating them on their enterprise, and if they were young observing that their vigour was remarkable and their spirit beyond all praise. Each horseman received 300 me in silver, and each foot soldier a kwambun of Eiraku coins. Josui himself presented them with the money, and spoke a few words to each, never repeating himself, and when some of his officers informed him that some had come forward more than once so that they could receive more money and that it would be well to mark them in some way, he replied that he was well aware of it, but considered that on such an occasion it was not advisable to make any invidious investigations. When he announced that he would set out on the ninth day

Mori Taihei and Inoue Kuroemon, two of his oldest councillors, said that the day was unlucky, and also that it would be well to wait till Ieyasu had set out for the west. But Josui answered that if he did that he would look like a trimmer, and as for unlucky days he had set out on the ninth before and been victorious, as they might remember. If they did not like it they could wait for what they considered a lucky day and follow on after him. So

they agreed to start with him, saying that they were always ready to die for him at any time, but it was his safety they were con­ sidering. Josui laughed and called for drink, and they toasted the success of the campaign. First of all he proceeded by sea to Kitsuke, the castle of his

neighbour, Hosokawa Yusai. This castle being given to Hosokawa was a case where Ieyasu had outwitted Ishida, for it was Ishida who had suggested that the fief in Bungo be allotted to Yusai, pretending that it was the dying wish of the late Taiko. His real reason for pressing this was that he wished to divide and weaken the forces of Yusai, whose position in Tango enabled him to menace Osaka and Sawayama, and whose staunch friendship for Ieyasu was well known. Ieyasu saw through this scheme it appears, but made no objection because he also saw that it could be made to cut both ways, for he afterwards said to Yusai: “Ishida has divided your fief in this way, thinking to weaken your forces by taking some away to the west, but there in Kyushu I have only one supporter, and that is Kuroda Josui. Now your new fief is next his, so be sure you send a few good men down there so that you can combine to some effect when the need arises.” Yusai sent his captains Matsui and Ariyoshi to take charge of Kitsuke, and when the war broke out they wished to go back to his assis­ tance, leaving the castle in the charge of Josui; therefore they went to him at Najima for ships to take them round by Shimonoseki and the Sanin coast, since all the mainland was in the hands of the enemy. Josui, however, told them he could not spare any, though he would give them money to hire some if they could find them. But there were none to be had, and so they had to return to Kitsuke. Josui went off thither and told them to hold out, but not to make any attacks outside, giving them three pieces of cannon or large matchlocks. He assured them that if they were besieged he would send them assistance in three days. He then assisted Kiyomasa’s wife, who had escaped from Osaka, giving her clothes of which she was in need, and sending her safely home. He also sent news of the fall of Gifu, which he had heard from his son Nagamasa who was with this part of the Eastern army, to Kato Kiyomasa, with the result that he gave up fortifying his castle and determined to take the offensive too.