Celebrate an underdog military commander at a festival in Uzumasa


Staff Writer

Military commander Sengoku Hidehisa (1552−1614) will forever be remembered as a Japanese warrior who messed up the worst but redeemed himself the most. Sengoku was quick to be promoted to the role of daimyo (feudal lord), but due to his lack of chivalry and perceived depravity, historical records harshly describe him as a coward and thief. He eventually redeemed himself, spending the final phase of his life working diligently under the stewardship of the prestigious Tokugawa clan.

It is his imperfection that makes him all the more attractive and easier to identify with, says manga artist Hideki Miyashita, who will attend a talk event during the Uzumasa Sengoku Matsuri 2012: Wonder 7 festival in Kyoto this weekend.

Miyashita is an author of the smash-hit manga series “Sengoku” depicting the life of the titular warrior. Its debut in 2004 coincided with what Miyashita recalls as a growing prevalence of economic pessimism that made young people in Japan unnecessarily afraid of making mistakes. By “Sengoku,” Miyashita says he wanted to remind them there is always a second chance and that they can start over if they try hard.

Another highlight will be a small concert by Mayumi Morinaga, who carved out her career as a singer-songwriter when she won a televised audition in 2006. She will perform songs from her first album “Glitter/Kamiuta.”

The Sengoku festival aims to spotlight Kyoto’s historic importance as an ancient capital and increase global interest in the city of Uzumasa, known as center of jidaigeki (period drama) filmmaking.

Uzumasa Sengoku Matsuri 2012: Wonder 7 takes place at Toei Kyoto Studio Park in Kyoto on Dec. 8 and 9. Tickets cost ¥2,200. For more information, call: (075) 864-7716, or visit www.joraku.jp/index.html.